Posts Tagged ‘modernism’

Artist of the moment…..Charles Alston

Charles Alston was one of few African American painters working in an abstract manner. Charles Alston was born in the year 1907 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Alston was well diversified as an artist working as a painter, muralist, illustrator, and sculptor. For his artistic education Charles Alston attended Columbia University located in New York City earning a BFA and MFA.

Price range information: The artist worked in lithography, pastels, oils, watercolor, and gouache paints. Works range from $5,000 to $30,000.

The artist participated in the WPA program, and was the first African American to be given a supervisor position.

A wonderful mix here! Miles Davis plays in the background whilst we get to view many works by Charles Alston:

The first image of an African American man displayed at the White House was a bust of Martin Luther King done by the artist.

The artist came from a very unique background. His father was born into slavery but after the Civil War took it upon himself to help bring up the African American race to that of other people. His dad passed away when he was three from a sudden brain hemorrhage. His mother enjoyed the art of embroidery and his father was a competent draftsman.

As a child he enjoyed playing with clay and making sculptures.

With the passing of his father Alston and his family moved to New City. Alston was revered as a very gifted artistic student at his school.

For his collegiate education at Columbia he tried architecture first and then medicine before choosing fine arts as his major.

The artist served in the Army during World War 2. The artist also was named staff artist of the Office of War and Information and Public Relations in 1940. His drawings of people of color were printed and well known throughout the country.

Whilst teaching at the Harlem Arts Workshop Charles Alston taught the ten year old Jacob Lawrence. What a great connection! Alston was also the first African American instructor at the famed Art Students League of New York City. Alston also taught at City University located in New York City.

Charles Alston passed away in from cancer complications in 1977.


Artist of the moment…….Kotaro Takamura

Kotaro Takamura was the son of Koun Takamura, the last entry and a sculptor who worked with wood and bronze. Kotaro Takamura was born in 1902 in Tokyo, Japan. Kotaro Takamura was like his father a great sculptor. Kotaro also was a poet and enjoyed writing.

A big influence on Kotaro Takamura was Auguste Rodin.

For his artistic education Kotaro Takamura attended the Tokyo School of Fine Arts where he studied sculpture. The artist also studied abroad in New York City, London, and Paris.

Kotaro Takamura passed away in 1956 at the age of 73 years old.

Price range information: Sorry none available.

What a great father and son combination of artists!


Artist of the moment…..Gaston LaChaise

Gaston LaChaise was a French artist who worked with the figure in a modern style. Gaston LaChaise was born in Paris, France in the year 1882. His father was a cabinet maker. For his artistic education LaChaise began lessons at the age of thirteen with a school specializing in decorative arts. LaChaise went on to study in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux Arts.

Though an American LaChaise was schooled in Europe and is credited with bringing the modernist movement to the United States.

After college LaChaise found employment with the design firm of Rene Lalique. Lalique has been profiled here as one of the leading sculptors of the Art Nouveau movement.

Price range information: Works range from pencil drawings in the $3,000 range to larger sculptures at the quarter million dollar mark.

LaChaise emigrated to the United States in 1906. He worked for nearly fifteen years as a sculptors assistant before striking out on his own.

Below is the artist’s famous work titled “Standing Woman.”


In this clip we view a wonderful large sculpture by LaChaise. Upon seeing this video I was reminded of another French artist renown for her work with the female figure I have profiled here, Niki de Saint Phalle:

And a here a work by the aforementioned Niki de Saint Phalle:


Gaston LaChaise passed away in 1935 the age of 53 years old from complications due to leukemia.

LaChaise also did a fair amount of highly rendered sculptures of artists and other well known people. This work below is of the American artist Georgia O’Keefe:



Artist of the moment…….Hoon Kwak

Hoon Kwak is a contemporary artist born in the year 1941 on Dageau, Korea, now known as South Korea. For his collegiate education Kwak attended Seoul University and earned a bachelors of fine arts degree. Kwak moved to the United States for post graduate studies at both the University of California at Long Beach. Kwak is associated with the modernism movement.

Kwak works with sculpture, installations, painting, and calligraphy. A recurring theme in the artist’s work is Buddhism.

Hoon Kwak has exhibited his art at the National Art Museum of China.

The artist participated in the Venice Biennale in 1995.

Price range information: Sorry none available.


Artist of the moment……Alfredo Volpi

Alfredo Volpi was a Brazilian artist born in the year 1896. Volpi was a pioneer in leading the Modernist movement that took place in Brazil. Though he grew up and lived in Brazil, Volpi was born in Lucca, Italy. His parents emigrated to Brazil before the artist was two years of age. Thought he started out a realist painter, Volpi is renowned for his own unique style of geometric and abstract paintings.

The subject of many paintings by Alfredo Volpi are small flags otherwise known as banderinhas.

The career of Volpi surged after winning best Brazilian artist in the Sao Paulo, Brazil Biennale.

The artist was influenced by another painter who lived in both Italy and Brazil,  Ernesto De Fiori. Fiori was renowned for his figure sculptures. Below an example of the style of Ernesto De Fiori, which Volpi was heavily influenced by in his beginning years as a painter.


Volpi was basically self taught. He was adept at a young age producing realistic works before he was a teenager.

In this clip a great selection of works by Alfredo Volpi:

Alfredo Volpi passed away in 1988.

Price range information: $50,000 to $900,000.


