Lucien Freud

Lucien Freud, “Rabbit on a Chair”, 1944, Pencil and Crayon on Paper, 48 x 31 cm, Private Collection

Born in Berlin in December of 1922, Lucien Michael Freud was a British painter and draftsman. He was the son of British architect Ernst L. Freud and the grandson of the founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud. Lucien Freud’s “Rabbit on a Chair”, a pencil and crayon drawing executed in 1944, is one of his most refined and charming early works. It is a good example of his fascination with nature and his ability to express tone, texture, and shape.

Due to his upbringing and studies at London’s Central School of Art, Freud was probably familiar with Jean-Baptiste-Saméon Chardin’s finely executed watercolor and gouache depictions of rabbits or hares. and Albrecht Dürer’s 1502 “Young Hare”, widely produced in the early twentieth-century as a print. Dürer gradually animated his hare’s body by the use of a dry, small paintbrush to slowly build up the hair. Freud’s rabbit is executed with clean lines outlining the body of the animal and small pencil marks which move and curtl in the various directions of real fur.

Every fine detail of the rabbit, from its black whiskers and white tail to its mottled, golden-brown pelt, is a testament to Lucien Freud’s skilled draftsmanship. He used equal care in the execution of the rabbit’s resting place, a cane chair with its broken cane fronds and fallen shadows. Completed in two tones of mustard yellow and brown, the chair seat makes a geometrical and patterned backdrop for the rabbit. The seat’s vertical and horizontal lines fix the rabbit in place and draw the viewers’ eyes to the center of the picture plane. This use of background pattern also appears in Freud’s 1987 “Blonde Girl on a Bed”, in which the figure is depicted resting on a patterned bedspread.

Note: A short biography on the life and art of Lucien Freud, which included an image of his 1967-1968 “Two Men”, was published on this site in October of 2020. 

Insert Image: Clifford Coffin, “Lucien Freud”, March 1947 Studio Shoot, Silver Gelatin Print, Vogue Online September 2019

Maurice Sendak: “Where the Wild Things Are”

Photographers Unknown,  Where the Wild Things Are

Max stepped into his private boat
and waved goodbye
and sailed back over a year
and in and out of weeks
and through a day
and into the night of his very own room
where he found his supper waiting for him
and it was still hot”

—Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are

Born to Polish Jewish immigrant parents in Brooklyn, New York, in June of 1928, Maurice Bernard Sendak was an American writer and illustrator of children’s books. He was affected in his childhood by the deaths of many of his extended family who perished in the Holocaust. An early reader of books, Sendak decided at the age of twelve to become an illustrator after seeing Walt Disney’s film “Fantasia”.

Sendak started his professional career with the creation of window displays, one of which was in the toy store FAO Schwarz located on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. His first published illustrations, a series of figures explaining the atom and its energy, were in the 1947 textbook “Atomics for the Millions” written by Maxwell Leigh Eidinoff. In the 1950s, Sendak illustrated children’s books written by other authors, including two books written by his older brother, author Jack Sendak, and the “Little Bear” series of books written by Danish-American author Else Holmelund Minarik.

In 1956 Maurice Sendak published his first authored book, “Kenny’s Window”. and soon started working on second effort, for which he was inspired to use the Yiddish expression ‘vilde chaya”, or wild animals, to indicate overexcited children. Sendak’s authored and illustrated 1963 children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are” received international acclaim. Initially banned for two years by libraries and critiqued negatively, the book won the annual Caldecott Medal in 1964 for recognition as the most distinguished American illustrated book for children. Since its publication, it has sold over nineteen million copies worldwide.

Sendak illustrated Isaac Bashevis Singer’s first children’s book “Zlateh the Goat and Other Stories, which was published in 1966 and received the Newbery Honor for children’s literature. He authored and illustrated the 1970 “In the Night Kitchen”, a young boy’s dream journey through a surreal baker’s kitchen, one of a trilogy of books which contains “Where the Wild Things Are” and the 1981 “Outside Over There”. Illustrated in a different style from his previous works, the book is mainly pictorial with few captions. “In the Night Kitchen”, with its depiction of the young protagonist’s nudity, was controversial upon its release and is still ranked as one of the most frequently challenged books. 

Maurice Sendak’s works included many in the fields of television and stage. He was active in the development of the “Sesame Street” series, and wrote and designed four stories for the series, including an adaption of his book “Bumble Ardy” into an animated film. Sendak adapted his “Where the Wild Things Are’ into a stage production in 1979, and also designed sets for many operas and ballets, including Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker:, Mozart’s “The Magic Flute”,  and Prokofiev’s “The Love for Three Oranges”.

In 1957, Maurice Sendak met his partner, psychoanalyst Eugene Glynn, with whom he remained for fifty years until Glynn’s death in May of 2007. After his partner’s death, he donated one million dollars to the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services in memory of Glynn, who had treated children and young adults there. While his sexuality was known among his friends, Sendak kept his sexuality from public view for almost his entire life. When the social climate regarding homosexuality began to change, he  came out, at the age of eighty years old, during a 2008 interview with the New York Times.

Considered one of the most important children’s book artists of the twentieth century, Maurice Sendak died on May 8th of 2012 at the Danbury Hospital in Conneticutt from stroke complications. His body was cremated and his ashes scattered at an unconfirmed location. Under an agreement with, and supported by a grant from, the Maurice Sendak Foundation, his original artwork, sketches, books, and other materials, totaling close to ten thousand items, are housed at the University of Conneticutt’s Archives and Special Collections in the Thomas J Dodd Research Center.

