Eliot Hodgkin

Eliot Hodgkin, “Peeled Lemons”, 12/03/1958, Tempera on Board, 21.5 x 24.7 cm, Estate of Eliot Hodgkin, Exhibition: Royal Academy 1958

Born in Purley-on-Thames in June of 1905, Curwen Eliot Hodgkin was an English painter best known for his highly detailed still lifes. The only son of Charles Ernest Hodgkin and his wife Alice Jane Brooke, he was raised in a Quaker family related to Roger Eliot Fry, a prominent member of the Bloomsbury Group of artists. Eliot Hodgkin was also the younger cousin of abstract painter Sir Howard Hodgkin. 

Hodgkin received his early education at the Harrow School from 1919 to 1923. His initial formal art training was in London at the independent Byam Shaw School of Art. He later enrolled at the Royal Academy School where he studied under painter and draughtsman Francis Ernest Jackson, a student of both William-Adolphe Bouguereau and Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant. Hodgkin left the Royal Academy to prepare works for an upcoming exhibition at Liverpool’s Basnett Gallery. 

Eliot Hodgkin was very particular in the choice of subjects for his paintings; he would choose simple things, often natural objects, and meticulously arrange them against the painting’s background. Hodgkin originally painted in oils, both indoors and en plein air. Introduced in 1937 to a method of creating egg tempera by his friend and teacher Maxwell Armfield, he dedicated more of his time to painting indoors with egg tempera on primed hardboard. Hodgkin’s interest in egg tempera was influenced by the detailed work of such artists as Spanish painter Francisco de Zurbaran, known as the Spanish Caravaggio, and Adriaen Coorte, the Dutch Golden Age painter of small still lifes.

By the middle of the 1930s, Hodgkin had established himself as a painter of still lifes, landscapes and murals through regular exhibitions at the Royal Academy. Between 1934 and 1981, he took part in all the Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions. Three of Hodgkin’s works, including the 1939 “October”, were purchased at the summer exhibitions by the Chantrey Bequest founded by wealthy portrait sculptor and painter Sir Francis Chantrey. These three works were later presented to the Tate Gallery collection in London. In 1938, Hodgkin had his first solo exhibition at the Picture Hire Gallery on London’s Brook Street where he showed twenty-three works painted during a ten month span.

During the years of World War II, Eliot Hodgkin joined the Air Raid Precautions, an organization of wardens supporting citizens during air raids, and worked for the Home Intelligence Division of the Ministry of Information. He continued his painting during the war and produced paintings contrasting the ruins of London’s bomb sites with the vegetation that thrived in the devastation. For his work, he received a commission as part of the War Artists Scheme, a project devised and administered by Kenneth Clark, the Director of the National Gallery. 

Hodgkin taught briefly as a teacher in 1936 at the Westminster School of Art. He was offered the position of academic at the Royal Academy of Art in 1959; however, he declined in order to concentrate on his painting. Hodgkin wrote a novel, “She Closed the Door” in 1931 and, in the following year, six articles on mural decorations for the book “Fashion Drawing” published by Chapman and Hall. In 1949, he published “A Pictorial Gospel”, a collection of old master illustrations of the Gospel story. His last published work was an article entitled “How I Paint in Temper” for the Society of Painters in Tempera’s 1967 yearbook. 

Eliot Hodgkin continued his painting until his late seventies. Due to eyesight difficulties, his work slowly diminished until it stopped completely in 1979. During the last years of his life, he suffered from axatia, loss of full control of his bodily movements. Eliot Hodgkin died in May of 1987 at the age of eighty-one; his ashes are buried in the churchyard of St. John’s Ladbroke Grove in London. 

“Why tempera?… Because tempera enables me most nearly to achieve the effects I am aiming at… I try to show things exactly as they are, yet with some of their mystery and poetry, and as though seen for the first time. And it seems to me that, in trying to depict “a World in a grain of sand”, perhaps the best medium is tempera, because it combines clarity and definition with a certain feeling of remoteness.” – Eliot Hodgkin, 1946, Royal Watercolor Society Catalogue

Note: More extensive information on Eliot Hodgkin’s life and work can be found at The Estate of Eliot Hodgkin website located at: https://www.eliothodgkin.com

Top Insert Image: Howard Coster, “Eliot Hodgkin”, 1953, Silver Gelatin Print, 22.9 x 17.8 cm, National Portrait Gallery, London

Second Insert Image: Eliot Hodgkin, “Five Gladiolus Bulbs”, 04/03/1954, Tempera on Board, 10.2 x 13.7 cm, Private Collection, Exhibited at Leicester Galleries in 1956

Third Insert Image: Eliot Hodgkin, “Portrait of Douglas Fitzpatrick”, Date Unknown (circa 1930), Pencil and Watercolor, 58.4 x 47 cm, Private Collection

Bottom Insert Image: Eliot Hodgkin, “Orto Chiuso, Malcontenta, Italy”, 1957, Oil on Canvas, 24.2 x 19.7 cm, Private Collection, Exhibition Waddesdon 2019

Gordon Coster

The Photography of Gordon Coster

Born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1906, Gordon H. Coster was an American photographer known for his abstracted industrial images and his photojournalism documenting civil rights and labor issues. Interested in photography from an early age,  he joined the Baltimore Camera Club in the early 1920s and garnered a reputation when his modernistic images were accepted in international photographic salons. At nineteen years old, Coster’s 1925 Bauhaus-inspired image of Baltimore’s Washington Monument, “Shadow of the Washington Monument”, was published in the Baltimore Sun’s rotogravure section. 

From 1920 to 1925, Gordon Coster worked for the Bachrach Portrait Studio in Baltimore. Once photography replaced drawing in advertising illustration, he moved to New York City where he became employed by the prestigious Underwood & Underwood. Originally the largest producer and distributor of stereoscopic and other photographic images, the photographic studio became a pioneer in the field of news bureau photography. Coster secured his place in the field by creating innovative advertising and industrial photo-illustrations for newspapers, magazines and catalogues. 

From the beginning of 1927 through 1936, Coster documented labor union activities. He relocated to Chicago in 1930 where he founded a mid-western branch of Underwood & Underwood. During his years in Chicago, Coster developed an unique artistic style for his evening cityscapes. These experimental works presented an abstracted perspective of Chicago’s buildings, shot with tilted angles and occasionally through unfocused lenses. Coster shifted his career to photojournalism with freelance work for such periodicals as Life, Scientific American, Time, Fortune, and Holiday.

Gordon Coster’s personal commitment to the welfare of his fellow citizens led to many extensive documentary projects. In the late 1930s, he produced many projects dedicated to American life in the mid-west. Coster created a series on the lives of wheat farmers and a detailed photo-documentary on the Tennessee Valley Authority Dam Project. Passed in 1933, the TVA project, though controversial at the time, transformed the wild Tennessee Valley river system into a stable region with flood-control, safe navigation, electrification, and economic development. Through the 1930s and 1940s, Coster documented the impact of World War II on the U.S. home front through images of  factories repurposed for military production, women assembly-line workers, and rallies to support the troops.

In 1946 Bauhaus professor László Moholy-Nagy, who founded the Chicago Institute of Design, invited Coster to lecture at the institute’s course “The New Vision in Photography” alongside such eminent photographers as Paul Strand, Erwin Blumenfeld and Berenice Abbott. Coster returned to lecture in 1950 to 1951 and later in 1960 with a focus on socially-oriented themes. In 1955, Edward Steichen selected Coster’s work for inclusion in the landmark exhibition “The Family of Man” held at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. 

Gordon Coster ceased his photographic work in 1964 and eventually retired in 1982. He passed away in 1988 at the age of sixty-two. Coster’s work has been included in exhibitions at Houston’s Contemporary Art Museum, the Stephen Daiter Gallery in Chicago,  London’s Viewfinder Gallery, and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Notes: Gordon Coster’s  photographic work is included in the current 2023 exhibition “Trick Photography and Visual Effects”  (January 19 to March 18) at the Keith de Lellis Gallery located at 41 East 57th Street in New York City.

A major collection of Gordon Coster’s work, including over twenty-five thousand prints, negatives, transparencies, and film reels, is housed at the Research Center of the Chicago History Museum. 

Top Insert Image: Gordon Coster, “Self Portrait”, circa 1945, Gelatin Silver Print, 20.3 x 25.4 cm, Private Collection

Second Insert Image: Gordon Coster, “Eliot Elisofon”, 1942, Gelatin Silver Print, Life Magazine Cover July 13, 1942, International Center of Photography

Bottom Insert Image: Gordon Coster, “Chicago Outdoor Street Market”, 1944, Gelatin Silver Print, Life Magazine Collection, 33.7 x 26.7 cm, International Center of Photography

R. H. Ives Gammell

The Paintings of R. H. Ives Gammell

Born into a wealthy Providence, Rhode Island family in 1883, Robert Hale Ives Gammell was an American artist, one of the last American artists who were trained in the French Academic tradition of the late nineteenth-century. His work shows the influence of French Neoclassical painters Jacque-Louis David and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, as well as Academic painter Jean-Léon Gérôme. Gammell was also inspired by the work of his teachers: William Sargeant Kendall, with whom he studied from 1906 to 1914, and Boston artist William McGregor Paxton who mentored him from 1928 to 1930.

