Day 352- Alice Neel- “Art is Art”

It’s Day 352 and it was fun painting today’s piece.  I’m not sure if I got the artist’s style quite right, but I did choose quite the awkward photo to paint…so hopefully I captured the artist’s spirit.  Please join me in honoring Alice Neel today.  She was such a great artist.  I love the subjects of her pieces and in my opinion I thought she was way ahead of her time with her style and content.

Alice Neel

Alice Neel

Geoffrey Hendricks and Brian, 1978- Alice Neel

Geoffrey Hendricks and Brian, 1978- Alice Neel

Alice Neel (January 28, 1900 – October 13, 1984) was an American visual artist, who was particularly well known for oil painting and for her portraits depicting friends, family, lovers, poets, artists and strangers. Her paintings are notable for their expressionistic use of line and color, psychological acumen, and emotional intensity. Neel was called “one of the greatest portrait artists of the 20th century” by Barry Walker, curator of modern and contemporary art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, which organized a retrospective of her work in 2010.

Alice Neel was born on January 28, 1900 in Merion Square, Pennsylvania to George Washington Neel, an accountant for the Pennsylvania Railroad, and Alice Concross Hartley Neel. In mid-1900, her family moved to the rural town of Colwyn, Pennsylvania. She was the third of four children. She was raised into a straight-laced middle-class family during a time when there were limited expectations and opportunities for women. Her mother had said to her, “I don’t know what you expect to do in the world, you’re only a girl.

In 1918, after graduating High School, she took the Civil Service exam and got a high-paying clerical position in order to help support her parents. After three years of work, taking art classes by night in Philadelphia, Neel enrolled in the Fine Art program at the Philadelphia School of Design for

Self-Portrait- Alice Neel

Self-Portrait- Alice Neel

Women (now Moore College of Art) in 1921. She graduated in 1925.  Neel often said that she chose to attend an all-girls school so as not to be distracted from her art by the temptations of the opposite sex.

She met an upper-class Cuban painter in 1924 named Carlos Enríquez at the Chester Springs summer school run by PAFA. They were wed on 1 June 1925 in Colwyn, Pennsylvania. After marrying Neel eventually moved to Havana to live with Enríquez’s family. In Havana, Neel was embraced by the burgeoning Cuban avant-garde, a set of young writers, artists and musicians. In this environment Neel developed the foundations of her lifelong political consciousness and commitment to equality.  During this time, she had 7 servants and lived in a mansion.

Nancy And Olivia- Alice Neel

Nancy And Olivia- Alice Neel

Neel’s daughter, Santillana, was born on 26 December 1926 in Havana. In 1927, though, the couple returned to the United States to live in New York. Just a month before Santillana’s first birthday, she died of diphtheria. The trauma caused by Santillana’s death infused the content of Neel’s paintings, setting a precedent for the themes of motherhood, loss, and anxiety that permeated her work for the duration of her career.

Shortly following Santillana’s death, Neel became pregnant with her second child. On 24 November 1928, Isabella Lillian (called Isabetta) was born in New York City. Isabetta’s birth was the inspiration for Neel’s “Well Baby Clinic”, a bleak portrait of mothers and babies in a maternity clinic more reminiscent of an insane asylum than a nursery.

In the spring of 1930, Carlos had given the impression that he was going overseas to look for a place to life in

Andy Warhol- Alice Neel

Andy Warhol- Alice Neel

Paris. Instead, he returned to Cuba, taking Isabetta with him. Mourning the loss of her husband and daughter, Neel suffered a massive nervous breakdown, was hospitalized, and attempted suicide. She was placed in the suicide ward of the Philadelphia General Hospital.

Even in the insane asylum, she painted. Alice loved a wretch. She loved the wretch in the hero and the hero in the wretch. She saw that in

all of us, I think.

— Ginny Neel, Alice’s daughter-in-law

Abe's Grandchildren- Alice Neel

Abe’s Grandchildren- Alice Neel

Deemed stable almost a year later, Neel was released from the sanatorium in 1931 and returned to her parents’ home. Following an extended visit with her close friend and frequent subject, Nadya Olyanova, Neel returned to New York.

There Neel painted the local characters, including Joe Gould, whom she famously depicted in 1933 with multiple penises, which represented his inflated ego and “self-deception” about who he was and his unfulfilled ambitions. The painting, a rare survivor of her early works, has been shown at Tate Modern.

During the Depression, Neel was one of the first artists to work for the Works Progress Administration. At the end of 1933, Neel was hired to make a painting every six weeks. She had been living in poverty. She had an affair with a man named Kenneth Doolittle who was a heroin addict and a sailor. In 1934, he set afire 350 of her watercolors, paintings and drawings.  At this time, her husband Carlos proposed to reunite, although in the end the couple neither reunited nor officially filed for divorce.

Her world was composed of artists, intellectuals, and political leaders of the Communist Party, all of whom became

The De Vegh Twins, 1975- Alice Neel

The De Vegh Twins, 1975- Alice Neel

subjects for her paintings.  Her work glorified subversion and sexuality, depicting whimsical scenes of lovers and nudes, like a watercolor she made in 1935, Alice Neel And John Rothschild In The Bathroom, which showed the naked pair peeing. In the 1930s Neel gained a degree of notoriety as an artist, and established a good standing within her circle of downtown intellectuals and Communist Party leaders. While Neel was never an official Communist Party member, her affiliation and sympathy with the ideals of Communism remained constant.

Babies- Alice Neel

Babies- Alice Neel

In 1939 Neel gave birth to her first son, Richard, the child of Jose Santiago, a Puerto Rican night-club singer whom Neel met in 1935. Neel moved to Spanish Harlem.  She began painting her neighbors, particularly women and children. José left Neel in 1940.