Guillermo Martin Bermejo

The Drawings of Guillermo Martin Bermejo

Born in 1971, Guillermo Martin Bermejo is a Spanish Postwar and Contemporary artist who is currently based in a small village north of Madrid. Influenced by the works of French novelist Marcel Proust and Swiss painter and graphic artist Otto Meyer-Andem, Bermejo’s pencil drawings reference both historical paintings and literature to form a very personal world. 

Drawn in pencil on pages from second-hand notebooks and the covers of paperback books, Bermejo’s  work, although deceptively simple in composition, is woven with his own life experiences and memories. While some of his drawings are simple portraits, others portray elaborate scenes which contain the settings and the traditions of village life in the mountainous area of norther Spain. 

Guillermo Bermejo’ stylized figures, often taken from history, appear in subtly altered scenes taken from renowned artworks,  These figurative scenes act, in a visual sense, as legends in which the total story is understood only through the underlying meaning of the objects placed in the tableaux. An example of this is found in Bermejo’s 2020 “Aschenbach’s Dream”,  a drawing which relates to an interpretation of Thomas Mann’s “Death in Venice”, drawn with figures from Luchino Visconti’s 1971 film of the same name . 

Guillermo Martin Bermejo’s work has appeared at the 2018 exhibition at Real Academia de San Fernando in Madrid, the Museo Carmen Thyssea Malaga in 2017, and the 2016 exhibiton at the Fundación Santiago y Segundo Momes in Valladolid. His most recent solo exhibition , entitled “La Pleyade de la Espana Moderna”, was held in 2019-2020 at Madrid’s Museo Lázaro Galdiano. Bermejo also exhibited at the 2020 Modern and Contemporary Art Fair in London. He is  currently represented by the James Freeman Gallery in London.

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Madrid acquired a series of twelve drawings by Bremejo in 2020 for the collection. His works appear in a number of notable collections, including the Koc Collection in Istanbul, the Caja Collection in Madird, the Marine International Bureau in Mónaco, and the Spanish Embassy in Tokyo, Japan.

Ego Rodriguez

The Illustrative Work of Ego Rodriguez

Born in Gijón, Spain, in 1976, Ego Rodriguez is a self-taught, freelance graphic designer who has been based in the East End of London for the last twenty years. Born into an artistic family and initially trained by his parents in the arts, he began drawing in sketchbooks at an early age. Rodriguez’s work is currently focused on digital media; but he also creates work in acrylics, inks, mixed media, and watercolor.

Inspired by the fashion illustrations of Antonio López and Stefano Canulli, Rodriguez’s illustrative work is predominately  portraiture, done with well-defined aesthetics, clean edges, bold strokes, and contrasting colors, similar in style to the fashion illustrations of René Gruau, one of the best known artists of the haute couture world during the 1940s and 1950s. The central part of Rodriguez’s work has formed around his homoerotic images of male figures and his film world images due to their popularity.

In the beginning of Rodriguez’s art career, commissioned portraits for friends formed the basis of his art. Since then, his current body of work has included postcards, editorial work, logos, websites, wall paintings, and illustrative work for magazines, both online and published. Some of his clients have been Attitude, QX Magazine, Gay Times, and The Advocate. Rodriguez has also contributed work for The Pigeon Hole, an online global book club, and Swide, an online luxury magazine. 

Ego Rodriguez’s exhibition entitled “Macho” was featured in 2012 and 2014 in London, and also has been shown at Pride events worldwide.

More images, information on commissions, and contact can be found at the artist’s site: https://www.egorodriguez.com

Robert Littleford

 

Robert Littleford, “Acrobat”, 2019

Robert Littleford is an illustrator and designer. He studied at the Royal College of Art in London, where he earned his Master’s Degree in Illustration. Littleford’s work is mainly figurative and naive in style; his figures usually appear without facial definition and with extremities undefined. The influences on his work include the figurative, populist style of painter Fernand Leger, the pop art of David Hockney, and the ethnographical works of Henri Rousseau.

Littleford has exhibited his work at solo and group shows in London, New York, and Los Angeles. His paintings and illustrations have appeared in publications and advertisements, including The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, Conde Nast Traveller, National Geographic, and the Toronto Globe and Mail. Littleford has also created designs for both textiles and tshirts for such clients as Neiman Marcus, Harrods, Jeff Banks, and Paul Smith.

Robert Littleford is the designer and illustrator for “Adventure Walk Maps”, a city map series for London, Paris, Rome, and New York, among others. He was the illustrator for Bruce Bromley’s poetry book, “The Life in the Sky Comes Down: Essays, Stories, Essay/Story”, which examines life in New York after the Twin Towers fell.  Littleford also illustrated Philip Dundas’s novel “Daniel, at Sea”, an old man’s life story from Franco’s Spain to the eastern coast of the United States. He is the author and illustrator of “The Yellow Coyote”.

“Drawing is the spiritual heart of many processes in art, from architecture and design to painting and sculpture.  In a world increasingly dominated by digital representation, my practice seeks to explore and raise the profile of the importance of the human connection and fascination with the hand-drawn.’   —Robert Littleford

The artist’s site is located at: https://hand-drawn.site

Max Bernuth

Max Bernuth, “Ringende Jûnglinge (Ringing Youngsters)“, 1913, Oil on Canvas on Chipboard, 90 x 69 cm, Private Collection

Born in July of 1872 in Leipzig, Germany, Friedrich Albin Max Bernuth was a painter, book illustrator, and educator. After completing his primary education at a community school in Leipzig, he became an apprentice at a lithographic firm and was able, with a scholarship, to study at the Leipzig Academy. Bernuth, through the mediation of renowned print maker Max Klinger, was given patronage to study at the prestigious Munich Academy under Professor Alexander von Liezen-Mayer, the Hungarian-born illustrator and history painter.

