Artwork of the Week

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April 17 Art Minute: Helen Frankenthaler, ‘Blue Jay’

Posted on Monday, April 17th, 2017

Abstract Expressionist painter Helen Frankenthaler was a significant participant in the the postwar American art scene, rising to prominence in the 1950s. By the 1960s, Frankenthaler increasingly utilized a technique she referred to as “soak stain,” achieved by painting directly onto an unprimed canvas with turpentine–diluted oil paints. The effect of the soak stain technique […]

April 3 Art Minute: Giorgio Morandi, ‘Still Life with a Bottle’

Posted on Monday, April 3rd, 2017

“I do one picture, and then I see the possibility of a new development. And so I do another and another. What is more human than to paint things made by man?” Painting still lifes almost exclusively, in which he often repeated the same motifs over and over, Giorgio Morandi stood apart from the various […]

March 27 Art Minute: Maya Lin, ‘Silver Erie’

Posted on Monday, March 27th, 2017

In the age of Google Maps, we often take for granted our ability to see Earth’s features from a height of miles. Geographical mapping and topography play a large role in this sculpture by Maya Lin. For Silver Erie, Ohio native Lin removes the contours of Lake Erie and the Maumee River (the lake is about six […]

March 20 Art Minute: Mary Sibande, ‘Rubber Soul, Monument of Aspiration’

Posted on Monday, March 20th, 2017

[My] work addresses ideas of binary opposites of ‘power and weakness,’ ‘effort and the lack thereof,’ but also complicated by ways of representing this conundrum. In her work Mary Sibande investigates issues of race, class, and power in post–Apartheid South Africa. Rubber Soul is the last in a series depicting Sibande’s semi-autobiographical character Sophie, a […]

March 13 Art Minute: Judith Reigl, “Art of the Fugue (Art de la Fugue)”

Posted on Monday, March 13th, 2017

I paint where I live and my implement is my body. After escaping her native Hungary from behind the Iron Curtain in 1950, Judit Reigl settled in Paris where she could exercise her artistic freedom. Her development as an artist progressed from surrealist imagery to the figurative form. Ultimately, she found herself drawn to the […]

Mar. 6 Art Minute: Magdalene Odundo, “Untitled”

Posted on Monday, March 6th, 2017

Art is intuitive; it is the essence of being human. Kenyan–born artist Magdalene Odundo’s style is very much influenced by African metalwork and American Southwest ceramics. This work from 1988 was created after several trips to Kenya and Nigeria as well to New Mexico, where she saw Puebloan black wares being created. Odundo hand-built this […]

Feb. 27 Art Minute: Jacob Lawrence, ‘Barber Shop’

Posted on Monday, February 27th, 2017

“When the subject is strong, simplicity is the only way to treat it.”—Jacob Lawrence The barbershop has always occupied an essential place for men in African-American society.  Not simply a place to get a haircut, it is also a magnet for social interaction, a place to discuss issues of the day. While artist Jacob Lawrence […]

Feb. 20 Art Minute: Kara Walker, ‘Freedom: A Fable’

Posted on Monday, February 20th, 2017

Freedom: A Fable is the first work by Kara Walker in book format and inspired by literary memoirs of former slaves or novels like Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Similar to her murals, the artist here employs black paper silhouettes to narrate the history of southern American slavery in an ironic and provocative manner. Her paper cut-outs […]

Feb. 13 Art Minute: Kehinde Wiley, ‘Saint Francis of Paola’

Posted on Monday, February 13th, 2017

How do you look at a young black man in American society? It is a very important question, especially at this moment in our culture. — Kehinde Wiley Though now Kehinde Wiley sometimes paints well–known figures, he still practices the collaborative method he developed in his early career, which he calls “street casting.” As he […]

Feb 6. Art Minute: Elizabeth Catlett, ‘Playmates,’ from ‘For My People’

Posted on Monday, February 6th, 2017

The granddaughter of slaves, Elizabeth Catlett grew up in segregated Washington, D.C. In 1946, she was awarded a Rosenwald Foundation fellowship to study art in Mexico City, moving there permanently in 1947 and marrying Mexican artist Francisco Mura. Catlett had a strong social conscience, and throughout her long career her art not only celebrated black […]