Neel’s second son, Hartley, was born in 1941 to Neel and her lover, the communist intellectual Sam Brody. During this Forties, Neel made illustrations for the Communist publication, Masses & Mainstream, and continued to paint portraits from her uptown home. However, in 1943 the Works Progress Administration ceased working with Neel

, which made it harder for the artist to support her two sons. During this time Neel would shoplift and was on welfare to help make ends meet. Between 1940 and 1950, Neel’s art virtually disappeared from galleries, save for one solo show in 1944. In the 1950s, Neel’s friendship with Mike Goldand his admiration for her social realist work garnered her a show at the Communist-inspired New Playwrights Theatre. In 1959, Neel even made a film appearance after the director Robert Frank asked her to appear alongside a young Allen Ginsberg in his classic Beatnik film, Pull My Daisy. The following year, her work was first reproduced in ARTnews magazine.

Toward the end of the 1960s, interest in Neel’s work intensified. The momentum of the women’s movement led to increased attention, and Neel became an icon for feminists. In 1970, she was commissioned to paint the feminist activist Kate Millett for the cover of Time magazine. Millett refused

White Chapel- Alice Neel

White Chapel- Alice Neel

to sit for Neel; consequently, the magazine cover was based off a photograph.

By the mid-1970s, Neel had gained celebrity and stature as an important American artist. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter presented her with a National Women’s Caucus for Artaward for outstanding achievement. Neel’s reputation was at its height at the time of her death in 1984.

Neel’s life and works are featured in the documentary Alice Neel, which premiered at the 2007 Slamdance Film Festival and was directed by her grandson, Andrew Neel. The film was given a New York theatrical release in April of that year.

In 1974, Neel’s work was given a retrospective exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and posthumously, in the summer of 2000, also at the Whitney. The first exhibition dedicated to Neel’s works

Alice Neel

Alice Neel

in Europe was held in London in 2004 at the Victoria Miro Gallery. Jeremy Lewison, who had worked at the Tate, was the curator of the collection. In 2001 the Philadelphia Museum of Art organized a retrospective of her art entitled Alice Neel. She was the subject of a retrospective entitled Alice Neel: Painted Truths organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in Texas, which was on view from March 21-June 15, 2010. The exhibition traveled to Whitechapel Gallery, London, and Moderna Museet Malmö, Malmö, Sweden. In 2013, the first major presentation of the artist’s watercolors and drawings was on view at Nordiska Akvarellmuseet in Skärhamn, Sweden.

Biography is from wikipedia.

When I was in my studio I didn’t give a damn what sex I was… I thought art is art. (Alice Neel)

I hope you enjoy my piece today.  It was taken from a real life awkward photo.  I feel like if I had more time I could’ve perfected her style a bit more, but that’s okay.  I enjoyed it and I will see you tomorrow on Day 352.

Best,

Linda

 

Bath Time!- Tribute to Alice Neel Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Watercolor on Canvas

Bath Time!- Tribute to Alice Neel
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Watercolor on Canvas

Side-View Bath Time!- Tribute to Alice Neel Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Watercolor on Canvas

Side-View
Bath Time!- Tribute to Alice Neel
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Watercolor on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Bath Time!- Tribute to Alice Neel Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Watercolor on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Bath Time!- Tribute to Alice Neel
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Watercolor on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Bath Time!- Tribute to Alice Neel Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Watercolor on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Bath Time!- Tribute to Alice Neel
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Watercolor on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Bath Time!- Tribute to Alice Neel Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Watercolor on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Bath Time!- Tribute to Alice Neel
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Watercolor on Canvas

Day 336- Henry Darger Jr.- In the Realms of the Unreal

It’s Day 336 and I’ve been excited to do this artist for a long time.  I knew it was going to be challenging and I think I had too many ideas that my brain got a bit jumbled.  Well, I finally did it and I think I’m pretty happy with it.  Please join me in honoring Henry Darger Jr. today!

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

Hands of Fire- Henry Darger Jr.

Hands of Fire- Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Joseph Darger, Jr. (April 12, 1892 – April 13, 1973) was a reclusive American writer and artist who worked as a hospital custodian in Chicago, Illinois. He has become famous for his posthumously discovered 15,145-page, single-spaced fantasy manuscript called The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, along with several hundred drawings and watercolor paintings illustrating the story.

The visual subject matter of his work ranges from idyllic scenes in Edwardian interiors and tranquil flowered landscapes populated by children and fantastic creatures, to scenes of horrific terror and

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

carnage depicting young children being tortured and massacred. Much of his artwork is mixed media with collage elements. Darger’s artwork has become one of the most celebrated examples of outsider art.

Darger was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Rosa Fullman and Henry Darger, Sr. on April 12, 1892. Cook County records show that he was born at his home, located at 350 W. 24th Street. When he was four years old, his mother died of puerperal fever after having given birth to a daughter, who was given up for adoption; Henry Darger never knew his sister. One of Darger’s biographers, the art historian and psychologist John M. MacGregor, discovered that Rosa had two children before Henry, but did not discover their whereabouts.

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

By Darger’s own report, his father, Henry Sr., was kind and reassuring to him, and they lived together until 1900. In that year, the crippled and impoverished Darger Sr. had to be taken to live at St. Augustine’s Catholic Mission home and his son was placed in a Catholic boys’ home. Darger Sr. died in 1905, and his son was institutionalized in the Illinois Asylum for Feeble-Minded Children in Lincoln, Illinois, with the diagnosis, according to Stephen Prokopoff, that “Little Henry’s heart is not in the right place”. According to John MacGregor, the diagnosis was actually “self-abuse” (at the time, this term was a euphemism for masturbation, rather than self-injury).

