Wednesday, December 31, 2008

• The artistic impulse. Robert Fulford reviews The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure and Human Evolution (Bloomsbury Press) by Denis Dutton, (The National Post)
• Did our cosmos exist before the big bang? The ultimate in cosmic recycling. (NewScientist)
•Charles Ives reconsidered. (The Nation)

11.4 x 8.6 cm (4.5" x 3.4")

This man was sitting in front of me on a train. His ear piece was, I suppose, for a cell phone.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Was Harold Pinter's anti-Americanism the reason he received the Nobel Prize in 2005? (PajamasMedia) (The Times has more on Pinter's political views.)

Vincent Van Gogh

ink and watercolour
17.8 x 12.7 cm (7" x 5")

Van Gogh looks suspiciously like a doll who is sitting on a pot in this painting. He might possibly be a Little Thinker from The Unemployed Philosophers Guild.

Monday, December 29, 2008

• American sculptor Robert Graham died Saturday in Santa Monica. He was 70. (CBC News) (The Mercury News) (The Los Angeles Times)
• Eulogies for playwright Harold Pinter died Christmas Eve at the age of 78. (The New York Times) (The Washington Post)
• Johann Hari offers a negative appraisal of Pinter and his work. (The Huffington Post)


ink and watercolour
17.8 x 12.7 cm (7" x 5")

This little wood sculpture sits on a desk in my house. My wife doesn't like it much. She keeps it covered with a bag. I do like it, however. It's kind of Easter Island meets 50's modern. And it matches the decor in our place.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Rose Hobart (1936): directed by Joseph Cornell (Part 2/2)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Rose Hobart (1936): by Joseph Cornell (Part 1/2) (Part 2 will follow tomorrow)

American artist Joseph Cornell (1903-1972) is best known for his evocative shadow boxes. He also made a number of short films. Rose Hobart was his first. The following description of the film accompanies the film on YouTube:

Joseph Cornell's "Rose Hobart" (1936) is a short, 19 minute experimental film created by the artist Joseph Cornell, who cut and re-edited the Hollywood film "East of Borneo" into one of America's most famous surrealist short films. Cornell was fascinated by the star of East of Borneo, an actress named Rose Hobart, and named his short film after her. The piece consists of snippets from East of Borneo combined with shots from a documentary of an eclipse. When Cornell screened the film, he projected it through a piece of blue glass and slowed the speed of projection to that of a silent film. The original soundtrack is removed, and the film is accompanied instead by "Forte Allegre" and "Belem Bayonne", two songs from Nestor Amaral's "Holiday in Brazil," a record that Cornell had found at a junk shop.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Le père Noël 2 - Têtes à claques

Joyeux Noël ! Joyeux Noël ! Joyeux Noël !

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

• Don't we all love a man with opinions? Richard Dorment gives as his best and worst art shows in Britain this past year. (The Telegraph)
• Robert Frank discusses The Americans. (The New York Times)
• The tangled and tortured life of composer Carl Orff. (The Times)

Rodger Dreaming

graphite, ink, charcoal, and pastel
22.4 x 17.3 cm (8.8" x 6.8")

I may have posted this drawing before, although I can find no record of it. It's here now.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

• A Picasso exhibit 24 hours a day in Paris. (CBC News)
Portrait of a Girl
charcoal and pastel
21.3 x 35.6 cm (8.4" x 14")

This portrait was intended to include more of the model's body. I made a slight mess of the right hand, which I didn't have time to correct. The quick solution was the odd cropping of the picture. It will have to do.

Monday, December 22, 2008

• How does Yoko Ono spend her time? (The Guardian)
• A cool time to be a cool collector. (The New York Times)
• The art and design of 2008 in photos. (CBC News)

Multicoloured Scarf

charcoal and pastel
45.7 x 30.5 cm (18" x 12")

I'm not terribly happy with this drawing. It almost looks like the model, but not quite. And it's the 'not quite' which is bothering me.

The model did have blue hair, which she was threatening to grow out, much to the dismay of the artists who rather liked the extra bit of colour to draw.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Here are the final 2 parts of Balthus The Painter. Part 5 precedes Part 6.

Balthus The Painter
(Part 6/6): directed by Mark Kidel (1988)

Balthus The Painter (Part 5/6): directed by Mark Kidel (1988)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Parts 3 and 4 of Balthus The Painter have been posted today. Part 3 precedes Part 4. Part 1 was posted last Sunday, and Part 2 last Wednesday. Parts 5 and 6 will follow tomorrow.

