Thursday, June 30, 2011

Artist #16: Anselm Kifer

Landscape with a Wing, 1981
Oil, straw, lead on canvas @VMFA
 Anselm Kifer, born in 1945, is a German artist. He studied with Joseph Beuys at the Düsseldorf Academy in the early 1970s. His works vary from paintings, sculptures or installations. Kifer lives and works out of France and is exhibited all over the world.
Merkaba, 2010
Photograph, acrylic, shellac, ash, cotton dress, burned books, and plaster coated thorn bushes in glass and steel frame
111 x 120 7/8 x 13 13/16 inches (282 x 307 x 35 cm)
Kifer's work focuses on German history, mythology, and identity. His works often include mixed media elements such as straw, ash, clay, hair, and led. These things make his work fragile. His paintings and landscapes often appear burnt and broken, which seems to reflect his ideas. Some of his works also have written names and places. Anselm Kifer's works also reflect the writing and poetry of poets such as Paul Celan and Velimir Chlebnikov.
1981 (290 Kb); Oil and straw on canvas, 280 x 380 cm (110 x 149 5/8); Saatchi Collection, London
I love the mixed media elements and the feel his works. The images are taken from here and here. Also couldn't get the images from the White Cube site but they also have awesome images of Kifer's art exhibited there. The first image is one that I took from the VMFA.
Untitled (Berenice), 2003
Painted photograph with hair
50 x 38 inches (127 x 96.5 cm)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Artist #15: El Anatsui

Fading Scroll, 2007
Aluminum and copper wire
88 x 472 inches

Fading Scroll ( detail), 2007
Aluminum and copper wire
88 x 472 inches

El Anatsui is an artist born in Ghana in 1944 and lives in Nigeria. He has a BA in art and a Graduate degree in art Education. El Anatsui has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions around the world. He has worked in multiple types of media, from wood and clay to woven cloth.

Recently focusing more on the fiber arts, he creates large installation pieces. El Anatsui creates motifs, uli (design elements), and nsibidi (indigenous pictograph writing) taken from his Ghanaian heritage to represent traditional beliefs, social commentary, and political statements of culture from Ghana. All of his works clearly show relationships to traditional African Art, but also show his creativity through his materials.
Sacred Moon, 2007
Aluminum and copper wire
103 x 141 inches
My favorite works by El Anasui are his woven pieces. I just love how huge and powerful they are. It's hard to imagine the impact they would have at full size from the photographs, but they are beautiful in small form as well. The images are all taken from the website here. His website, here, is under reconstruction.
Three Continents, 2009
Found aluminum and copper wire
8 x 16 Feet

Artist #14: Marc Sijan

Marc Sijan is an artist based in Milwaukee who creates naturalistic, ultra-realistic human forms. He graduated in 1968 from the University of Wisconsin and also has a Master of Science degree in Art. Sijan has won acclaim across the country with over 40 solo exhibitions.

Lady with Red Lipstick
Representing the human form is one of the first forms of artwork that man created. Sijan says he gets inspiration from Michelangelo's David and Greek statues. However, his work doesn't focus on creating ideal forms, but rather the reality of every goose-pimple, mole, and irregularity of a real human form. Sijan says he differs from his fellow human sculptor artists, such as Duane Hanson and John DeAndrea, by trying to freeze capture movement of a passive figure. Marc Sijan hopes that his figures hold a kind of spiritual nature to them as well, by seeming to have something going on beneath the form that makes them more realistic and celebrates the individual.
Seated Security Gaurd
What is so great about Marc Sijan's work is that they truly appear to be an individual caught in mid-movement, mid-breath. They seem as if they could come alive. In fact, the first work you see when you walk into the CAC's exhibition is the Seated Security Gaurd. I literally jumped back in surprise. Even though he obviously had a little ring of markers to keep people from getting to close to him. Each work holds the personality and emotion of the person at that moment in time.