Bernuth, in the period between 1894 to 1902, lived and worked in the cities of Munich and Innsbruck; it was in this period that he produced his most known works. His reputation as an illustrator grew, beginning with his employment at the illustrated weekly magazine “Die Jugend (Youth)”, founded in 1896 to promote new trends in the arts. Many of Bernuth’s lithographs and drawings of glass makers and woodworkers, created during his trips to the Bavarian Forest area of Germany, were published in “Die Jugend”.

While residing in Innsbruck, Max Bernuth met and married, in November of 1901, Emile Beate Elise Pötter, the daughter of carpenter Christoph Pötter and Albertine Hulda Zwade. Beginning in 1902, Bernuth was a professor of the figurative class at the Elberfeld School of Applied Arts, an arts and crafts school located in the German city of Wuppertal. Among the students he taught were secessionist painter Otto Friedrich Weber, architect and sculptor Amo Breker, and impressionist painter Carl Moritz Schreiner. 

By the 1930s after exhibiting his works in numerous exhibitions, Bernuth achieved a prominent place in Wuppertal’s art culture. He received many commissions as a portrait artist, and became known for his genre and animal images; eventually he became one of the best-known book illustrators in Germany. In October of 1932, Bernuth moved to Bad Reichenhall, a city in Upper Bavaria known for its natural beauty. He relocated in 1939 to the Max Bernuth, "Pantherspiele (Panther Games)", 1899, Illustration for Jugend, Band 2, University of Heidelbergkochhäusl in Bayerisch Gmain, a municipality in Bavaria, where he lived and worked until his passing on April 1st of 1960. 

A member of the German Association of Artists, Max Bernuth was influenced by the works of his teacher Max Klinger, the Symbolist lithographer Otto Greiner, and Realist artist Adolph Menzel, who is considered one of the most prominent German painters of the 19th century . A proponent of the metaphysical and ethical system of Arthur Schopenhauer, Bernuth was interested in classical literature, the poetic epics of Homer, and the novels of Miguel de Cervantes and Hans Jakob von Grimmelshausen.

Top Insert Image: Max Bernuth, “Dream”, 1913, Calendar Illustration, Lithograph

Middle Insert Image: Max Bernuth, “Schmiede in Niederbayern (Forge in Lower Bavaria)”, Date Unknown, Oil on Canvas

Bottom Insert Image: Max Bernuth, “Pantherspiele (Panther Games)”, 1899, Illustration for Jugend, Band 2, University of Heidelberg

Paul Klee

Paul Klee, “Tale à la Hoffmann”, 1921, Watercolor, Graphite, and Transferred Printing Ink on Paper Bordered with Metallic Foil Mounted on Cardboard, 40.3 x 32.1 cm, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Paul Klee was born in Münchenbuchsee, Switzerland, on December 18th of 1879. The son of German music teacher Hans Wilhelm Klee and Swiss singer Ida Marie Frick Klee, he was a talented violinist, who at the age of eleven received an invitation to play with the Bern Music Association. Klee’s attention turned from music to the visual arts; and he enrolled in 1898 at Munich’s Academy of Fine Arts where he studied under portrait painter Heinrich Knirr and painter and print maker Franz von Stuck. 

By 1905, Klee had developed his signature techniques and had completed a series of eleven zinc-plate etchings entitled “Inventions”, which would be his first exhibited works. He also worked  on a series of fifty-seven experimental works, drawings scratched on blackened glass with a needle, which included his 1906 “Portrait of My Father”. Klee’s artwork progress steadily over the nest five years, and led to his first solo exhibitions in 1910 at three Swiss cities. 

During the winter of 1911, Paul Klee, through association with art critic Alfred Kubin, met and collaborated with other artists, including expressionist painter Franz Marc and abstractionist Wassily Kandinsky. After returning to Munich in 1914 from a trip to Tunisia, Klee was inspired by Tunisia’s lightly-lit landscapes and painted his first pure abstract, “In the Style of Kairouan”, a composition of colored circles and rectangles.

By 1917, critics began to cite Klee as one of the best young German artists, which led to his representation for several years by German art dealer Hans Goltz, who was a pioneer for the modernist art movement. Klee taught with great effect at the Brauhaus schools from 1921 to 1931, as did his friend Wassily Kandinsky. Along with expressionist artists Lyonel Feininger and Alexej von Jawlensky and with the support of art dealer Galka Scheyer, they formed “Die Blaue Vier (the Blue Four)” in 1923, which exhibited and lectured in the United States from 1924. A extensive collection of their work is housed in the Städtische Galerie in Munich’s  museum Lenbachhaus.

Paul Klee began teaching at the Dusseldorf Academy in 1931, After the emergence of the Nazi Party to power, he was denounced as a cultural Bolshevist by the emerging Nazi Party; his home was searched by the Gestapo; and he was relieved of his professorship at the Düsseldorf Academy. Klee and his family emigrated to Switzerland in late 1933, where he continued his most prolific year of work, producing nearly five hundred works in 1933. Back in Germany in 1937, seventeen of Klee’s work were included in the “Degenerate Art” exhibition in July at the Institute of Archaeology in the Hofgarten; over one hundred of Klee’s  works in public collections were seized by the Nazi Party. 

Beginning in late 1933, Klee began developing symptoms of scleroderma, an autoimmune disease which results in the hardening of connective tissue. Enduring the pain, he was able to continue his work; his simpler and larger designs, with heavier lines and geometric forms, enabled him to keep up his large output over his final years. Paul Klee died in Muralto, Locarno, Switzerland, on the 29th of june 1940. He is buried at Schosshalden  Cemetery, Bern, Switzerland. His legacy composes approximately nine thousand works of art.