Darger himself felt that much of his problem was being able to see through adult lies and becoming a ‘smart-aleck’ as a result, which often led to his being disciplined by teachers and ganged up on by classmates. He also went through a lengthy phase of feeling compelled to make strange noises (perhaps as a result of Tourette Syndrome) which irritated others. The Lincoln asylum’s practices included forced labor and severe punishments, which Darger seems to have worked into In the Realms of the Unreal. He later said that, to be

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

fair, there were also good times there, he enjoyed some of the work, and he had friends as well as enemies. While he was there, he received word that his father had died. A series of attempted escapes ended successfully in 1908, the 16-year-old returned to Chicago and, with the help of his godmother, found menial employment in a Catholic hospital and in this fashion continued to support himself until his retirement in 1963.

Except for a brief stint in the U.S. Army during World War I, his life took on a pattern that seems to have varied little: he attended Mass daily, frequently returning for as many as five services; he collected and saved a bewildering array of trash from the streets. His dress was shabby, although he attempted to keep his clothes clean and mended. He was largely solitary; his one close friend, William Schloeder, was of like mind on the subject of protecting abused and neglected children, and the pair proposed founding a “Children’s Protective Society”, which would put such children up for adoption to loving families. Schloeder left Chicago sometime in the mid-1930s, but he and Darger stayed in touch through letters until Schloeder’s death in 1959. Darger biographer Jim Elledge suggests that Darger and Schloeder may have had a romantic relationship while Schloeder lived in Chicago.

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

In 1930, Darger settled into a second-floor room on Chicago’s North Side, at 851 W. Webster Avenue, in the Lincoln Park section of the city, near the DePaul Universitycampus. It was in this room, for 43 years, that Darger imagined and wrote his massive tomes (in addition to a 10-year daily weather journal and assorted diaries) until his death in April 1973 in St. Augustine’s Catholic Mission home (the same institution in which his father had died). In the last entry in his diary, he wrote: “January 1, 1971. I had a very poor nothing like Christmas. Never had a good Christmas all my life, nor a good new year, and now… I am very bitter but fortunately not revengeful, though I feel should be how I am…”

Darger is buried in All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines, Illinois, in a plot called “The Old People of the Little Sisters of the Poor Plot”. Darger’s headstone is inscribed “Artist” and “Protector of Children”.

In the Realms of the Unreal is a 15,145-page work bound in fifteen immense, densely typed volumes (with three of them consisting of several hundred illustrations, scroll-like watercolor paintings on paper derived from magazines and coloring books) created over six decades. The majority of the book, The Story of the Vivian Girls,

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, follows the adventures of the daughters of Robert Vivian, seven princesses of the Christian nation of Abbieannia who assist a daring rebellion against the evil regime of child slavery imposed by John Manley and the Glandelinians.

Children take up arms in their own defense and are often slain in battle or viciously tortured by the Glandelinian overlords. The elaborate mythology includes the setting of a large planet, around which Earth orbits as a moon (where most people are Christian and mostly Catholic), and a species called the “Blengigomeneans” (or Blengins for short), gigantic winged beings with curved horns who occasionally take human or part-human form, even disguising themselves as children. They are usually benevolent, but some Blengins are extremely suspicious of all humans, due to Glandelinian atrocities. Darger illustrated his stories using a technique of traced images cut from magazines and catalogues, arranged in large panoramic landscapes and painted in watercolours, some as large as 30 feet wide and painted on both sides. He wrote himself into the narrative as the children’s protector.

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

Once released from the asylum, Darger repeatedly attempted to adopt a child, but his efforts failed. Images of children often served as his inspiration, particularly a portrait from the Chicago Daily News from May 9, 1911: a five-year-old murder victim, named Elsie Paroubek. The girl had left home on April 8 of that year telling her mother she was going to visit her aunt around the corner from her home. She was last seen listening to an organ grinder with her cousins. Her body was found a month later in a sanitary district channel near the screen guards of the powerhouse at Lockport, Illinois. An autopsy found she had probably been suffocated—not strangled, as is often stated in articles about Darger. Paroubek’s disappearance and murder, her funeral, and the subsequent investigation, were the subjects of a huge amount of coverage in the Daily News and other papers at the time.

This newspaper photo was part of a growing personal archive of clippings Darger had been gathering. There is no indication that the murder or the news photo and article had any particular significance for Darger, until one day he could not find it. Writing in his journal at the time, he began to process this forfeiture of yet another

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

child, lamenting that “the huge disaster and calamity” of his loss “will never be atoned for”, but “shall be avenged to the uttermost limit”. According to his autobiography, Darger believed the photo was among several items that were stolen when his locker at work was broken into. He never found his copy of the photograph again. Because he couldn’t remember the exact date of its publication, he couldn’t locate it in the newspaper archive. He carried out an elaborate series of novenas and other prayers for the picture to be returned.

The fictive war that was sparked by Darger’s loss of the newspaper photograph of the murdered girl, whose killer was never found, became Darger’s magnum opus. He had been working on some version of the novel before this time (he makes reference to an early draft which was also lost or stolen), but now it became an all-consuming creation.

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

In The Realms of the Unreal, Elsie is imagined as Annie Aronburg, the leader of the first child slave rebellion. “The assassination of the child labor rebel Annie Aronburg… was the most shocking child murder ever caused by the Glandelinian Government” and was the cause of the war. Through their sufferings, valiant deeds and exemplary holiness, the Vivian Girls are hoped to be able to help bring about a triumph of Christianity. Darger provided two endings to the story, one in which the Vivian Girls and Christianity are triumphant and another in which they are defeated and the godless Glandelinians reign.