Balthus The Painter
(Part 4/6): directed by Mark Kidel (1988)

Balthus The Painter (Part 3/6): directed by Mark Kidel (1988)

Friday, December 19, 2008

For a daily education in the history of visual art you could do worse than to follow Art Blog By Bob. (Bob Duggan, Philadelphia)

Felix Nussbaum and the Holocaust. (Art by Bob)
Paul Klee. (Art by Bob)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

• Tough love for an artist from dealer Ed Winkleman. (edward_ winkleman)
• Why I love art merch (merchandise). (C-Monster)
• Herb William's Crayola crayon sculptures. (The Telegraph)
• Mondrian's Paris Studio. (The National Gallery of Art) (via C-Monster)
Cars for Russia

Defaulted on that car loan? Wonder where your car is now? Think Russia.
(I couldn't resist this video.)

Girl on a Box

ink and charcoal
35.6 x 43.2 cm (14" x 17")

For what it's worth, and if my memory serves me, this model was an Australian girl making her way across Canada.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Chronicle Review has a review by Daniel Horowitz of Susan Sontag's Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux).
Balthus The Painter (Part 2/6): directed by Mark Kidel (1988)

Thin Arms

charcoal and pastel
44.4 x 26.7 cm (17.5" x 10.5")

Thin, but no as thin as I've drawn them.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

• Artists' models employed by city of Paris staged a nude strike to protest working conditions (i.e. low wages, removal of the traditional tips received from students, the lack of professional standing, and no fixed contracts). (The Telegraph) (The Guardian) Let's hope they get everything that they're asking for.
• The Guggenheim Bilbao is in a bit of a financial mess. (The Guardian) (via C-Monster)
David Foster Wallace and the confusions of philosophy. (The New York Times)
• The Illuminati and Beethoven. (Slate)

Hat and Ball

43.2 x 35.6 cm (17" x 14")

This was done last night in about ten minutes. It was a cold night in the studio. The artists were prepared to draw the model clothed since it seemed too cold to have her nude. She thought the heat was ok, however, and volunteered to model without clothes. The artists acquiesced, but asked her to at least wear a hat and socks, which she did.

In this drawing it looks like she might be having second thoughts about her decision. The ball on the shelf looks like it might also be suffering from the cold.

Monday, December 15, 2008

• The Russian Revolution at the awarding of the Kandinsky Prize. (CBC News)
• 'And the winner of this year's Clothes Peg for best painting is...' (ARTINFO)
• An homage to Robert Frank. (The New York Times)
• Dog portraits. (The Guardian)


ink and charcoal
31.8 x 24.1 cm (12.5" x 9.5")

This is a drawing of a student from China. She was studying at the University of Manitoba. Modelling was probably one of the few ways that she could make any money while at school. After graduating she went back home, and I have no idea where she is now, or whether or not she is still doing any modelling.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Balthus The Painter (Part 1/6): directed by Mark Kidel(1988)

Balthus was an admirable artist, even if, or especially because, his paintings disturb us.

I don't know the origin of this film and I am not going to worry about it. It can be found on YouTube. I'll be posting the entire 6 part series over the coming week.

Friday, December 12, 2008

• The return of Aldous Huxley. (The Chronicle Review)
• The London Review of Books has a worthwhile review of
Bloomsbury Ballerina: Lydia Lopokova, Imperial Dancer and Mrs John Maynard Keynes by Judith Mackrell.

Hands Behind the Back

20.3 x 15.2 cm (8" x 6")

This is a pretty slight drawing. I'm not sure why, but it appeals to me.

(Despite the title there are not really any hands in the drawing.)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

• The westernization of Chinese art. (The New Criterion)
• The literature of 9/11. (Commentary)
• A review of Miami Art Basel. Was anybody buying? (The Wall Street Journal)

Hand On Lap

charcoal and pastel
29.2 x 20.3 cm (11.5" x 8")

This drawing was done on a paper which was a light greyish white in colour. The lightness of the paper colour does nothing for the drawing except to emphasize the patchiness of the pink and browns and to heighten the contrast. It could have been worse, however.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Time has the top ten museum exhibits of 2008. As a bonus on the same page, the top 10 of everything for 2008.
• Even I might like Mahler according to The Economist, which reports on the dumbing up of society. (via C-Monster)
• Do Long Island housewives belong in spas and yacht clubs? Ed Winkleman examines the question.

Yesterday I posted an item on married women with the wrong link. Here it is again. This time with the correct link.

• If you're a married woman on a waiting list for life-coaching lessons, read this. (The Telegraph)
Lucian Freud interviewed by Jake Auerbach (1988): Part 5/5

This is the final segment of this interview. The other four parts have been posted over the last week. Freud knows what he's talking about. No surprise.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

• If you're a married woman on a waiting list for life-coaching lessons, read this. (The Telegraph)
• Leonard Cohen as artist. (LindoLando Fine Art) (The Globe and Mail)
• Marc Mayer of the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal has been confirmed as the new director of the National Gallery of Canada. (The Globe and Mail)
River Ice
pastel and ink (marker)
12.7 x 17.8 cm (5" x 7")

This started out as a two minute sketch done with a marker on white paper. The colour was added with pastel. A marker, pastels, and white paper is not a terribly sympathetic combination. It sort of works here, but just.

