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Modern Art 101
 

Modern Art 101

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Modern Art 101, Installation Art, Conceptual Art, Post-Modern Art, Surrealism, Impressionism, Kitsch, Teaching Material, Eleanor-Jayne Browne, MVC, Art

Modern Art 101, Installation Art, Conceptual Art, Post-Modern Art, Surrealism, Impressionism, Kitsch, Teaching Material, Eleanor-Jayne Browne, MVC, Art

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  • Diane Fenster is an internationally exhibited digital photographer and photoillustrator. She began using the computer as an artistic tool in 1989. Her work has been called an important voice in the development of a true digital aesthetic. She views herself as an alchemist, using digital tools to delve into fundamental human issues. Her work is literary and emotional, full of symbolism and multiple layers of meaning. Her style is an innovative combination of her photography and scanned imagery. Her images appear in numerous publications on digital art and photography and she is a guest lecturer at many seminars and conferences. Her well known photoillustration style is an outgrowth of the explorations she has taken with her personal work. Her commissions range from editorial to advertising to web. On September 7, 2001 in Tampa, Florida Diane was the first artist to be inducted into the newly formed PHOTOSHOP HALL OF FAME sponsored by the National Association of Photoshop Professionals and Adobe Systems, Inc. The following excerpt regarding her art is from "Diane Fenster: The Alchemy of Vision" by Celia Rabinovitch and Diane Fenster: a chapter in "Women and New Media," edited by Judy Malloy published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press. My work derives technically from two different mediums, from the computer which I first learned as a graphic design tool, and from photography which I initially used as "found" material in the vintage or family photographs that I used in my art. It also derives from the practice of photography itself which I began to explore in 1992 by taking my own photographs as a source for the images, or photomontages, that I had created with my earlier work. My experiments with photography opened a surprising new realm of meaning for my work, as I was able to find my own voice and create personal landscapes from images that persistently impelled me to photograph them.
  • 1 x LINK http://www.dianefenster.com/secretsviews.html ABOUT THE INSTALLATION antasy is sanctuary. For me, the imagination is a threshold to an inner world. I uncover the tension between an image that conjures its mutable revelations and the idee fixee . My work embodies the hidden poetry of the ordinary, making visible what previously was hidden. Secrets of the Magdalen Laundries explores the theme of imagination in the inner life. Dreaming, reverie, and fantasy are ways of being that make the reality of circumstances more tolerable. As a point of departure, I was drawn to the history of the Magdalen Laundries. These convent industries in Ireland existed from the mid 19th century until the late 20th century. The Magdalen Laundries institutionalised women who were smeared with the reputation of being immoral, or who were indigent, and kept them imprisoned through the social machinations of the Church. These misused women lived in punitive labor, lost to both their families and themselves. Henceforth, they became invisible, concealed beyond the margins of society. At the boundaries of the visible exists the invisible. In my images these women live in a private world of desire, longing, and unreachable fulfilment, forced into a mundane ritual of service without pleasure or amenities. Their vitality and eros, bound by the superficial morality of the Church, reemerges as images on the sheets that they repetitiously wash, a reminder of their stained existence. They dreamed until the secret images were burned onto the sheets. Sheets facilitate dreaming. They enfold the body, carry its warmth, desire, perfume, and wrap it in death. I work on discarded sheets to give form to the imagination that releases desire in spite of circumstances. The sheets move from matter to metaphysics, reminding us of the body and its dreams. The portraits from the Magdalen Laundries appear and disappear as you move around them. Viewed from the oblique perspective, the images vanish like the women lost in time. Facing them, they assume their own dreaming existence.
  • In Conceptual Art the idea of a work matters more than its physical representation. Dating from the 1960's, Conceptual Art has its roots in the early 20th century European arts movement called Dada as well as in the writings on language and meaning by mid-century philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. Art that is intended to convey an idea or a concept to the perceiver, rejecting the creation or appreciation of a traditional art object such as a painting or a sculpture as a precious commodity . Conceptual Art emerged as an art movement in the 1960s. The expression "concept art" was used in 1961 by Henry Flynt in a Fluxus publication, but it was to take on a different meaning when it was used by Joseph Kosuth (American, 1945-) and the Art & Language group (Terry Atkinson, David Bainbridge, Michael Baldwin, Harold Hurrell, Ian Burn, Mel Ramsden, Philip Pilkington, and David Rushton) in England. For the Art & Language group, concept art resulted in an art object being replaced by an analysis of it. Exponents of Conceptual Art said that artistic production should serve artistic knowledge and that the art object is not an end in itself. The first exhibition specifically devoted to Conceptual Art took place in 1970 at the New York Cultural Center under the title "Conceptual Art and Conceptual Aspects. A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Type of modern art in which the idea or ideas that a work expresses are considered its essential point, with its visual appearance being of secondary (often negligible) importance. Conceptual art challenges the validity of traditional art, and claims that the materials used and the product of the process are unnecessary. As the idea or ideas are of prime significance, conceptual art is made up of information, including perhaps a written proposal, photographs, documents, and maps. The term has come to encompass all art forms outside traditional painting or sculpture, such as video art and performance art . Conceptual art is a highly controversial art form. Its supporters think it marks a significant expansion of the boundaries of art, which were previously growing increasingly commercialized. However, its detractors believe that it is trite, banal, and pretentious. The roots of conceptual art can be traced back to Marcel Duchamp , who from the second decade of the 20th century produced various iconoclastic pieces in which he questioned the traditional values of the art world. However, conceptual art did not acquire a name or become a recognized movement until the late 1960s. It then rapidly became widespread, flourishing at the same time as other movements, such as Arte Povera, Land art, and performance art, that tried to escape from the commercialization of the art world by eliminating or underplaying the role of a collectable art ‘object’. As with those other genres, works of conceptual art, and their documentation, have in fact proved commercially valuable. Conceptual art had passed its period of peak popularity by the mid 1970s, but there was a strong revival of interest in it in the 1980s. The term neo-conceptual is sometimes applied to work of this later phase. Exponents of conceptual art sometimes try to deal with serious political and social issues, but often they are engaged in an abstruse analysis of the nature of art. Their media take a great variety of forms, including diagrams, photographs, video tapes, sets of instructions, and so on. Some conceptual works do not have any physical existence in the normal sense. In 1969, for example, the US artist Robert Barry created a work called Telepathic Piece , which consisted of a statement that during an exhibition he would ‘try to communicate telepathically a work of art, the nature of which is a series of thoughts that are not applicable to language or image’. .