Darger’s human figures were rendered largely by tracing, collage, or photo enlargement from popular magazines and children’s books (much of the “trash” he collected was old magazines and newspapers, which he clipped for source material). Some of his favorite figures were the Coppertone Girl and Little Annie Rooney. He is praised for his natural gift for composition and the brilliant use of color in his watercolors. The images of daring escapes, mighty battles, and painful torture are reminiscent not only of epic films such as Birth of a Nation (which Darger might easily have seen) but of events in Catholic history; the text makes it clear that the child victims are heroic martyrs like the early saints.

One idiosyncratic feature of Darger’s artwork is its apparent transgenderism. Many of his subjects which appear

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

to be girls are shown to have penises when unclothed or partially clothed. Darger biographer Jim Elledge speculates that this represents a reflection of Darger’s own childhood issues with gender identity and homosexuality.  Darger’s second novel, Crazy House, deals with these subjects more explicitly.

In a paraphrase of the Declaration of Independence, Darger wrote of children’s right “to play, to be happy, and to dream, the right to normal sleep of the night’s season, the right to an education, that we may have an equality of opportunity for developing all that are in us of mind and heart”.

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

A second work of fiction, provisionally titled Crazy House: Further Adventures in Chicago, contains over 10,000 handwritten pages. Written after The Realms, it takes that epic’s major characters—the seven Vivian sisters and their companion/secret brother, Penrod—and places them in Chicago, with the action unfolding during the same years as that of the earlier book. Begun in 1939, it is a tale of a house that is possessed by demons and haunted by ghosts, or has an evil consciousness of its own. Children disappear into the house and are later found brutally murdered. The Vivians and a male friend are sent to investigate and discover that the murders are the work of evil ghosts. The girls go about exorcising the place, but have to resort to arranging for a full-scale Holy Mass to be held in each room before the house is clean. They do this repeatedly, but it never works. The narrative ends mid-scene, with Darger having just been rescued from the Crazy House.

In 1968, Darger became interested in tracing some of his frustrations back to his childhood and began writing The History of My Life. Spanning eight volumes, the book only spends 206 pages detailing Darger’s early life before veering off into 4,672 pages of fiction about a huge twister called “Sweetie Pie”, probably based on memories of a tornado he had witnessed in 1908.

Despite Darger’s unusual lifestyle and strange behavior, he has not generally been considered mentally ill. This

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

topic is addressed in the biographical film In the Realms of the Unreal, in which Darger, while certainly described as eccentric, is also mentioned to be “in complete control of his life”. MacGregor, in the appendix to his book on Darger, speculates that the most fitting diagnosis is autism, of an Asperger syndrome type.

Darger’s landlords, Nathan and Kiyoko Lerner, came across his work shortly before his death, a day after his birthday, on April 13, 1973. Nathan Lerner, an accomplished photographer whose long career the New York Times wrote “was inextricably bound up in the history of visual culture in Chicago”, immediately recognized the artistic merit of Darger’s work. By this time Darger was in the Catholic mission St. Augustine’s, operated by the Little Sisters of the Poor, where his father had died.

The Lerners took charge of the Darger estate, publicizing his work and contributing to projects such as the 2004 documentary In the Realms of the Unreal. In cooperation with Kiyoko Lerner, Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art dedicated the Henry Darger Room Collection in 2008 as part of its permanent collection. Darger has become internationally recognized thanks to the efforts of people who knew to save his works. After Nathan Lerner’s death in 1997, Kiyoko Lerner became the sole figure in charge of both her husband’s and Darger’s estates. The U.S. copyright representative for the Estate of Henry Darger and the Estate of Nathan Lerner is the Artists Rights Society.

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

Darger is today one of the most famous figures in the history of outsider art. At the Outsider Art Fair, held every January in New York City, and at auction, his work is among the highest-priced of any self-taught artist. The American Folk Art Museum, New York City, opened a Henry Darger Study Center in 2001. His work now commands upwards of $80,000.

Since his death in 1973 and the discovery of his massive opus, and especially since the 1990s, there have been many references in popular culture to Darger’s work by other visual artists including, but not limited to, artists of comics and graphic novels; numerous popular songs; a 1999 book-length poem, Girls on the Run, by John Ashbery; a multi-player online game, SiSSYFiGHT 2000, and a 2004 multimedia piece by choreographer Pat Graney incorporating Darger images. Jesse Kellerman’s 2008 novel The Genius took part of its inspiration from Darger’s story. These artists have variously drawn from and responded to Darger’s artistic style, his themes (especially the Vivian Girls, the young heroines of Darger’s massive illustrated novel), and the events in his life.

Jessica Yu’s 2004 documentary In the Realms of the Unreal details Darger’s life and artworks.

Comic book artist Scott McCloud refers to Darger’s work in his book Making Comics, while describing the danger artists encounter in the creation of a character’s back-story. McCloud says that complicated narratives can easily spin out of control when too much unseen information is built up around the characters.