R. H. Ives Gammell attended Groton School, a private college-preparatory boarding school, where he spent much of his personal time drawing. His formal art education began at Boston’s School of the Museum of Fine Arts under Impressionist painters Joseph DeCamp, Edmund C. Tarbell, and Philip Leslie Hale. Gammell later studied in Paris at the Académia Julian and the Atelier Baschet under genre painter Henri Royer and portrait artist William Laparra. Although he had intended to stay five or six years in France, these studies in Paris were interrupted by his service in the United States military during World War I.

Upon his return to the United States, Gammell briefly returned to his studies at the Boston Museum School. However, he was frustrated as he felt that, although the standards established by the great nineteenth-century painters were generally accepted and understood, the procedures and principles for the construction of large figural compositions and imagined scenes were not being taught. Trained as an impressionist, Gammell was interest in painting decorative subjects in the academic tradition. He began his career in the Boston tradition with portraits, nudes and interior scenes with primarily female figures. As he matured, Gammell turned to ancient history, Greek mythology, literary and religious scenes, and psychology particularly that of C. G. Jung, for his subjects.

R. H. Ives Gammell produced many works in the 1930s; however, the recognition that he was working against the current trend in art and other stress factors led to a nervous breakdown in 1939. While recovering, Gammell read Carl Jung’s “Psychology of the Unconscious” and discovered an approach to a series of paintings based on poet Francis Thompson’s “The Hound of Heaven”. Read while a sixteen-year old student, this poem had held Gammell’s imagination and formed the basis of a number of sketches. He now saw Jung’s work as a link between myths, symbols, poetry and the recurring emotional patterns of human life.

Gammell had begun planning in 1941 the sequence of images that would embrace many of the themes he had considered throughout his career. His “Hound of Heaven” series consisted of twenty-three large format oil on canvas paintings, each being 200.7 x 68.6 cm in size. These illustrations of Thompson’s poem contain images and symbols drawn from various ancient and modern sources and conjure up deep human responses. The series, completed and exhibited in 1956, is considered by many to be Gammell’s greatest achievement, one which represented his artistic aims and ideas.

Starting in the 1940s, R. H. Ives Gammell taught at the Fenway Studios in Boston. His classes included the study of anatomy, memory drawing and the sight-size method, a technique that ,when viewed from a set vantage point, presents the drawing and subject with exactly the same dimensions. Among his many students were painters Robert Cormier and Richard Frederick Lack, the founder of Classical Realism; Robert Douglas Hunter known for his academic still lifes; and Samuel Rose known for his realistic and surreal subjects.

Gammell publish a book of art criticism in 1946 entitled “Twilight of Painting”, in which he argued that the tradition of European craftsmanship was undermined by modern art with its emphasis on abstraction. He also wrote a monograph on the Boston painter Dennis Miller Bunker, one of the first biographies on this innovator of Impressionism, and the 1961 book “Shop Talk of Edgar Degas”, a discussion of Degas’s connection to the act of painting. Gammell wrote a book of essays entitled “The Boston Painters: 1900-1930”, an examination of the genesis, contributions and motivations of the Boston School artists, many of whom Gammell knew personally. This volume was published posthumously.

Robert Hale Ives Gammell died, at the age of eighty-eight, in his Boston home in April of 1981. His papers, diaries, and notebooks with sketches are housed in the Archives of American Art of the Smithsonian Museum.

Note: A transcript of an 1973 Oral History interview with painter Robert Douglas Hunter, in which he discusses his years as a student of H. R. Ives Gammell, can be found at the Smithsonian Archives of American Art sit located at: https://www.aaa.si.edu/download_pdf_transcript/ajax?record_id=edanmdm-AAADCD_oh_212739

Second Insert Image: R.H. Ives Gammell, “The Predicament”, 1958, Oil on Canvas

Third Insert Image: R. H. Ives Gammell, “William” 1915, Oil on Canvas, 74.9 x 59 cm, Provincetown Art Collection

Bottom Insert Image: Robert Ives Gammell, “The fates”, circa 1930, Oil on Paper, 26.7 x 28.6 cm, Private Collection

Maurizio Bonfanti

The Paintings of Maurizio Bonfanti

Born in 1952 in Bergamo, a city in the alpine Lombardy region, Maurizio Bonfanti is an Italian painter and the son of fresco painter Angelo Bonfanti. He currently works from his studio in Bergamo close to his home in Torre Boldone.

Maurizio Bonfanti’s formal artistic education began with studies at the Liceo Artistico in Bergamo with additional courses in etching and intaglio at Bergamo’s Accademia di Bella Arti. In addition to his art studies, Bonfanti also studied modern literature at the Università Statale in Milan. In 1973, he left his study of modern literature and began to pursue his career as a painter. 

Bonfanti spent the decade of the 1970s exclusively working in the medium of etching but later made the decision to concentrate on painting. His work, which deals with the themes of nature, the human body and urban landscapes, is produced using experimental techniques influenced by his knowledge of etching. Bonfanti paints in thematic cycles, many of which are influenced by his early religious upbringing. His work has been influenced by such figurative artists as painter Renzo Vespignani, sculptor Augusto Perez, and postwar painters Gionfranco Ferroni and Giuseppe Guerreschi.

The development of a specific viewing angle seen in many of Bonfanti’s paintings was influenced by his experience in the photographic field. The focus point for his figurative work lies with the faceless human figures placed central in his compositions. These figures are posed theatrically, either standing, seated or crouching, and often portrayed alone, naked and surrounded by darkness. These compositions, represented in large-format images on canvas paper, display tension between the fragility of man highlighted by body language and the dense mixture of the unraveling, surrounding space. Faceless, the central figure’s condition and emotional state are inferred by the viewer solely through the pose of the depicted body.

Since 1978, Bonfanti’s work has been shown in many collective and solo exhibitions, both in Italy and abroad. He has participated in two prestigious exhibitions at Utrecht’s Contemporary Art Centre in Schalkwijk and showed in major exhibitions in Belgium and Holland. In 2001, on the occasion of the first Day of Remembrance, Bonfanti exhibited a cycle of large-format works entitled “Five Doors in Memory of the Shoah” in the Tempietto of the Synagogue of Turin. 

Bonfanti won the 2004 Prize of the Lord Mayor at the  International Biennial of Drawing in Pilsen. In 2012, his cycle of works, inspired by the biblical text “Ezechiele: 37”, was exhibited at the Museo Bernareggi in Bergamo. Bonfanti showed his work at the 2015 “A Different Perspective: Artwork by the Laureates of the Biennial of Drawing Pilsen” held at the Museum of West Bohemia. In 2016, his solo show “Limen” was held inside the historic Palazzo Storico del Credito Bergamasco in Bergamo. 

Maurizio Bonfanti taught painting techniques at the Liceo Artistico from 1976 to 1983. Since 1983, he has been a teacher of drawing and visual communication at a design and advertising school in Bergamo. 

“The surface of the paper on which I create my nudes suffers a series of attacks, which are an integral part of the expressive language of my works. I try to give substance to a smooth and neutral surface, and make it undergo a deterioration alongside the image, which is also intentionally eroded and scratched. The “wounded” paper is then glued to the canvas, creating the image of a body which seems to re-emerge from the past, but carries with it the fragility and energy of contemporary man.” — Maurizio Bonfanti, Excerpt from the 2021 Novitas Gallery exhibition

Second Insert Image: Maurizio Bonfanti, “Figura maschile in Paesaggio Urbano”, 2008, Mixed Technique on Paper on Canvas, 110 x 80 cm, Private Collection

Bottom Insert Image: Mauricio Bonfanti, “Confinato VI”, 2020, Acrylic Charcoal and Oil on Paper on MDF Panel, 30 x 30 cm, Private Collection

Erwin Olaf

The Photography of Erwin Olaf

Born in Hilversum, the Netherlands in July of 1959, Erwin Olaf Springveld is a Dutch photographer known for both his personal and commercial work. He is primarily known for his lush large-format color prints of staged scenes that depict complex and dramatic narratives. 

Erwin Olaf studied journalism at the School of Journalism in Utrecht. an important Dutch city with roots back to the eighth-century. He started his photographic career by documenting pre-AIDS gay liberation in Amsterdam’s 1980s nightlife. This work soon led to Olaf’s personal exploration of varied series shot in both black-and-white and color. Assuming the role of both photographer and director, he currently shoots cinematic-styled tableaux whose arrangements and diluted color palettes evoke memories of the early 1960s. 

Olaf  has been commissioned to photograph advertising campaigns for large international companies including Microsoft, Nokia and Levi’s. His bold approach to photography has led to a number of prestigious collaborations, among which have been Louis Vuitton, Vogue Magazine, and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Throughout his forty-year career, Olaf has maintained an activist approach to equality. His diverse series center around the issues of society’s marginalized individuals, including people of color, women and the LBGTQ+ community. 

Erwin Olaf designed the national side of the 2013 Euro coins for King Willem-Alexander Koning, which commemorated two-hundred years of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Olaf served in 2017 as the official portrait artist for the Dutch royal family. In 2018, he completed a triptych of photographic and filmic tableaux depicting periods of sudden change in major world cities and their effects. Olaf became a Knight of the Order of the Lion of the Netherlands in 2019 after five-hundred works from his oeuvre were added to the collection of the Rijksmuseum. He was awarded the Netherlands’ prestigious Johannes Vermeer Award, as well as Photographer of the Year at the International Color Awards, and Kunstbeeld magazine’s Dutch Artist of the Year.