  • 1 x LINK http://www.yvesklein.net/ BIOGRAPHY The son of two painters, Yves Klein was born in Nice, France in 1928. Always drawn to the limitless blue expanses of sea and sky that dominate life on the Mediterranean coast, Klein expressed in his art the obsessive longing he felt for these weightless, limitless spaces beyond the material world. A self-taught artist, he studied Judo (the martial art) and Rosicrucianism (a mystical Christian sect) in his teens and twenties. Klein believed that "Judo is, in effect, the discovery of the human body in a spiritual space." Klein was also drawn to eastern religions that envisioned the transformation of the world with static dimensions into an age of space and pure spirit. Through fasting and meditation, he felt that he could leave his body and float into a spatial void. One of Klein's favorite places for meditation was the basement of a business owned by a friend's father. To mask the claustrophobic quality of the windowless room, Klein created a false sky by painting the ceiling blue. This marked the first time he created a monochomatic painted surface using the color that symbolized limitless space and spiritual purity for him. By 1955, after establishing a Judo school in Paris, Klein committed himself solely to art. In 1956, he held his first major exhibition at the Galerie Colette Allendy. There he showed single-hued paintings which he considered metaphysical fields devoid of emotion. ABOUT THE ART In 1960, Klein created and patented the ultramarine color known as International Klein Blue or IKB. He invented the paint with the help of chemists by suspending pure, dry pigment in crystal-clear synthetic resin and compatible solvents. Unlike traditional binders, the new colorless carrier did not dull the individual particles of pigment, but left them with their original brightness and intensity. The novel medium was versatile enough to be brushed, sprayed, rolled, or even thickened and built up on a surface. It quickly dried to a fragile-looking but durable matte finish that, like velvet, offered a plush, light-absorbent surface that seemed to dissolve into a dark, glowing liquid depth. In his body paintings, or anthropometries, Klein wanted to record the body's physical energy. These body prints on canvas reminded him of the imprints left on the judo mat after one participant has fallen in a contest. In creating his anthropometries, Klein used the human body as a "living paint brush." Bathing his models in his signature International Klein Blue paint, he directed them to press and drag their bodies across paper and canvas, leaving impressions of IKB paint. The resulting images are not only likenesses of the models but also represent their temporary physical presence. On several occasions, Klein created an anthropometry painting before an audience gathered at a gallery. While an orchestra played the artist's one chord "Monotone Symphony," Klein, dressed in a tuxedo and white gloves, directed models smeared with IKB to lie, twist, drag, sit, or roll on canvas or paper until the desired effects had been realized. Believing that these performances demonstrated a new way of creating art, Klein aimed at aesthetic distance by avoiding the psychological dimension of the artist's touch: In this way I stayed clean. I no longer dirtied myself with color, not even the tips of my fingers. The work finished itself there in front of me, under my direction, in absolute collaboration with the model. And I could salute its birth into the tangible world in a dignified manner, dressed in a tuxedo...By this demonstration, or rather technique, I especially wanted to tear down the temple veil of the studio. I wanted to keep nothing of my process hidden. Untitled Anthropometry (ANT 100) , featuring an alignment of five figures, is notable because Klein used his own body to create three of the prints, and the body of his future wife, the artist Rotraut Ueker, to create the other two. His own participation indicates that, in contrast to his official statement above, Klein did not always remain at a distance from the art-making process. Representing a double portrait of the artist and his wife, the work bears comparison to more traditional images of couples, from Adam and Eve to the marriage portraits of Rembrandt and Rubens.
  • Pop Art A style of art which seeks its inspiration from commercial art and items of mass culture (such as comic strips, popular foods and brand name packaging). Pop art was first developed in New York City in the 1950's and soon became the dominant avant-garde art form in the United States. A style of painting and sculpture that developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s, in Britain and the United States; based on the visual clich3⁄4 s, subject matter, and impersonal style of popular mass-media imagery. An art style that had its origins in England in the 1950s and made its way to the United States during the 1960s featuring images of the popular culture such as comic strips, magazine ads, and supermarket products. This movement was marked by a fascination with popular culture reflecting the affluence in post-war society. In celebrating everyday objects such as soup cans, washing powder, comic strips and soda pop bottles, the movement turned the commonplace into icons.
  • Andy Warhol was born Andrew Warhola in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1928. In 1945 he entered the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) where he majored in pictorial design. Upon graduation, Warhol moved to New York where he found steady work as a commercial artist. He worked as an illustrator for several magazines including Vogue , Harper's Bazaar and The New Yorker and did advertising and window displays for retail stores such as Bonwit Teller and I. Miller. Prophetically, his first assignment was for Glamour magazine for an article titled "Success is a Job in New York." Throughout the 1950s, Warhol enjoyed a successful career as a commercial artist, winning several commendations from the Art Director's Club and the American Institute of Graphic Arts. In these early years, he shortened his name to "Warhol." In 1952, the artist had his first individual show at the Hugo Gallery, exhibiting Fifteen Drawings Based on the Writings of Truman Capote . His work was exhibited in several other venues during the 1950s, including his first group show at The Museum of Modern Art in 1956. The 1960s was an extremely prolific decade for Warhol. Appropriating images from popular culture, Warhol created many paintings that remain icons of 20th-century art, such as the Campbell's Soup Can s, Disaster s and Marilyn s. In addition to painting, Warhol made several 16mm films which have become underground classics such as Chelsea Girls , Empire and Blow Job . In 1968, Valerie Solanis, founder and sole member of SCUM (Society for Cutting Up Men) walked into Warhol's studio, known as the Factory, and shot the artist. The attack was nearly fatal. At the start of the 1970s, Warhol began publishing Interview magazine and renewed his focus on painting. Works created in this decade include Mao s, Skull s, Hammer and Sickle s, Torso s and Shadow s and many commissioned portraits. Warhol also published The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (from A to B and Back Again) . Firmly established as a major 20th-century artist and international celebrity, Warhol exhibited his work extensively in museums and galleries around the world. The artist began the 1980s with the publication of POPism: The Warhol '60s and with exhibitions of Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century and the Retrospectives and Reversal series. He also created two cable television shows, "Andy Warhol's TV" in 1982 and "Andy Warhol's Fifteen Minutes" for MTV in 1986. His paintings from the 1980s include The Last Supper s, Rorschach s and, in a return to his first great theme of Pop, a series called Ads . Warhol also engaged in a series of collaborations with younger artists, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Francesco Clemente and Keith Haring. Following routine gall bladder surgery, Andy Warhol died February 22, 1987. After his burial in Pittsburgh, his friends and associates organized a memorial mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York that was attended by more than 2,000 people. "Andy Warhol began as a commercial illustrator, and a very successful one, doing jobs like shoe ads for I. Miller in a stylish blotty line that derived from Ben Shahn. He first exhibited in an art gallery in 1962, when the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles showed his 32 Campbell's Soup Cans , 1961-62. From then on, most of Warhol's best work was done over a span of about six years, finishing in 1968, when he was shot. And it all flowed from one central insight: that in a culture glutted with information, where most people experience most things at second or third hand through TV and print, through images that become banal and disassociated by repeated again and again and again, there is role for affectless art. You no longer need to be hot and full of feeling. You can be supercool, like a slightly frosted mirror. Not that Warhol worked this out; he didn't have to. He felt it and embodied it. He was a conduit for a sort of collective American state of mind in which celebrity - the famous image of a person, the famous brand name - had completely replaced both sacredness and solidity. Earlier artists, like Monet , had painted the same motif in series in order to display minute discriminations of perception, the shift of light and color form hour to hour on a haystack, and how these could be recorded by the subtlety of eye and hand. Warhol's thirty-two soup cans are about nothing of the kind. They are about sameness (though with different labels): same brand, same size, same paint surface, same fame as product. They mimic the condition of mass advertising, out of which his sensibility had grown. They are much more deadpan than the object which may have partly inspired them, Jasper Johns's pair of bronze Ballantine ale cans. This affectlessness, this fascinated and yet indifferent take on the object, became the key to Warhol's work; it is there in the repetition of stars' faces (Liz, Jackie, Marilyn, Marlon, and the rest), and as a record of the condition of being an uninvolved spectator it speaks eloquently about the condition of image overload in a media saturated culture. Warhol extended it by using silk screen, and not bothering to clean up the imperfections of the print: those slips of the screen, uneven inkings of the roller, and general graininess. What they suggested was not the humanizing touch of the hand but the pervasiveness of routine error and of entropy..."