Darger and his work have been an inspiration for several music artists. The Vivian Girls were an all-girl indie/punk trio from Brooklyn; “Henry Darger” is a song by Natalie Merchant on her album Motherland,

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

“Vivian Girls” is song by the band Wussy on their album Left for Dead. “The Vivian Girls Are Visited in the Night by Saint Dargarius and His Squadron of Benevolent Butterflies” is a song by Sufjan Stevens on his album The Avalanche: Outtakes and Extras from the Illinois Album, “The Story of the Vivian Girls” is a song by Comet Gain on their 2005 album City Fallen Leaves, and “Segue: In the Realms of the Unreal” is song by the band …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead on their album So Divided, “The Vivian Girls” is a 1979 song by Snakefinger (Philip Lithman Roth) also recorded by the Monks of Doom on their album The Cosmodemonic Telegraph Company, “Vivian girls” is a song by the band Fucked Up on their album Hidden World, and “Lost girls” (about Darger’s work) is a song by Tilly and the Wall on their album Bottoms of Barrels. On their 1994 album Triple Mania II, San Diego’s industrial noise performance outfit Crash Worship reworked several Darger images and screen printed them on a copper foil foldout discfolio; as well as the insert and disc.

Darger is the subject of a radio play, Darger and the Detective, by Mike Walker performed by members of the Chicago-based Steppenwolf Theatre Company for BBC Radio 3.

Biography is from wikipedia.

I love his story so I decided to include all the the page.  I hope you enjoy my piece for today and I will see you tomorrow on Day 336.

Best,

Linda

Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr. Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr.
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Side-View Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr. Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Side-View
Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr.
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr. Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr.
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr. Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr.
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr. Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr.
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

 

Day 330- Roy Lichtenstein- Forming Art

It’s Day 330 and I was excited about today’s artist.  Join me in honoring Roy Lichtenstein today!

Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein

IllustratorPainter (1923–1997)

Little Big Painting- Roy Lichtenstein

Little Big Painting- Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein was an American pop artist best known for his boldly-colored parodies of comic strips and advertisements.

American artist Roy Lichtenstein was born in New York City on October 27, 1923, and grew up on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

In the 1960s, Lichtenstein became a leading figure of the new Pop Art movement. Inspired by advertisements and comic strips,

Girl In Mirror- Roy Lichtenstein

Girl In Mirror- Roy Lichtenstein

Lichtenstein’s bright, graphic works parodied American popular culture and the art world itself. He died in New York City on September 29, 1997.

Early Years

Roy Fox Lichtenstein was born on October 27, 1923, in New York City, the son of Milton Lichtenstein, a successful real estate developer, and Beatrice Werner Lichtenstein. As a boy growing up on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Lichtenstein had a passion for both science and comic books. In his teens, he became interested in art. He took watercolor classes at Parsons School of Design in 1937, and he took classes at the Art Students League in 1940, studying with American realist painter Reginald Marsh.

Still Life with Cow Skull- Roy Lichtenstein

Still Life with Cow Skull- Roy Lichtenstein

Following his graduation from the Franklin School for Boys in Manhattan in 1940, Lichtenstein attended The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. His college studies were interrupted in 1943, when he was drafted and sent to Europe for World War II.

After his wartime service, Lichtenstein returned to Ohio State in 1946 to finish his undergraduate degree and master’s degree—both in fine arts. He briefly taught at Ohio State before moving to Cleveland and working as a window-display designer for a department store, an industrial designer and a commercial-art instructor.

Commercial Success and Pop Art

In the late 1940s, Lichtenstein exhibited his art in galleries nationwide, including in Cleveland and New York City. In the 1950s, he often took his artistic subjects from mythology and from American history and folklore, and he painted those subjects in styles that paid homage to earlier art, from the 18th century through modernism.

Lichtenstein began experimenting with different subjects and methods in the early 1960s, while he was teaching at Rutgers University. His newer work was both a commentary on American popular culture and a reaction to the recent success of Abstract Expressionist painting by artists like Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning.

Girl with Tear I- Roy Lichtenstein

Girl with Tear I- Roy Lichtenstein

Instead of painting abstract, often subject-less canvases as Pollock and others had had done, Lichtenstein took his imagery directly from comic books and advertising. Rather than emphasize his painting process and his own inner, emotional life in his art, he mimicked his borrowed sources right down to an impersonal-looking stencil process that imitated the mechanical printing used for commercial art.

Lichtenstein’s best-known work from this period is “Whaam!,” which he painted in 1963, using a comic book panel from a 1962 issue of DC Comics’All-American Men of War as his inspiration. Other works of the 1960s featured cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and advertisements for food and household products. He created a large-scale mural of a laughing young woman (adapted from an image in a comic book) for the New York State Pavilion of the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City.

Melody- Roy Lichtenstein

Melody- Roy Lichtenstein

Lichtenstein became known for his deadpan humor and his slyly subversive way of building a signature body of work from mass-reproduced images. By the mid-1960s, he was nationally known and recognized as a leader in the Pop Art movement that also included Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist and Claes Oldenburg. His art became increasingly popular with both collectors and influential art dealers like Leo Castelli, who showed Lichtenstein’s work at his gallery for 30 years. Like much Pop Art, it provoked debate over ideas of originality, consumerism and the fine line between fine art and entertainment.

Later Career

By the late 1960s, Lichtenstein had stopped using comic book sources. In the 1970s his focus turned to creating paintings that referred to the art of early 20th century masters like Picasso, Henri Matisse, Fernand Léger and Salvador Dalí.

In the 1980s and ’90s, he also painted representations of modern house interiors, brushstrokes and mirror

Drowning Girl- Roy Lichtenstein

Drowning Girl- Roy Lichtenstein

reflections, all in his trademark, cartoon-like style. He also began working in sculpture.

In the 1980s, Lichtenstein received several major large-scale commissions, including a 25-foot-high sculpture titled “Brushstrokes in Flight” for the Port Columbus International Airport in Columbus, Ohio and a five-story-tall mural for the lobby of the Equitable Tower in New York.

