Posts Tagged ‘minimalist’

Artist of the moment…………Kendall Shaw


Kendall Shaw is an American painter working in a minimalist style. Kendall Shaw was born in New Orleans, Louisiana the year 1924. Over his career the artist has worked in styles including Pop Art, Abstraction, and the Pattern and Decoration movements.

Shaw served in the United States Navy during the Second World War.

The artist attended Tulane University and also Georgia Institute of Technology where he studied chemistry. Shaw also attended Louisiana State University where he also studied chemistry and art. Shaw went on to earn an M.F.A. from Tulane University.

Shaw has also taught at many colleges over his career including Hunter College, Columbia University, and Parson’s School of Design.

After graduation he moved to New York City to work for a large chemical company. He studied with Ralston Crawford and Stuart Davis.

The artist decided to give up his career in chemistry and became a full time painter.

In this movie we make a visit to the studio of Kendall Shaw and he talks about what inspires his art:

The artist found how to use color by working with master painter Mark Rothko whilst both were teaching at Tulane.

Price range information: Sorry none available.

What a great use of color and shapes!



Artist of the moment…..Imi Knoebel

Imi Knoebel was born in Dessau, Germany in the year 1940. Knoebel is renowned for his work in a minimalist style that also has an emphasis of color and space. His early works were in black and white, but since adding color the artist has become one of my favorite contemporary artists.

Knoebel attended the Academy of Art in Dusseldorf where he studied under Joseph Beuys.

Here we visit a show at the Mary Boone Gallery that took place in 2009:

In this clip we view an exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art featuring the work of Imi Knoebel:

The work of Imi Knoebel reminds me a great deal of artist’s Karl Benjamin or Ellsworth Kelly, both already profiled here.

The artist is based out of Dusseldorf, Germany.

price range information: Knoebel is a prolific printmaker with prices starting at$8,000 up to $150,000. He employs mixed media and uses acrylic paint on most works.


Artist of the moment……..Gerald Laing

Gerald Laing was a British artist renowned for Pop Art and abstract styles of painting. Gerald Liang was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in the year 1936.

After deciding a career in the armed forces wasn’t for him, Laing enrolled in Saint Marin’s School of Art located in London, England. Laing worked with both Minimalist styles as you can see in his sculpture work, and a “Pop Art” style that he used in his later years.

During the era of birth of Pop Art in America, the early 1960s, Laing met some of the stars of the Art World in New York City and moved there. His career took off quickly.

Laing was based in Scotland.

Gerald Laing passed away in 2011 at the age of 75 years of age.

In this clip a portrait of American actress Bridgett Bardot is prepared for auction:

Price range information: Sculptures can be found for $50,000 to six figures. Laing created many screen prints which start around $10,000. The artist has had an oil painting  at auction sell for more than $1.4 million dollars.


Artist of the moment…..Shona artist Edward Chiwawa

Edward Chiwawa is one of the first generation of Shona sculptors and artists born in Guruve, Zimbabwe in the year 1935.

Began sculpting at the age of 35 years of age in 1970.

Chiwawa was able to learn and master his craft with the help of Henry Munyaradzi, another well respected Shona artist who happened to be his uncle.

In this clip we visit the artist for a brief interview. A happy fellow indeed!

His favorite theme and subject is the sun and the moon. Chiwawa works in a very stylistic and abstract manner. For the sun and the moon which are represented by simple circular shapes.

Based in a suburb of Harare, Zimbabwe.

price range information: Sorry none available.


Artist of the moment….Rafael Canogar

Ralph Canogar is an abstract artist born in the year 1935. The artist was a co-founder of the art group El Paso. The group El Paso emphasized the art of action painting.

Many works are oil on paper on laid linen. Canogar also produces collages. Canogar is also an avid printmaker.

A mentor for the artist was the Spanish painter Daniel Vazquez Diaz born in 1882. Below an example of his style.


Canogar began painting in an abstract style in 1955.

In 1967 began painting in a Pop Art style.

In 1975 began using basic geometric shapes.

In this clip we view a great montage of works over the artist’s career. Canogar was an accomplished painter in a realist format, not only a great abstract painter:

price range information: Prices range from $5,000 to $225,000.


Artist of the moment…..Ned Vena

Ned Vena is a contemporary American artist born in Boston, Massachusetts in the year 1982. Vena is  renown for his work with monochrome paintings. In many works the artist uses a variety of mediums including rubber, vinyl, and aluminum. When looking at his work the viewer catches glimpses of other past movements such as the minimalist works of Frank Stella and Op-Art look of artists Bridget Riley or Victor Vasarely.