  • 2 x LINK http://www.tate.org.uk/servlet/ArtistWorks?cgroupid=999999961&artistid=873&page=1 http://images.google.co.uk/images?q=PATRICK+CAULFIELD&ie=ISO-8859-1&hl=en Patrick Caulfield (born January 29 , 1936 ) is a British painter and printmaker . Caulfield studied at the Chelsea School of Art in the late 1950s , and at the Royal College of Art from 1960 to 1963, where his fellow pupils included David Hockney and R. B. Kitaj . After he left he returned to Chelsea as a teacher. In 1964 he exhibited at the New Generation show at London 's Whitechapel Gallery , which resulted in him being associated with pop art . Caulfield's paintings are figurative , often portraying a few simple objects in an interior. Typically, he uses flat areas of simple colour surrounded by black outlines. Some of his works are dominated by a single hue . From around the mid-1970s he began to incorporate more detailed, realistic elements into his work, After Lunch (1975) being one of the first examples. Still-life: Autumn Fashion (1978) contains a variety of different styles--some objects have heavy black outlines and flat colour, but a bowl of oysters is depicted more realistically, and other areas are executed with looser brushwork. Caulfield later returned to his earlier, more stripped-down, style. In 1987 Caulfield was nominated for the Turner Prize and in 1996 he was made a CBE . On 24 May 2004 , a fire in a storage warehouse destroyed many works from the Saatchi collection, including one or more by Caulfield. PATRICK CAULFIELD (b. 1936) Biography Patrick Caulfield studied at Chelsea School of Art, London from 1956 to 1960 and at the Royal College of Art, London from 1960 to 1963. He returned to Chelsea School of Art to teach from 1963 to 1971. Caulfield's first solo exhibition was held in 1965 at the Robert Fraser Gallery, London. His international reputation was quickly established and a string of one-man shows of his work were held in the UK and in many countries throughout the world. His first print retrospectives were held at Waddington Galleries, London in 1973 and at Tortue Gallery, Santa Monica, California, touring to Phoenix Art Museum, Arizona in 1977. Subsequent retrospectives were held at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool ('Paintings 1963-81'), touring to the Tate Gallery, London in 1981; Waddington Galleries, London (1981); Nishimura Gallery, Tokyo (1982); Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol (1983); Museu Nacional de Belas Artes, Rio de Janeiro (British Council print retrospective) with a subsequent tour to 12 venues in South America (1985-87) and 3 venues in Portugal (1989-90); and Cleveland Gallery, Middlesborough (1988). More recently, retrospectives have been held at the Serpentine Gallery, London (1992-93), the Alan Cristea Gallery, London (1999) and at the Hayward Gallery, London (British Council retrospective), touring to Musée National d'Histoire et d'Art, Luxembourg, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, and the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut. Caulfield's work has also been included in numerous key group exhibitions throughout the world since 1961. Among Caulfield's many commissions are the design of the sets and costumes for Michael Corder's ballet 'Party Game' for the Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 1984. He went on to be commissioned to design the carpet for the atrium of the British Council offices in Manchester (1991) and to design a giant mosaic entitled 'Flowers, Lily Pad, Pictures and Labels' for the National Museum of Wales Cardiff (1994). In 1995 he designed the sets and costumes for the production of Frederick Ashton's 'Rhapsody' at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, which went on to be performed at the Opera National de Paris in 1996. Patrick Caulfield was joint-winner of the Jerwood Painting Prize in 1995. In 1996 he was awarded the CBE, and received an Honorary Fellowship of the London Institute. He lives and works in London.
  • Impressionism A style of painting that originated in France about 1870. Paintings of casual subjects, executed outdoors, using divided brush strokes to capture the mood of a particular moment as defined by the transitory effects of light and color. The first Impressionist exhibit was held in 1874. An art movement founded in France in the last third of the 19th century. Impressionist artist sought to break up light onto its component - colors and render its ephemeral play various objects. The artist's vision was intensely centered on light and the ways it transformed the visible world. This style of painting is characterized by short brush strokes of bright colors used to recreate visual impressions of the subject and to capture the light, climate and atmosphere of the subject: at a specific moment in time. The chosen colors represent light - which is broken down into its spectrum components and recombined by the eyes into another color when viewed at a distance {an optical mixture}. The term was first used 1874 by a journalist ridiculing a landscape by Monet called Impressionist-Sunrise. 19th-century art movement that rejected the historical themes and nostalgic images favored by the academic and romantic painters of the day. The Impressionists looked to the life around them as the inspiration for their paintings of sunlit landscapes, middle-class people at leisure, and mothers with children. The many inventions of the Industrial Revolution included portable oil paints and easels that allowed the artist to break free of the studio and paint en plein air (out of doors), or from sketches done directly on the spot. This approach encouraged the use of spontaneous, unblended brushstrokes of vibrant color by these artists.  
