Posts Tagged ‘minimalism’

Artist of the moment……Enrico Castellani

Enrico Castellani is not only a great painter, but also a great jewelry maker. Enrico Castellani was born in Castelmassa, Italy in the year 1930. When I first saw the artist’s work I thought of the American minimalist artist Donald Judd. In fact Judd was heavily influenced by Castellani whom Judd considered the Father of Minimalism.

For his artistic education Castellani attended the Academie Royale des Beaux- Arts in  Italy. He also attended the Academy of Fine the national school for the Fine Arts in Belgium where he studied architecture.

He and another artist started their own gallery. They wanted to separate themselves from other artists in a similar movement. They had partaken in Abstract Expressionist movement, but their voice was something different. The gallery was called Azimut and a magazine supporting the movement was titled Azimuth.

Other artists associated with the new Art Informel movement at the same time were Lucio Fontana. You may have seen him in the news as some revolutionary abstract works have broken the one million dollar barrier at auction. Below is  Fontana’s work “Attese” which sold at auction for $1.1 million dollars.


To form his highly textured surfaces he places nails down and then lies the canvas over the top. A very unique way to manipulate a flat surface.

price range information: sorry none available.

In this clip we view a gallery show from 2011:


Artist of the moment…..Sean Scully

Sean Scully is a contemporary American artist born in Dublin, Ireland in the year 1945.  When he was four years of age Scully and his family moved to London, England. For his collegiate studies Scully attended the Croyden College of Art located in London. The artist also attended Newcasle University located in Newcastle Upon Tyme. Scully also studied at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

price range information: Sean Scully has broken the one million dollar mark at auction. For woodcuts and various prints prices are $5,000 to $15,000. Originals done in acrylics, pastels, and oils start in the low six figure range.

Scully is best known for abstract work featuring basic geometric shapes, often times a square shape. He also takes photographs looking for similar shapes.

Moved to the United States in 1975 and applied for citzenship.

For his work he uses watercolour and most often oils. Many times he paints his squares to resemble a checkerboard. If not using the checkerboard design Scully uses the shape of a stripe. Scully is also a wonderful printmaker working with woodcuts.

Scully is most associated with the Minimalist movement.

In this clip we see some great examples of Scully’s work with the stripe and with his checkerboard design from a museum show that took place in Ireland.

Nominated twice for the Turner Award,  a leading prize in Great Britain.

Was a teaching professor at the Chelsea School of Art in London and Princeton University in the United States.

Received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in the United States in 1983.

In this clip we hear why Sean Scully chose to take up abstract painting.

And to close we visit a museum located in Bern, Switzerland to further study the checkerboard design theme.


Artist of the moment…..Howardena Pindell

Price range information: Most works priced between $2,000 and $12,000.

Howardena Pindell specializes in abstract works, though in the past she has painted the figure. Howardena Pindell was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the year 1943. For her collegiate studies the artist attended the Boston University School of Fine and Applied Arts. For her postgraduate work she earned an MFA from Yale.

Pindell learned more about the business side of art by working at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Here she worked as a curator and assistant curator dealing with prints.

Pindell has been part of the teaching faculty at Yale and also Stony Brook University.

Her work began to sell in the late 1960s. In the 1970s she began to flourish with more abstract works that dealt with the build up of the paper surface. At this point she was a mixture of abstraction and minimalism.

Pindell has also done a fair amount of research on being an African- American artist.

Winner of Guggenheim Fellowship.

Held in prominent collections at the Museum of Modern Art and the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

In this clip Howardena Pindell talks about printmaking and developing her style.


Artist of the moment….Robert Mangold

Robert Mangold is a minimalist artist that was born in Tonawanda, New York in the year 1937. His parents were both employed his father working at an organ factory. His mom worked in the garment industry.

Mangold has worked in many mediums including woodcuts and aquatints which can be found between one and three thousand dollars. His most expensive works are originals in acrylics which can fetch up to 602,000 U.S dollars. Pencil works can reach up to $80,000.

Often times Mangold will work in a series executing paintings and works on paper.

In this clip we visit the renown Pace gallery for a show given for the artist in 2008.

Mangold is held in high regard by other artists who collect his work. One such artist is Robert Kushner, the fantastic painter of floral scenes.

Robert Mangold also married an artist, his wife is Sylvia Mangold. The couple live and work out of Washingtonville, New York.  Here is an example of one of her tree paintings.


The couple had a son James who went on to work in Hollywood as a screenwriter and film producer. Another son named Andrew Mangold who is a musician.

For his artistic education Mangold attended Cleveland Institute of Art. He went on to earn both a bachelors and masters degree from the art program at Yale University.

In this clip we revisit the great PBS series Art21. It has brought featured many artists including Mark Bradford and  Julie Mehretu. Robert Mangold is featured.

If you enjoy minimalism make sure and check out my post on Donald Judd. Judd was born in the year 1928 and passed away in 1994. Here is a great example of Judd’s minimalist work.


An art story that features many minimalist and modern artists would be that of Herb and Dorothy. Herb was a postal employee and his wife Dorothy a librarian. The couple bore no children and spent Dorothy’s salary to start an art collection that lasted their entire lifetime. The couple amassed such a collection they donated 5o works of art to each state. Its a great documentary if you get the opportunity to see it, don’t pass it up. When visiting their rent controlled apartment in New York city watch where you sit, there might very well be an original Frank Stella artwork lying on the floor!

A clip featuring the couple touring the many New York galleries. From the documentary film on the couple.

Another artist working in a minimalist style with basic geometric shapes making wonderful art would be Julie Mehretu. Mehretu was born in the year 1970 and below is a wonderful example of her work. Mehretu paints and also makes large scale installations.


Artist of the moment Jennifer Bartlett…..

Jennifer Bartlett  was born in Long Beach, California in 1941.

A short collection of paintings done by the artist set to music. It even shows some works as they appear in public spaces like an airport. The artist was highly skilled at matching realism with a great deal of abstraction.

A short interview about the artist and another female artist named Jackie Winsor.

High price range: $52,000 for the large landscape, the last image in the picture gallery, done in 99 plates using enamels on steel panels.

Low price range: Some original acrylics can be found for a few thousand, some prints for less than one thousand dollars.

The artist has worked in a variety of mediums over the years such as oils, inks, sculpture, pastels, etching, woodcut, lithographs, and screenprints.

She is known for her mixture of painting styles, realism with a great deal of abstraction and patterns included. She paints with oils on canvas as well as with acrylics and enamel on steel plates.

The artist attended Mills College in Oakland, California earning a bachelors degree in fine art in 1963. She continued on to graduate school earning a degree in 1965 from the Yale School of Art and Architecture.

Due to her dramatic brushwork, the artist is known for creating a great sense of movement in her work. She found her style, with a slight nod from the Minimalist style which was highly en vogue during this time period. It was at this time the artist decided to paint on steel plates rather on canvas.

One very large influential artist important to her career was Sol LeWitt.

The artist has done a great deal of large commissioned works for public and private spaces. For the federal building in Atlanta the artist created a two hundred foot long mural.  She also has done design work for Saatchi and Volvo.

The artist is included in many collections including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Smithsonian Art Institute in Washington D.C., the Whitney Museum of Art also in Washington D.C.

Bartlett was also an educator from 1972 to 1977 at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

Online and land based galleries:   Locks Gallery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Jennifer Bartlett currently lives and works out of New York City.

Its great to look back and see the many periods of change in the artist’s work. I saw some of her silk screen prints that were nearly all text. Then I became fascinated her landscapes.  From a design standpoint she seems to have had fun while she painted.  Very great at producing a variety of textures in her work.


Happy painting!