By Donald Kolberg, Art Bookmarks Editor
Monthly link highlights to online resources and websites that seem informative and inspiring for artists or art enthusiasts. Most are free. Suggestions are welcomed.
Since I have a friend going to Singapore for the month of March and into April, I thought it appropriate to provide her with a listing of great art events in case she feels like gathering a few catalogs. (I collect them, especially when they’re signed.) So if you, too, are going to Asia, here’s a great list of shows for you. Even if you’re not, some of the websites listed have their own rich online galleries, such as nationgallery.sq and uavzgallery.com. Respectively, their exhibitions range from the National Gallery of Singapore’s show about art and colonialism to Htein Lin’s debut show in Singapore. Whatever your interests are, there is a show or virtual gallery in this list for you to visit.
Cirque du Seurat
In light of the Ringling Bros. Circus closing down after more than one hundred years in operation, I thought it fitting to provide a link to an extraordinary article in the New York Times covering the Cirque du Seurat exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. While the article spends much time on “Seurat’s Circus Sideshow,” a work that has been in the Met’s permanent collection since 1960, it also talks of Daumier, Paul Signac, and Fernand Pelez. The latter’s work, “Grimaces and Misery — The Saltimbanques,” measuring twenty feet across with eleven life-size figures, is displayed along with newspaper engravings, ephemera, and postcards. If you can’t make it to the show, the New York Times does a swell job of explaining the painting “Circus Sideshow” itself as well as how the exhibition contextualizes Seurat’s work in terms of both art and cultural histories.
“Centered on two paintings and 16 drawings by Seurat,” the article reports, “the show is a superb feat of contextualizing. It surrounds ‘Circus Sideshow’ with scores of sideshow paintings by other artists, both famous and completely unknown.” If you are in New York, the exhibition, included with admission to the museum, is running at the Met through May 29.
The Red of Painters
Ever wonder where the color red came from in old masters’ artwork? Well, wonder no more. The Paris Review has you covered with a wonderful excerpt from The Red of Painters by Michel Pastoureau, full of recipes and history. The piece covers the use of red over different centuries and artistic movements as well as the different processes artists went through to achieve the different shades and tonalities.
After six decades of intense dedication to his medium, Gerhard Richter, considered by many to be the world’s greatest living artist, is now eighty-five years old. Richter creates everything from abstract paintings to photorealistic works to glass sculptures, and he has received distinguished awards across the globe. Canvas Blog by Saatchi has published an article covering his early life, eclectic career, abstract art, color charts and sculpture. It’s a delightful article, “The Innovation of Gerhard Richter.” The page also includes a selection of contemporary works inspired by Richter, as well as a video of Richter working on his paintings.
That’s Inked Up
When you come across a blog that has the ability and desire to delve deeper into the work it reviews, you know you’ve found one to hang on to. That’s Inked Up has just that quality. The blog includes comprehensive reviews of works from around the world, and it spans multiple styles and time periods. A piece on cubism, for example, follows a post honoring and analyzing prints of Princess Leia. Here are excerpts from two recent posts that exemplify the quality:
“After Viewing John Hitchcock’s prints and installations, one is left with an understanding of things not necessarily in today’s highly charged public eye, but we are left with a knowledge of atrocities from the past and imminent danger of the future.” This comes from a review/feature/biography of artist John Hitchcock. The review is comprehensive; it includes analysis of his work as well as a look back at previous styles and biographical information.
If you still aren’t convinced, here’s another quote: “The way he (Kawase Hasui) creates his compositions and the elegance of his coloring of the prints includes a naturalistic sensibility for atmospheric perspective that most often associated with Western art.” This, from a review of Japanese artist Kawase Hasui and his influence on the art of his country.
If your focus is in the South—not everyone lives in New York—you might want to bookmark BURNAWAY. I’ve found their coverage of the arts, all the arts, to provide some exciting information on studio visits, residencies, videos, gallery and book reviews, and calls for artists. Here’s a bit about them in their words: “Founded in 2008, BURNAWAY is an Atlanta-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide coverage of the arts in and from Atlanta and the South, to support the vibrant creative communities in our region, to increase national recognition of our region’s artists and organizations, and to foster new voices for the arts…”
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