  • Claude Monet was born November 14, 1840 in Paris, France. Monet was the leader of a group of French artists called the "Impressionists," which included such painters as Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Camille Pissarro. Monet's family moved to the port town of Le Havre in 1845. He took his early art lessons from the painter, Eugene Boudin. Boudin, who worked up sketches out-of doors, encouraged Monet to do the same. "Suddenly the veil was torn away.... My destiny as a painter opened out to me," he later said. For the next 60+ years Monet explored the effects of light on outdoor scenes. He was the first artist to let his initial impressions stand as completed works, rather than as "notes" done in preparation for work in the studio. Monet moved to Paris in 1859, where he met and befriended Pissarro and Edouard Manet . He married in 1870, and in 1871 settled in Argenteuil. He fixed up a boat with an easel and painted his way up and down the Seine River, capturing his impressions of the interplay of light, water and atmosphere. In 1874 Monet and a group of painters including Pissarro and Renoir banded together to form a society of artists. They gave a public exhibition of their work at the studio of a Paris photographer. Monet exhibited a painting called "Impression: Sunrise." His painting gave the group its name, coined in derision by critic Louis Leroy referring to the entire exhibition as "Impressionistic." Despite the financial failure of this first exhibit, the Impressionist continued to exhibit together until 1886. Monet slowly achieved recognition in the years after the Impressionists disbanded. In 1883, he settled in Giverny, France and continued to paint, and explore his fascination with light until his death on December 5, 1926. Monet, with Pissaro , is recognized as being one of the creators of Impressionism , and he was the most convinced and consistent Impressionist of them all. From his earliest days as an artist, he was encouraged to trust his perceptions and the hardships he suffered never deterred him from that pursuit. Claude Monet was born in Paris on November 14, 1840 but all his impressions as a child and adolescent were linked with Le Havre, the town to which his family moved about 1845. His father had a grocery store there. In his youth he painted caricature portraits and exhibited them in the art supplies store in which Eugène Boudin worked at the time. Eventually Boudin persuaded the young Monet to paint in the open air with him and become a landscape painter. His family was not against his wish to become a painter, but his independent views, criticism towards academic art and refusal to enter a decent school of art led to constant quarrels with his family. After finishing his military service in Algeria (1860-1861) Monet attended the Académie Suisse and there made the acquaintance of Pissarro and Cézanne . Later, in 1862, he entered the Atelier Gleyre, where he met Bazille , Renoir and Sisley . In 1860s, the young artists frequented the Café Guerbois, a place often visited by Emile Zola and Edouard Manet . An important turning point in Monet’s artistic career came in 1869, when he and Renoir painted La Grenouillere , a floating restaurant at Bougival. The canvases they produced marked the emergence of a new artistic movement, Impressionism, called so later. In 1870, Monet married his model Camille Doncieux (died in 1879), who bore him his son Jean (1868-1914); in 1879 their second son, Michael, was born. Camille sat for many of Monet's pictures, e.g. The Walkers , Women in the Garden (all four are Camille), The Walk. Lady with a Parasol , La Japonaise , and many others. During the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 and a short civil war (Commune) that followed, Monet lived in London and was introduced to Paul Durand-Ruel, a celebrated art dealer, who did much to popularize Impressionist works. In 1874, in an atmosphere of increasing hostility on the part of official artistic circles, Monet and his friends formed a group and exhibited on their own for the first time. One of his works at this exhibition, Impression: Sunrise , gave its name to the Impessionist movement. The following years saw a flourishing of Impressionism. Monet took part in the group’s exhibitions of 1874, 1876, 1877, 1879 and 1882. In those years he created such masterpieces as La Gare Saint-Lazare and Rue Saint-Denis, Festivities of 30 June, 1878 . However, his canvases found few buyers. Desperately poor, he constantly looked for places where life was cheaper, and lived at Argenteuil from 1873 to 1878, at Vétheuil from 1879 to 1881, at Poissy in 1882, and at Giverny from 1883 until his death. In the late 1880s, his painting began to attract the attention of both the public and critics. Fame brought comfort and even wealth. During that period the artist was absorbed in painting landscapes in series: TheRocks of Belle-Ile (1886), Cliffs at Belle-Ile (1886), Poplars on the Bank of the River Epte (1890), Poplars on the Banks of the Epte (1891), Poplars on the Bank of the River Epte (1891). Light is always the ‘principal person’ in Monet’s landscape, and since he was always aiming at seizing an escaping effect, he adopted a habit of painting the same subject under different conditions of light, at different times of day. In this way he painted a series of views, all of the same subject, but all different in color and lightning. In 1890, Monet bought the property at Giverny and began work on the series of haystacks, which he pursued for two years. Monet painted the stacks in sunny and gray weather, in fog and covered with snow: Haystack, Snow Effects, Morning (1890), Haystack. End of the Summer. Morning. (1891), Haystack at the Sunset near Giverny (1891). In 1892 he married Alice Hoschedé (died in 1911) his old friend. Monet’s renowned series of the cathedral at Rouen seen under different light effects was painted from a second-floor window above a shop opposite the façade. He made eighteen frontal views. Changing canvases with the light, Monet had followed the hours of the day from early morning with the façade in misty blue shadow, to the afternoon, when the sunset, disappearing behind the buildings of the city, weaves the weathered stone work into a strange fabric of burnt orange and blue: The Rouen Cathedral. Portail. The Albaine Tower. 1893-1894, The Rouen Cathedral at Noon (1894), The Rouen Cathedral (1893-1894), The Rouen Cathedral at Twilight (1894), The Rouen Cathedral in the Evening (1894). In 1899, Monet first turned to the subject of water lilies: The White Water Lilies (1899), The Japanese Bridge (1899), Water-Lilies (1914), Water-Lilies (c.1917), Water-Lilies (1917), the main theme of his later work. Fourteen large canvases of his Water lilies series, started in 1916, were bequeathed by him to the State. In 1927, shortly after the artist’s death, these canvases were placed in two oval rooms of the Musée de l’Orangerie in the Tuileries Gardens.    
  • Coquelicots (Poppies, Near Argenteuil) 1873; Musée d'Orsay, Paris The Beach at Sainte-Adresse,1867
  • Water Lilies 1906 Houses of Parliament,London, Sun Breaking Through Fog,1904 Musee d'Orsay,Paris
  • La Promenade,1875 The Beach at Trouville,1870 National Gallery,London
  • Surrealism A movement in literature and the visual arts that developed in the mid1920s and remained strong until the mid1940s, growing out of Dada and automatism. Based upon revealing the unconscious mind in dream images, the irrational, and the fantastic, Surrealism took two directions: representational and abstract. Dali's and Magritte's paintings, with their uses of impossible combinations of objects depicted in realistic detail, typify representational Surrealism. Miro's paintings, with their use of abstract and fantastic shapes and vaguely defined creatures, are typical of abstract Surrealism. A term introduced to criticism by Guillaume Apollinaire and later adopted by Andre Breton. It refers to a French literary and artistic movement founded in the 1920s. The Surrealists sought to express unconscious thoughts and feelings in their works. The best-known technique used for achieving this aim was Automatic Writing — transcriptions of spontaneous outpourings from the unconscious. The Surrealists proposed to unify the contrary levels of conscious and unconscious, dream and reality, objectivity and subjectivity into a new level of "super-realism." Surrealism can be found in the poetry of Paul Eluard, Pierre Reverdy, and Louis Aragon, among others. An art movement of the 1920s that began in France. The artistic goals of the movement were to tap the subconscious as a source of creativity. The artists used juxtaposition of unexpected objects or themes, odd and vacillating view points, and distorted figures and objects to convey an atmosphere of fantasy or a dreamlike quality. During World War II, many of the movement's primary artists left France and came to New York City.