Among the many photographic series produced by Olaf are the 2005 “Hope, Grief, Rain” which centers on the suspended moment when emotional reaction begins;  the 2012 “Berlin” series shot outside of the studio in six different locations in Berlin, sites reminiscent of the city’s past; the 2020 “Im Wald” which was shot purely on location and highlighted isolated people in their relationship to nature; and the 2001-2002 “Paradise Portraits”, a series of close-up shots of party goers at Amsterdam’s renowned Club Paradiso on New Year’s Eve in 2000.  

Erwin Olaf’s work has been shown in major galleries throughout the world, including London’s prestigious photographic space Hamiltons Gallery, Berlin’s Wagner + Partner Gallery, Amsterdam’s Flatland Gallery, and the Galerie Magda Danysz in Paris. Museum exhibitions have included the Haifa Museum of Art in Israel, the Fondation Oriente Museu in Macau, the Museo de Arte Contemporaine de Rosario in Argentina, the National Art Gallery in Sofia, Bulgaria, and the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow.

In the spring of 2019, Olaf’s work was the subject of a double exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and The Hague Museum of Photography, as well as a solo exhibition at the Shanghai Center of Photography. In the summer of 2021, the Kunsthalle München mounted a major exhibition of 220 artworks, including Olaf’s two most recent series, the 2020 “April Fool” and “Im Wald”, the latter of which was made specially for this show. 

Note: More information of Erwin Olaf’s work and extensive exhibitions, including videos in which he explains his work, can be found at London’s Hamiltons Gallery website located at: https://www.hamiltonsgallery.com/artists/erwin-olaf/overview/

Erwin Olaf’s website, which includes contact information and an extensive list of exhibitions, is located at: https://www.erwinolaf.com/art

Top Insert Image: Erwin Olaf, “Self Portrait”, Date Unknown, Color Print

Second Insert Image: Erwin Olaf, “Chessmen XII”, 1988, Gelatin Silver Print, 37.5 x37.5 cm, Private Collection

Third Insert Image: Erwin Olaf, “Kleines Requiem II”, 2022, Color Print, Edition of Ten, 110 x 110 cm, Private Collection

Bottom Insert Image: Erwin Olaf, “Self Portrait”, 1985, Gelatin Silver Print, Futomuseum Den Haag, The Hague, The Netherlands

Sam Szafran

The Artwork of Sam Szafran

Born in Paris in November of 1934 to Jewish-Polish immigrants, Sam Szafran holds a unique place in the art world of the latter twentieth-century. His work is known for its figurative and lyrical approach to reality which he developed in the seclusion of his studio. 

Szafran grew up in the Quatier des Halles and had a particularly difficult childhood marked by the disasters of the second World War. During the war, he was hidden in the Loire Valley and southern France, and later in Switzerland. After returning to his mother in Paris in 1944, Szafran was captured by the Nazis and sent to a camp in Drancy, a commune in northeast Paris. Freed by the American forces, he left Europe and spent four years in Australia before returning to Paris in 1951. His traumatic life during the war years led Szafran to prefer solitude in which he focused on his own inner thoughts and sense of existence; this introspection gave rise to the prominent themes in his work.

Sam Szafran studied at the Atelier de la Grande Chaumière, located in the Montparnasse district of Paris, under French-American surrealist painter and engraver Henri Goetz. During the post-war period in France, Szafran became associated with painters and printmakers Jean Arp, Alberto Giacometti, and Yves Klein, a leading member of the French Nouveau New-Realism movement. He also became acquainted with photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson and documentary photographer Martine Franck.

During his studies at the atelier, Szafran earliest works were in the field of abstraction. In the early 1960s, the discovery of the pastel became a significant event in his life. Since then, Szafran began using the chalks of Pastels Roché as the dominating technique in his work, either alone or in combination with charcoal or watercolor. At the same time, the themes of his work changed. Szafran’s obsession with mastering the technique of pastel led to numerous series of staircases, greenhouses with jungle-like interiors, and ateliers filled with materials. His work focused on figurative themes and the technical precision needed for pastel work, a style quite opposite the abstract and gestural work at that time.

Sam Szafran was an experimental artistic explorer. Throughout his career, he concentrated on a small range of subjects, most notably views of the interior of his studio and a staircase in a Rue de Seine apartment building. In Szafran’s staircase and room series, the viewer’s gaze is challenged by the distorted and deconstructed perspectives and enclosed places that are tightly sealed on themselves. For over fifty years, he produced what he called “feuillages” or studies of potted plants in interior spaces. These are watercolors depicting Szafran’s obsession with plants: their  infinite interstices of leaves, aerial tendrils and luxuriant foliage. 

In 1991, Sam Szafran received the Grand Prix des Arts de la Ville de Paris. He was awarded the 3rd Prix Piero Crommelynck in 2011. Sam Szafran passed away in September of 2019 and is buried in the Cimetière Parisian de Bagneux. Throughout much of Sam Szafran’s career, his work was acquired by a coterie of enthusiastic and devoted collectors. Prominent among these was the French-American businessman and collector William Louis-Dreyfus, who assembled an exceptional group of works by the artist that spanned several decades of his career.

Szafran’s work has been exhibited in many galleries throughout the years including Paris’s Galerie Claude Bernard, Galerie Jacques Kerchache, and Galerie Vallois. His work was shown at Caja Iberia in Saragosse, Spain in 1988; New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2004: the Musée d’Orsay in 2008; and the Max Ernst Museum in Brühl, Germany in 2010. Szafran’s work is housed in many public collections including that of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Top Insert Image: Sam Szafran, Untitled (Plants), 1986-1987, Watercolor on Paper, Page from Sketchbook, 73.7 x 47.6 cm, William louis-Dreyfus Foundation

Bottom Insert Image: Sam Szafran, “L’Atelier”, 2019, Lithograph in Colors, Edition of 80, Publisher Cornette de Saint-Cyr, 121 x 80 cm, Private Collection

Sergey Svetlakov

Paintings and Drawings by Sergey Svetlakov

Born in 1961 in the city of Kazan located on the Volga River in southwest Russia, Sergey Svetlakov is a painter and stage designer. His oeuvre includes psychological portraits from life, still lifes, and figurative paintings and drawings of nude models. Svetlakov graduated in 1981 from the Kazan Art School; founded in 1895, it is one of the oldest art institutions in Russia. He graduated with honors in 1986 from Saint Petersburg’s Theater Academy, a state institute for theater, music and cinematography, where he was an art director of drama and musical theater.

Svetlakov worked for several years as a set designer in theaters throughout the country. His most notable work during this period was costume design for composer Edison Denisov’s 1981 opera “L’Ecume des Jours” which was based on Boris Vlan’s novel of the same name. The opera’s 1986 world premiere took place at the Opéra-Comique in Paris with later performances at Perm’s Tchaikovsky Opera and Ballet Theater in 1989 and the Staatsoper Stuttgart in late 2012.

In the early 1990s, Sergey Svetlakov ceased working on theater productions and focused on portraits, nude studies and still lifes. In his carefully detailed work, he attempts to join the traditions of academic Realism with the style of Neo-Classicism. In his still lifes, the fruit, vases and other objects retain their natural material weight against the heavy folds of arranged, patterned drapery. For his portraits and nude studies, Svetlakov works only from models and strives to convey the beauty and inner life of his sitters, usually ordinary people with various types of social backgrounds. 

One of Svetlakov’s models, Denis, was an actor who had placed an advertisement in the local paper in order to make extra money. Svetlakov’s “Portrait of Denis: Actor, Juggler and Fashion Model” is a painting, done primarily in a red palette, that presents an intense figure of Ukrainian, Russian, Greek, and Tater origins. This portrait won the second-place 2020 BP Portrait Award from the National Gallery in London.

Sergey Svetlakov has exhibited widely across Europe, the United States and Japan. In April of 2000, he entered his work in Moscow’s Zero Gallery as part of the exhibition for the Manege Art Fair. Other group exhibitions include the 2012 Art Asia in Miami; the Art Hamptons-USA 2013 exhibition at Gallery G-77 in Kyoto, Japan; the 2014 Affordable Art Show at Galerie MooiMan in Groningen, the Netherlands; and the Affordable Art Shows held at Galerie MooiMan in Milan, Italy and in Maastricht, the Netherlands, both in 2015. 

Svetlakov also had a solo exhibition of his work at Penates, formerly the estate of portrait painter Ilya Repin and now a museum and UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of his most recent works, “The Youth from Moldavia” was exhibited at the 2021 Royal Society of Portrait Painters’ Annual Exhibition held at the Mall Galleries in London. 

Sergey Svetlakov’s life and work was the subject of a documentary for the “Property of the Republic” series  produced and aired by Russian National Television in 1991. For many years, the prestigious London auction house, MacDougall’s, has been selling Svetlakov’s work as part of its Russian art series. Sergey Svetlakov currently lives and maintains a studio in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Sergey Svetlakov’s website, with images and contact information, can be located at: https://sergeysvetlakov.com

Second Insert Image: Sergey Svetlakov,, “Anton Karavaev”, Date Unknown, Graphite Pencil on Paper Life Drawing

Bottom Insert Image: Sergey Svetlakov, “Portrait of Dmitry”, Date Unknown, Graphite Pencil on Paper Life Drawing

Randall Lake

Artwork by Randall Lake

Born in California in 1947, Randall Lake is an American artist who, influenced by an exhibition of work by Van Gogh, paints oil landscapes, still-lifes and portraits in an impressionistic realist style. He is currently based in Utah with a studio in Salt Lake City and a studio in his Spring City cottage home. 

