Joseph Adolphe

Joseph Adolphe
Originally from Calgary, Canada, illustrator and gallery artist Joseph Adolphe now lives and works in Connecticut.

His painted illustrations have an immediate, painterly quality that almost seems casual, with paint laid on in dabs and chunks, rough textured backgrounds and a loose, comfortable command of his materials. Many of his illustrations blend drawing and painting, with varying degrees of the two deftly mixed in his compositions.

His drawings also often retain a rough, informal feeling, with lines deliberately retaining a sketchlike quality and areas of the image suggesting different degrees of finish. He works in a variety of media, pen and ink, graphite, oil, acrylic and collage. He also often takes his illustrations created in traditional media into the computer for additional digital modification.

Adolphe is an associate professor in the Department of Fine Arts at St. Johns University in Queens.

He maintains a website for his illustration work, though I found his work easier to view on the site of his artist representatives, Gerald & Cullen Rapp.

He has a separate website for his gallery work, which ranges from recent work in which figures and ground are interworked in great scraping sheets of texture, to older pieces that are more straightforward figurative compositions, portraits sketched and painted on index cards, still life and painterly urban landscapes.

 
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Simone Bingmer

Simone Bingmer
Pastel is a fascinating medium that traverses the boundaries of both drawing and painting. In the hands of portrait artist Simone Bingmer it falls into the latter category, taking on the refined appearance of oil painting, but with a textural surface quality unique to the dry medium.

Bingmer lives and works in Cologne, Germany. She starts the portrait process with a phase she calls brainstorming. This is a search for the sitter’s personality that involves conversation and the taking of numerous reference photographs. From there she proceeds with an initial pencil drawing, which is then enlarged and transferred to canvas as the basis for the pastel painting.

Bingmer’s website features a gallery of her portraits of children, men, women and animals. She appears to find her greatest inspiration in portraits of women and young girls. The former allow her to engage in elegant rendering and classical compositions, the latter have the most emotional resonance, with her young sitters often displaying a vibrant force of personality.

The images in her gallery are linked to somewhat larger versions, but some of the most fascinating images are only available in the Flash slideshows that are at the top of the home page and other non-gallery pages. In those you can see larger details of the portraits that show the surface texture and her adept handling of the medium.

 
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Telemaco Signorini

Telemaco Signorini
Telemaco Signorini was one of the premier members of the Macchiaioli, a group of Italian painters working in Tuscany in the latter half of the 19th Century. They were contemporaries of the French painters of the Barbizon School; and like them, were precursors of Impressionism in their devotion to painting outdoors, painting everyday subjects and seeking to capture natural light and color in their work.

Macchaioli comes form “macchie” meaning spots or patches; and, like the term “Impressionist”, Macchiaioli was originally a derogatory term coined by reviewers, referring to the “unfinished” nature of their paintings and the discrete unblended areas of color they employed to achieve their luminous effects.

Along with Giovanni Fattori and Silvestro Lega, Signorini was at the core of the group, having met them at Caffé Michelangelo in Florence, and responding to their like-minded rejection of the restrictions of academic painting.

Though perhaps not as artistically adventurous as his compatriots, Signorini became the one most concerned with the underlying spirit and intention of their work; perhaps in a way comparable with Pissarro’s role among the Impressionists.

Signorini painted interiors as well as landscapes, and after volunteering during the Second Italian War of Independence, painted military themed works. Many of his later works also contain an element of social conscience.

Like his compatriots, Signorini retained much of his academic training and formal draftsmanship, elements that many of the French Impressionists would later eschew, and also utilized a deeper range of value than the Impressionists, even to the point of chiaroscuro.

Many of his most frequently reproduced works are scenes of Florence (Firenze) and the neighboring Tuscan countryside. Signorini was also an accomplished etcher, producing numerous wonderful plates of Florentine scenes.

 
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Fritz Kahn

Fritz Kahn
Dr. Fritz Kahn was a Berlin based gynecologist who wrote and illustrated a number of popular science books that showed the processes of the human body as though they were machines.

While the metaphors may be limited in terms of actually understanding biological functions, they make for great imagery.

Kahn was active in the 1920’s. In the 1930’s his books were banned by the Nazis and copies were burned along with other works by Jewish intellectuals. He was expelled from Germany, and just before the onset of WW II, escaped from Europe to the U.S. with personal help from Albert Einstein.

There is a website devoted to Kahn and his work, that includes a gallery.

A large reproduction of the image above (shown with details) can be found at the National Library of Medicine as part of their Dream Anatomy feature (see my post on Dream Anatomy).

His book, Fritz Kahn: Man Machine Maschine Mensch is still available in an edition that includes both the original German text and an English translation.

Henning M. Lederer has created an animated and interactive interpretation of the work above, for which there is a preview video on YouTube.

[Via Cyriaque Lamar on io9]

 
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Dan P. Carr

Dan P. Carr
Dan P. Carr is a Virginia based illustrator whose online illustration portfolio, as far as I can tell, consists of a Flickr set, and whose blog covers a number of delightfully rambling topics, from posts on choosing colors for palettes, to the names of colors in Old English, to vintage Cream videos, to Yeats poems, to Chicken recipes, all interspersed with reproduction of his very nice small still life paintings.

These, usually of fruit and vegetable subjects, are vibrantly colored, richly textured and have a painterly immediacy that is very appealing. Oddly, they are often linked to Flickr versions of the image that are essentially no larger than they are shown in the blog post.

His blog hasn’t been updated for a while, but past posts indicate that he has lapsed before and then returned with new posts. In the meanwhile there are plenty of idiosyncratic musings and delightful still lifes to keep you browsing through past posts for a while.

 
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Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History

Metropolitan Museum of Art: Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
The website of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is large and sprawling and full of amazing stuff, much like the museum itself. Also like the physical museum, wandering around and exploring is often rewarded with unexpected delights and treasures.

One of the treasures on the Met’s website is the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. Essentially a site of its own within the larger museum site, the Timeline is an ongoing project, sponsored by three foundations and created and maintained by the museum’s curatorial, conservation and education staff, that currently catalogues 6,000 works and places them within the contexts of time, place and thematic essays.

The Timeline’s features can be explored from any of these directions, as well by links to world religions, and directly searched via search box or index. You can search for artists or works of art, and many are featured in pages devoted specifically to the artist or work, as well as within the larger thematic essays.

Most of the articles have images that can be enlarged or zoomed, and are linked to further images and information within the museum’s larger object database.

From the Timeline’s front page you can flip through panels of works, timelines or thematic essays, or use the drop-down menus at top for access to dedicated pages for same, across geographic areas via world maps, or find works of art through a detailed search box.

Once drilled down to a topic, you can also follow the links in the “Related” section to any number of additional lines of browsing.

A major time sink as well as a tremendous resource.

 
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