  • b. 1898, Lessines, Belgium; d. 1967, Brussels René François Ghislain Magritte was born on November 21, 1898, in Lessines, Belgium. He studied intermittently between 1916 and 1918 at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. Magritte first exhibited at the Centre d’Art in Brussels in 1920. After completing military service in 1921, he worked briefly as a designer in a wallpaper factory. In 1923 he participated with Lyonel Feininger, El Lissitzky , László Moholy-Nagy, and the Belgian Paul Joostens in an exhibition at the Cercle Royal Artistique in Antwerp. In 1924 he collaborated with E. L. T. Mesens on the review Oesophage. Rene Magritte was born in Lessines, Belgium, on 21 November 1898. At the age of twelve he began taking art classes in Chatelet, where he and his family had just moved to. Painting had always seemed "vaguely magical" to Magritte, who was an average student in school. After quitting high school, he enrolled in 1916 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels where he followed the classes of drawing, Decorative Painting and Ornamental Composition. Landscapes showing the Sambre river in which his mother had killed herself in 1912, were among his first works.  Magritte's best friend at the time was the young poet Pierre Bourgeois, of whom he made several portraits. They became interested in modernity and the Italian Futurists and invited Theo van Doesburg to give a lecture on the Dutch movement 'The Style'. In 1920, Magritte's first Futurist-inspired paintings were exhibited along with works by the painter Pierre Flouquet. Pure geometric abstraction, which had its roots in the Northern countries, seemed too radical to Magritte who began to search for a different pictorial language, this time finding it under the influence of Cubism and Futurism. In 1922 Magritte got married with Georgette Berger, whom he had met at the age of fifteen and met again at in 1920. Magritte was inspired by Georgette and she became his model. He also became friendly with Victor Servranckx, who had developed a very personal geometric-abstract style. This was the beginning of a new direction for Magritte. In 1927 Magritte was given his first solo exhibition at the Galerie le Centaure in Brussels. Later that year the artist left Brussels to establish himself in Le Perreux-sur-Marne, near Paris, where he frequented the Surrealist circle, which included Jean Arp , André Breton, Salvador Dalí , Paul Eluard, and Joan Miró. In 1928 Magritte took part in the Exposition surréaliste at the Galerie Goemans in Paris. He returned to Belgium in 1930, and three years later was given a solo show at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. Magritte’s first solo exhibition in the United States took place at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York in 1936 and the first in England at the London Gallery in 1938. He was represented as well in the 1936 Fantastic Art, Dada [ more ], Surrealism exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Throughout the 1940s Magritte showed frequently at the Galerie Dietrich in Brussels. During the following two decades he executed various mural commissions in Belgium. From 1953 he exhibited frequently at the galleries of Alexander Iolas in New York, Paris, and Geneva. Magritte retrospectives were held in 1954 at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels and in 1960 at the Museum for Contemporary Arts, Dallas, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. On the occasion of his retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1965, Magritte traveled to the United States for the first time, and the following year he visited Israel. Magritte died on August 15, 1967, in Brussels, shortly after the opening of a major exhibition of his work at the Museum Boymans-van Beuningen in Rotterdam. "René Magritte was no doubt disappointed that, aside from the small circle of his kindred spirits among the Surrealists , the world needed over a quarter of a century to discover that his work has both philosophical and poetic content which corresponds to certain social and intellectual trends, particularly of the second half of the twentieth century. Magritte's work was not easy to approach at the outset, however. He is a difficult painter, and his simplicity is misleading. A world ever more disturbed and unstable - in labor, trade, and industry, as well as in intellectual and university circles - is a world in which reason remains indispensable. Yet the irrational no longer allows itself to be thrust aside, and today it is struggling to win recognition. As a result, there is now a greater possibility, especially among the younger generation, to arrive at a better and deeper understanding of Magritte's art. "His work makes a constant call on us to relinquish, at least temporarily, our usual expectations of art. Magritte never responds to our demands and expectations. He offers us something else instead. His friend Paul Nougé has expressed the problem better than anyone else; what he said in 1944 still holds good: "We question pictures," he said, "before listening to them, we question them at random. And we are astonished when the reply we had expected is not forthcoming." "Magritte's work allows one to conjure up a state of being which has become rare and precious - which makes it possible to observe in silence. Reading and reflection call for silence, listening no less. Silence can be used for waiting for an illumined vision of things, and it is to this vision that Magritte introduces us. "The fascinating and challenging images in Magritte's works stem from revelations of the mystery of the visible world. To him this world was a more than adequate source of lucid revelations, so that he did not need to draw on dreams, hallucinations, occult phenomena, cabalism. Nonetheless, preconsciousness - that is, the state before and during waking up - always played an important role in his work. "In studying Magritte one begins to understand that attempting to solve puzzles must be avoided but the artist himself provides clues to his manner of painting and the mental process on which it is founded. Some are inclined to call this process "visual thinking. I prefer to give it no name. The term "visual thinking" is not subtle enough and involves too many misunderstandings regarding the possible subordination of the visual to thought, or vice versa. The misunderstanding caused by calling Magritte "cerebral" has also been demonstrated all too often, despite the unusually large quantity of literary, philosophical, and linguistic affinities Magritte's work suggests, and which bring us closer to their meaning. Also the term "literary" is a misconception in his case, although it is understandable because of the literary origins of the leading figures in Surrealism. Let us refrain, then, from favoring one formula or the other and instead take a frank look to see with whom, and with what, Magritte and his marvelous cabinet of instruments can be compared. "The author who wishes to show complete respect for the struggle Magritte waged against faulty interpretations and explanations - and it was indeed a struggle - nevertheless finds he has to ignore Magritte's own personal ban. Even Magritte himself attempted to explain why he wanted no explanations. "His pronounced hostility to the idea of the symbol in relation