Lake traveled to France and studied French in 1968 at the Sorbonne of the University of Paris. When the events of the May 1968 protests closed the university, he continued his studies at the Academie Julian under painter Claude Schurr. In addition to his painting studies, Lake completed his English Degree, Cum Laude, in 1970 at the University of Colorado at Boulder. In 1972, he studied with Belgium designer and color-abstract painter Gustave Singier at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts. 

Randall Lake was an instructor in English at the Sorbonne from 1970 to 1973. He studied printmaking in 1973 under English printmaker and painter Stanley William Hayter at the Atelier 17, an experimental workshop that was influential in the teaching and promotion of printmaking in the twentieth-century. After four years of teaching, Lake settled in Utah where he studied under English-born portrait artist Alvin Gittins at the University of Utah. He earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in 1977 and became in 1978 a visiting member of the Department of Art Studio faculty at the university.

Lake continuously searches for new subjects and techniques for his work. Over time, his journey in art has reflected his journey in life, from the traditional landscapes executed as a Mormon to the more daring works as an openly gay man. Lake is drawn to the atmosphere that was present in the nineteenth-century, the lifestyle, the arts and the architecture. He paints from life and location to capture the essence of the subject and the moment. Seeking a change in his work, Randall Lake has begun experimenting with the elements of Abstraction and Fauvism, a movement which emphasized painterly qualities of brushwork and strong color. 

Randall Lake is the recipient of many awards for his work, including the 2003 Grand Prix du Peintre Maudit from Salt Lake City’s Guthrie Institute, the 2015 and 2016 Award of Merit for the Spring City Plein Air Competition, ant the 2001 and 2006 Governor of Utah Award for Fine Art, among others. His work is in many private and public collections, including the Jinling Library in Nanjing, China; Utah State Collection of Art; Wyoming State Collection; Utah Museum of Fine Art; and the Leslie-Lohman Museum in New York.

Note: A video portrait of Randall Lake by Michael Schoenfeld for  RadioWest Films can be found at: https://films.radiowest.org/film/randall-lake

An article on Randall Lake’s work, with quotes by the artist, can be found at the Springville Museum of Art website located at: https://www.smaexhibition-self.org/randall-lake.html

Randall Lake’s website, containing his work, gallery events and contact information, can be found at: https://www.randalllake.com/page/11302/collection

Second Insert Image: Randall Lake, “Afternoon Nap”, 1991, Pastel on Paper, 35.6 x 45.7 cm

Bottom Insert Image: Randall Lake, “Self Portrait with Model”, 1992, Oil on Canvas, 91.4 x 76.2 cm

Karl Bertil Gadö

The Artwork of Karl Bertil Gadö

Born in Malmö in July of 1916 to railway official Karl Emil Gadö and Hedvig Maria Persson, Karl Bertil Gadö was a Swedish painter and graphic artist. In addition to his self-study, he received formal training between 1933 and 1935 at the Skåne Painting School (Skånska Målarskolan) in Malmö. Gadö’s work and that of his contemporaries was inspired by political ideologies of the 1930s and ideas posed by the prominent Surrealist movement; the combination of these two forces created a new form of art, magic realism.

Gadö first exhibited his work in 1939 at a collective exhibition in Malmö. In 1943, he had his first solo exhibition in Malmö and later exhibited in 1947 at a group exhibition in Malmö’s City Hall. Works by Gadö were included in the 1948 “God Konst i Alla Hem (Good Art in the Home)” exhibition held at the HSB-Huset in Fleminggatan, Stockholm. Along with landscape painter Lars Engström, he regularly participated in Skåne’s art exhibitions. 

From 1948 to 1952, Karl Bertil Gadö was a member of the Imaginisterna, an avant-garde surrealist artist group founded in 1948 by painter and designer Max Walter Svanberg. This group of artists, who were looking for an alternative approach to surrealism, left the detailed style of Salvador Dali in favor of the artistic works of artists like Max Ernst and Paul Klee. Members of the Imaginisterna included such Swedish artists as painter Max Walter Svanberg, painter and lithographer Carl-Otto Hultén, painter Anders Österlin, and book illustrator and cartoonist Gösta Kriland.

Gadö was also a member of the Skånsk Avantgardekonst, or the Skånes Avant-Garde Art: he participated in their 1949 exhibition at the Malmö Museum and the 1951 exhibitions held in  Hälsingborg and Stockholm. Gadö presented his work in the 1951 Biennial held at the Museum of Modern Art in San Paulo, Brazil. He was also represented in the same year at an exhibition of Skåne artists held in the Liljevalch Art Hall in Stockholm.

In the 1960s, Karl Bertil Gadö presented intense experiences of nature in his work. Various animal species were presented as symbols of life’s struggle in scenes foreboding disasters and devastation; he also emphasized in his work the ideals of  independence and man’s willingness to find his own way in life. Around 1980, a culmination of Gadö’s work was a series of images whose content revolved around cosmic motifs. Most of these paintings were executed with clear contour lines; between these lines, the spaces were covered in a limited scale of brown and gray tones. 

Gadö worked for decades with public works in relief, free sculpture, mosaics and stained glass. These works contained content similar to his paintings with the earlier ones containing strong abstract compositions. Karl Bertil Gadö died in 2014, at the age of eighty-eight. His work is held in both private and public collections. Major collections include the Malmö Museum and the Moderna Museet of the National Museum in Stockholm.

Note: An extensive study entitled “Surrealism, Occultism and Politics: In Search of the Marvelous”, which dwells on the motifs, thoughts and techniques of Surrealism’s various artists and writers, is a well researched article that explores the relationship between Occultism and Surrealism. The article can be found at: http://s3.amazonaws.com/arena-attachments/1418044/4266cce09074ad02812bbef9fd73cc1b.pdf?1510498215

Second Insert Image: Karl Bertil Gadö, “Uppe i Projektet”, 1990, Oil on Canvas, 130 x 100 cm, Private Collection

Bottom Insert Image: Karl Bertil Gadö, “The Miracle”, Date Unknown, Colored Woodcut, Edition of 25, 36 x 35 cm, Private Collection

Mark Maggiori

Mark Maggiori, “What Lies Within Us”, 2021, Oil on Linen, 127 x 142.2 cm, Private Collection

Western Paintings by Mark Maggiori

Born in June of 1977 in Fontainebleau, a commune in the Paris metropolitan area, Mark Maggiori is a French-American painter, draftsman, graphic designer, musician and lead vocalist of the metal band Pleymo. He is known for his landscapes of the American Southwest and scenes featuring Native Americans and American cowboys. 

At the age of fifteen, Maggiori traveled during a vacation with his family on a month-long road trip from New York to San Francisco. This long trip, with views of the country’s majestic national parks, made a lasting impression on him and evoked his fascination with Western art. Years later, Maggiori was formally trained in academic drawing at Paris’s Academie Julian, where other great western artists, such as Joseph Henry Sharp and Ernest L. Blumenschein, had trained before forming the Taos Society of Artists in 1915. 

In 1997 after earning his degree, Mark Maggiori formed, along with musicians Benoít Julliard, Fred Ceraudo, and Mathias Borronquet, the successful nu metal band Pleymo. The band caught the attention of producer Stéphane Kraemer and released their first album entitled “Keçkispasse?” through the Wet Music label. The band led to opportunities in Europe and other artistic disciplines, such as photography and filmmaking, that increased Maggiori’s artistic creativity.

Maggiori met and married Los Angeles multi-media artist Petecia Le Fawnhawk, both of whom were drawn to the beauty of the American West. At the age of thirty-six, he made the commitment to concentrate on painting Western art. As a Frenchman, Maggiori had a profoundly unique vision of the American cowboy: however, in a span of a few years, he rose through the ranks to become one of the notable Western artists working today. Maggiori’s work combines the outdoor perspective with the colors and techniques he learned from his earlier photographic and film experiences. A prominent aspect of his Western scenes is the depiction of layered, textural clouds which highlight the figures in his landscapes.

Mark Maggiori has participated in many important solo and group shows. At the 2007 “Night of Artists” exhibition at the Briscoe Western Art Museum, he won the Sam Houston Award. To acquaint himself with the Western lifestyle, Maggiori began to spend time on ranches with cowboys and on horseback. Starting in 2017, he concentrated on painting outdoors, en plein air, in Arizona, New Mexico and Wyoming.

Maggiori’s work has been featured in various publications including Southwest Art, Forbes Magazine, Flaunt, Western Horseman, and others. His work has been exhibited at San Antonio’s Briscoe Western Art Museum, the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis, and Los Angeles’s Maxwell Alexander Gallery.

Second Insert Image: Mark Maggiori, “Trail Blazing”, 2019, Oil on Linen, 61 x 45.7 cm, Private Collection

Bottom Insert Image: Mark Maggiori, “Under the Pueblo Sun”, 2020, Oil on Linen, 81.3 x 86.4 cm, Private Collection

Radek Husak

The Artwork of Radek Husak

Born in Poland in 1984, Radek Husak ia a contemporary process-driven mixed-media artist whose works in the expanded field of print. He earned his Master of Fine Arts from the Royal College of Art and is currently based in London. 

Through his research and experimentation, Husak developed a new approach to printmaking. He works with pigment transfers twinned with carbon-drawn elements that are either placed on paper or sandblasted aluminum panels. Blasting through the outer layer of aluminum reveals a reflective inner core upon which the pigment transfers are placed. These images are then embellished with paint, soft pastels, bodycolor, and carbon and color pencils.

