Monthly Archives: July 2011

Hiroshige’s One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Hiroshige One Hundred Famous Views of Edo
In the mid 19th Century the great Japanese print maker Utagawa Hiroshige (also known as Ando Hiroshige) created his most well known and influential series of prints, titled One Hundred Famous Views of Edo.

These are considered to be among the greatest works in Japanese art.

The Brooklyn Museum, which has a complete set in its collection, has made images of the prints available on its website.

Hiroshige’s views of the city, known as modern day Tokyo, show the city and its environs in the four seasons. You can view them organized that way, browse by keyword, or browse them all in a single page of thumbnails.

The larger images also have a magnifier feature, that you may find useful (better than some, though a larger full image would still be much preferred). The regular images are large enough, however, to be enjoyed on their own.

Max Ginsburg

Max Ginsburg
Max Ginsburg is a powerful painter whose depictions of street scenes and city life resonate with humanity and the drama of daily life, as well as evoking the texture and vibrancy of the visual elements that make up the cityscape in which his subjects live and move.

Though he had formal instruction, Ginsburg learned much from his father, portrait painter Abraham Ginsburg, including his love of the representation of the visual world. Unfortunately, Max Ginsburg began his career at a time when the modernist establishment was actively devaluing the place of representational art.

Ginsburg turned his brush to illustration, working in the field for 24 years, and earning accolades as well as a prestigious roster of clients. All the while he continued to paint the city as he saw it.

Unlike many artists who have gone from a career as an illustrator into one as a gallery painter and seem to feel the need to distance themselves from their sordid past as a commercial artist, Ginsburg is perfectly comfortable with both aspects of his artistic career; he maintains two websites, one for his gallery art and another showcasing his history as an illustrator.

On his website as a painter you will find his work over time arranged by period, as well as some wonderful life studies and beautiful still life paintings.

On his illustration site, you will find his work arranged by genre, including delightfully characteristic romance novel illustrations and covers for young adult fiction. There is also a bio on the illustration site.

There is a Max Ginsburg Retrospective at the Salmagundi Club in New York on view from today until August 5, 2011. There is also a new book, Max Ginsburg Retrospective, showcasing his paintings from 1956 to 2010 that will be published in September but can be pre-ordered now.

[NOTE: The work on Ginsburg’s painting site includes paintings depicting the tragedy of war, and the abuse or a prisoner at Abu Ghraib that some may find disturbing and are NSFW.]

[Via Gurney Journey]

Mark Schultz: Various Drawings Volume 5

Mark Schultz: Various Drawings Volume 5
It’s customary for many comic book artists and illustrators to publish “sketchbooks”, collections of sketches and drawings of varying degrees of finish, which are frequently more of interest to their dedicated “must have anything” fans than to the more general readership.

And then there’s Mark Schultz.

Flesk Publications, a small artbook publisher who has a record of publishing beautiful volumes of work by terrific illustrators and comics artists, has been publishing collections of his drawings for some time.

It’s worthwhile noting that these collections have been titled “Various Drawings” rather than “sketchbooks”, and very appropriately so; not only are Schultz’s sketches and preliminaries more highly developed than many artists’ finished drawings, his finished drawings are exquisitely finessed.

These volumes include both — Schultz’s beautifully finished brush and ink drawings, and preliminary drawings, usually in pencil, that were done in preparation for the final.

The subject matter follows Schutz’s fondness for adventure fantasy, pulp novels, science fiction and, of course, dinosaurs.

For the uninitiated, Schultz is the creator of the wonderful comics series Xenozoic Tales, a version of which was known for a time as “Cadillacs and Dinosaurs”. I reviewed Flesk’s beautiful collection of the strip last December. The book has since then sold out of its initial press run, but Flesk has just announced that it is again available in a second printing.

Fan’s of Schultz’s comic art, among which I certainly count myself, have long waited for him to return to the series, which is still unfinished. Until he does, there is great delight to be taken in these collections, and they would also be of interest to anyone who enjoys superbly realized action adventure illustration.

I was delighted to receive a review copy of the latest collection, Mark Schultz: Various Drawings Volume 5, which continues to maintain the high level of terrific drawings showcased in the rest of the series.