Note: Paul Klee loved the tales of the German poet, writer and painter Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann, who was nicknamed “Ghost Hoffmann” in his own country. Klee’s mixed-media “Tale à la Hoffmann” appears to be loosely based on the poet’s best-known 1814 lyrical tale, “The Golden Pot”, a magical story that switches back and forth between high fantasy and everyday life in Dresden. 

“The Golden Pot” recounts the trials of the pure and foolish young Anselmus and his efforts to gain entry to Atlantis, the heaven of poetry. The tree from which he first heard fateful voices speaking to him might thus be on the left; the odd, tubelike construction on the right possibly represents the glass bottle in which Anselmus found himself briefly imprisoned. The tale’s repeated references to time are reflected in the two clocks, and the vessel in the center may stand for the golden pot with the fantastic lily that gives the story its name.

Bottom Insert Image: Paul Klee, “Self-Portrait Full Face, Resting Head in Hand”, 1909, Watercolor on Paper on Cardboard, 16.7 x 13.7 cm, Private Collection

Ernesto Garcia Cabral

The Illustrative Work of Ernesto Garcia Cabral

Ernesto Garcia Cabral, know as El Chango, was the most prolific illustrator, caricaturist, and cartoonist in the history of Mexican journalism. Despite a successful sixty-year career and the production of over twenty-five thousand illustrations, he was never widely known outside of Mexico, with the exception of France, where his work appeared in several publications. 

Ernesto Cabral was born in Huatusco, Veracruz, Mexico in December of 1890 to Vincent and Aurelia Garcia Cabral. As a boy, he displayed artistic ability with drawings of his classmates and landscapes; his first known illustrative work appeared in a Veracruz newspaper in 1900. Cabral received a scholarship in 1907 to study at the San Carlos Art Academy in Mexico City, where he studied under painter Germán Gedovius, a graduate of the Royal Academy of Munich and a master of the chiaroscuro technique. 

Cabral’s professional career, as an illustrator and caricaturist, began in 1909 with his employment at “The Tarantula,” a weekly paper of humor and politics published in Mexico City. While at the paper, he illustrated political activist Aquiles Serdán’s telegraphed eyewitness reports of the Mexican Revolution; these ten illustrations by Cabral are the first known images of the Revolution. In 1911, Cabral was invited by editor Mario Vitoria to co-found “Multicolor”, one of Mexico’s first political satire magazines which took an anti-revolutionary stance and was fueled by criticism of President Francisco Madero”s administration.

With somewhat suspicious timing, Ernesto Cabral was offered a government-sponsored scholarship to leave Mexico and study art in Paris in February of 1912, just when “Multicolor” fell into trouble with President Madero and the Mexican government’s administration. While studying there, Cafral worked as an illustrator for the several French publications: the humor magazines “Le Rire” and “La Baïonnette”, and the mildly risqué erotic magazine “La Vie Parisienne”. He also became associated with important artists such as Diego Rivera, sculptor and painter Fidas Flizondo, and painter Angel Zarraga. 

At the beginning of World War I, Cabral was given another government stipend which took him to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he remained until 1917 or 1918. While living there, he illustrated for Argentina’s newspapers “La Nación” and “Caras y Caretas”, among others, and for the Chilean publications “Revista Popular” and “Los Diez de Chile”. 

On his return to Mexico in 1918, Cabral began to illustrate primarily in color and produced many illustrations, including art deco images, and caricatures for publications, such as “Revista de Revistas”, “El Semanario Nacional” and “Compañia Editorial Excélsior”. Established as a prominent caricaturist, Ernesto Cabral produced a prolific amount of editorial work throughout the 1920s and 1930s, during which time he also served as president of the National Union of Cartoonists. 

Ernesto Cabral is mostly remembered today for the posters and lobby cards he executed during The Mexican Golden Age of Cinema, which roughly spanned the years from 1936 to 1956. His style was solidified in the mid-1950s, beginning with his design for the 1956 Mexican comedy film  “El Rey de Mexico”. Cabral’s specialty was illustrations for comedy films. Although he did advertising work for several different studios, his most frequent assignments were for films produced by Mier y Brooks, a prominent studio during Mexico’s Golden Age. Cabral’s dynamic compositions, with their bold colors and cartoonish caricatures, were innovative in the field of film advertising and helped establish the careers of Mexican actors and comedians like Germán Valdés, aka Tin Tan, and Mario Moreno, also known as Cantiflas. 

Cabral continued, during the 1960s, producing work for publications like “Hoy”, “Jueves de Excélsior:, and the newspaper “Novedades”, in which he provided illustrations on the Cold War, the Vietnam conflict, and social upheaval in the world. The winner of the 1961 Mergenthaler Prize by the Inter-American Press Association, Ernesto Garcia Cabral passed away on August 8, 1968 in Mexico City at the age of seventy-seven.

A collection of Ernesto Cabral’s movie posters with descriptions can be located at: http://www.santostreet.com/subpages/ArtistCabral.htm

Felicia Chiao

Illustrations by Felicia Chiao

Born in Houston, Texas, Felicia Chiao is an industrial designer and illustrator who is currently residing in San Francisco. She attended Providence’s Rhode Island School of Design where she graduated in 2016 with a degree in Industrial Design. Chiao has experience in toy design, machining and shop work, sketching, and digital and physical prototyping. She balances her work at the global design and consulting firm IDEO with her greatest passion, drawing in her free time.

Traveling frequently due to work, Chiao carries an artist’s notebook with her, in which she daily draws illustrations. Her imaginative illustrations are traditionally done with Copic markers and gel-ink pens on brown paper. Much of Chiao’s work, often infused with a surrealistic atmosphere, are populated by a common humanoid protagonist, as well as black spirit-figures reminiscent of the creatures in Japan’s manga artist and animator Hayao Miyazaki. 

Felicia Chiao’s layered illustrations often depict her protagonists in mundane, everyday narratives and exhibiting states of anxiety and other complex emotions. Although the scenes appear whimsical, there is often, particularly in her most recent work, a sense of loneliness, foreboding, or confinement, a common feeling during this time of isolation.   

Chiao exhibited her work at the GR2: 8 x 8- Group Exhibition held by Giant Robot in July of 2020. Most recently she has a solo show at the GR2 Gallery through March 20th of 2021. The online show is at: https://www.giantrobot.com/collections/gr2-daydreams-felicia-chiao

For more information and images of her work, Felicia Chiao’s website is located at https://society6.com/feliciachiao/prints

Illustrative Posters of Switzerland

Otto Baumberger, “PKZ (Coat)”, 1923, Lithograph, 90 x 128 cm, Private Collection

Situated in the middle of Europe with a culture having three national languages, Switzerland’s graphic arts, particularly in the illustrative poster field, was highly influenced by its neighbors. Two of its most celebrated Art Nouveau poster illustrators started their careers in the 1890s during the Belle Époque in France: Eugène Samuel Grasset, teacher at the École d’Art Graphique and designer of the Grasset typeface, and Théophile Alexandre Steinlen who became known for his bohemian cabaret posters and advertisements, with their black cat image, for the notorious Le Chat Noir Club.

The new century brought forward a first generation of sophisticated Swiss-born and based poster artists who, without exception, had studied abroad in Paris, Munich, and other European cities. Important figures of this generation whose later works would form a major portion of Swiss illustrative posters include: Emil Cardinaux, a painter, who devoted to the poster medium, produced luxury hotel and travel images with the qualities of Japanese woodcuts; Robert Mangold whose work was inspired by Greek mythology and classical allegorical figures; Otto Baumberger whose realistically rendered work formed a synthesis between typeface and image: and Niklaus Stoecklin who brought a clean, precisely detailed, and realistic style to commercial advertising. All of these artist later became leading members of the Early Modernist movement in Switzerland.

The Swiss Werkbund, an association of artists, architects, designers and industrialists, was established in 1913 and provided a major momentum to the development of the Swiss graphic and printing industry, including its design quality and product marketing. In the 1920s, the association promoted functional industrial design and, coordinated with the Zurich School of Arts and Crafts, made contributions to the development of modern Swiss graphic design.

Ernst Keller, one of the co-founders of the Swiss Werkbund, was a professor at the Zurich University of the Arts from 1918 to 1956. He initiated a graphic design and typography course which used simple geometric forms, vibrant colors, and evocative imagery to explain the meaning behind each typographic design. Many of his students gained international acclaim in the design field, including typeface designer Hans Eduard Meier, who designed the Syntax typeface, and the graphic designers Hermann Eidenbenz, who designed the Graphique and Clarendon typefaces, Lora Lamm, a major innovator of graphic fashion advertising. and Richard Paul Lohse, a pioneer in book design and one of the leading members of the Constructive Art movement.

Both Zurich and the city of Basel were the home bases for design schools, printers, and publishers in the 1930s. Switzerland became an important focus for graphic designers from many countries, due to imposed artistic restrictions and political pressures of the rising National Socialist Party. In the 1930s, a major breakthrough in posters occurred with the work of Swiss photographer Herbert Matter, who had studied and worked with French painters Fernand Léger and Adolphe Mouron Cassandre in Paris. He pioneered the use of photomontage combined with typeface in commercial art. Photomontage was an effect where multiple photo images would be edited into a seamless image for poster use. In 1932 Matter’s  series of posters for Swiss resorts and the Swiss National Tourist Office achieved international acclaim.

The “PKZ (Coat)” , one of the most famous Swiss illustrative object posters, is a testament to the graphic skill of Otto Baumberger as well as to the lithographic and publishing skills of J. E. Wolfsenberger, Zurich’s renowned art graphics company. This advertising poster for the clothing line, Paul Kehl of Zurich, was the first object poster by Otto Baumberger in which he omitted all unnecessary text from its design. The advertiser is identified solely through the label on the coat. This poster was also an advertising first in the dramatic use of hyper-realism, as seen in the highly detailed rendering of the coat’s wool fibers.

Insert Top Image: Artist Unknown, “Lotschberg Tunnel, Loetschberg Railway”, 1912, Lithograph, Hubacher and Company Publisher, Bern, Private Collection

Insert Bottom Image:  Burkhard Mangold, “Fabbrica di Automobili”, 1907, Lithograph, 84 x114 cm,  J. E. Wolfsenberger Publishers, Zurich, Private Collection

Willem Arondeus

The Artwork of Willem Arondeus

Born in Amsterdam in 1895, Willem Arondeus was a Dutch illustrator, painter and author. At the age of thirteen, he attended the former Quellinus School, now the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, where he devoted himself to decorative painting. After a family dispute about his homosexuality, he left home at the age of seventeen and severed contact with his family. Contrary to the general custom of the time, Arondeus, even at a young age, openly talked about his homosexuality in his social circles.

After meeting artists in the neighboring villages of Laren and Blaricum, Arondeus decided to pursue a career as an artist. Traveling to Rotterdam, he studied painting at the city’s school for sculptors, the Quellinus School. He started his writing: work in 1920: and he received, in 1923, a commission for a large mural to be installed in the Rotterdam City Hall. Arondeus moved into the countryside of the central Netherlands to the city of Apeldoom where, in 1933, he met and settled with Jan Tijssen, a young gardener who would remain his partner for the next seven years.

Despite their financial struggles between the years 1923 and 1939, Willem Arondeus produced a significant amount of artwork in this period. He worked as an illustrator for the publications of Dutch poets J. H. Leopold, Pieter Cornelis Boutens and Martinus Nijhoff. He also received commissions for calendars and charity stamps, and painted landscapes in the areas of Amsterdam, Blaricum in northern Holland, and on the Isle of Urk. From 1930 to 1932, Arondeus made nine tapestries with ornaments around the arms of Noord-Holland towns for the County Seat.

Around 1935, Willem Arondeus ceased his visual arts work and devoted himself to his writing. He published two novels in 1938; “Het Uilenhuis (The Owls House)” and “In de Bloeiende Ramenas (In the Blossoming Winter Radish)”, both completed with his illustrations in the fin de siecle style. which embraced symbolism and the decadence movement. In 1939 Arondeus published “Matthijs Maris: De Tragiek van den Droom (The Tragedy of the Dream)”, a biography of the Dutch mystical painter Matthijs Maris, which eased his financial situation.

In May of 1940, the German army invaded and occupied the Netherlands, and required all, above the age of fifteen, to carry identity cards with all personal information, including religion. By 1941, realizing the danger of his work against the German occupation, Arondeus sent Tijssen back to their home in Apeldoorn. Soon after the invasion, he joined the Raad van Verzet, Council of Resistance, and in the spring of 1942, started an underground periodical “Brandarisbrief (The Brandaris Letter)”, named after the oldest Dutch lighthouse. With other graphical artists like Frans Duwaer, Willem Sandberg and Gerrit van der Veen, Arondeus started to hide Jewish citizens and to falsify identity cards, which eventually totaled over eighty thousand.

Aware of the prevalence of false identity cards, the Nazi occupation began to compare the cards with the information found in the Municipal Archives. A plan to attack the Archives and destroy all the records was made by Willem Arondeus, Gerrit van der Veen and others. This attack took place on the evening of March 27 in 1943. A fire was set; with the collusion of the local fire brigade to forestall its extinguishing, thousands of cards were destroyed, which hindered the registration process.

Willem Arondeus was arrested on April 1st of 1943 and sentenced to death in June at a Nazi court held at Amsterdam’s Tropical Museum. He took full responsibility for the attack, with the hope others would be spared. Willem Arondeus, along with a group of twelve, was executed on July 1st of 1943 in the North Sea dunes of Overveen. In his last message before his execution, Arondeus, who had lived openly as a gay man before the war, asked his friend, Laura Carola Mazirel, the future jurist and human rights activist, to testify after the war that “Let it be known that homosexuals are not cowards.”

In 1984 the Dutch government posthumously awarded Resistance Memorial Cross to Willem Arondeus and the others. Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, honored Arondeus in 1986 as a Righteous Among The Nations for destroying Municipal Records of Amsterdam, the result of which prevented the German occupiers from locating many of the Dutch-Jewish population. In 2001 twenty of Arondeus’s homo-erotic poems, written during his life in Urk and inspired by the work of gay Dutch poet Pieter Cornelis Boutens, were published as “Aloof Strophes (Aloof Stanzas)”.

Leo Maximus

Illustrations by Leo Maximus

Leo Maximus is a French graphic artist based in Paris and Montreuil, Ile-de-France. He studied graphic design and illustration in Paris. 

In his initial illustrations, Maximus used a rectangular format with strong shadowing and bold calligraphy which combined the feel of vintage advertisement with eroticism . For his current “Purgatoire” Series, Leo Maximus used a circular format  in his compositions called a tondo. This format, popular during the Renaissance, was used traditionally for religious scenes in paintings and reliefs. In this new series, Leo Maximus has softened his colors and tones to produce a more classical effect.

Paul Cadmus

Paul Cadmus, “Dancers Back Stage No. 1”, Date Unknown, Pastel and Charcoal on Gray Paper, 61 x 41.3 cm, Private Collection

The son of artists, illustrator Maria Latasa, of Basque and Cuban ancestry, and lithographer Egbert Cadmus, of Dutch ancestry, Paul Cadmus is widely known for his erotic and socially critical egg tempera paintings of social interactions in urban settings. His sister Fidelma Cadmus married Lincoln Kirstein, a New York impresario, philanthropist, and cofounder of the New York City Ballet. 

Throughout his career,  particularly in the 1970s and 1980s, Paul Cadmus produced many works on paper illustrating the subject of the dancer in the mediums of crayon, colored pencils, charcoal, and pastels . Most of these capture the dancer, not in the act of dance, but rather in the moment of rest, either before or after his practice and performance.

In 1965, Paul Cadmus met and began a thirty-five year relationship with former cabaret star Jon Farquhar Anderson, residing in Nantucket, Massachusetts until his death in 1999. Jon Anderson became Cadmus; muse and model for many of his works. Cadmus became close friends with many authors, artists and dancers including: novelist and playwright Christopher Isherwood, English-born poet Wystan Hugh Auden, New York City Ballet choreographer George Balanchine, photographer George Platt Lynes, painter George Tooker, and English fiction-writer and novelist Edward Morgan Forster.

Cari Vander Yacht

 

Graphic Works by Cari Vander Yacht

Born in Oregon, Cari Vander Yacht is a Brooklyn, New York-based multi-media illustrator and computer graphic artist. Besides her work for print media and corporations, she animates photos found in Portland’s thrift shops, turning them into surreal, often humorous, gifs. Originally part of a collaborative project with film artist Thomas Sauvin called “Reanimation”, Yacht has developed them into a new series called “Thank God It’s Monday Graphic Interchange Format”.

Cari Vander Yacht ’s first illustrative work was for The New York Times, a media publication to which she still occasionally contributes. Among her completed projects are; developing the branding for the Iranian soft drink Mr. Cat; animations for the Pop Up magazine; animations for Nike’s Lebron XIII shoe release; illustrations for Businessweek magazine and Brooklyn’s Parlor Coffee; an animated cover for Buzzfeed Reader; and a promotional animated graphic for Emerald Nuts.

Conan Chadbourne

Digital Mathematical Images by Conan Chadbourne

Born in 1978, Conan Chadbourne received his BA in Mathematics and Physics from New York University in 2011. He has worked in the fields of experimental physics research, digital imaging and printing, graphic design, and documentary film production.. Chadbourne lives in San Antonio where he works as a freelance graphic designer and documentary film producer.

Chadbourne  draws inspiration for his work from his experience in mathematics and the sciences. He is motivated by his fascination with the occurrence of mathematical and scientific imagery in traditional art forms, and the mystical, spiritual, or cosmological significance that is often attached to such imagery. 

Mathematical themes both overt and subtle appear in a broad range of traditional art: Medieval illuminated manuscripts, Buddhist mandalas, intricate tilings in Islamic architecture, restrained temple geometry paintings in Japan, complex patterns in African textiles, and geometric ornament in archaic Greek ceramics. Often this imagery is deeply connected with the models and abstractions these cultures use to interpret and relate to the cosmos, in much the same way that modern scientific diagrams express a scientific worldview.

Conan Chadbourn’s works have been exhibited at the Grace Museum in Abilene, Texas; The Art Center of Corpus Christi,;the Museum of Geometric and MADI Art in Dallas, Texas; and the Bridges Conference for Mathematics in the Arts.

“There are 212,987 distinct ways to partition a 4×4 grid of square tiles into component shapes composed of contiguous tiles, assuming any two such partitions are considered equivalent if they differ only by a symmetry transformation such as a rotation or reflection. There are exactly thirteen of these configurations which partition this grid of sixteen tiles into two component shapes of equal area, each composed of eight tiles. This image presents this set of thirteen equal divisions of this group of tiles.”

—Conan Chadbourne, Discussing his image “Concise Lesson in Uniform Partitions”

Louis Eugene Larivière

Louis Eugene Larivière, “Academic Drawing of a Nude Male with Arm Raised”, 1820, Black Pencil, Charcoal, and Stump on Paper, 58.6 x 43.7 cm, Private Collection

Born in Paris in December of 1800, Louis-Eugene Larivière was the second son of the painter André Philippe Larivière, and grandson of Charles Lepeintre, Painter to the Duke of Orleans. Three years separated Eugene from his elder brother, Charles-Philippe. The sons having   demonstrated natural abilities for painting, the father placed both with French painter Anne-Louis Girodet who in turn presented them to the Special School for Fine Arts: Charles-Philippe in 1813 and Louis-Eugene in February 1816.

Following in his older brother’s footsteps, Louis-Eugène Larivière participated in the historic composition competition as Girodet’s student. Ranked thirteenth, he did not enter the second round, but was noticed and, as a painter, was exempted from military service. Unfortunately, illness prevented Larivière from competing again in 1823; and the illness finished by carrying him off prematurely in June of 1923 at the age of twenty-one years old. 

A few family portraits by Louis-Eugène Larivière survive: one full of candor of his sister Pamela-Eugenie conserved at the Louvre; a protrait of his brother Edmond Larivière, and a “Self-Portrait”, both at the Museum of Picardy in Amiens. The works come from the collection of the painter Albert Maignan, the artist’s nephew by marriage who donated them to the Amiens Museum from the contents of the Lariviere brothers’ studio. 

A few male acacemy drawings by Eugene can be found at the Amiens Museum  similar to the image above. One of them is inscribed on the verso, “Eugène Larivière. 18 août 1817”, and countersigned by his teacher, the painter Pierre-Narcisse Guérin ,who corrected the student exercises of the Fine Arts students that day. Another academy drawing, dated 1818, and a few anatomical studies are know to exist in private collections. 

Salem Beiruti

Paintings by Salem Beiruti

Born in Lebanon, Salem Beiruti is a conceptual artist and illustrator residing in Madrid. Working after graduation as an art director in the fields of advertising, graphics, and fashion design, he has more than seventeen years of client and freelance work. Upon his move to Madrid, Beiruti became a full=time illustrator and artist. 

Beiruti’s skillful digital illustrations are unique and inspired by such artists and photographers as Patrick Fillion, Paul Freeman, Issauro Cairo, and Francisco Prato. His project  of mixed-media works “Morphosis” is a result of his personal journey as a man of an Arabic mid-eastern culture and its traditions to the man he is today. The art book was published in June of 2017 by German publisher Bruno Gmnuender.

For those interested in purchasing a print, Art of Salem is offering all prints at a 40% discount for Easter 2021. Please reference Ultrawolves when ordering. Thank you.   https://www.instagram.com/artistsalem/

Toussaint Dubreuil

 

Toussaint Dubreuil, “Apollo Victorious Over the Python”, Date Unknown, Black Ink and Stone Wash on Paper, Private Collection

Born in 1561 in Paris, Toussaint Dubreuil was a French painter associated with the Second School of Fontanebleau, a period of the arts during the late Renaissance that, centered on the royal palace,  became crucial in the formation of Northern Mannerism in France.

A man of noble character, Dubreuil was a master lute player, horseman, and skilled as a jouster. His works, many of which have been lost, are in the late Mannerist style, with highly elongated and undulating forms and crowded compositions. Many of Duvreuil’s themes included mythological scenes and scenes taken from fictional literature by such writers as Italian poet Torquato Tasso, the French poet Pierre de Ronsard, and the ancient Greek novelist Heliodorus of Emessa.   

In twenty years Toussanint Dubreuil had mastered all the significant innovations of the Mannerists in Italy and France. Not content with being their brilliant heir, he had achieved recognition, outshining contemporary painters Martin Fréminet and Ambroise Dubois, as the uncontested master of the Second School of Fontainebleau. Late in his brief career, Dubreuil  began working in a new, eloquently clear style which in France paved the way for the Baroque Classicism of painters Laurent de La Hyre, Simon Vouet and Nicolas Poussin. 