Radek Husak’s work is inspired by art history, fashion, and queer theory. He combines the tradition of the nude with the large color-elements of 1950s and 1960s Pop Culture. Husak’s images, with their overlapping figurative forms, create in essence a static glitch. The edges of one body blurs and melts into the next, thereby creating  sense of movement. The resulting movement effect of these bold, modern images bring to mind the early movement studies by French scientist and photographer Étienne-Jules Marey, which he produced in the 1800s. 

Husak creates works in the abstract form and constructs these images by taking elements of nature, such as skies, clouds and anatomical features, fragmenting and rearranging them to form flowing patterns. He also has produced figurative work in other mediums including ceramics and stained glass. 

Radek Husak has shown his work in 2021 and 2011 at the Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair in London. The Grove Gallery and Quantus Gallery, both in London, are the venues for Husak’s first solo show, entitled “Duality” which is running from November 23 until December 22 in 2022. 

Radek Husak’s work can be seen at his website located at: http://www.rhusak.co.uk   His work can also be seen at Artsy located at: https://www.artsy.net/show/grove-gallery-duality?sort=partner_show_position

Bottom Insert Image: Radek Husak, “Saint Sebastian (SS5)”, 2022, Pigment Transfer, Bodycolor, Carbon and Color Pencils and Collage on Sandblasted Aluminum, Edition of 3, 84 x 60 cm, Private Collection

Edmund Teske

The Photography of Edmund Teske

Born in Chicago, Illinois in March of 1911, Edmund Rudolph Teske was an American photographer who along with his portraits produced a prolific volume of experimental photography. For him, photography was more than a way to record a specific moment in time; it was a way to explore the soul of his subjects. Although he was well known among other photographers and participated in many exhibitions, his work was not widely known among the general public.

The eldest son of three children born to Polish emigrant parents, Teske moved at the age of eight with his parents to Wisconsin. It was at this early age that he began to develop his interests in painting and poetry. When the family moved back to Chicago in 1921, Teske began to study music, lessons which concentrated on the piano and saxophone. Encouraged by his elementary school teacher, he began in 1923 to experiment in photography through the school’s facilities. By 1932 Teske was accomplished in the piano to such a degree that he became the protégé of concert pianist Ida Lustagarten. 

Edmund Teske had his first solo exhibition of photographs at the Blackstone Theatre, now the Merie Reskin Theater, in the Loop community area of Chicago. In 1933, he began a career in photography working at a Chicago studio. Traveling to New York in 1936, Teske met and received encouragement in his work by American photographer and modern-art promoter Alfred Stieglitz. In the same year he had the opportunity to meet Frank Lloyd Wright at his studio in Wisconsin. At Wright’s invitation in 1938, Teske took up a fellowship in photography to be conducted at Taliesin, Wright’s personal estate in Wisconsin, where he documented Wright’s architectural projects and began experiments with his own photographic work. 

Teske’s professional relationship with Wright enhanced his reputation and brought him into contact with such artists as Ansel Adams, portrait and architectural photographer Berenice Abbott and Hungarian constructivist photographer Lászió Moholy-Nagy. Teske taught briefly in the late 1930s with Moholy-Nagy at the New Bauhaus Institute of Design in Chicago and was an assistant at Abbott’s New York studio later in 1939. In the late 1930s, he started a documentary series of Chicago scenes entitled “Portrait of My City” which focused on the social issues of the city. 

Although drafted at the beginning of World War II, Edmund Teske failed the medical exam for asocial tendencies and emotional instability, terms often used at that time to disqualify homosexual men. He was instead appointed as an assistant photographer for the Army Corps of Engineers stationed at Illinois’s Rock Island Arsenal where he printed aerial maps for the military. In the early part of 1943, Teske was able to leave his position and, allured by a new life in Hollywood, made the decision to move to Los Angeles. 

After a brief working stay at Wright’s Arizona Taliesin West, Teske arrived in Los Angeles in April of 1943. He was hired for Paramount Pictures’s photographic still department and soon joined the artistic and bohemian movement in the city. After a chance meeting with oil heiress Aline Barnsdall, who was a client of Wright, he was invited to live at the Olive Hill estate that Wright had designed for her. Assuming a larger role than that of just caretaker, Teske hosted informal parties and artistic gatherings with such personalities as artist Man Ray, novelist Anaïs Nin, director George Cukor, sculptor Tony Smith, and actors Joel McCrea and Frances Dee. 

Among the people that Edmund Teske met during this period was the novelist and playwright Christopher Isherwood who introduced Teske to the Hindu philosophy of Vedanta. Teske embraced this philosophy with its concept of the connection of life and nature, and its understanding of the existence of time in relation to the larger universe. He also believed in the coexistence of both the masculine and the feminine within every individual. These teachings  became a firm basis for his existing view of  life and formed a bonding point with Isherwood and the growing Los Angeles gay community. 

Teske continued his photographic experiments with manipulated and combined multiple images from which he produced composite prints from sandwiched negatives, prints with solarization to reverse highlight and shadow, and photographic collages. One of the series he produced was “Shiva-Shakti” which featured a nude male overlaid with human faces, landscapes, or abstract subjects. After moving in 1949 to a small studio in Laurel Canyon, Teske became active during the early part of the 1950s with several small, local theater groups. Throughout the 1950s, he experimented with new manipulative and chemical techniques which culminated in 1958 with a new combination of photographic print toning and solarization, later named duotone solarization. 

Edmund Teske frequently returned during the 1960s and 1970s to older negatives and reinterpreted them through experimental printing techniques. He participated in more than two dozen group exhibition including the Museum of Modern Art’s 1960 “The Sense of Abstraction” show and was given eighteen solo shows. A colleague of photographer Robert Heineken at the University of California in Los Angeles in the 1960s, Teske taught many of the important photographers of that time, among whom were Aaron Siskind and Judy Dater, and mentored many local photographers. He befriended singer Jim Morrison of The Doors and took a series of informal portraits of Morrison and long term companion Pamela Courson.

During the last twenty years of his life, Teske worked and lived in his East Hollywood studio where he regularly taught workshops. He assembled a comprehensive  six-volume autobiographical collection of his work , entitled “Emanations”; however it was never published during his lifetime. In 1994 the Northridge Earthquake severely damaged his studio which forced him to relocate to downtown Los Angeles. Edmund Teske died alone in his home at the age of eighty-five on November 22nd in 1996. A posthumous retrospective of Teske’s photographs was given in 2004 by the John Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. 

“Strive to accept the facts of life with courage and serenity to develop talent, as an outlet for emotion, and to find happiness in the world of the mind and spirit. In the days when Greece and Rome ruled the world in arts and letters and philosophy, love of man for man reached openly its pinnacle of beauty. Civilization today, moving forward, must eventually recognize these true facts of love and sex variations.”

–Excerpt from Edmund Teske’s Journal, Published in Julian Cox’s “Spirit into Matter: The Photographs of Edmund Teske”, John Paul Getty Museum, 2004

Note: An informative and more extensive read on the life of Edmund Teske is Rosalind G. Wholden’s article for the February 1964 print issue of ARTFORUM entitled “Edmund Teske: The Camera as Reliquary”. The article can be found online at: https://www.artforum.com/print/196402/edmund-teske-the-camera-as-reliquary-37879

Top Insert Image: Photographer Unknown, “Edmund Teska”, Date Unknown, Gelatin Silver Print

Second Insert Image: Edmund Teske, “Richard Soakup, Teske’s Lover in Their Chicago Flat”, 1940, Gelatin Silver Print, 20.3 x 19.7 cm, Private Collection 

Third Insert Image: Edmund Teske, “Jim Morrison and Pam”, 1969, Gelatin Silver Print Composite, Private Collection

Fourth Insert Image: Edmund Teske, “Herb Landegger and Bill Burke, Olive Hill, Hollywood”, 1945, Gelatin Silver Print, Private Collection

Bottom Insert Image: Elisa Leonelli, “Edmund Teske, Topanga Canyon”, 1976, Gelatin Silver Print

Naila Hazell

The Paintings of Naila Hazell

Born in 1981, Naila Hazell is a British contemporary artist who was raised in Baku, Azerbaijan. She studied fine arts under the renowned Soviet social-realist painter Boyukagha Mirzezade, a laureate of the State Prize of the Azerbaijan Republic. Hazell  received her MFA at the Azerbaijani Fine Arts Academy. Although working mainly in oils, she is exploring other mediums for her conceptual art projects.

Hazell is mainly a figurative artist whose work in oils contain a diversity of deep colors and structures surrounding her figures. Her works explore the stillness found in those short precious moments that happen throughout one’s life, often ignored due to life’s rapid pace. Hazell’s themes contain many stories linked to ordinary life experiences; they also contain messages about the deeper realities of life and offer glimpses into individual identities. 

Naila Hazell’s work has been included in many group exhibitions since her initial entry in a 2000 group exhibition in Baku. Her second group show was “White and Black” held in 2009 at the Azerbaijan National Museum in Baku. From 2010 to 2020, Hazell has had work in sixteen group shows in Azerbaijan and England. Among these were the 2011 “Novruz Celebration” held at Gibson Hall, Bishop Gate in London, the 2020 Mall Galleries Annual Exhibition for the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, and the 2020 Mall Galleries Royal Society of British Artists 303rd Annual Exhibition in London.

