Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Holy Cows

Nebamun’s cattle
, fragment of a scene,Thebes, Egypt Late 18th Dynasty, around 1350 BC, The British Museum.

The Egyptians considered cows an essential element of life and survival. As the once fertile area of Northern Africa became a desert, the domesticated cow brought life and nourishment. The goddess Hathor was also frequently depicted as a cow's, or at least with the horns of cows as part of her crown.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

For Mother

At first glance it may seem that by entitling this piece Maman (Mother in French) that Louise Bourgeois was not fond of her mother, but that is not the case. The spider she created is protecting her sack of eggs and Bourgeois saw her as a nurturing yet formidable figure, just like her own mother.
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Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Black, White, and Ten Red by Alexander Calder, 1957, NGA, Washington.

Calder was from a family of artists but chose to himself to train as an engineer; skills that would serve him well when he changed course and began to study art at the Art Students League in NYC.

Friday, January 15, 2010


Flower Market, Tokyo by Robert Frederick Blum, c. 1892, The Manoogian Collection

Blum was born in Cincinnati where he worked for a lithographer before he began to take classes in drawing. He had a strong interest in all things Japanese as did many other artists at the time such as Whistler and Monet. Blum's preferred medium was pastels and he and W.M. Chase founded the Society of Painters in Pastel in New York.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Build Your Own

Pygmalion and Galatea by Jean-Leon Gerome, ca. 1890, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Gerome is well known for his beautiful paintings but he also took up sculpture late in his career and created a sculpture based on this same subject.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


Winter Sun by Alex Colville, 2005

Canadian artist Alex Colville paints highly detailed images in the pointillist style - unusual because of the slow exacting methods it requires - yet his subjects are so "usual" that his methods of achieving his look make you forget that they must have been created by a very meticulous and precise hand.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Attention Michigan Artists:

There is a contest taking place until February 15th where artists, designers, graphic artists, etc. are invited to create a poster in the WPA style to help promote Michigan.

The DIA currently has an exhibition of WPA works.

"The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) and Let's Save Michigan have issued an open call to artists, illustrators, and graphic designers for original posters to inspire Michiganders to revive their state. The new posters should be a call to action, and serve as part of a campaign to rally citizens to do the hard work that's necessary to position Michigan as a state that will thrive in the future. Ultimately, the posters should aim to be forward-looking, inspirational, and must include the phrase "Let's Save Michigan" in the design.

The hope is to highlight the actions and assets that are critical to moving the cities forward, whether that is renovating historic homes, planting community gardens, extensive public transportation and bike lines, public art, or whatever the artist believes will carry Michigan through the 21st century—and beyond"

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Looking Back

The Great City of Tenochtitlan by Diego Rivera, 1945, Mural from the National Palace, Mexico City.

Diego Rivera was an active and outspoken Communist who painted these murals (featuring the world of the Aztec people) after the Mexican Revolution as a way to give the Mexican people a sense of identity and pride in their history.
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