The scene is the Red River, not far from our house.

Monday, December 08, 2008

• Mad dogs and Englishmen. Theodore Dalrymple comments on what he views as a decline in public morals in England; and you had better not like beer, football, or sex. (City Journal)
Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool, portraits from the 60's, 70's, and early 80's, is currently on at The Studio Museum in Harlem through March 15. (The New York Times)
• Condolence cards, appropriate for hard times, which can to given to artists and dealers. (Compound Editions) (via C-Monster)
The Pointless Museum: a collection of mostly forgotten things. (via things magazine)
• How Italy got to be so ugly. (The Art Newspaper) (Is Italy any uglier than the rest of the world?)
charcoal and pastel
30.5 x 45.7 cm (12" x 18")

This drawing seemed to take surprisingly little work. Once the drawing was roughed in, it was essentially finished except for a few strokes of colour.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Lucian Freud interviewed by Jake Auerbach (1988): Part 4/5

Lucian Freud interviewed by Jake Auerbach (1988): Part 3/5

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Lucien Freud interviewed by Jake Auerbach (1988): Part 2/5

Part 1 was posted last Tuesday. Parts 3 and 4 will follow tomorrow. This interview was held prior to a 1988 retrospective at the Hayward Gallery in London.

Friday, December 05, 2008

• Paddy Johnson of Art Fag City has some things to say about Frank Gehry's redesign of the Art Gallery of Ontario in Frieze Magazine. From the photos and drawings of the new building that I've seen, I would have to say that I have more reservations about Gehry's work on the AGO than Paddy Johnson, who, by the way, doesn't exactly get carried away with excitement in his review. (via C-Monster)
• Time hasn't necessarily been kind to sculptor Laredo Taft (1860-1936), nor to his Fountain of Time in Chicago. (Illustration Art)

Blue Foot

charcoal and pastel
45.7 x 30.5 cm (18" x 12")

This should more properly be called 'Blue-Grey Foot', or maybe just 'Grey Foot'. We won't quibble though.

The model for this drawing was a fellow artist. If only we were all so attractive.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

• What do girls really want? Dare we ask? Caitlin Flanagan has the answer in The Atlantic.
• Australia's new National Portrait Gallery opens today in Canberra. (CBC News)
• South Bronx photographs at the Museum of the City of New York City. (The New York Times)
• Sarah Caldwell, a lost name in American opera. (The Chronicle Review)
12 U.S. Senators Are Space Aliens
mixed media (shadow box)
10.8 x 26.0 x 2.54 cm (4.25" x 10.25" x 1")

Occasionally, I'll indulge myself in making a shadow box. I wouldn't dwell too much on the meaning of the arrangement.

P.S. Only 12 U.S. Senators are space aliens?

Please click on the image to get a larger and clear view of the box.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

• The Rape of Europa. Steven Rosen reviews Old Masters, New World: America's Raid on Europe's Great Pictures by Cynthia Saltzman in the Denver Post.
• Joern Utzon, the architect who designed the Sydney Opera House, died Saturday at age 90. (The Sydney Morning Herald)
• The heroes of Mumbai. (Forbes)
• Art gallery owner, Mary Boone, talks about not much in an interview for Bloomberg. It's a pretty light interview. (via C-Monster)

Medusa Hair

charcoal and pastel
30.5 x 22.9 cm (12" x 9")

This model's hair was actually quite attractive. It was reddish and done with a lot of small curls. The curls proved too much for me. The Medusa hair came easier.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

• New York galleries cut back. (Bloomberg)
• Is the new Oslo opera house really a skateboard park in disguise? (Wired) (via C-Monster)
• Russian art at auction is holding its' own. (The Telegraph)
• Cartoonist Nicholas Garland reviews Saul Steinberg. (The Telegraph)
Lucian Freud interviewed by Jake Auerbach (1988): Part 1/5

A very diffident Lucian Freud was interviewed in 1988 prior to the opening of a retrospective exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in London. What Freud doesn't say may tell you as much about the man as what he does say.

Monday, December 01, 2008

• Grace Hartigan, an artist's life (The Telegraph), et un hommage (Le Beau Vice). (Grace Hartigan died on November 16, 2008.)
• Here's a cure for our collective artistic ignorance: 100+ Awesome Open Courseware Links for Artists. In other words, free online course from some reputable schools or sources. The list is thanks to Art Career. (via Art Blog By Bob)