In 2008, Hazrll had her first solo exhibition entitled “You Are Always With Me” at Baku’s Art Centre Gallery. Her second solo was the 2012 “Naila Hazell” exhibition held at the Axerbaijan Cultural Center in London. In 2020, Hazell exhibited her works at a solo exhibition in the Hogarth Health Club in Chiswick, London. Currently based in her West London studio, she was the recipient of the 2021 Royal Scottish Academy’s Lyon and Turnbull Award. 

Naila Hazell’s work is currently being shown at an exhibition entitled “Face to Face” held at London’s Gillian Jason Gallery on Great Titchfield Street until the 17th of December. Hazell’s website can be found at:  https://www.nailahazell.com

Top Insert Image: Photographer Unknown, “Naila Hazell with Self Portrait”

Middle Insert Image: Naila Hazell, “Intersection with Shadows”, 2022, Oil on Linen

Bottom Insert Image: Naila Hazell, “Resting on Truth”, 2022, Oil on Linen

Jean Alaux

Jean Alaux, “Cadmus in Combat with the Dragon”,  1830, Engraving, 38.6 x 29.5 cm, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, France

Born in 1786 in the port city of Bordeaux, Jean Alaux was a French history painter, one of four brothers who all became painters. He received his first art lessons from his father. Alaux’s formal training was under history painter Pierre Lacour and Pierre-Narcisse Guérin, a Parisian painter known for his portraits and melodramatic mythological scenes. In 1807, Alaux was admitted to the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

Beginning in 1808, Jean Alaux began entering his work in the Prix de Rome; however, he took a hiatus from his own work to assist his older brother Jean-François Alaux on a large-scale panorama. Subsequently, Alaux entered his “Briseis Weeping Over the Body of Patroclus” in the 1815 Prix de Rome. This work, inspired by Homer’s “Illiad”, was awarded the major prize at the exhibition. Alaux was elected to the French Academy in Rome and, from 1816 to 1820, received an annual pension.

While at the Academy, Jean Alaux became a friend of Neo-classical painter Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and associated with such artists as painters François-Édouard Picot and Michel Martin Drolling, and sculptors David d’Angers and Jean-Jacques Pradier. Alaux’s first oil painting at the Academy was “Cadmus Killing the Dragon at the Fountains of Dirce”, purchased by the Duke of Orleans and later destroyed in a a fire at the Royal Palace during the 1848 French Revolution. Alaux painted two other mythology-based scenes during his stay at the Academy: “Episode in Combat with the Centaurs and the Lapithes” and “Diamedes Carrying Off the Palladium”. 

Alaux returned to France in 1821 where his reputation grew as his new works were well received. In 1825 he painted the historical work  “The Baptism of Clovis”, which depicted the warlord King Clovis’s baptism by Saint Remigius, the Bishop of Rheims, surrounded by a crowd of spectators. This work was followed by “States General of 1838”, “The Assembly of the Notables at Rouen in 1596”, and “States General of 1814”. 

During the liberal constitutional reign of Louis Philippe I which began in July of 1830, Alaux worked at the Galerie des Batailles under the auspices of the Chàteau de Versailles. He painted three historical works for the gallery: the 1836 “Battle of Villaviciosa”, “The Capture of Valenciennes” in 1837, and the 1839 “The Battle of Denain”. 

In 1846, Jean Alaux was appointed director of the French Academy in Rome. During his directorship, he and his students were forced to temporarily flee to France during the siege of Rome in 1849 when Garibaldi’s defending forces fought the invading French army. Alaux continued his directorship at the Academy until his retirement in 1852. Jean Alaux died twelve years later in Paris on the second of March in 1864. 

Jean Alaux’s work can be found in many private and public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of New York which holds his 1817 “Léon Pallière in His Room at the Villa Medici, Rome”, the British Museum in London which houses a collection of Alaux’s etchings, and the Harvard Art Museum, among others.

Top Insert Image: Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, “Portrait of Jean Alaux”, Date Unknown, Engraving

Middle Insert Image: Jean Alaux, “Narcisse”, 1818, Oil on Canvas, 95.3 x 76 cm, Private Collection

Bottom Insert Image: Jean Alaux, “A Man with Gun Seen from Behind”, Date Unknown, Black and White Chalk on Brown Paper, 57.7 x 39.1 cm, Private Collection

Teinosuke Kinugasa: Film History Series

Teinosuke Kinugasa, “Kurutta Ippeiji (Page of Madness)”, 1926/1975, Film Scene Gifs, Cinematogapher Kōhei Sugiyama, Seventy-one Minutes, Kinugasa Productions/New line Cinema

Born in January of 1896 in Kameyama located in the northern prefecture of Mie, Teinosuke Kinugasa was a Japanese film maker. He began his career as an onnagata, an actor who specialized in female roles, and performed in the silent films of the Nikkatsu Studio, Japan’s oldest major movie studio founded in 1912.

Kinugasa started directing in the early 1920s when Japanese cinema began using actresses in its films. He worked for various producers, including Shozo Makino considered one of the pioneering directors of Japanese film. Kinugasa became an independent director and producer to make what is considered his best known film “A Page of Madness”. Lost for forty five years, the film was discovered by Kinugasa in his storehouse in 1971 and re-released in 1975 with a new print and score.

Released in September of 1926, the silent film “A Page of Madness” is part of the work of the Shinkankakuha, an avant-garde group of Japanese modernist artists  known as the School of New Perceptions which sought to produce direct, intuitive sensations to its subjects through dramatic and theatrical strategies. Yasunari Kawabata, who would win the 1968 Nobel Prize for Literature, is credited on the film with the original storyline and also worked on the film’s scenario with Banko Sawada and Minoru Inuzuka, who became well known for his later scripts on the Zatoichi film series. 

The film takes place in a countryside asylum where a janitor interacts with various patients with mental illnesses. His daughter arrives to visit her mother who happens to be a inmate in the asylum, gone insane due to her husband, the janitor. Feeling guilty, her husband had taken a job at the asylum to care for her. After hearing from his daughter the plans of her marriage, the janitor becomes worried due to the belief  that his wife’s mental illness might cause the marriage to be canceled. The stress of his wife’s condition and the impending marriage of his daughter causes the janitor to lose control of the difference between dreams and reality. He experiences fantasies of taking his wife from the asylum and his daughter marrying a bearded inmate. He finally returns to a sense of realtiy after his dreams of providing happy-faced masks to the inmates.

Teinosuk Kinugasa’s “A Page of Madness” and his later 1928 silent film “Jûjiro (Crossroads)”, the first Japanese film to be commercially released in Europe, are both praised for their inventive camera work, which has been compared to Germany’s Expressionist work of the same period. In “Crossroads”, Kinugasa dispensed with chronological construction and instead used flashbacks to stimulate the mind of the main character. He also used a drab gray setting and an experimental camera technique which focused attention on one significant detail at a time, such as a hand. 

Following a period of silent films, Kinugasa directed jidaigeki, period dramas most often set in the Edo period of Japanese history, at the Shochiku Studios where he helped to establish the career of  film and stage actor Chōjirō Hayashi, known by his professional name Kazuo Hasegawa. After the war, Kinugasa produced films for Daiei Studios, including lavish costume dramas and films such as the 1946 “Aru Yo No Tonosama (Lord for a Night)”, which won the first Mainichi Film Award for Best Film, and the 1952 “Daibutsu Kaigen (Dedication of the Great Buddha)” which was entered into the 1953 Cannes Film Festival.

In 1953, Kinugasa wrote and directed the 1953 jidaigeki film “Jigokumon (Gate of Hell)”. This film, one of the most internationally famous of all Japanese films, exemplified Kinugasa’s mastery of period film in its meticulous reproduction of a historical period. Produced during the golden age of Japanese cinema, the film was the first color work released by Daiei Film and also the first Japanese color film to be released outside of Japan. The film won the grand prize award at the 1954 Cannes Film Festival, a 1055 Academy Honorary Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1954, and the Academy Award for Best Costume Design, Color. Kinugasa’s film also won the Golden Leipard at the Locarno International Film Festival and the 1954 New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Foreign Language Film. 

The director of fifteen films, many of them award winners, Teinosuk Kinugasa died at the age of eighty-six from cerebral thrombosis on February 26th of 1982 in Kyoto, Japan. He was the first Japanese motion-picture director to present his story from the point of view of one of the characters and thus create a subjective world in a film.  He also pioneered in the use of flashbacks and in the creation of a visual atmospheric effect. 

Note: Teinosuk Kinugasa’s “Page of Madness” is available in its entirety on YouTube located at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yb6JEY3M_Ag

Second Insert Image: Film Scene, Teinosuke Kinugasa, “Dai Chushingura”, 1932, Starring Jusaburo Bando and Chojiro Hayashi, First Sound Version of the Classic Story, 139 Minutes

Third Insert Image: Photographer Unknown, “Teinosuke Kinugasa”, circa 1912-1920, Gelatin Silver Print

Bottom Insert Image: Film Scene, Teinosuka Kinugasa, “Jujiro (Crossroads)”, 1928, Starring Akiko Chihaya, Toshinosuke Bando and Yukiko Ogawa, 88 Minutes

Amos Badertscher

Photography by Amos Badertscher

Born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1936, Amos Badertscher is a self-taught American photographer whose body of work includes portraits, still lifes, and landscapes. He is best known for his gelatin silver prints of Baltimore’s hustler and subculture scenes from the 1970s to the 1990s.