Lichtenstein was committed to his art until the end of his life, often spending at least 10 hours a day in his studio. His work was acquired by major museum collections around the world, and he received numerous honorary degrees and awards, including the National Medal of Arts in 1995.

Personal Life and Death

Roy Lichtenstein. Portræt / Portrait, 1977

Roy Lichtenstein. Portræt / Portrait, 1977

Lichtenstein married twice. He and his first wife, Isabel, whom he married in 1949 and divorced in 1967, had two sons, David and Mitchell. He married Dorothy Herzka in 1968.

Lichtenstein died of complications from pneumonia on September 29, 1997, at the New York University Medical Center in Manhattan.

Biography is from www.biography.com.

I hope you enjoy my tribute today.  I’m trying to get a little ahead so that I can relax tomorrow on Thanksgiving.  I hope you all have a great holiday and I’ll see you tomorrow on Day 331!

Best,

Linda

Regret- Tribute to Roy Lichtenstein Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Regret- Tribute to Roy Lichtenstein
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View Regret- Tribute to Roy Lichtenstein Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
Regret- Tribute to Roy Lichtenstein
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Regret- Tribute to Roy Lichtenstein Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Regret- Tribute to Roy Lichtenstein
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Regret- Tribute to Roy Lichtenstein Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Regret- Tribute to Roy Lichtenstein
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Regret- Tribute to Roy Lichtenstein Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Regret- Tribute to Roy Lichtenstein
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

 

Day 297- William Anastasi- Master of Accretion

It’s Day 297 and I happened to find this artist randomly and I’m so glad I did!  I was in the mood to do some conceptual art and I like the way this artist thinks.  Please join me in honoring William Anastasi today.

William Anastasi

William Anastasi

Untitled- William Anastasi

Untitled- William Anastasi

William Anastasi (b. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1933) is an American painter and visual artist. He has lived and worked in New York City since the early 1960s.

His work is predominantly abstract and conceptual. Early works such as Relief (1961) and Issue (1966) incorporate the use of industrial and construction materials. His works are held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum, the Walker Art Center, the National Gallery of Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2010 Anastasi was awarded The John Cage Award, an unrestricted grant awarded biennially, from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts.

Currently exhibited works include “Nine Polaroid Photographs of a Mirror”,

Subway Drawing- William Anastasi

Subway Drawing- William Anastasi

currently at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Biography above is from wikipedia.

American, b. 1933

William Anastasi, 60 Minutes, 1987

William Anastasi, 60 Minutes, 1987

A primary player in the first generation of American Conceptual artists, William Anastasi is a “classmate” of such artists as Andy Warhol, Sol LeWitt, and Hans Haacke. Though his name may not be as well known as his more famous contemporaries, his work is no less compelling. Anastasi’s formal education includes and is limited to high school, however he has lectured at numerous institutions including The School of Visual Arts where he taught for 18 years; University of North Carolina, and Yale University.

Well known for his delving concepts, the media of his work takes all forms. Anastasi’s subway drawings which prevail as some of his most

Pocket drawing 9.9.11, 2011 pencil on chinese silk paper- William Anastasi

Pocket drawing 9.9.11, 2011
pencil on chinese silk paper- William Anastasi

subtle albeit engaging works. Stemming from his Blind Drawing series, the Subway Drawings take their shape from the motion of the subway cars on which he rides. Placing the pencil on the page, the turns of the track and ridges in the wheels push the artist’s hand this way and that creating a cacophony of marks, reminiscent of a naive scribble. The chance taken in this manner of working is what drives the mystery and tension that is inherent to the process of making.

Untitled, 2013 one gallon of industrial high-gloss enamel, thrown- William Anastasi

Untitled, 2013
one gallon of industrial high-gloss enamel, thrown- William Anastasi

Anastasi’s work has enjoyed a star studded collection of showings nationally and internationally including Dwan Gallery, New York; The Mattress Factory Museum, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; The Guggenheim Museum, New York; and Stalke Galleri, Copenhagen.

Info above is from artsy.com.

One day, Anastasi was taking a ride on the New York city subway to play chess with a friend across town. He had his drawing supplies with him, so he taped a piece of paper to a board, put the board in his lap, held a pencil in his hand touching the paper, and closed his eyes. Then he let the bouncing and tilting of the subway car move the pencil. The drawing that he made on the way to see his friend that day was – in a way – a drawing of his trip.

When William Anastasi took art classes at school, he learned to draw in the regular way – with his eyes open, looking at the paper. He wondered what his drawings would look like if he didn’t use his eyes, so he began to experiment. He discovered that he liked drawing this way, and even liked the drawings themselves better than when he looked at what he was doing.

Sometimes Anastasi will tie a piece of cloth over his eyes like a blindfold and take a pencil in each hand, drawing for a specific length of

In Heat Portfolio: Semiconscious, 2007- William Anastasi

In Heat Portfolio: Semiconscious, 2007- William Anastasi

time. He calls these his “timed blind drawings.” That’s what he did at the Mattress Factory.

Untitled (July 25, 2010 Laporte), 2010 Ink & graphite on paper- William Anastasi

Untitled (July 25, 2010 Laporte), 2010
Ink & graphite on paper- William Anastasi

For one drawing, called April 15, 1989, 32 minutes, 4B, he held a 4B pencil in each hand. With his eyes covered, he moved from one end of the room to the other for exactly 32 minutes, marking the wall in big, sweeping movements as far as his arms could reach.

Excerpt above is from The Mattress Factory Art Museum.

Read this wonderful interview with him here on artsy.net.

