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.
As August ends and the heat starts to dissipate, it’s time to refocus on goals and projects lost to the summer. Though not quite a summer of discontent, for me it was one of distraction and discourse in my art. Luckily the internet had much to offer to stem the tide of confusion and help me to focus.
The Vincent van Gogh Gallery
If you are a fan of Van Gogh then you must go to The Vincent van Gogh Gallery. Over the past twenty-one years, David Brooks has compiled the most thorough and comprehensive resource for this artist available on the Web. The Vincent van Gogh Gallery includes 100% of the artist’s works and letters. So matching my loose ends with the master of confabulation left me feeling much better. I was especially intrigued by an article comparing “Vincent’s Chair with His Pipe” to “Gauguin’s Armchair.” Check it here.
While we are on the subject of Paul Gauguin, The Art Institute of Chicago is currently exhibiting Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist, which runs through September 10. The exhibition takes an in-depth look at his creative process and how he challenged cultural, geographic, and material boundaries. Gauguin was radically creative throughout his career. He never stopped experimenting with new methods, and his art continues to fascinate because it remains unpredictable, contradictory, and enormously varied in medium, form, and content. Art and Antiques has published an article about the artist, which delves into the backstory of this exhibition, highlighting the artist’s experimental techniques. You can read it here.
This past week while wandering through a thrift store, I was lucky enough to come across a wonderful art book about Milton Avery. It’s a first edition printed in 1981. The dust jacket informs us about how, working independently of schools and movements, he was able to create a joyful art, at once fresh and imbued with humor, and a more representational than realistic interpretation of the world around him. The works in the book embody an incredible journey through the pastoral and common world that he so loved.
The Jazz Age
The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s current exhibition, The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s is billed as the “first major museum exhibition to focus on American taste in design during the exhilarating years of the 1920s.” You can read the complete news release here. Centered on themes like “Bending the Rules” and “Abstraction and Reinvention,” The Jazz Age offers a curated tableaux of furniture, flapper dresses, paintings, Prohibition-era cocktail shakers, and all manner of objects to demonstrate influences across media. After closing at the New York museum in August, the exhibition will open in Cleveland this September. This is a departure from what European galleries tend to show as American Deco. So if you lean toward design, this is the show to see! Check it out here.
If you ask most artists if they know SEO you’ll hear everything from “What kind of art is that?” to “Yeah, I’ve seen his work but it’s too familiar for me.” That’s a shame, because if you are taking the time to set up a website or paid good money for someone else to do it, you’re missing what comes after setting goals for the site.
SEO is Search Engine Optimization. This is what affects search engine results for your website: are you on the top or bottom of a page. Take a second, or more, and put your web address in a search bar and see where you end up on the page. These days, many artists falsely assume that if they put their art online, Google will take care of the rest. Nothing could be further from the truth. Professional Artist Magazine has put out an article, “Step by Step SEO for Artists,” that will help you understand this important concept. So if you have answered “yes” to any or all of the following questions you should read the article.
- Do you plan to sell art online?
- Will you offer online classes or workshops?
- Do you primarily make public or commercial art pieces and plan to find new clients through organic search?
- Are you simply looking to put your portfolio online?
And just in case you thought I forgot about sharing my never-ending collection of online art catalogs, here’s a favorite:
“After Mountains and Sea” by Helen Frankenthaler. This is a catalog of an exhibition held at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, January 15–May 3, 1998. In 1952, at the age of twenty-three, Helen Frankenthaler created her legendary painting “Mountains and Sea.” Comprised of translucent washes of thinned-down pigment embedded in unprimed canvas, this large-scale painting was the first in which she used her soak-stain technique. This elegant volume offers a conversation between the artist and Julia Brown, curator of special exhibitions, revealing Frankenthaler’s artistic process and the influences that inspired her.
As always, remember you can contact me at DKolberg@thewoventalepress.net with questions and comments.
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