In the middle of the 1970s, Badertscher, financed by a family inheritance, began to capture on film Baltimore’s downtrodden youth, often homeless or drug addicted, and many of them sex-workers between jail terms. On many of the portraits, there is copious shaky and uneven handwriting which sometimes filled all the available negative space around the image.These texts written by Badertscher revealed the lives of his subjects and his understanding of them. The writings outlined the painful childhoods, addictions, prostitution, disease and other realities that affected the lives of his subjects. In the texts, Badertscher also described fluidity in the sexual identity of the hustlers and their attempts at creating even fleeting stability in their lives.

Each of Amos Badertscher’s images is shot without reliance on intricate technique; instead the focus is placed on the intimate, personal nature of the portrait. His preferred photographic technique is rapid, unrehearsed sessions which are not planned or visualized in advance. Badertscher relies on his instinct and what he considers his many possibilities in the darkroom.

Badertscher’s work was ignored for almost twenty years. By 1993, he was resigned to putting his house up for sale. By chance, the real-estate agent brought Michael Mezzatesta. the director of the Duke University Museum of Art, and his wife to tour the house whose many rooms were covered with Badertscher’s photographs. Although the couple did not purchase the house, Badertscher was later given a solo exhibition at the Duke University Museum of Art in 1995. 

Amos Badertscher’s best known photographic collection is “Baltimore Portraits” which was published in association with the Duke University Museum of Art’s exhibition of Badertscher’s work. The volume contains eighty black and white portraits accompanied with hand-written narratives about their subjects. “Baltimore Portraits”, which span a twenty-year period from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, documented a sector of Baltimore life that had been largely unnoticed and virtually decimated by societal neglect, AIDS, and substance abuse. Badertscher’s collection presented arresting and melancholy photographs of bar and street people, strippers, drug addicts, transvestites, drag queens and hustlers. 

Badertscher has shown his photography in many group exhibitions, including most recently “The 1970’s: The Blossoming of Queer Enlightenment” at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art in 2016, the 2019 “About Face: Stonewall, Revolt and New Queer Art” at Wrightwood 659 in Chicago’s Lincoln Park, and the 2021 “Clandestine: The Photo Collection of Pedro Slim” at the Cobra Museum voor Moderne Kunst in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Badertscher’s photographs, along with works by Diane Arbus, Man Ray, Bill Brandt and others, were also  included in Mexico City’s  “La Parte Más Bella”exhibition at the Museo de Arte Moderno which ran from October 2017 to March 2018.  

In 2005, the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art gave a retrospective of Amos Badertscher’s photographs entitled “Illegal to See–The Outsider Art of Amos Badertscher”. This exhibit was originally mounted as part of the Center for Exploratory and Perceptual Art’s “Deviant Bodies”, a major exhibition that explored the margins of contemporary gay male culture. Badertscher’s show consisted of fifty-seven gelatin silver prints from his thirty plus years of work. From March to July in 2020, a solo exhibition of Badertscher’s photographs, “Amos Badertscher: The Souls Around Us” was held at the Schwules Museum in Berlin; this retrospective was his first comprehensive museum exhibition outside of the United States.

In 1998, a collection of Amos Badertscher’s photography, entitled “Badertscher”, was published by St. Martin’s Press. His work was also included in David Arden Sprigle’s 1998 “Male Bonding: Volume Two”, an anthology collection of sixty-three photographers. Badertscher’s photographs can be found in the New York Public Library’s Photography Collection and the Harry H. Weintraub Collection of Gay-Related Photography and Historical Documentation (1850-2010) at the Cornell University Library, as well as many other public and private collections.

Note: For those interested, Amos Badertscher’s “Baltimore Portraits” is availabel through the Duke University Press located at: https://www.dukeupress.edu/baltimore-portraits

A review by Gary Scharfman on the 2005 exhibition “Illegal to See: A Portrait of Hustler Culture by Photographer Amos Badertscher”, held at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, can be found at: https://www.leslielohman.org/exhibitions/illegal-to-see-a-portrait-of-hustler-culture-by-photographer-amos-badertscher

Top Insert Image: Amos Badertscher, “Portrait of Marty”, 1999, Gelatin Silver Print, 34.9 x 27.6 cm, Private Collection

Third Insert Image: Amos Badertscher, “Constantine P. Cavafy Poem”, 1975, Gelatin Silver Print, Leslie-Lohman  Museum of Art

Bottom Insert Image: Amos Badertscher, Title Unknown (Portrait with Mirror), 1996, Gelatin Silver Print, Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art

Dương Xuân Quyền

Paintings by Dương Xuân Quyền

Born in the Son Duong district of Vietnam in 1987, Dương Xuân Quyền is an artist and educator currently working at Tan Trao University in Tuyen Quang, Vietnam. He is a graduate of the Fine Arts Program at the Hanoi National University of Education. 

Dương Xuân Quyền works in the Vietnamese tradition of carved-woodblock printing on black paper as a familiar way to express the contemporary issue of gay relationships to the public. Having produced the initial print work, Quyền then enriches the image with colors from acrylic or oil paints. His current work contains images of male couples as well as lush, tropical scenes of natural habitat. 

From 2011 to 2015, Quyền regularly participated in the Northwest-Viet Bac Exhibition, one of the seven regional contemporary art exhibitions in the country. He also organized a 2015 group exhibition entitled “Sac Autumn” at Hanoi’s Exhibition Hall 16 in Ngo Quyen. 

Dương Xuân Quyền had his first solo exhibition in 2017 entitled “Love People of the Same Sex”, a collection consisting of twenty-two paintings and embellished wood-carved etchings on paper. In his work, he used tropical foliage and water taro leaves as the background for his presentations of male couples in romantic poses. 

In 2020, Quyền won the Third-Place Prize at the Northwestern Fine Arts Exhibition-Region III exhibition for his series “Delayed Appointment I,II,III”. In 2021, he again entered the same exhibition and won another Third-Place Prize, this time for his series “My Side Tells Stories About the Days Apart I, II, III”. Quyền’s second solo exhibition was held in Hanoi in 2022 and entitled “Vertical Flowers”. The show consisted of twenty-eight, large oil and acrylic paintings which depicted Duoc Mung leaves, a native plant well-known to the public. 

Insert Image: Dương Xuân Quyền, “Awakening Lovers”, 2020, Oil on Canvas, 80 x 100 cm, Private Collection

Images of Dương Xuân Quyềns artwork can be found at his Instagram site located at: https://www.instagram.com/xuanquyenstudio/?hl=en

David Lebe

The Photography of David Lebe

Born in Manhattan, New York in 1948, David Lebe is an American photographer whose work includes both figurative and still life images. His initial education began at the progressive, elementary-level City & Country School in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village and later at Harlem’s High School of Music and Art. During these years, Lebe frequently visited New York City’s many art museums, particularly drawn to the Museum of Modern Art’s photographic exhibitions. His exposure to the photographs of Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange and Robert Frank, among others, generated a life-long passion for street photography.

David Lebe is best known for his experimental images. Among the techniques used are pinhole cameras, photograms made by placing objects directly on photographic paper and then exposing it to light, hand-painted photographs, and light drawings, an old technique which entails using a moving light source during a long-exposure photograph. In his photography, Lebe explores the issues of gay identity, homoeroticism, and living with AIDS. 

From 1966 to 1970, David Lebe attended the Philadelphia College of Art where he studied photography under Ray K. Metzker, known for his bold experimental, black and white cityscapes; Tom Porett, who pioneered work in the extended photograph, multi-media and digital photographic processes: and Barbara Blondeau, best known for her strip-print images created through different winding speeds, and various lighting and masking techniques. 

During  his studies with Barbara Blondeau in 1969 and 1970, Lebe began to experiment with pinhole cameras and built his own devices with multiple apertures which enabled him to record panoramic views from different angles. For his senior thesis, he created “Form Without Substance”, a series of high-contrast images with strong black shadows which were taken in Philadelphia and his childhood area of Manhattan.Two years after graduation, Lebe accepted a teaching position at the Philadelphia College of Art, where he taught photography until 1990. During his tenure, he exhibited his photography in private galleries and museums. 

A dissatisfaction with the results of color film printing led David Lebe to begin hand-coloring his gelatin silver prints, photograms and pinhole images, and traditional photographs. His first collection of these works was the 1974-75 “Unphotographs”, a series of meticulously hand-painted portraits and self-portraits. After the purchase of a townhouse and studio space in Philadelphia, Lebe began to create several series of photograms using plant material collected from his gardens and country excursions. His “Specimens” series featured plants, bones and other material combined into hybrid forms; the “Garden Series” contained images of plant material dissected and reassembled; “Landscapes” placed the hybrid forms in hand-painted settings.

In early 1976 still living in a cramped apartment in Philadelphia, Lebe created his first black and white light drawing . Standing before a 35mm camera on a tripod, he made a long exposure using a flashlight to draw an outline of his naked body and embellished it with points and lines of light throughout the room. This technique, originally used by photographers Étienne-Jules Marey and Georges Demeny in the 1800s, developed over time to include other people, objects and their surroundings. The long exposure time allowed Lebe to enter these images with his subjects and create events rather than moments of time. 

In 1987, following the death of a friend from AIDS and just before his own HIV diagnosis, David Lebe produced “Scribbles”, abstract images drawn freehand with a flashlight and which often featured light emerging from a glass vase. In 1989, David Lebe began a series of four shoots depicting adult film star and author Scott O’Hara. These sessions contained both nude and erotic images which, while documenting the effects of AIDS on O’Hara’s body, also presented his determination to embrace his personal sexual pleasure.