Standing Man
One of the interesting stories that Marc Sijan tells is of the Standing Man. The Standing Man, who stands much shorter than I, carried enormous weight of his own girth. Apparently when the man who was the model for this piece saw himself, he immediately went out to get Gastric Bypass Surgery.
Hand on Shoulder
My favorite works that were displayed were Hand on Shoulder (because I was able to completely encircle the full form 3D sculpture) and Hands on Face (which interested me due to the secrecy and mystery of her pose). All of these images are from his website, for more info and art by Marc Sijan go here.
Hands on Face

Sunday, June 26, 2011

CAC and Blood

Well there was a great show at the Contemporary Art Center in Virginia Beach. An artist that makes beautiful trompe l'oeil figure sculptures. They wouldn't let me take pictures but I'll try to do an artist post on him tomorrow. I would do it now...except I don't really feel like doing it at the moment. I tried to give blood today and the lady rolled my vein and bruised my arm, so despite my high pain tolerance my arm hurts and I am super tired. I just thought I'd update that I did visit my 3rd art museum. Yay! ...and now I'm probably going to go to bed. >.<'

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Artist #13: Julie Heffernan

Self Portrait Sitting on a World. 2008. oil on canvas.
78 x 56 in. Photo credit
Julie Heffernan is a painter who lives in New York. She was born in 1956, received a BFA from the University of California, and an MFA in painting from the Yale School of Art. Heffernan teaches fine arts at the Montclair State University as an Associate Professor.Her work has been included in many national and international collections.
Julie Heffernan, Self-Portrait as Tangled Nest, 2006,
Oil on canvas, 68 x 57 inches Photo credit
Julie Heffernan's style of painting is a kind of hybrid of still life, allegorical storytelling, and portraiture. Her images usually include one or two main figures that have a myriad of imagery that appears to be fruit, animals or kind of chandelier/glowing-bubbly-type-things surrounding them and often a strange idea of landscape surrounding them. The objects, animals and people appear realistic, which makes the collection and composition of them seem so fantastic and interesting. The other interesting thing about Julie Heffernan's work is that they are all presented as self portraits. However, none of Heffernan's paintings particularly look like the artist and instead the hold a metaphorical and psychological meaning in the study of the figures. Heffernan draws inspiration from her dreams, Baroque art, and observation.

Self Portrait in a Coral Bed. 2003. oil on canvas.
@VMFA. Photo taken by me.

I saw one of her works during my trip to the VMFA. The painting, entitled Self Portrait in a Coral Bed, has a female figure standing in the water with trees behind her and what appears to be fire rising from her head. The fiery crown and elemental water make the figure appear almost as divine. The small beads that fall from her hands seem to hold a special meaning.

Self Portrait as Tree House. 2010. oil on canvas. 68 x 65 in.
Photo credit.
The plaque for this piece had a quote by Julie Heffernan which gave a better understanding of the purpose of her painting. "I want the kind of psychological space that feels seductive or Baroque in the sense of a space that you enter into. A slippery encompassing space, that's what I've been after."

Artist #12: Tom Chambers

Tom Chambers is a photo montage artist. He was born and raised in Pennsylvania and in 1985 received a BFA from the Ringling School of Art with an emphasis in graphic design. Chambers has been in solo and group exhibitions both nationally and internationally and is also the winner of many awards.
Chamber's artistic development usually starts with sketching an idea and then using a large library of his own photography of different "pieces" creates his final image with Photoshop. The images he creates tells stories that can evoke an emotion from the viewer. The stories can be about childhood or the the transition into adulthood and the fragility of that time. Other stories that Tom Chambers' tells through his photo montage work is of the the broken and volatile relationship between man and nature.

I love Tom Chambers work because of the kind of fantasy world that he creates through photo montage. Each image is a snapshot of a larger beautiful story. Chambers depiction of nature and of youth are highly interesting in concept and visually through the scenes he creates.
The images I'm posting are from Tom Chambers website, here, from his series entropic kingdom and rite of passage.

Artist #11: Hayao Miyazaki

Known as the Japanese Walt Disney, Hayao Miyazaki is a master animator. In my humble opinion, he's possibly the greatest animator alive. Over 50 years of work and Hayao Miyazaki has become an internationally recognized artist for his feature films. He began his career by working for Toei Animation and doing various other jobs in the industry. In 1979 he released his first feature film, Lupin III: Castle of Caliostro, that he directed. After the success of Nausicaa of the Vally of the Wind, he formed Studio Ghibli along with his long time friend and colleague, Isao Takahata (director of Grave of the Fireflies aka an amazing movie that you should see). Since then forming of Studio Ghibli, Hayao Miyazaki has produced, directed and animated many films and tries to stay as in touch with the entire animation process as possible. Miyazaki is also well known for creating many of his films in the classical animation process of hand drawn and water colored images.
Hayao Miyazaki has many recurring themes in his films. One of these themes is that of the relationship between humans and nature. He also tends to have non-traditional villains who show both positive and negative attributes. Miyazaki often has female protagonists who are, or become, strong and independent young ladies.
From the first film by Miyazaki that I saw (Princess Mononoke) to his most recent film (Ponyo) I have become a serious fan and own the majority of his films. What I love most about Hayao Miyazaki's work is his animation style and characters that seem so realistic and thoughtfully created. I've also done cosplays of some of the characters from his films. ^_^
I'll just show some of the movie art from my favorite films (Photo Credits to and cosplays I've done (Yes, I do cosplay. Yes, I sewed all of the outfits that you see.).