Some of the drawings are commissions, many referencing existing adventure fantasy characters and stories, including Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, for which the image above, third down and the detail crop below it are of one of several preliminary drawings. The finished brush and ink drawing is presented in the book as a stunning double page fold-out.

All of these collections are an absolute treat. Mark Schultz: Various Drawings #1 and #2 are sold out, volumes #3, 4 and of course this new volume #5, are still available and can be ordered through the Flesk Publications store, along with the Mark Schultz: Blue Book (a collection of his preliminary drawings in non-photo blue pencil), a Xenozoic Tales print and the new printing of the Xenozoic collection.

In addition to the preview images available on the publisher’s pages for the individual titles (which have fortunately been getting a bit larger in more recent presentations), there is a general gallery of Schultz’s work on the Flesk site. Schultz, as far as I can determine, does not have a dedicated website or blog of his own.

Terry Strickland

Terry Strickland
Terry Strickland is a Birmingham, Alabama based painter who studied Graphic Design at the University of Central Florida. Before transitioning into gallery painting full time, she worked in turns as an illustrator, silk screen artist, courtroom sketch artist and teacher.

Strickland primarily paints portraits, though not as a commission portrait artist, but rather one who chooses portraits as her favored subject matter.

Her pieces often include her subjects in costumed roles or in series with themes that include references to fairy tales or Shakespeare plays, and a series of compositions on shaped canvas called “Awakening” (image above, top) that deal with the transitional period between teenager and adult.

In addition to the gallery on her website you will also find some larger images in the High Resolution and Works available for purchase sections.

Strickland also maintains a blog where she features new paintings, works in progress and often detail images that are somewhat more detailed than those on her website. The latter is nice in that her work, though she appears to bring it to a high degree of finish, often has interesting brush marks and textures when seen close up.

I particularly enjoy her use of backlighting, uplighting and chiaroscuro that gives many of her works a feeling of dimensionality and visual drama.

[Strickland has been on my list for some time, but a tip of the hat to Parka Blogs (@teohyc) for the reminder]

For the first time: Rembrandt & Degas

For the first time: Rembrandt & Degas
Edgas Degas, the member of the French Impressionist circle who adhered most closely to classical and academic traditions, took great inspiration in the works of Rembrandt, as did many other artists, and as Rembrandt himself took inspiration in other masters before him.

As part of their series of yearly exhibits focusing on the inspiration the Dutch masters of the Golden Age provided for later artists, the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam is presenting an exhibition titled For the first time: Rembrandt & Degas in which they explore the impact that Degas’ study of Rembrandt had on his own work.

They are doing this with works from both artists shown side by aide, and they have on their website an interactive that delves into the similarities of some works, notably self portraits but also other portraits, both in paintings and etchings.

The exhibition is on view in Amsterdam until 23 October 2011, and then travels to the U.S., where it will be on display at The Clark Institute in Williamstown, MA from November 13, 2011 to February 5, 2012, and then at the Met in NY from February to May in 2012.

Dale Chihuly

Dale Chihuly
Dale Chihuly is an American sculptor who does amazing and beautiful works in colored glass.

His works range from small pieces to large scale installations, both outdoor and indoor, often accompanied by the striking effects of dramatic lighting.

A large part of the appeal of his work, aside from the beautiful character of the material and the colors and patterns within it, is the inspiration he takes from natural forms. His graceful, fluid objects echo forms from plants, birds and even undersea life. The natural origins of his shapes are frequently emphasized by installations in which his sculptures are placed in natural settings, notably in botanical gardens.

Chihuly studied glass at the first program of its kind at the University of Wisconsin in the 1960’s. He had the opportunity to work at the famed Venini glass factory in Venice. He continued his studies at the Rhode Island School of Design, where he later returned to establish and teach a glass program for 10 years, and cofounded the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State.

Chihuly’s work is in a number of museums, both small and large (I frequently get to see his installation at the Delaware Art Museum, above, second down) and has been the subject of numerous exhibitions, one of which is a major exhibition now running at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: Chihuly: Through the Looking Glass, that is on view until August 2, 2011.

The museum has several videos and a slideshow feature on their website. Chihuly’s own website has several galleries, though the navigation is not as convenient as it might be. Take the trouble to drill down into subcategories like Exhibitions: Gardens or Glass Series: Fiori: Indoor to get to the actual galleries of work. There are also galleries of his preliminary drawings (above, 3rd down).