For his artistic education Vena attended the Tufts University Boston School of Museum Fine Art.

Vena began exhibiting in 2006.

Another artist that comes to mind when seeing the work of Ned Vena is Gerhard Richter. Both artists enjoy the process of putting on paint, and scraping it or moving it aside.

price range information: Most works priced between $20,000 and $70,000.

Vena works with a variety of mediums including etching on mirrors, painting on aluminum, and even working with aluminum paints.

In this clip we visit a show featuring Ned Vena and other artists working in a monochrome fashion with our friend James Kalm. To see just the work of Ned Vena click ahead to 1:16 in the clip.

Ned Vena is now based out of Brooklyn, New York.


Artist of the moment…….Brice Marden

Brice Marden is an American artist renown for his abstract and non objective style of painting. Brice Marden was born in Bronxville, New York in the year 1938. For his artistic education Marden attended  Boston University School of Fine Arts earning a bachelor degree. Marden would go on to earn a masters degree from Yale in art and architecture.

Many works are done using a grey scaled or minimalist approach. Marden was seen as the best in the field of monochrome painting when it was the favorite style of the contemporary art market.

Brice Marden worked as a guard at the Jewish Museum before being a professional full time artist.

Its tough to realize the vastness of his work but many works have sides as long as 8 feet.

In this clip we go to a show featuring Brice Marden with our art loving friend James Kalm:

Marden came to New York City in the early 1960s, the artist had  developed an international reputation by the early 1970s.

First wife was named Paula Daez, the sister of famed singer Joan Baez.

Marden also enjoys using mixed mediums in his art. In the 1960s and 1970s the artist would use beeswax along with his oils. Beginning in the 1980s  the artist has been painting with oils on marble.

Also has a  house in Greece.

Marden is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

price range information: At auction some works have sold for nearly 10 million dolllars. Prints and etchings range from $5,000 to $70,000. Even works in pencil command prices from $50,000 to the low six figures.

Currently based out of New York City.

In this clip we take a visit to the artist’s studio:


Artist of the moment…….Benny Andrews…


Benny Andrews was an African American painter who enjoyed working with the figure in a very expressive manner. Benny Andrews was born in the year 1930 to sharecroppers in Plainview Georgia. Andrews was one of ten children. Andrews was the first in his family to accomplish many things taken for granted today. He was the first to graduate from high school and went on to serve in the Air Force.

An excerpt from a documentary made about Benny Andrews.

After leaving the Air Force the artist took advantage of the Government Infantry program to attend college at the Art Institute of Chicago. Whilst at the institute a major influence was Jack Levine whom I have profiled before. Levine was the Daumier of modern times making fun of politicians and making social commentary in his art. Below is a great example of Levine’s work. He lived from 1915 to 2010.


Was named director of visual arts for the National Endowment for the Arts and was part of developing the National Arts Program.

Andrews art was a mixture of minimalism and realism. For minimalism I am reminded of the early works of Dean Mitchell. His small watercolor portraits of persons of color living in the south. Many of Andrews characters seem to move about all the empty space on his finished works. With his style of clothing he gives his characters, Romare Bearden comes to mind. Much like Bearden Andrews enjoyed playing with texture having some very rough and parts of his work appear rough and unfinished in conjunction with other more finished and polished parts of the piece.

The artist seemed to specialize in working with the figure who was under a lot of stress or depressed. Kathe Kollwitz comes to mind when looking at the art of Benny Adams. Kollwitz had a negative view on the world as she struggled living in Germany especially during the time of World War 2. She was placed on the list of degenerate artists like Ernst Wilhelm Nay whom I recently profiled and was forbidden to exhibit her art work. Below is a great example of Kollwitz’s style. Kollwitz was great at capturing the dark feelings of war, especially since many of these works have no color, just black and white. Andrews did series also on the Holocaust, the Native American struggle, and even Hurricane Katrina.


In this clip a brief interview with the artist:

Andrews passed away in 2006 at the age of 75 years old due to cancer. Andrews laid the ground for many African American artists to follow.

Price range information: Collage works are the most expensive going from $5,000 to $20,000. Works done in ink range $1,000 to $3,000. Etchings can be found for around $1,000.

Oils, gouache, and watercolor works reach as high as $20,000.


Artist of the moment….John Wesley….