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Artist #10: Magdalena Abakanowicz

My dad went on a trip to Texas for his work. He went to a conference that was next to the Nasher Sculpture Center. It’s basically an outdoor sculpture gallery. Here's the Nasher Sculpture Center website! Anyways, because he went I looked it up some of the sculptures he would have seen. He proudly could pick out the Picasso before he read the plaque (Good job Dad! lol). So I checked out the website and saw one of my favorite sculptors that was exhibited there was Magdalena Abakanowicz’s Bronze Crowd. Thus I'll do a post about her too! :)
Magdalena Abakanowicz is from Poland and lived there during the invasion in World War II. The violent and uncertainty of this time had a huge impact on her and her artwork, which is mostly sculptural. Her main focus of her artwork is about the idea of "the crowd". Sometimes on how small one can feel amongst a crowd and others focusing on small differences in the repeated forms of individuals within a crowd. She creates organic humanoid shapes that are often dehumanized by leaving out body parts or the rough textural qualities that make the forms almost inorganic. Magdalena Abakanowicz has works displayed around the world. Here's her website!
Bronze Crowd, 1990-91 Bronze, 71 1/8 x 23 x 15 1/2 in.
(180.7 x 58.4 x 39.4 cm.) Overall: 4400lb. (1995.8kg)
Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, Dallas, Texas
Photo credit: Tom Jenkins

The Bronze Crowd, which my dad saw in person and I sadly only got to experience online is a wonderful sculpture which also focuses on the crowd theme. There are thirty-six, huge figures standing together (but far enough that you can walk between them) that appear almost identical, but in fact are each unique. I would love to incorporate the idea of having multiple things that are dehumanized and individual in my senior seminar work, but to do it with dolls that I make. I'll have to talk to Professor Henry about maybe doing some casting.

Also I'm going to show another image of my favorite work by Magdalena Abakanowicz, entitled 80 Backs. I love this one because I really feel the sorrow, the pain and heaviness of the hunched backs. A kind of combined deep hurt of a collective people.
80 Backs
1976-80, burlap and resin
collection: Museum of Modern Art, Pusan, South Korea.
Picture Credit

Artist #9: Kawase Hasui

Miyajima Shrine in Snow. 1935. Wood block print. Image from here.
 Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) is a well known woodblock artist from Japan. Most of his printmaking work is of landscapes of places around Japan based on his many watercolors and drawings in his sketchbooks. A very prolific artist, he created over six hundred print designs. Many of Hasui’s early woodblocks, considered to be his most original work, were destroyed in an earthquake making the prints before 1923 rare. 

Tenno Temple, Osaka. 1927.
Woodblock print. Image from here.
His style is of shin hanga, which was a revitalization of ukiyo-e. The shin hanga movement promoted the idea of the artist expressing and creating himself. It also was inspired by the European Impressionist movement’s focus on the effects of light and mood expression. However shin hanga still focused on traditional imagery of landscape, famous places, women, actors, birds and flowers.

Kakizaki Benten Shrine, Shimoda. 1937.
Woodblock print. Image from here.
Hasui’s work filled an entire room in the VMFA. His beautiful designs remind me of other Japanese woodblock artist, such as Utagawa Hiroshige, because of the variety in atmosphere and weather. I love the asymmetrical designs that focus on nature and the beauty of Japanese landscape. My favorite work was the Kakizaki Benten Shrine, Shimoda.  The night scene is poetic and serene. You can almost hear the waves lapping at the shore and the cool, whispering of the trees.

Artist #8: George De Feure and Art Nouveau

George de Feure (design) made by Hans Muller Hickler
Window. 1901-2. stained and leaded glass, bronze, wood.
George De Feure, known as "the poet of the poster", lived from 1868 to 1943 and was a prolific artist of the Art Nouveau style. He was born in Belgium and worked mostly in France. He created his art and designs through a variety of media: painting, furniture, glass windows, pottery, carpet and jewelery. He also did work as a set designer and interior designer.