to his work, his undisguised dislike of psychoanalysis in particular, and his distrust of any and every interpretation naturally had reasons. He was defending the very essence of his work by adopting this attitude. If, therefore, we try to understand something of the meaning of his resistance - and Magritte never forbade us to attempt that - we shall come closer to his work by this roundabout way. "Seeing, says Magritte, is what matters. Seeing must suffice. But what kind of seeing must it be? Of what quality? A form of understanding is possible beyond the confines of any verbal explanation, which, if it is of any use at all, must be authenticated by a way of seeing. Unfortunately, for a large proportion of the public, seeing is not sufficient. People often see things hastily and think about them carelessly; they have been educated in disciplines and traditions in which words represent ideas and have a dominant function. This function has left the realm of revelation beyond words neglected and unexplored. "Magritte, who was a painter and a painter tout court , albeit an unusual one, was nevertheless more aware than any of his contemporaries of words and of the dubious status they had acquired. His consciousness of words is evident in both his writings and paintings. Dealing with words was a dangerous game to play, though, for by playing it he introduced the element "Word" into his painted "images." Thus, anyone seriously concerned with Magritte's work cannot avoid taking a thorough account of what Magritte sought of words in his work and of the value he attached to them. "The simplicity in his work is a suspect simplicity. In his writings - which include general articles, a few literary pieces, and special articles on specific themes - and in the titles he gave to his works, Magritte was methodical, as he was in his painting. The unexpected is never mere caprice. Moreover, it resides not so much in Magritte as in ourselves. We are not prepared for, and we do not instantly grasp, his technique of thinking and painting. It is not recalcitrance on his part but a natural need to react to the stereotype phenomena of everyday life in a way contrary to expectation; it is a need to correct. What is more, in Magritte's work this became a discipline of feeling, thinking, and behaving which he discovered and evolved for himself. Accordingly, his method - others feel it was a discipline - is as valid a subject for our inquiry as the works themselves. "Magritte attempted, as it were, to achieve a controlled resonance in his work. After he had finished a painting, it set up a resonance within him, in which he involved his closest friends. This resonance in the artist himself was necessarily different from that in us, who are the uninitiated in regard to his pictorial and verbal imagery. Yet, despite everything, Magritte probably attached more than usual importance to having people feel the right kind of resonance. That he could do anything about this himself was an illusion; the others were the critics, the art historians, the museums, the art dealers, the collectors, who play their own game with a variety of intentions. "More often than not, Magritte chose ordinary things from which to construct his works - trees, chairs, tables, doors, windows, shoes, shelves, landscapes, people. He wanted to be understood via these ordinary things. Those who find him obscure should not forget that he had turned his back on the fantastic and on the immediate world of dreams. He did not seek to be obscure. On the contrary, he sought through a therapy of shock and surprise to liberate our conventional vision from its obscurity. "...[L]et us therefore keep, so far as we can, to Magritte himself, to his own resonance, to his method. Even though his is a complex, sophisticated world in which we often lose sight of simplicity, we are able to find this simplicity again in the works themselves, a fact that can only increase our astonishment."
  • The lovers II
  • Media-influenced aesthetic sensibility of the late 20th century characterized by open-endedness and collage. Post-modernism questions the foundations of cultural and artistic forms through self-referential irony and the juxtaposition of elements from popular culture and electronic technology. A reaction against Modernism that began during the 1950's and promoted the reintroduction of bright colors and decorative components to furniture and home decor related designs. Beginning in 1960s, this movement incorporates a sense of ambivalence about scientific achievements and technological advances, and recognizes the benefits as well as drawbacks of life in late twentieth-century society. This sentiment is manifested artistically in a wide variety of ways, but began by reacting against the signature modernist trends of abstraction and pure formalism . Post-modern artists often incorporate classical imagery in their work as well as contemporary references, spanning the traditional gap between high art and popular culture. This combination of traditional artistic techniques and contemporary, critical sentiment results in an art that can be ironic, ambiguous, and often humorous.
  • Damien Hirst (born 7th June 1965 in Bristol ) is a British artist and probably the most famous of the group that has been dubbed " Young British Artists " (or YBAs). He is best known for his Natural History series in which dead animals (such as a shark, a sheep or a cow) are preserved in formaldehyde . Hirst grew up in Leeds , studying at first at the College of Art there. He was to subsequently study fine arts at Goldsmith's College , University of London from 1986 to 1989. In 1988 he gained attention for curating the student exhibition, Freeze , in a warehouse in East London. He curated the exhibition 'Modern Medicine' at Building One in 1990. Hirst first gained general public notoriety that same year when one of his works was featured as a prank in a British tabloid newspaper. His first solo exhibition, In and Out of Love , was held at the Woodstock Street Gallery in London in 1991. "Damien Hirst curated the widely acclaimed 'Freeze' exhibition in 1988 while still a student at Goldsmiths College. This show launched the careers of many successful young British artists, including his own. Hirst graduated from Goldsmiths in 1989, and has since become the most famous living British artist after David Hockney . "In 1991, Hirst presented In and Out of Love , an installation for which he filled a gallery with hundreds of live tropical butterflies, some spawned from monochrome canvases on the wall. With The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991), his infamous tiger shark in a glass tank of formaldehyde shown at the Saatchi Gallery, Damien Hirst became a media icon and household name. He has since been imitated, parodied, reproached and exalted by the media and public alike. "Hirst's work is an examination of the processes of life and death: the ironies, falsehoods and desires that we mobilise to negotiate our own alienation and mortality. His production can be roughly grouped into three areas: paintings, cabinet sculptures and the glass tank pieces. The paintings divide into spot and spin paintings. The former are randomly organised, colour-spotted canvases with titles that refer to pharmaceutical chemicals. The spin paintings are 'painted' on a spinning table, so