Artwork of the Week

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Sept. 23 Art Minute: Nancy Graves, ‘Geologic Map of the Sinus Iridum Quadrangle of the Moon, No. 8’

Posted on Friday, September 23rd, 2016

Nancy Graves combines abstraction with natural phenomena in order to convey her dual interest in art and science, along with her fascination with the transmission of visual information. Following upon an earlier series of drawings and paintings related to maps and charts of the ocean floor and Antarctica, in 1972 Graves produced a series of […]

Sept. 16 Art Minute: Arthur Hughes, ‘Ophelia (“And He Will Not Come Back Again”)’

Posted on Friday, September 16th, 2016

The sad madness and death of Ophelia in Shakespeare’s Hamlet was a favorite subject of the group of British artists who called themselves the Pre-Raphaelites. The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, which included William Holman Hunt and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, frequently depicted literary subjects, placing an emphasis on emotional and symbolic content. Though not an original member of the […]

Sept. 9 Art Minute: Vija Celmins, ‘Untitled (Ocean)’

Posted on Friday, September 9th, 2016

Celmins’ meticulous renderings of the natural environment in a reduced palette of gray represent the physical world at its most impersonal and neutral. Though her elemental views of vast space resist romantic notions of nature, they nevertheless retain an inherent elusive mystery and poetic resonance. Untitled (Ocean) is one of four lithograph scenes that Celmins […]

Sept. 2 Art Minute: Camille Pissarro, ‘Peasants Resting’

Posted on Friday, September 2nd, 2016

In Peasants Resting two women and a child take a moment to sit, perhaps on their way home after a day of labor; their slumping poses communicate fatigue. Pissarro conveys a restful mood with dabs of paint in complementary colors (orange and blue, ochre and violet) that—when viewed from a distance—coalesce into dappled light shining […]

Aug. 26 Art Minute: Ico Parisi and Luisa Parisi, ‘Sideboard’

Posted on Friday, August 26th, 2016

As sleek and sexy as its Italian contemporaries the Vespa scooter and the films of Federico Fellini, this sideboard, designed by Ico and Luisa Parisi, presents a chic example of Italian postwar 20th-century design. Designed for a dining room, its elegantly arranged and meticulously matched wood grains distinguish the angular lines of the horizontal body, […]

Aug. 19 Art Minute: Jules Breton, ‘The Shepherd’s Star’

Posted on Friday, August 19th, 2016

Barefoot and carrying a heavy sack of potatoes on her head, a young peasant woman returns from the fields in the early evening as Capella, the “shepherd’s star,” rises over her shoulder. Although the model was an actual agricultural worker from the artist’s native village in the Artois region of northern France, Jules Breton gives […]

Aug. 12 Art Minute: Jean Schlumberger, ‘Seabird Clip’

Posted on Friday, August 12th, 2016

The mid-twentieth century was the era of the artist-jeweler, who responded to a growing international affluent clientele with an increased desire for individual expression. The venerable firm of Tiffany & Co. in New York could not ignore the changes taking place in jewelry and metalwork design, both in the United States and abroad. In response, […]

Aug. 5 Art Minute: Winslow Homer, ‘Sunlight on the Coast’

Posted on Friday, August 5th, 2016

The subject of Sunlight on the Coast is the never-ending battle between the sea and the shore, captured under specific conditions of light and weather. The painting’s simplified composition, strong linear rhythms, earth-toned harmonies, and broadly textured brushwork determine its particular mood. A heavy blue-green wave rolls in and breaks over a shelf of brown rocks, spewing […]

July 29 Art Minute: Elizabeth Catlett, ‘Head of a Young Woman’

Posted on Friday, July 29th, 2016

Created the year Elizabeth Catlett moved to Mexico City, where she spent most of her career, Head of a Young Woman elegantly expresses Catlett’s abiding interest in representing the figure in a straightforward, powerful manner. In 1940 Catlett, who studied to be an artist with sculptor Ossip Zadkine (1890-1967) and painter Grant Wood (1892-1942), earned the […]

July 22 Art Minute: George Tooker, “Meadow I”

Posted on Friday, July 22nd, 2016

Though best known for anxiety–filled images of modern city dwellers seemingly trapped in office cubicle boxes or subway station mazes, George Tooker’s Meadow I has a rural setting and a timeless quality. Painted as a memorial to his mother, the painting is suffused with melancholy. The reclining (dead?) woman resembles Renaissance paintings of the Madonna collapsed in […]