John Wesley is a pop art and minimalist painter. Wesley was born in 1928 in Los Angeles, California.

In the clip you can see some images of paintings by John Wesley from the 1960s to 2000s.

The artist first successful series was done with seals and stamps designs that he made up himself. He then moved on to using cartoon like characters in his works.

Personal friend of miminal artist Donald Judd and also Dan Flavin. Some call the artist a minimalist. The one thing I find similar between Donald Judd and John Wesley are their use of bright and flat fields of color.  Below is an example of a Donald Judd minimalist painting with flat and bright color fields.

For his artistic education the artist attended the Los Angeles City College and the University of California at Los Angeles.

Winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1976.
Awarded grant from National Endowment for the Arts.


Until her death in 2003, John Wesley was a partner of Patrica Broderick who was a painter and playwright. Below is an example of her loose figure painting style.

Wesley is sometimes grouped with Sureallism painting and painters like Salvador Dali.

Many of Wesley’s works have to do with the female figure and sex. His minimal use of line and color also reminds me British artist Julien Opie. Opie also uses flat line and color when drawing the female form, sometimes he even produces digitial works. Here is a great example of a digital work of Julien Opie. With very minimal use of line and no color, the viewer still knows he is looking at various poses of the fantastic and erotic female form.

Price range info:  The artist mainly worked in acrylics and the range goes from $577,000 down to $25,000. Works in gouache range from $10,000 to $70,000.  Serigraphs are the cheapest works by the artist and can be found for around one thousand dollars. Works in oils range $60,000 to $409,000.

Before beginning to concentrate on selling paintings in 1953, John Wesley worked in the commercial field as an illustrator for Northrop Aircraft.

The artist relocated to New York from Los Angeles in 1960. Wesley still lives and works out of New York.

John Wesley is a great example of  a contemporary artist still producing works today that remind the viewer of the pop art days. His use of flat and bold color mixed with repeating shapes is similar to the Pop Art movement’s fixation for working with mass produced items such as newspaper or magazine ads.

Try a minimalist figure painting or drawing. Think of the few lines used by artists’ like Wesley or Julien Opie.


Artist of the moment….Will Ryman…

Will Ryman is well known for his very large sized, think public commissions, sculptures of flowers. He was born to a family full of art and artists! His father Robert Ryman, is a well known minimalist artist. His mother, Merrill Wagner, is an artist known for painting monochrome works on steel. His brothers Ethan and Cordy are both artists as well. Must have been a very fun household in which to grow up!

Will Ryman was born in 1969 in New York. He still lives and works out of the city.

Below is a work by Will Rymans father artist Robert Ryman, best known for minimalist works and white on white paintings. Minimalism is best thought of  as expressing an idea or thought using a minimum of lines and basic geometric shapes. Many minimal artists worked with simple grids such as Ryman or Agnes Martin.

The artist’s mother is also an artist. She paints monochromatic works mainly on steel. Below is a great example of her working style.

The artist also was a playwright and screenwriter for twelve years.

A brief clip showing a very large bird project that was made by the artist by forging close to 4,500 nails together.

In this clip see a wonderful rose sculpture that was installed on Park avenue in New York.

Ryman decided to focus solely on sculpture in 2002. First solo exhibition was in 2009.

Some of his most famous works were a large papier mache work titled “The Bed.” This work is included in the Saatchi collection. I love the use of exaggeration and sometimes cartoony feel to this work. Very whimsical and fun piece. The man seems to be totally stressed out. Beer cans and chips are open and ready to be of assistance. Even a cigarette is ready to help the man get through the night. This work is a small piece of performance art as well as a sculpture. You can see how he used his twelve years of set design to develop the piece. Below is the bed.

Sometimes the artist uses recycled materials in his works. In a work titled the New Beginning the artist mixed recycled materials such as bottle caps, crushed cans, and bubble gum wrappers. His rose sculptures have even appeared on the CBS Sunday Morning Show.

I love the Ryman family and place them right up there with other art families like the Gruppes, the Peales, the Wyeths, and the Wiggins. Each of these families had at least three generations of professional painters in their families. Each family even specialized in a certain subject.


Wyeths love realism and tight paintings and drawings. The Peale family was known for still life painting. The Wiggins are known to be great painters of snow laden New York. The Gruppe family is known for painting marine works. The Ryman family is still mainly an abtract family, but with Will leading the way perhaps another Ryman specializing in realism will be next!  I just love the fact EVERYONE in the family does something in the art world! What a great way to live your life!


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