that each individual work is created through centrifugal force. For the cabinet series Hirst displayed collections of surgical tools or hundreds of pill bottles on highly ordered shelves. The tank pieces incorporate dead and sometimes dissected animals - cows, sheep or the shark - preserved in formaldehyde, suspended in death." "Damien Hirst shaped shared ideas and interests quickly and easily, his work developing during the decade [1987-1997] to reflect changes in contemporary life. Relying on the straightforward appeal of colour and form, he made important art that contained little mystery in its construction. Adopting the graphic punch of billboard imagery, his work was arresting at a distance and physically surprising close up. Hirst understood art at its most simple and at its most complex. He reduced painting to its basic elements to eliminate abstraction's mystery. In the age of art as a commodity he made spot paintings - saucer-sized, coloured circles on a white ground - that became luxury designer goods. His art was direct but never empty. In the later spin paintings, which emphasised a renewed interest in a hands-on process of making, Hirst magnified a 'hobby'-art technique, drawing attention to the accidental and expressive energy of the haphazard. Influenced by Jeff Koons's basketballs floating in water, Hirst's early work used pharmacy medicine cabinets that showed the applied beauty of Modernist design. A cabinet of individual fish suspended in formaldehyde worked like the spot paintings, as an arrangement of colour, shape and form. This work came to be seen in the popular mind as a symbol of advanced art; overcoming an initial distrust of its ease of assembly, people became fascinated by how ordinary things of the world could be placed so as to be seen as beautiful. The work democratised its meaning, operating as simply as a pop song. "Hirst, understanding Collishaw's coup with the gunshot wound photograph, created work that brought together the joy of life and the inevitability of death, in the process transforming the secrecy of Collishaw's voyeurism into mass spectacle. A scene of pastoral beauty became one of languid death: in In and Out of Love , newly emerged butterflies stuck to freshly painted monochromes; in A Thousand Years , flies emerged from maggots, ate and died, zapped by an insect-o-cutor. Soon, the emphasis changed from an observation of creatures dying to the presentation of dead animals. A shark in a tank of formaldehyde presented a once life-threatening beast as a carcass: the glass box, half hunting trophy, half homage to the Minimalist object, imposed the gravity of a natural history museum onto an outsized council-house ornament. Hirst's sculpture progressed with the Arcadian beauty of a solitary sheep, Away from the Flock , followed by the gothic thrill of the mechanically moving pig. Hirst understood the claustrophobic horror of Francis Bacon 's art, and found surprising parallels in the modern office or the lowly art tradition of portraits of animals. His fascination with the elevation of the commonplace, the unremarkable and the everyday has found Hirst at his most inventive." "By the time work by Damien Hirst and Rachel Whiteread could be viewed here in New York in any kind of depth, both artists' reputations had long preceded them. We were hypnotised - amazed, up-in-arms, fascinated, threatened - by the flood of images of Hirst's encased shark, images that for several years here remained uncorroborated by any actual objects. The pickled predator remains the very symbol, and with hindsight the warning signal, for the invasion that ensued. Hirst may have been heralded in a timely enough manner, but in fact he did not have a major one-man exhibition in New York until 1996, the year of his much-delayed inaugural at Gagosian. Thus, the surprise of that carnivalesque event was not only its scale but its unexpected variety: from sliced cows and mechanised pig, to Spin-Art paintings, to a giant ashtray full of butts - it had the crazed, cracked energy of a late-'70s Jonathan Borofsky extravaganza gone grizzly-gothic. Almost miraculously, given the US Customs' problems attending Hirst's taxidermical exercises - not to mention the then-fresh panic concerning British beef - the mood at the opening was cheerfully optimistic, indeed quite madly upbeat."
  • Guerilla Girls formed in 1985 as an anonymously operating group of New York artists who became known for using gorilla masks. The group members use the names of dead female artists like Frida Kahlo, Eva Hesse, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Käthe Kollwitz, Gertrude Stein, Georgia O'Keeffe. It is not known who the members are in real life, and how many belong to the group. Posters and postcard actions as well as public appearances have addressed the issue that women and non-whites are being excluded from the art world. «In 18 years we have produced over 100 posters, stickers, books, printed projects, and actions that expose sexism and racism in politics, the art world, film and the culture at large. We use humor to convey information, provoke discussion, and show that feminists can be funny. We wear gorilla masks to focus on the issues rather than our personalities. Dubbing ourselves the conscience of culture, we declare ourselves feminist counterparts to the mostly male tradition of anonymous do-gooders like Robin Hood, Batman, and the Lone Ranger. Our work has been passed around the world by kindred spirits who we are proud to have as supporters. It has also appeared in hundreds of newspapers and magazines [...]; and in countless art and feminist texts. The mystery surrounding our identities has attracted attention. We could be http://www.guerrillagirls.com/
  • Kitsch - art that is considered to be overly sentimental, pretentious design. Work that is kitschy is usually mass-produced and met with critical disfavor. Interestingly, what is kitsch in one time period becomes art in another, an example being the work of Norman Rockwell. This tem refers to the "low-art" artifacts of everyday life. Paintings of Elvis on velvet, lamps from the statue of David and clocks in statues of Budda. The term comes from the German verkitschen meaning (to make cheap). It has been made popular in the years since the biginning of pop art. Thses objects are now revered by collectors as "camp" making low art into high art. Kitsch is a German term that has been used to categorize art that is considered an inferior copy of an existing style. The term is also used more loosely in referring to any art that is pretentious or in bad taste , and also commercially produced items that are considered trite or crass. Because the word was brought into use as a response to a large amount of art in the 19th century where the aesthetic of art work was confused with a sense of exaggerated sentimentality or melodrama , kitsch most closely associated with art that is sentimental, mawkish, or maudlin; however, it can be used to refer to any type of art which is deficient for similar reasons — whether it tries to appear sentimental, cool, glamorous, theatrical, or creative, kitsch is said to be a gesture imitative of the superficial appearances of art. It is often said that kitsch relies on merely repeating convention and formula, lacking the sense of creativity and originality displayed in genuine art.