I hope you enjoy my piece today.  I painted with a blindfold on and with a timer for 10 minutes.

I decided to do it with white pen on a

Me drawing blind-folded...10 minutes.

Me drawing blind-folded…10 minutes.

black background.  There were moments while scribbling where I thought things like, I want to draw a bird, a face, a lightning bolt, a cloud, etc.  There is something magical about not knowing at all how things will turn out.  I love my end result.  It was a release!  I will see you tomorrow on Day 298.

Best,

Linda

10 Minute Blind Drawing- Tribute to William Anastasi Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic and Pen on Canvas

10 Minute Blind Drawing- Tribute to William Anastasi
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic and Pen on Canvas

Side-View 10 Minute Blind Drawing- Tribute to William Anastasi Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic and Pen on Canvas

Side-View
10 Minute Blind Drawing- Tribute to William Anastasi
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic and Pen on Canvas

Close-Up 1 10 Minute Blind Drawing- Tribute to William Anastasi Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic and Pen on Canvas

Close-Up 1
10 Minute Blind Drawing- Tribute to William Anastasi
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic and Pen on Canvas

Close-Up 2 10 Minute Blind Drawing- Tribute to William Anastasi Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic and Pen on Canvas

Close-Up 2
10 Minute Blind Drawing- Tribute to William Anastasi
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic and Pen on Canvas

Close-Up 3 10 Minute Blind Drawing- Tribute to William Anastasi Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic and Pen on Canvas

Close-Up 3
10 Minute Blind Drawing- Tribute to William Anastasi
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic and Pen on Canvas

Day 288- Elaine de Kooning- Returning to Things

It’s Day 288 and I was excited to work on today’s painting.  Another artist I could’ve sworn I had already paid tribute to!  Join me in honoring Elaine de Kooning today!

Elaine de Kooning

Elaine de Kooning

Elaine de Kooning, Bacchus #63, 1982

Elaine de Kooning, Bacchus #63, 1982

Elaine de Kooning (March 12, 1918 – February 1, 1989)

Elaine de Kooning was born Elaine Marie Catherine Fried in 1918 (although she would later claim her birth year was 1920), to Marie and Charles Frank Fried, a plant manager for the Bond Bread Company in Brooklyn, NY. She was the first of four children who were all raised in the Sheepshead Bay neighborhood of Brooklyn. Elaine’s younger sister, Marjorie, once recalled that their mother was not the most attentive and loving parent, but she did instill in her children a love for the arts, often taking them to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and to several Broadway shows.

Elaine was clearly their mother’s favorite of the four children. According to an old friend

Bullfight- Elaine de Kooning

Bullfight- Elaine de Kooning

of Elaine’s, Marie’s nickname for her oldest daughter was “Samson,” from the Old Testament figure who was granted great strength by God. Marie was an eccentric and highly intelligent woman who was frequently seen walking around town in disheveled clothing and heavy makeup.

Self-Portrait

Self-Portrait

In the late 1920s, a neighbor reported Marie to the police for neglecting her children, and when the police arrived at the Fried home, Marie had to be physically forced from the premises. She was committed to the Creedmoor Psychiatric

Bullfight La Corrida- Elaine de Kooning

Bullfight La Corrida- Elaine de Kooning

Center in Queens Village for a year, during which time the children’s primary caregiver was their housekeeper. Elaine de Kooning became a surrogate parent for her younger siblings.

In 1932, de Kooning began attending Erasmus Hall High School where she excelled at nearly everything, including sports and academics. Four years later, she enrolled at Hunter College in Manhattan, but dropped out after only a few weeks of classes.

After leaving Hunter, de Kooning enrolled in classes at the Leonardo da Vinci Art School, located on 3rd Avenue and 34th Street, where artists employed by the New Deal-funded WPA (Works Progress Administration) were working as teachers. It was at the da Vinci School where she met artist Robert Jonas, whom she dated briefly, and remained close to throughout her life.

Portrait of John F. Kennedy- Elaine de Kooning

Portrait of John F. Kennedy- Elaine de Kooning

While attending classes at the da Vinci School, de Kooning became politically active, representing the school at meetings of the leftist John Reed Club. At these meetings she attempted to organize students into a new auxiliary union for artists, simply called the Artists’ Union. It was also at the John Reed Club meetings where she met artist Milton Resnick, who was representing the American Artists School. Resnick and de Kooning began dating soon thereafter, at which point she dropped out of Leonardo da Vinci and enrolled in classes at American Artists, where she learned from teachers Stuart Davis and Raphael Soyer.

Through her involvement with the American Artists School, de Kooning became active with

Untitled Corrida- Elaine de Kooning

Untitled Corrida- Elaine de Kooning

the Young Communist League (YCL), and frequently attended workers camps and other meetings sponsored by the Communist Party. To support herself financially during her student years, de Kooning joined the Models’ Union to find work as an artist’s model.

In the autumn of 1938, Elaine’s art teacher introduced her to the 34-year-old Dutch emigre Willem (Bill) de Kooning, but there is little evidence to suggest any romantic connection at their initial meeting. Elaine was with Resnick at the time, who had supposedly commented once to her, “Bill is going to be the greatest painter in the country.”

Untitled 1965- Elaine de Kooning

Untitled 1965- Elaine de Kooning

Shortly after their introduction, a friend of de Kooning’s took her to Willem’s studio. Later in life, Elaine recalled, “It was the cleanest place I ever saw in my life. It had painted gray floors, white walls, one table…one easel, one fantastically good phonograph that cost $800 when he was only making $22 a week, and one painting of a man on the easel.”