In 1989, Lebe met the ceramic artist and horticulturist Jack Potter. The two began a relationship that has continued to endure for over thirty years. Both men were HIV-positive when they met. They altered their lifestyle, their eating habits, and moved to the rural Columbia County of New York in 1993. The transition from city to country life inspired Lebe to create the still-life series “Food for Thought”, arrangements of various vegetables and foods shot against black background, sometimes with spirals of light around them. 

Despite their efforts at a healthy diet and lifestyle, both David Lebe and Jack Potter began to decline in their health in the mid-1990s. In 1994, Lebe documented his lover Jack’s daily self-care regimen with a series of small, intimate black and white portraits. In his 1996-97 “Jack’s Garden”, he made detailed studies of the gardens Potter had cultivated on the property. In 1996, Lebe and Potter began the newly designed combination-drug therapy that was showing success in extending the lives of HIV-positive patients. 

By 2004, David Lebe fully embraced digital photography and continued to photograph the environment around his and Jack’s home. He also began making new color prints of older work, including his early pinhole prints. In 2013, he started his ongoing series “ShadowLife”, images of shadows and reflections illuminated by early morning light streaming through the house’s windows, thus continuing his earlier studies of shadows. In May of 2019, Lebe had his first solo museum exhibition, “Long Light”, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which featured one hundred-forty five images spanning five decades. The exhibition represented both a historic achievement for an artist with AIDS and an important resistance to the dangerous tendency to historicize the disease.

David Lebe’s photography can be found in many private and public collections, which include, among others, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, California; the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York City; Houston’s Museum of Fine Art, Santa Fe’s New Mexico History Museum, the Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Kansas City’s Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; and a major collection of his work at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Images of David Lebe’s work, prints for sale, and quotes from Lebe can be found at the artist’s site located at: https://davidlebe.com

Top Insert Image: David Lebe, “Unzippered, Paul, Philadelphis”, 1981, Light Drawomg Series, Silver Gelatin Print

Second Insert Image: David Lebe, “Self Portrait, Philadelphia”, 1981, Hand-Colored Light Drawing, Silver Gelatin Print

Third Insert Image: David Lebe, “Socks, (Renato, Philadelphia)”, 1983, Hand-Colored Light Drawing, Silver Gelatin Print

Fourth Insert Image: David Lebe, “Underpants, 1981, Light Drawomg Series, Silver Gelatin Print

Fifth Insert Image: David Lebe, “Paul After, 1981, Light Drawomg Series, Silver Gelatin Print

Bottom Insert Image: David Lebe, “Avalon (Barry Kohn, Boardwalk, Avalon, New Jersey)”, 1980,  Light Drawing Series, Silver Gelatin Print

Lew Thomas

Lee Thomas, “Time Equals 36 Exposures (Negative and Positive Sections)”, 1971, Printed 1989, 72 Gelatin Silver Prints Total, Each Section of 36 Clocks 122 x 122 cm Framed, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Born in San Francisco, California in 1932, Lew Thomas was an American  photographer, polymath artist, curator, critic and a bookstore manager. He is one of the most well-known conceptual photographers of the 1970s, a pioneer in the field whose photographic experiments created new possibilities for Conceptual art. 

Thomas, who had firm working knowledge of art philosophy and theory, actually rejected the term ‘conceptual photographer’. He struggled to gain acceptance for his work as there was not a broad understanding of photographers who were working conceptually within the photo community. As photography was still seen as separate from fine art, the art world was not accepting those photographers who were grounded in that practice.

Lew Thomas, as a child, developed a love for books and language, a trait which would later influence the basics of his art practice. He attended the University of San Francisco where he graduated in 1960 with a degree in English Literature.In 1964, Thomas  became the manager of the Patrons of Art and Music Bookshop where he stayed until 1982. During this time, he developed his interest in photography and French Structuralism, a school of thought developed by anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, in which cultures are viewed as systems and analyzed in terms of the structural relationships of their components.

Thomas initially studied under Joe Schopplein, a photographer with San Francisco’s de Young Museum, who taught him the techniques of shooting and printing film. Throughout his work, Thomas continued to investigate the relationship between word and image. Instead of being concerned about the aesthetic or psychological content of the image, he emphasized the capacity of a photograph to provide simple evidence of an image’s underlying structure. His art was a meticulous study of creating pictorial responses to understand how the meanings of words are conceived through their relationship with other words- a relationship without which they would have little significance.

Lew Thomas’s seminal work was the 1971 “Black & White”, a vertical diptych of photographs in which the word ‘black’ is printed in white on a black background above a print of the word ‘white’ on a black background. This breakthrough work was followed in 1972 with ”Opening & Closing the Garage Door”, which featured two vertical photo strips of a figure performing that routine. Although seeming quite simple on the surface, these two artworks by Lee Thomas were supported by his studies in structural linguistics, including his observations of his daughter’s speech development.

Thomas was also interested in the concept of time’s passage and how devices such as clocks form our relationships to it. In 1971, he created “Time Equals 36 Exposures (Negative and Positive Sections)”, a set of thirty-six exposures of a black clock shot at various times during the day, accompanied by an equal in size set of exposures of a white clock taken at the same times. For his 1973 “Light-On-Floor”, Thomas again used a six by six grid of thirty-six exposures to show the passing of a day as light shifts across a linoleum floor.

Starting in the early 1970s, Lew Thomas’s artwork began to be shown at major venues, including the Oakland Art Museum in 1972, San Francisco’s de Young Museum in 1974, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, among others. Thomas’s work, along with the work of conceptual photographers Donna-Lee Phillips  and Hal Fischer, was shown in the 2020 “Thought Pieces” exhibition held at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. These three photographers became the co-founders of the “Photography and Language” movement, named after a book and group exhibition of the same name produced by Thomas in 1976. 

Thomas, Phillips and Fischer were all extremely active in the mid to late 1970s. In addition to making their own artwork, they published essays, reviewed shows and organized exhibitions. Under the name NFS Press, Thomas published a number of books designed by Phillips, including the 1978 “Structural(ism) and Photography” which featured Thomas’s work; “Eros and Photography” edited by Phillips and published in 1977; “Gay Semiotics” published in 1978; and the 1979 “18th Near Castro Street x 24”, a print version which paired young, gay Hal Fischer’s twenty-four hour study of a popular bus stop bench in the Castro district of San Francisco with texts drawn by him on the sidewalk every hour.

Lew Thomas, in addition to producing his art, engaged in the San Francisco art scene where he encouraged and debated fellow artists through salons, panel discussions, and workshops. He edited and published over thirty books and organized legendary exhibitions in California. The “Photography and Language” movement Thomas co-founded attracted many rising artists, including Dennis Adams, Peter d’Agostino, Meyer Hirsch and Cindy Sherman, among others. The work of this group exerted an influence beyond California and played a role in the conceptual photographic work of the 1980s. 

In 1985 Thomas relocated from San Francisco to Houston, Texas, where he served as the Executive Director of the Houston Center of Photography until 1987. His  artwork of the 1980s explored filmic representation, photography and human relationships as mediated through new technology, in particular, the newly popular VCR. From 1989 to 1995, Lew Thomas was the Visual Arts Coordinator at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans. His work in this period was exhibited at New Orlean’s Galerie Simonne Stern. In retirement, Lew Thomas moved to Petaluma, CA, where he lived surrounded by family and friends until his death in August of 2021 at the age of eighty-eight

Note: There is a short video of Hal Fischer discussing the genesis and impact of his photographic book “Gay Semiotics” and life in the Castro district in 1970s San Francisco. The video is located  at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s website: https://www.sfmoma.org/exhibition/thought-pieces-1970s-photographs-by-lew-thomas-donna-lee-phillips-and-hal-fischer/

Top Insert Image: Lew Thomas, “White Motion/Black Motion”, 1972, Vintage Prints (Self Portraits), Two Parts, 25.4 x 21.6 cm, Private Collection

Second Insert Image: Lew Thomas, “Throwing-Nikomat”, 1973/2014, Four Gelatin Silver Prints, 74.3 x 59.1 cm, Private Collection

Third Insert Image: Lew Thomas, “Portrait Equals 36 Exposures”, 1972/2015, 36 Gelatin Silver Prints, 165.7 x 135.2 cm, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Fourth Insert Image: Lew Thomas, “Opening & Closing the Garage Door”, Two Perspectives, 1972/2015, Ten GelatinSilver Prints, 60.1 x 34,3 cm, Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover

Bottom Insert Image: Lew Thomas, “Sink, Filling/Filled, Draining/Drained (9 Works)”, 1972, Nine Gelatin Silver Prints, 81.3 x 76.8 cm, Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover

Carlos Cancio

Carlos Cancio, “Los Bañistas (The Bathers)”, 1989-1990, Acrylic on Paper Laid on Canvas, 230.9 x 175 cm, Private Collection

Carlos Cancio is a Cotemporary Puerto Rican artist; specialized in painting. After graduating from the University of Boston with a degree in fine arts, Cancio moved to Spain, where he set up his first studio. From 1991 to 2003, he lived in San Francisco, California; he currently lives and works in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Cancio has traveled extensively, including India where he became more familiar with that country’s art and culture.

Cancio began to show his work professionally in 1981, and has presented his work in several cities in the United States, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico.  He has had solo shows at the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture in 1987, the Museum of Art and History in San Juan in 1988, and the Museo de las Casas Reales Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic in 2004. Cancio has also taken part in group shows in the United States and Puerto Rico. His work is characterized by his poetic style, the use of figuration and its inclusion of pan-Caribbean motifs.

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