Artist of the moment….Edwin Ambrose Webster

Edwin Ambrose Webster was an American artist born in the year 1869 in Chelsea, Massachusetts . The artist was first a traditional style painter and then participated in the famous Chicago Armory show and after that became a modernist painter. Webster enjoyed painting the sea, tropical landscapes such as locations in Jamaica, and the figure. Later in his career he also experimented with Cubist painting.

For his artistic education studied at the Boston Museum School of Art with renown painter Frank Weston Benson. Below an example of Benson’s style. Remember Edwin Webster was a traditional realist painter with a slight impressionistic touch before exploring modernism.


The artist started his own school  and helped found the artists colony in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Below is a booklet from this school. Webster was intrigued by the light surrounding the Cape Cod area.


Edwin Webster passed away in 1935.

Price range information: Sorry none available.

I really enjoy the way this artist portrayed the tropical landscape. Having come from a traditional realist background its easy to Webster was an excellent graphic designer and draftsman whose talent seemed to explode after he infused his art with more color.


Artist of the moment….Harry Roseman..

Harry Roseman is a multi talented artist working in many mediums including drawing, painting, and sculpture. Harry Roseman was born in the year 1945 in Brooklyn, New York. For his artistic education Roseman attended Pratt Institute located in New York City. The artist work in many sizes from small works to public sized commissioned works.

His main subject is lines and some subjects include folded and bent wood and curtains.

price range information: Sorry none available.

One work for the Met Transit system of New York City measured 71 feet in length.

Part of teaching faculty at Vassar College located in upstate New York.

I am a huge fan of the cast bronze neighborhood pictures. I had never seen a work like this. The work reminded me of the artist Matthew Cornell or Robert Kipniss, but in three dimensions.

Roseman also has a fun kind of a fun idea he started in the mid 1970s of visually and verbally keeping track of all visitors to his house. From neighbors, to religious fanatics, to the mailman he has kept track of it all for more than four decades. In this link you can see more about this idea which he started in 1971.

In this clip a brief interview with the artist:

In this clip Harry Roseman talks about a very large wall drawing/ painting:

Whilst at Pratt he met his wife, a fellow artist named Catherine Murphy. She painted the urban landscape in a very realistic manner. Below a great example of her style. She will be an entry later today.



What a productive and artistic husband and wife team!


Artist of the moment……Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse was born in the year 1869 in Le Cateau-Cambresis, France. The artist was a founding member of the Fauvist movement. Matisse was modernist in this technique and had a masterful sense and use of colour in his art. He originally attended college to become a lawyer. The artist then quit his goal of becoming a lawyer and wanted to become an artist. Matisse attended the Academie Julian and then the Ecole des Beaux Arts.

A key influence on the artist was the “primitive” or “naive” style of artwork that paid more attention to bright and bold colors rather than drawing or painting something in a highly realistic manner.

Henri Matisse was part of the Chicago Armory Show of 1913, already 100 years old.

Spent time in Paris and the southern countryside of France.

His hometown of Le Cateau-Cambresis, France has a museum built in honor of the artist. A link to this website is here:

At auction a work of the artist sold for $25 million dollars.

As you know I enjoy doing paper collage. In this clip we see Henri Matisse working on a paper collage! The quality isn’t the best, but I gathered some inspiration from it:

And in this clip a great selection of paper cut works by Henri Matisse:

In this clip a montage of works by Henri Matisse. I enjoyed the selection of portraits included in this clip:

In this clip we see the artist doing a sketch. He speaks in French, but still great to watch!

Henri Matisse passed away in 1954 at the age of 84 years old.

Part of many prominent museum collections including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.


Artist of the moment……..Bill Jensen

Bill Jensen is an abstract painter known for his use of spirals, circles, and bold colour. Bill Jensen was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in the year 1945. For his artistic education Jensen attended the University of Minnesota earning a bachelors and masters degree in art.

Winner of an Endowment from the National Gallery of Art.

Currently based out of New York City.

Jensen also enjoys having fun with the surface of his paintings. Many times he paints, scrapes, and repaints again giving his work a very unique feeling of movement. Some works remind of the Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

Brew a cup of coffee and sit back as our fellow art loving friend James Kalm takes us on a gallery show in Chelsea for an exhibition by Bill Jensen.

Jensen’s work is best shown in the video as you can see the light moving across the picture plane. The artist uses expensive pigments with colors most artists don’t use.

A fan of the New York Abstract Expressionist School.

price range information: Most works range from $2,000 to $10,000.

In this clip we hear from the artist Bill Jensen as he talks about the art he made for the Cheim & Read show.


Artist of the moment…….Takao Tanabe

Takao Tanabe is a world renown artist born in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada in the year 1926. His father was a fisherman.  During World War 2 he was sent to an internment camp with other Canadians that shared a Japanese background.

Her favorite subject is her local landscape area of British Columbia, Canada. Tanabe enjoys painting the coast and shoreline of this area.

For his artistic education Tanabe attended the Winnipeg School of Art, the Brooklyn Museum School of Art, and the Central London School of Arts and Crafts.

In this clip Takaso Tanabe talks about his art work.

And as strange as it may seem in these times, Takao’s work was very controversial and some people thought vulgar, lewd, and pornographic. This of course brought the artist even more publicity. The artist himself talks about his “lewd” works.

price range information: Watercolors and prints can be found for around $1,000. Original oils range $10,000 to $75,000.

A link to the website of Takao Tanabe;


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