Shortly after meeting, Willem offered to give Elaine drawing lessons, which she

Portrait of Jack Greenbaum- Elaine de Kooning

Portrait of Jack Greenbaum- Elaine de Kooning

accepted. In late 1938, de Kooning finally sold her first work, a watercolor, for $10.

Photographer Rudy Burkhardt, who Willem introduced to Elaine, later recalled that “Bill was incredibly in love with her, but she didn’t treat him very well at the beginning… She would lean back on the couch and say, ‘Bill. Cigarette.’ And he would leap to get it.” In 1939, the year after the two artists met, de Kooning moved into Willem’s studio on West 22nd Street.

On December 9, 1943, Elaine and Willem were married at a small, understated ceremony at City Hall. De Kooning later recalled that the wedding itself was “kind of bleak… afterwards, we went to a bar in the downtown district and we all had a drink… it was kind of amusing.”

Elaine de Kooning, Al Lazar (Man in a Hotel Room), 1954

Elaine de Kooning, Al Lazar (Man in a Hotel Room), 1954

Working and teaching outside the shadow of her more famous husband, de Kooning gained acclaim as one of America’s premier artists. In 1962, she received a commission from the White House to paint the portrait of President John F. Kennedy; an impressive honor bestowed upon an artist commonly associated with the bohemian New York School of painting. De Kooning then spent the better part of 1963 fine-tuning the portrait, collecting hundreds of photographs of Kennedy, and drawing short-hand sketches of him whenever he appeared on TV. The resulting portrait remains one of de Kooning’s most well-known and celebrated paintings, and easily stands out in the long line of presidential portraits.

She died February 1, 1989.

Partial biography is from www.theartstory.org.

I decided to use a few matador/bullfighting photos as reference for my piece today, since it seemed to be a recurring theme in some of her paintings.  I really enjoyed the gestural and fluid style of today’s piece.  I think I needed to return to that after doing artists like van Gogh and Matisse this week!  I hope you enjoy my piece and I’ll see you tomorrow on Day 289!

Best,

Linda

Matador- Tribute to Elaine de Kooning Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Matador- Tribute to Elaine de Kooning
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Side View Matador- Tribute to Elaine de Kooning Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Side View
Matador- Tribute to Elaine de Kooning
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Matador- Tribute to Elaine de Kooning Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Matador- Tribute to Elaine de Kooning
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Matador- Tribute to Elaine de Kooning Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Matador- Tribute to Elaine de Kooning
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Matador- Tribute to Elaine de Kooning Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Matador- Tribute to Elaine de Kooning
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Day 242- Anne Appleby- Inner Dialogue

It’s Day 242 and I’ve been working on a couple of large canvas pieces…excited about that.  I wanted to work on a nice relaxing piece for my daily painting and found today’s artist.  I love her paintings and the colors she puts together.  AND again it was more difficult than I thought.  Join me in honoring Anne Appleby today.

Anne Appleby

Anne Appleby

Pea- Anne Appleby

Pea- Anne Appleby

Anne Appleby (born 1954) is an American color field/landscape painter. Her works, always bearing titles from the natural world—“Sweet Pine”, “Summer Aspen”, “Gem”—are simple arrangements of colored canvas panels. Each panel is, at a glance, monochromatic, but closer inspection reveals deep and luminous gradations of hue.

She received her B.F.A. in 1977 from the San Francisco Art Institute. Before attending the Art Institute, Appleby spent a fifteen-year apprenticeship with an Ojibwe Indian elder in Montana. From him, she learned her patient observation of nature.

Her work is often shown with that of “reductive” painters, but it does not exactly fit into

Anne Appleby, Redbud, 2008

Anne Appleby, Redbud, 2008

the “pure” painting philosophy held by many of them. As Kenneth Baker wrote in 2004, “using no forms except monochrome panels, Appleby must struggle often with the potential problem of repetition. But [she] achieves a freshness and distinctness that persuade a viewer that she means each one. It is as if she has learned to translate energy of intent directly into radiance of color.”

Salmon Pea- Anne Appleby

Salmon Pea- Anne Appleby

Although Appleby’s paintings are composed of abstract panels each essentially a single color, she thinks of them as landscapes. She carefully observes particular plants or particular seasons and uses their colors as they grow and change in works that are particular to them. “As I work, I develop an inner dialogue about the meaning of what I’m doing,” she says. “But I can’t paint that. I can’t even speak it. It’s denser than my activity.”

Anne Appleby currently splits her time between San Francisco and her home on the

Winter 1999- Anne Appleby

Winter 1999- Anne Appleby

edge of a national forest in Jefferson City, Montana. She has participated in group exhibitions in institutions such as the Tacoma Art Museum in Washington, the American Academy in Rome, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, where in 1996 she was awarded the SFMoMA SECA Art Award. She was also the 1999 recipient of the Biennial Award from the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation in New York. Appleby shows her paintings primarily at San Francisco’s Gallery Paule Anglim. Her works are held in various museum collections, including the Cleveland Museum of Art and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Biography is from wikipedia.

I hope you enjoy my piece today.  I had a great time painting.  I will see you tomorrow on Day 243.

Best,

Linda

Vert Brun- Tribute to Anne Appleby Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Vert Brun- Tribute to Anne Appleby
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View Vert Brun- Tribute to Anne Appleby Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
Vert Brun- Tribute to Anne Appleby
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Vert Brun- Tribute to Anne Appleby Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Vert Brun- Tribute to Anne Appleby
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Vert Brun- Tribute to Anne Appleby Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Vert Brun- Tribute to Anne Appleby
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Vert Brun- Tribute to Anne Appleby Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Vert Brun- Tribute to Anne Appleby
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas