Keisuke Yamamoto

Stone Lithographs by Keisuke Yamamoto

Born in Osaka in 1961, Keisuke Yamamoto is a Japanese lithographer and painter known for his still lifes and landscape images. He graduated in 1986 from historical Kanazawa’s College of Art and Design with a Master of Fine Arts in Oil Painting and then studied lithographic techniques at a printing studio. Since his graduation, Yamamoto has been an independent painter and lithography artist. He currently lives and works in Kyoto where he maintains his atelier.

Lithography, in essence, requires clear systematic planning in its execution; errors can not be corrected. Yamamoto’s hand-drawn stone lithographs, although appearing simplistic, required great forethought and skill in carving. His work does not contain any narrative but instead focuses on the incredible stillness of a moment in time. The beauty of Yamamoto’s work is created by the interactions between time, silence, light and shadow, the composition of which places the viewer as an observing visitor.

In his “Light, Time, Silence” begun in 1992, Keisuke Yamamoto created a series of lithographs which reconstructed three recurring elements, chairs, stairs and windows, which were arranged in multiple settings with different lighting conditions. The main theme for this series was the conception of the natural flow of time. To achieve this, Yamamoto had to depict the surrounding spaces as well as the gradation of light with great accuracy. He was aware that our ability to see and understand the world visually was based on the light that reflected off various objects. Upon light entering our eyes, our brains process the information and present it to us as a particular object with a particular color and shape. Yamamoto understood the illustration of the visual world depends actually on the depiction of light; and the flow of time must be illustrated through changes in that light.

Keisuke Yamamoto is represented in the United States by the Davidson Galleries, a collection of nearly twenty-thousand works on paper, which is located on Occidental Avenue South in Seattle, Washington. His works can be seen at: https://www.davidsongalleries.com/collections/keisuke-yamamoto

Top Insert Image: Keisuke Yamamoto, “Apple Tree”, 1961/2013, Lithograph, AP, 38.1 x 60.1 cm, Davidson Galleries

Bottom Insert Image: Keisuke Yamamoto, “Sea Breeze B”, 1961, Lithograph, “Light, Time, Silence” Series, Edition of 20, 30.2 x 20 cm, Davidson Galleries

Ottilie Roederstein

The Paintings of Ottilie Roederstein

Born in 1859 to German parents in Zurich, Ottilie Wilhelmine  Roederstein was a painter who gained attention mostly in her homeland of Switzerland, but also in France and Germany. Her interest in painting began with the visit to her family home by Swiss painter Eduard Pfyffer who had been commissioned to do the family’s portraits. Beginning in 1876, Roederstein was allowed by her father, against her mother’s wishes and the prevailing social customs, to study painting under the tutelage of Eduard Pfyffer, so she would remain close to home

Three years later, Roederstein moved to the Berlin residence of her married sister Johanna and found a position in a special women’s class at the Grand-Ducal Saxon Art School under the tutelage of portrait painter Carl Gussow. Her first exhibition of paintings at a Zurich gallery in 1882 was well received. That same year, Roederstein followed her colleagues to Paris where she joined the women’s studio of portrait painters Charles Auguste Émile Durand and Jean-Jacques Henner. In addition to these classes, Roederstein also worked with academic painter Luc-Olivier Merson and painted nudes in special private evening classes.

In order to sustain herself as an artist, Ottilie Roederstein had chosen the genres of portraiture and still life, for which she used a dark-toned color palette. She soon departed from that traditional canon and began to paint religious imagery and nudes. By the very end of the 1890s, Roederstein had embraced the tempera medium which was in vogue among both traditional and avant-garde artists. She experimented with Symbolism and Impressionism in the latter part of her career before returning to her signature style in the 1920s.

Initially dependent on financial support from her family, Roederstein was able by 1887 to support herself with sales and commissions for her work. She returned to Zurich but continued to maintain her Paris studio on the Seine where she would work and exhibit several months of the year. Roederstein moved to Frankfurt, Germany, in 1891 to be with her partner, Elizabeth Winterhalter, a physician and one of the first female surgeons in Germany.

In 1891, Elisabeth Winterhalter had just  taken over a practice in Frankfurt am Main’s newly founded hospital, the Vaterländischer Frauenverein. She also set up the first gynecological polyclinic through a branch of the Red Cross organization. Although unable to obtain a German medical license despite her internships and Doctorate, she established a reputation as an obstetrician and gynecologist. In 1895, Winterhalter became the first female surgeon in Germany to perform a surgical procedure involving an incision through the abdominal wall. She also conducted research that led to the discovery of the ganglion cell of the ovary and published a major paper on the subject in 1896. 

Soon after her 1891 move to Berlin, Ottilie Roederstein quickly gained a wide circle of clients and, in 1892, began giving  women artists painting lessons at her  studio in the Städel Art School. She exhibited her paintings in Paris’s Salon and won a Silver Medal at the city’s 1889 Exposition Universelle. Her work was also shown at the Woman’s Building of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago, Illinois. In 1902, Ottilie Roederstein’s application for Swiss citizenship was granted; however, Frankfurt remained at the center of her life. Five years later, she and Elisabeth settled in Hofheim am Taurus, a western Frankfurt suburb surrounded by forest. 

Roederstein was a member of the Frankfurt-Cronberg Artists’ Association, a group which was attempting to establish the Impressionist technique of open air painting in Germany. She was also the only female artist to exhibit at Cologne’s 1912 International Art Exhibition. In 1913, Roederstein became a member of Frankfurt’s Women’s Art Association which campaigned for women artists’ rights to equal training and admission to art academies. During the first World War as exhibition opportunities shrank, she gave up her Paris studio and withdrew into the privacy of her Hofheim estate. Beginning in 1920, Roederstein bequeathed her own collection of important French and Swiss paintings to Kunsthaus Zürich, one of the most important art collections in Switzerland. 

In 1929 on the occasion of Ottilie Roederstein’s seventieth birthday, a large anniversary exhibition of her work was held at Frankfurt’s Art Museum and the city declared both Roederstein and Winte halter as honorary citizens. The rise of the National Socialist Party to power in Germany and the persecution of her Jewish friends and colleagues deeply affected Roederstein. She herself, as an artist, became subject to the state and had to contend with the government’s increasing control over the arts. After the war, Roederstein continued her painting and did  a number of portraits of women widowed by the war. 

Ottilie Roederstein continued to exhibit regularly until 1931. She produced a large body of work, of which more than eighty were self-portraits. She usually staged herself in a self-confident pose with a stern gaze, a posture that signified her emancipation. On the 26th of November in 1937, Ottilie W. Roederstein died of a heart condition in Hofheim am Taunus. The first posthumous exhibitions of Roederstein’s work were presented in 1938 in Frankfurt, Zurich and Bern in recognition of her artistic legacy and tireless work as a mediator between Switzerland and Germany. After a long period of obscurity, a retrospective of seventy works by Roederstein was held at Kunsthaus Zürich in December of 2020.

After her partner’s  death, Elisabeth Winterhalter created a joint legacy, the Roederstein-Winterhalter-Stiftung. She died in February of 1952 in Hofheim am Taunus. Winterhalter was buried alongside Roederstein in an honorary grave cared for by the community. For her efforts in opening the medical profession to women, a street in the Niederursel district of Frankfurt is named after her. 

Top Insert Image: Photographer Unknown, Ottilie Roederstein in Her Atelier, Date Unknown

Second Insert Image: Ottilie Foederstein, “Self Portrait with Keys”, 1936, 105.3 x 74.6 cm, Städel Museum

Third Insert Image: Photographer Unknown, ” Ottilie roederstein and Elisabeth Winterhalter, Date Unknown

Fourth Insert Image: Ottilie W. Roederstein, “Self Portrait with Hat”, 1904, Oil on Canvas, 55.3 x 46.1 cm, Stäadel Museum

Bottom Insert Image: Photogapher Unknown, Ottilie Roederstein and Elisabeth Winterhalter, Date Unknown, Studio Portrait Print

Clara Peeters

Clara Peeters, “Still Life with Cheeses, Artichoke, and Cherries”, circa 1625, Oil on Wood, 46.7 x 33.3 cm, Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Clara Peeters, “Table with Cloth, Salt Cellar, Gilt Standing Cup, Pie, Jug, Porcelain Plate with Olives and Cooked Food”, 1611, Oil on Panel, 55 x 73 cm, Museo National del Prado, Madrid

Clara Peeters was a still-life pioneer, one of the only female Flemish artists who exclusively painted still-life works. She was a contemporary of Rubens, Van Dyck, and Jan Brueghel the Elder, and as such, was active during one of the great periods of European art. Peeters is credited with the popularization of colorful, banquet or breakfast pieces, depicting sumptuous displays of tableware, goblets, food, drink and flowers, into the Dutch painting tradition. She is known for her meticulous brushwork, ability to capture precise textures, and her low angle of perspective.

While customs and law did not favor women’s inclusion in professional activities, a small number of women were able to overcome the existing restrictions and become painters. Factors such as the problem of studying anatomical drawings from live, normally male, models who posed nude in an activity was forbidden to women and thus limited their work to portraits or still-life paintings.

There is very little documentation on the life of Clara Peeters aside from her paintings. Scholars believe she was born between 1588 and 1590. Although a record indicates a Clara Peeters was baptized in Antwerp in 1594, both Clara and Peeters were common names. A baptism in 1594 would imply that her sophisticated 1607 paintings, the earliest dated known works,  were done when she was thirteen, which seems unlikely. By 1612, Peeters was producing large numbers of painstakingly rendered still life paintings. There is no known work of hers beyond 1621; the date of her death is also unknown.

While Peeters is not registered in the painters’ guild in Antwerp, she is described in a document as a painter from there. Of her known works, six bear marks on their painting panels indicating their preparation in the city of Antwerp. On the blades of three silver knives depicted in Peeters’ paintings are hallmarks, indicating their origin as the city of Antwerp; these knives also bear Peeters’ name which might be an indication of her own marriage, as silver cutlery was used as wedding gifts.

Clara Peeters’ first known work, signed and dated 1607, reflects the compositional and technical skill of a trained artist. She signed thirty-one works and dated many of them; another seventy-six works are speculated to be in her body of work, although documentation is lacking to assign them affirmatively. Although no record of patrons is available, it appears that Peeters was a successful artist. The fact that her work was widely distributed and is present in collections in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Madrid, suggests she exported her paintings through dealers and likely was able to achieve some profit. Four of Peeters’ early works came to the Prado Museum from the Spanish Royal Collection. 

Clara Peeters devoted her activities to still-life painting, deploying a style that emphasized the real appearance of things, in a period where realism was seen as an alternative to the idealism of the Renaissance tradition.Her paintings depicted fish and fowl ready to be cooked, cooked food displayed on the table, serving vessels, cutlery, other objects, most of them costly luxury items. These were all painted with great detail in the description of both texture and form: the brightly lit objects were presented in elegant contrast with the dark backgrounds. 

Peeters’ paintings show the tastes and customs of the prosperous classes in the middle of the Renaissance period. The tables in her still-life works include imported goods and food, such as wine, fruit, sweetmeats, and particularly fish, of which Peeters was the first artist to portray as the main subject of a still-life. Her work also included falcons next to dead fowl, the subject of an aristocrat’s hunt, and sea shells, prized for their exotic origins and beauty. 

Clara Peeters was one of the first known artists to incorporate self-portraiture into still-life paintings. Barely noticeable, they appear at least in eight of her works, often reflected on a silver-gilt goblet or on the lids of pewter jugs. On the surface of the right goblet in her “Still Life with Flowers, Gilt Goblets, Coins and Shells” are located six self-portraits of Peeters, where she is seen holding her brushes and palette in a stance upholding her status as a woman painter. Depicted in detail on such a minute scale, these self-portraits attest to Clara Peeters’s level of artistic skill.

Insert Images:

Clara Peeters, “Still Life with Flowers, Gilt Goblets, Coins and Shells”, Detai View of Self-Portraits, 1612, Oil on Panel, 59.5 x 49 cm, Karlsruhe, Staatliche Kunsthalle

Clara Peeters, “Still Life with Fish, Candle, Artichokes, Crabs and Shrimp”, 1611, Oil on Panel, 50 x 72 cm, Museo National del Prado, Madrid

Clara Peeters, “Still Life with Cheeses, Almonds and Pretzels”, 1615, (With Signed Silver Knife), Oil on Panel, 34.5 x 49.5, Museum Mauritshuis, The Hage

Matthijs Röling

Paintings by Matthijs Röling

Born in Oostkapelle, The Netherlands, in 1943, Matthijs Nicolaas Röling is a figurative painter, lithographer and academy lecturer who has carried on the tradition of realistic painting, enriching its language with artistic techniques derived from surrealism. 

Röling received his training at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague from 1960 to 1963; he continued his studies at the Rijksacademie in Amsterdam in 1963 to 1964 . He had his first exhibition in 1965 at the Drents Museum in the city of Assen . In 1972, Röling became a lecturer at the Academie Minerva in Groningen where he taught such future artists as realist painters Jan van der Kooi, Douwe Elias, and Peter Pander. Röling has also lectured at the Classical Academy for Fine Art, also in Groningen.

Matthijs Röling first achieved recognition for his work in 1976 with his series of still-lifes, entitled “Cabinets”. In 1983 he began working on large-scale decorative projects, such as monumental canvases and wall and ceiling paintings. In recent years these projects have come to occupy an increasingly important place within Röling’s highly diverse body of work.

Röling’s first large-scale, oil on panel mural, entitled “De Sterrenhemel (The Starry Sky)”, was finished in 1983. The mural is located at the Café De Eenhoorn in the city of Eelde, and consists of four horizontal panels, each panel depicting a section of the night sky with its zodiac symbols and measuring 196 x 173 x 16 centimeters. In a 1987 collaboration with Northern-realist painter Wout Muller, Matthijs Röling produced the mural “Boom van Kennis (Tree of Knowledge)”, which is installed in the auditorium of the Academy Building at the University of Groningen. 

Since 1962, Matthijs Röling has been regularly exhibiting his work in museums and galleries throughout the Netherlands, including Amsterdam’s galleries M.L. de Boer and Galerie Mokum, and Groningen’s Galerie Wiek XX. Röling received the Dr. AH Heineken Prize for Art in 1994 for his short operatic work. The Drents Museum in Assen houses a number of Röling’s paintings and sketchbooks in its collection.

Edward Ladell

Edward Ladell, “Still Life with Prawns and a Delft Pot”, c 1880, Oil on Canvas, 30.5 x 26 cm

Edward Ladell was a British painter known for his still-life paintings of flowers, fruit, and glass vessels, done in the style of seventeenth-century Dutch traditions. 

Born in April of 1821 in Hasketon, United Kingdom, Edward Ladell  spent his early years working at his father’s coach building business. He married Juliana Roope in July, 1848, and moved to the East Hill neighborhood of Colchester, with a daughter being born in 1860.  It is thought that he may have been apprenticed as a pattern designer of a Flemish textile company in Colchester, a business central to the city’s economy since the seventeenth century. 

Despite the lack of information on his art training, it is evident Edward Ladell was deeply familiar with the still-life paintings of the seventeenth and eighteenth-century Dutch and Flemish schools, either through museums or private collections. He successfully submitted an oil painting entitled “Study from Nature” to the Royal  Academy exhibition in London in 1856. Ladell again exhibited his work three years later, at the annual exhibition, and established his career as a painter.

Throughout the first half of the 1860s, Edward Ladell painted his characteristic still-lifes, always with meticulous attention to detail and realism. By 1865, he stopped submitting works to the Royal Academy; listed as single on the 1871 census, it is suspected that serious illness or accident took the life of Ladell’s wife and daughter.  It was not until 1868 that Ladell began to exhibit paintings again. 

During the 1860s, Ladell, with an acknowledged reputation as a still-life artist, accepted a small number of private students. One of his students was Ellen Maria Levett, who most likely joined his studio class in the mid- 1870s. Ellen became his wife in October of 1878, after which they made their home in the city of Exeter, where Ellen gave birth to a son in 1880. 

His domestic life settled, Ladell continued to expand his clientele through both regional exhibitions and the annual shows at the Royal Academy, the British Institute and the Suffolk Street Galleries in London. It was at the Royal Academy exhibition in 1880 that Ladell presented his “Still Life with Prawns and a Delft Pot”, which attracted attention from a number of critics who admired it for its realism and success at expressing shades and reflections. 

Between 1880 and 1886, Edward Ladell became a highly regarded member of the Exeter community. He died after a brief respiratory illness on November 9, 1886, at the age of sixty-five, and is buried in the Higher Cemetery behind St. Mark’s Church in Exeter. Today, Edward Ladell’s  works are held in the collections of the Museum of Croydon in London, the Royal Albert Museum in Exeter, the Reading Museum in Berkshire, and the Mercer Art Gallery in Harrogate, United Kingdom.

Max Dupain

 

Max Dupain, “Tea Towel Trio”, 1934, Silver Gelatin Print, 29.5 x 22 cm

Born in April of 1911 in Sydney, Australia, Maxwell Spencer Dupain was an Australian photographer whose influential style of commercial photography emphasized the geometric forms of his industrial and architectural subjects. He studied at both the East Sydney Technical College and the Julian Ashton Art School between 1933 and 1935, and  apprenticed with commercial photographer Cecil Bostock from 1930 to 1934.

During World War II, Max Dupain worked for the army camouflage unit; upon deployment, he worked for the Australian Department of Information until 1947. When he returned to his studio work, Dupain concentrated on more abstract architectural and industrial imagery instead of his previous portraiture and landscape work. This more abstract imagery established him as one of the most significant Modernist photographers in Australia.

Living in Sydney all his life, Dupain photographed the city from the 1930s until his death in July of 1992. Although traveling a few times abroad, including photographing the Seidler Australian Embassy in 1988, he was chiefly interested in the beaches and cities of Australia. Dupain’s photographic series of Australia’s beach culture are his most enduring images, with his 1937 “Sunbaker”, a low-angle shot of a male sunbather on the beach, becoming an icon of the Australian life.

Simple and direct in his work, Max Dupain, feeling that color was restricting in its objectivity, remained an adherent to black and white photography. His work has been collected by most of the major galleries in Australia and resides in many private collections. Dupain’s work was featured at the Photographer’s Gallery in London to celebrate his eightieth birthday, At the age of eighty-two, he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1982. Maxwell Dupain continued his work in photography until his death in July of 1992.

Note: Max Dupain’s collection of twenty-eight thousand archived negatives are now catalogued and preserved in the New South Wales State Library located in Sydney.

Bohnchang Koo

Photography by Bohnchang Koo

Born into a prominent Korean family in 1953, Bohnchang Koo attended Yonsei University in Seoul, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Business, and began his life working in an office. Dissatisfied with this career, he moved to Hamburg, Germany, in 1980 to study design and photography. 

In 1985, Koo returned to Korea, taking up careers as a teacher and photographer with exhibitions in Germany, Iceland, Australia, Japan, Korea, and the United States. He was a professor at the Kaywon School of Art and Design, the Chung Ang University, Institute of the Arts in Seoul, and holds a visiting professorship at London’s Saint Martin School. Koo currently teaches at Kyungil University in Korea.

One of Bohnchang Koo’s latest work series is “The Allure of Blue”,  delicate photographs of porcelain pieces from the Joseon dynasty. Captivated by its charm, Koo began studying and photographing these traditional Korean ceramics fourteen years ago. After visiting sixteen museums throughout Korea, he compiled a body of work to highlight the simplistic beauty of Korea’s cultural heritage of that time.

Bohnchang Koo’s work can be found in several published collections which include the 2004 “Vessels for the Heart” and the 2006 “Deep Breath in Silence”, both published by Hangil Art,  and “Hysteric Nine”published in 2003 by Nobuhiko Kitamura.

Bohnchang Koo’s works have been exhibited in over thirty solo exhibitions including: Seoul’s Samsung Rodin Gallery in 2001, the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts in 2002, Paris’ 2004 Camera Obscura Exhibition, Kukje Gallery, the Goeun Museum of Photography in Busan in 2007, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2010, among others. His work can be seen at San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum, Paris’ Musee Guimet, Hamburg’s Museum of Art and Craft, Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts, and Reykjavik Museum of Photography in Iceland.

Note:  The gallery images are from the March to April 2020 exhibition at the Choeunsook Gallery, a modern art and contemporary hand crafts exhibition space in Seoul, South Korea. The black and white images are from Bohnchang Koo’s photographic series “In the Beginning”, set in the landscape of modern Korea, which focuses on physical conflict and the frustration of things gained and things postponed. 

Dick Hendrik Ket

Paintings by Dick Hendrik Ket

Born in 1902 in the small port town of Den Helder, The Netherlands, Dick Ket was a magic realist painter. He was born with a serious heart defect, probably a symptom of Fallot, incurable at that time and causing insufficient nourishment of tissues and organs. 

In his childhood, Ket was encouraged by two teachers who appreciated his artistic talent. His drawing teacher, Johan C. Kerkemeijer directed him toward the techniques of oil painting. His science teacher Henri Adrien Naber, an author and theosophist, encouraged him to look into the relationship between geometry and mysticism. 

After studying art at the Kunstoefening Arnhem Academy from 1922 to 1925, Ket could no longer travel, becoming debilitated by chronic fatigue and growing phobias. He lived in seclusion with his parents in the small town of Bennekom, not venturing out of the house until after 1930. Ket’s exposure, through reproductions, to the art of painter Neue Sachlichkeit in 1929 led him to concentrate his work in the magic realist style.

Housebound by his illness, Dick Ket painted still lifes and self portraits. His meticulously composed still lifes are always centered on the same themes and are often composed of the same objects: empty bowls, eggs, bottles, newspapers and musical instruments. These objects are arranged in different angles to each other, painted as viewed from above, and seen casting strong shadows. 

During the period from 1930 to 1940, Dick Ket’s health progressively deteriorated, leading to his early death at age thirty-seven in September of 1940. Over the course of his career, Dick Ket produced approximately one hundred-forty paintings, a third of which were self portraits. Among the museums containing Ket’s work in their collections are the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Arnhem Museum, and the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam. 

Maurice Brazil Prendergast

Artwork by Maurice Prendergast

Born in 1858 in Saint John’s, Newfoundland, Maurice Brazil Prendergast was a post-impressionist artist who worked in watercolor, oil paints, and mono-type. At a young age with very little schooling, he was apprenticed to a commercial artist in Boston, where he became influenced by the bright-colored and flat-patterned work. A shy, reserved individual, Prendergast remained a bachelor throughout his life, closely attached to his artist brother Charles, a gifted craftsman and artist. 

Starting in 1892, Prendergast studied for three years in Paris at the Atelier Colarossi, under painter Gustave Courtis,  and at the Académie Julian. During one of his early stays in Paris, he met the Canadian landscape painter James Morrice. Under the influence of Morrice, Prendergast began sketching on wood panels scenes of elegantly dressed women and children at the seaside resorts of Saint-Malo and Dieppe. Later, drawing inspiration from the post-impressionists Pierre Bonnard and Edouard Vuillard, he developed a more sophisticated modern style, with boldly contrasting, jewel-like colors, and flattened, patterned forms rhythmically arranged on a canvas.

Returning home in 1895, Prendergast shared a studio with his brother, continuing in his work to focus on people strolling in parks, on the beach, or traveling the city streets. A trip to Venice in 1898 exposed him to the genre scenes of early Renaissance narrative painter Vittore Carpaccio and encouraged him toward even more complex and rhythmic arrangements. Prendergast also became one of the first Americans to embrace the work of Cézanne, understanding and using Cézanne’s expressive use of form and color.

A successful exhibition of the work Prendergast produced in Venice was held in 1900 at the Macbeth Galleries in New York. In 1907 he traveled to France; where,  after contact with the Fauvist movement, he started painting works with startling bright colors and staccato brushstrokes. Later in 1907, Prendergast exhibited his new work in a show with the group of artists known as The Eight, exponents of the Ashcan School. 

In 1913 Prendergast was invited to participate in the famed Armory Show in New York City which was largely arranged by his friend, landscape painter Arthur B.  Davies. In 1914, he settled in New York, along with his brother Charles, where he enjoyed great success with collectors such as Duncan Phillips, and attracted a number of important patrons, including John Quinn, modern art collector Lillie B. Bliss, and Dr. Albert Barnes, the founder of the Barnes Foundation. 

During his final years of his career, Maurice Prendergast spent his time sketching during the summers in New England and painting in New York in the winters. In frail health by 1923, he died a year later, in February of 1924, at the age of sixty-five.

Andreas Feininger

 

andreas feininger, skeleton of gaboon viper, 1952

Andreas Feininger, “Skeleton of Gaboon Viper”, 1952

Son of the late acclaimed artist Lyonel Feininger, American photographer Andreas Feininger was born in Paris in 1906, and graduated with highest honors in architecture from schools in Germany. At that time, Feininger was using a camera as his mechanical sketchbook for a reference aid in creating his building designs.

After a year’s work in France for architect Le Corbusier, followed by a struggle to find employment in Stockholm, Feininger turned his attention full-time to photography. He sold his first photos in 1932 and moved with his family to the United States in 1939. Feininger became a staff photographer in 1943 for LIFE magazine where he completed more than 430 assignments in a twenty year span.

Feininger’s works are known for their technique and panoramic grandeur. Such timeless images as the “New York Landscape Seen From Eight Miles Away in New Jersey”, taken in 1947, are notable for their harmony, balance, and grand scale. Through Feininger’s trained eye, the intricacies and beauty of both the natural and man-made world were magnified and intensified. His images revealed a new aesthetic of order and geometric perfection from the span of bridges to the symmetrical perfection of the skeleton of a carbon viper.

Bi Jianye

 

Born in 1985, Bi Jianye is an emerging artist originally from Dandong city in the Liaoning province of China.  He now lives and works in Shenyang. Jianye has been showing with Platform China,  one of Beijing’s most important contemporary art galleries, since graduating in 2008 from the Department of Oil Painting at the LuXun Academy of
 Fine Arts in Shenyang.

Bi Jianye’s recent paintings feature scenes from nature, but with a difference, as they reveal an out-of-place still life motif, or box, carefully placed into the composition. The box may be a comment that refers to the artist as a lonely and isolated figure in society, or perhaps refers to humanity’s forceful intervention with nature and the environment.

Bi Jianye uses thick paint that reveal carefully painted surfaces, using a muted palette of browns and creams to create quiet and assured compositions made by an artist confident in his art.

Time Stopped

Photographer Unknown, (Time Stopped: A Fraction of a Second Until 10:10)

“The main thing you remember is the noise. All that water cascading around you sounds kind of brutal, kind of dangerous, but time has stopped, so all you do is try to hang on and hope that nature, the ocean, treats you well. I just recall seeing another surfer way down the beach, and then it was all over and I was out, and safe, going wow, wow, that was a gift from nature.”
― Robert Black