  • http://www.jeffkoons.com/index_flash.html Born in Pennsylvania, USA, 1955 The name Jeff Koons is synonymous with all that is sublime and ridiculous in art. Were you to hear Koons talk about the role of art in society, you might get the impression that he is the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary and self-help guru Dale Carnegie. And maybe he is. Considered a genius by some, a harmless charlatan by others, and no doubt a con artist by a few, Jeff Koons' work never fails to elicit a reaction. There is a profound faith in human desire and agency at the core of Koons' work: a utilitarian belief that everything we want and do is based on a drive for sensual pleasure that transcends the pursuit of mere sex, work, or money. Koons' earliest works from the late 70s - when he was trading cotton on the New York Stock Exchange to fund his art practice - were mass-produced inflatable flowers and toys placed carefully on mirrors, marrying a child-like naivety to sexual metaphors and consumerism. From that point onwards, the relationship between the selection, production and display of commercial products became ever more elaborate within Koons' work, and the transformative role of the artist-as-savior grew ever more pronounced. In the early 80s, Koons began selecting and entombing various models of Hoover and New Shelton vacuum cleaners in fluorescent-lit Plexiglas vitrines, the products on display seeming at once brand new (full of potential) and stillborn (already dead). This stillborn allusion was further nuanced in Koons' 'Equilibrium Tanks', a series of one, two and three basketballs adrift in aquariums perched on state-of-the-art vibration control pads. The balls were filled with a carefully mixed ratio of sodium chloride reagent in order to maintain their neutral buoyancy within the distilled water of the tanks. Koons has referred to these tanks as 'the ultimate state of being', and these hovering basketballs do suggest a kind of epiphany of consumerism, if there is such a thing. Koons' utilization of the most hi-tech display techniques (he worked with over 50 physicists, including Nobel Prize-winning Richard Feynman, to produce the 'Equilibrium Tanks'), coupled with his use of highly skilled, traditional Italian craftsmen, lifts the everyday consumer product into the realm of the spiritual. While functioning as an almost exact illustration of the various commodity theories that were proving influential at the time, the real impact of Koons' work came from the fact that every viewer - philosopher or layman - could understand its language. These product-based works are evidence of Koons' belief in the artist as a socially accountable, sanctimonious arbiter of taste: a kind of Holy Trinity of cultural reproduction. Koons is at once the Father (the giver of form), the Son (the messenger of everlasting life) and the Holy Spirit (the creator of faith). Through such debased metaphors as these we might come to appreciate Koons' union with Ilona Staller: aka La Cicciolina, an Italian porn star and politician whose lack of inhibition Koons interpreted as a symbol of moral freedom and purity. As such, her appearance in Koons' sculptures and photo-works marked the ultimate consummation of his practice: the transformation of the ultimate consumer product (a human being) into a glowing object of worship. Koons leads by example; showing that if he can achieve his desire then, Hey, you can too! Koons and Staller were married a year after she had begun appearing in his work, emphasizing the genuine, 'innocent' nature of his desire. Throughout the 90s, Koons' interest in the eternal perfection of his art has gradually encompassed the mortal realities of ephemerality and circularity. The temporal splendor of Puppy (1992), his 50 foot-high dog topiary rendered entirely in seasonal flowers (17,000 of them), and his more recent paintings from photographs of ribbons and wrapping paper enclosing unknown gifts, would seem to focus more on the transience of things, and the holidays and seasons that mark their time. Is Koons sensing his own mortality? Or preparing us for a resurrection? Whatever the case, we can be sure that Koons will continue to give the big themes - sex, spirituality and death - with an utterly contemporary twist.
  • http://www.pierreetgilles.net/ Pierre et Gilles , Pierre Commoy and Gilles Blanchard, are gay French artistic and romantic partners. They produce highly stylized photographs , building their own sets and costumes as well as retouching the photographs. Their work often features images from popular culture , gay culture including porn (especially James Bidgood ), and religion . Since the mid-1970s when these two handsome men met, fell in love and began making art together, they've produced a consistently sensuous body of work that's an unabashed mix of commercial and high art, glamour, poetry and homoeroticism. In their work, the latter often directly refers to the sexiness of mythic and religious iconography, like an artful prayer card with a colorful illustration of a loin-clothed Jesus writhing languorously on the cross. They're also quite aware of the frisson of pleasure that comes from the sight of celebrity in a provocative pose; they count Catherine Deneuve, Iggy Pop, Nina Hagen, Yves Saint-Laurent and porn legend Jeff Stryker among their subjects. Their pictures are confections awash in camp-infused references to religion, sex and fame that instantly strike a chord in the popular imagination, on an international scale. The images, which employ time-honored photo-retouching techniques, are also easily reproducible. They've been more widely seen in books, posters and postcards than in their original form -- a situation of which Pierre et Gilles heartily approve. But popular appeal (especially when it comes with overt sentimentality and heavy gay overtones) sometimes deflects from serious critical assessment, particularly in the United States. The artists' work happily exists in an interesting in-between zone that traverses high art and low culture, but this hasn't left them longing for notice. Now in their 40s, these guys have become international celebrities in their own right -- as an enduring couple trafficking in magnetic, highly theatrical images of hunky men and female superstars, often adorned with glistening tears, reflective PVC bondage wear or martyrlike trickles of blood. How could they not generate a mythic duo persona? Pierre et Gilles are currently the subject of a traveling retrospective exhibition (organized by New York's New Museum), which just opened at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco and will be on view through May 6. They were in town to oversee the installation of 56 of their ornately framed pictures and to attend the launch festivities for their new Swatch watch emblazoned with their photo of a mermaid and a sailor (which comes packaged in a rubbery transparent snow dome filled with blue liquid and glitter). And they made some time to talk about their work. Pierre et Gilles in person are quite different from their pictures, which gush with rich narratives and abound in acres of gym-toned man flesh (and in which they sometimes appear). When I meet the pair at their hotel they seem sweet, shy and modest, even as they sport the severe gay fashion appropriation of pierced and tattooed bikers. Pierre is short and dark, with close-cropped hair and smoldering eyes, a single tear tattooed to the corner of one of them. Gilles is taller, with a rounder face, even shorter hair and a single labret piercing just above his chin. They're both dressed in Levi's fashion-forward Red line, with a glimpse of elaborate decorative tattoos poking out from the sleeves of their denim jackets. Pierre et Gilles Pierre was born at La Roche-sur-Yon, Gilles in Le Havre. In autumn 1976, Pierre and Gilles met at the opening of the Kenzo boutique in Paris and started living together. As from 1977, it became clear that they should work in collaboration. Their work for the publication Façade brought them to the attention of the public. They photographed Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, Mick Jagger, Yves Saint Laurent and Iggy Pop. 1978 saw the start of the Palace era, for which they produced posters and invitation cards. In 1979, they worked for Thierry Mugler producing album covers for Amanda Lear, Krootchey and Marie-France. Adam and Eve in 1982 marked a turning point in their work and they created their first series in the Maldives and in Sri Lanka, Les Enfants des Voyages. In 1983, they had their first personal exhibition at the Texbraun gallery in Paris with Les Paradis and Garçons de Paris. In 1984, they exhibited at “Ateliers 84” at the ARC-Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris. In 1986 they Exhibited Naufragés and the Pleureuses at the Galerie Samia Saouma in Paris and dealt with religious themes and the saints. They also worked with Tomah, a young Laotian who was to become their stylist and assistant for 10 years. In 1992 they exhibited at the Diaghilev Modern Art Museum in Saint-Petersburg. In 1993 they received the Grand Prix de Photographie in Paris. In 1994 they met Catherine Deneuve, Madonna, Polly Fey, Jeff Stryker, Lolo Ferrari, Sylvie Vartan, Aiden Shaw, and others. They produced the series Au bord du Mékong in Laos and Les Petits Boxeurs in Thailand. 1996 featured their first retrospective at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris. In 1998, the Museo de Bellas Artes in Valencia devoted a retrospective to them and they exhibited Douce Violence at Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont, Paris which exclusively represent the artists. 2000 featured their retrospective at the New Museum in New York and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Arrache mon c
  • The Guerrilla Girls are a group of women artists, writers, performers, film makers and arts professionals who fight discrimination. They wear gorilla masks to focus on the issues rather than their personalities. Using humor to convey information, they intend to expose sexism and racism in the art world. Nam June Paik: Techno Buddha

Modern Art 101 Modern Art 101 Presentation Transcript

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