First painter to King Henry IV, Toussaint Dubreuil, after a short career, passed away on November 22, 1602, leaving behind him the image of a painter being exceptionally intelligent and notably skilled in drawing and the nude.

Walter Crane

Walter Crane, “Pegasus”, 1889, Pencil, Watercolor, and Bodycolor with Gum Arabic on Paper Laid on Linen, 71 x 71 cm, Private Collection

Born in Liverpool, England in August of 1845, Walter Crane was an English illustrator, painter, and designer primarily known for his illustrations of children’s books. Son of portrait painter Thomas Crane, he served as an apprentice to wood engraver W. J. Linton in London where he was able to study the works of the contemporary painters Dante Rossetti and John Millais, as well as  the Italian masters. Crane’s most important technical development was derived from his study of Japanese color wood-prints: he used these techniques in his 1869 to 1875 series of toy books.

Crane’s early paintings showed the influence of the Pre-Raphaelites, particularly John Ruskin’s works, and can be seen in Crane’s 1862 painting “The Lady of Shalott”, produced as an illustration for poet Alfred Lord Tennyson’s ballad of the same name. In 1864, Crane began to illustrate a series of sixpenny books of nursery rhymes for the color printer Edmund Evans. A more elaborate series, with influences from both the Japanese prints and early-Florentine painting, was begun in 1873 with the book “The Frog Prince”.

A strong instructive, moral element underlies much of Walter Crane’s work. For several years, he contributed weekly cartoons to the politically socialist periodicals “The Commonweal” and “Justice”. These cartoons were later published in a  collection entitled “Cartoons for the Cause” as a souvenir for the 1896 International Socialist Workers and Trade Union Congress in London. Between 1893 and 1899, Crane was art director of the Manchester School of Art, and then of Reading College, and finally was principal fo the Royal College of Art in Kensington, London for two years. 

Walter Crane worked with English designer and craftsman William Morris in 1894 on the page decorations of “The Story of the Glittering Plain”, printed in the style of sixteenth-century Italian and German woodcuts. Considered to be the best of Crane’s book illustrations are those in poet Edmund Spenser’s works, the 1895-97 “Faerie Queene” and “The Shepheardes Calendar”, published in 1897, both known for their design and vivid detail. He also illustrated the “Mrs Molesworth” collection of children’s novels, the 1873 edition of “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”, Oscar Wilde’s 1888 “The Happy Prince and Other Stories”, and British schoolteacher Nellie Dale’s instructive primer series “Teaching English Reading”, published between 1898 and 1907.

Walter Crane’s life ended on a tragic note. His wife of forty-four years, Mary Francis Crane, was found dead on the railroad tracks near Ashford Kent, England, ruled apparently a self-inflicted death due to temporary insanity. Heart broken, Walter Crane died three months later on March 14, 1915, in Horsham, Sussex, leaving behind three children. 

Image reblogged with many thanks to: https://hadrian6.tumblr.com

Walter Martin Baumhofer

Walter Baumhofer, Cover Art for “Doc Savage” Magazines

Born in November of 1904 to German immigrant parents, Walter Martin Baumhofer grew up in Brooklyn, New York. He went on a scholarship to Pratt Institute, studying under illustrator and muralist Dean Cornwell and painter Harold Winfield Scott. In 1925, Baumhofer began drawing interior illustrative work for “Adventure”magazine’s stories. Upon Harold Scott’s suggestion, he started to submit cover paintings to the pulp magazines. 

Baumhofer’s first pulp cover appeared on Clayton Publication’s ”Danger Trail” in 1926. His masterful cover paintings from the golden era of “Dime Detective”, “Dime Mystery”, “Dime Western”, “Pete Rice”, “Doc Savage”, and “The Spider” were among the most iconic images in pulp art history. The design and execution of Baumhofer’s work combined an impressive combination of sensational brushwork with a theatrical flair for composing striking scenes of intriguing villains, rugged heroes, and steadfast women. Some five hundred and fifty pulp covers grace his resume.

After joining the American Artists agency in 1937, Baumhofer made the transition to slick glossy magazines, initially starting at “Liberty”, a weekly general-interest magazine. With his successful work there, he added to his resume “Collier’s”, “Cosmopolitan”, “Redbook”, “Esquire”, “The American Weekly”, and “Woman’s Day”. In the 1950s, Baumhofer worked for men’s rugged adventure magazines, such as “Argosy”, “Outdoor Life”, “True”, and “Sports Afield”, producing vivid calendar pieces as well as cover and interior work..

Retiring from freelance magazine illustration, Baumhofer created landscapes, portraits, and Western scenes for fine art galleries. Due to the rise of television and the decline of pulps and reader’s magazines in the late 1950s to the early 1960s, his illustrations were not in demand. Very little illustrative work by Baumhofer was done in the 1960s and the 1970s. 

Walter Martin Baumhofer passed away on September 23, 1987 at the age of eighty-two. In the world of pulp magazine aficionados, he is renowned for his paintings, innovative design work, and his high standards.

Note: Doc Savage is a fictional character of the competent man hero type, a physician, scientist, adventurer, detective, and punisher of evil-doers. He first appeared in “Doc Savage”, Magazine #1, in March of 1933, with the series ending in the summer of 1949. In all, a total of 181 issues were published in various entries and alternative titles. Stories were written by Lester Dent and the magazine was published by Henry Ralston and John Nanovic of Street and Smith Publications. It was Walter Baumhofer who created the visual image of Doctor Clark Savage, Junior. Editor Stan Lee of Marvel Comics credited Doc Savage as being the forerunner to modern superheroes.