At VMFA there are many great artworks in the Art Nouveau gallery. Two works I got pictures of by George De Feure were a poster and a stained glass window of his design. His designs are very elegant and often depict women in stylish gowns. I love the graceful forms and classy females of George De Feure's designs. I'll probably use some of his posters as inspiration for the Graphic Design course next semester.

I also fell in love with many other works by other artist in the Art Nouveau gallery. So I'll just go ahead and post it here. Enjoy! :)

Poster, Isita. ca. 1900. Lithograph.
George de Feure. Door of Dreams.

George de Feure. Poster.

Paul Ranson. Embroidered by Laure Lacombe.
Fire Screen. 1892. Mahogany, silk, stenciled dye.@VMFA
Gustave Gurschner. ca. 1899-1900.
Nautilus Lamp. Bronze, nautilus shell. @VMFA

Charles Pillivuyt Porcelain Manufactory.
Louis Chalon and Eugene Feuillatre.
Vase. 1898. Hard paste porcelain, enamel,
bronze, gilding. @VMFA


I had a great time driving up to Richmond with my mom to see the VMFA yesterday. We pretty much spent the day milling through the many exhibits and had lunch at the restaurant there. I ended up taking a lot of pictures and really enjoying the museum, because I hadn't been there in a while. Also my mom and I happened upon Dr. Pendleton and Dr. Moran in the gift shop on the way out. :)

I guess I'll create a list of the artists/artwork I was most inspired by on my trip and try to give each of the artists their own posts asap.

As for what I have now completed on my To Do List thus far:
I completed the Incomplete in Crafts and got it graded!
7 artist posts completed.
Started adding things to the sketchbook.
Visited 2 museums: Pfac and VMFA.

Still To Do:
43 artist posts
more sketchbook
2 visit more muesums
create binder of 10 artists
3-5 sample artworks

OH! and I had forgotten to post this picture I took from outside the PFAC the other day of this cool broken glass and ceramic mosaic that I guess got put together by a bunch of different people. It was pretty cool.

Artist #7: Greg Henry

The last artist I'll talk about from my trip to Pfac is Greg Henry. Henry is a wonderful professor at CNU teaching printmaking, sculpture and ceramics. It's really cool to be able to see what your professors do and how they exhibit their own work, to help you understand as a student how to do your own. It was kind of fun seeing the show because I had remembered seeing some of the woodblocks that made the prints shown in the printmaking class I took with him.

Greg Henry creates a lot of his work from his memories of the Northern Guyanese yardscapes. Many of his motifs include the houses, trees, animals that he saw there. He uses icons from everyday objects. The icons he uses most often are the rooster and the bull. These icons are tangible things that represent the relationships of life and death in an environment. They also serve as a universal connectiveness to self, others and the environment.

One of the interesting things I read in Greg Henry's artist statement is that he thinks of his work as a kind of poetry of nature and living things and their spiritual counterparts.

Henry uses a lot of bold flat color and strong iconic shapes in his work.
My favorite of his that I saw on display at this exhibit was of the found object bottle tree and house. ( I didn't take pictures so the images shown are just what I found online. Sorry... Image sources: The Market, d'Art, and Chickens!)

Artist #6: Richard Hunt

Flightforms maquette

Richard Hunt is a sculptor from Chicago Illinois. He has won many awards for his work and has been exhibited nationally. He creates large works in metal. Much of the artwork shown was taken from the MoMa.

Flightforms.welded stainless steel.
Midway Airport, Chicago, Illinois
His exhibit in the Pfac included sculptures, maquettes, and prints. Much of Hunt's work has gestural qualities on both paper and sculptural work. He names his influences as Pablo Picasso, Julio Gonzalez, David Smith as well as African art. My favorite maquette that was displayed was the Flight Forms, 2002, for its beautiful shape and flow.

Over Wisdom Bridge.1986.
color lithograph
22 x 28 inches
I also really liked his black and white lithographs that showed a kind of organic abstraction. Especially the one entitled Prometheus, 1956 (which I can't find a picture of online :(  ) I'll put some of this other prints that were shown in his exhibit up anyways though. I love the bold lines and organic shapes and soft orange color.
Thru the Branches.1986.
color lithograph
22 x 28 inches