Tag Archives: modern art

THE COOL SCHOOL, THE STORY OF THE FERUS GALLERY, DOCUMENTARY, 85 MIN.

THE COOL SCHOOL is the story of the Ferus Gallery, which nurtured Los Angeles’s first significant post-war artists between 1957 and 1966.”
I remember the word ‘Ferus’ outside had this kind of magic to it. Ferus had a much sparer approach to showing art. If you want to put a tiny painting on a single big wall, you’re welcome to it. And the artist is the boss.”
—Ed Ruscha, Ferus Gallery artist
The Ferus artists in 1962 in a black and white photo. From left to right: Ed Kienholz, Allen Lynch, Ed Moses, Billy Al Bengston, Robert Irwin, Craig Kauffman, John Altoon
The Ferus gang, 1962. L-R, Ed Kienholz, Allen Lynch, Ed Moses, Billy Al Bengston, Robert Irwin, Craig Kauffman, John Altoon

In late 1956, medical-school dropout Walter Hopps met artist Ed Kienholz for lunch at a hot dog stand on La Cienega Boulevard. The two drafted a contract on a hot dog wrapper that stated simply, “We will be partners in art for five years.” And with that, the Ferus Gallery was born. Continue reading THE COOL SCHOOL, THE STORY OF THE FERUS GALLERY, DOCUMENTARY, 85 MIN.

PHILIP GUSTON: A LIFE LIVED, documentary, directed by Michael Blackwood, 1982, 62 min

Late in life, the artist looks back over a career that originated in social realism during the ’30s, moved to the center of Abstract Expressionism, and culminated in a return to figuration. Filmed at his retrospective in San Francisco in 1980 and at his Woodstock studio, where Guston is seen painting, the artist speaks candidly about his philosophy of painting and the psychological motivation for his work.

Initial release: 1982
Director: Michael Blackwood
Producer: Michael Blackwood
Editor: Ned Bastille
Cast: Philip Guston
Cinematography: Christian Blackwood, Mead Hunt

Art historian Katy Siegel quotes Frankenthaler in 1964 in response to a question from Henry Geldzahler, then the curator of American Art at the Metropolitan Museum, “How do you feel about being a woman painter?” Frankenthaler replied, Obviously, first I am involved in painting not the who and the how… Looking at my paintings as if they were painted by a woman is superficial, a side issue… The making of serious painting is difficult and complicated for all serious painters. One must be oneself, whatever.”

frankenthalerrobinsonswrap

Helen Frankenthaler, Robinson’s Wrap, 1974

 

2015-10-20-1445362812-9341115-4882.4NYC25264CROP.jpg

Joan Mitchell, Helen Frankenthaler, and Grace Hartigan at the opening of Frankenthaler’s solo exhibition at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York, February 12, 1957. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery and Burt Glinn/Magnum Photos

 

2015-10-20-1445362941-8079560-unnamed1.jpg

Helen Frankenthaler in her 10th Street Studio, New York, circa 1951-52. Photo credit: Cora Kelley Ward. Courtesy Helen Frankenthaler Foundation Archives, New York

Helen Frankenthaler, a painter who is having a seriously revitalized pop culture moment, was among those who also resisted this label.

2015-10-20-1445363277-4281458-PaintFrankenthalerFront.jpg

 

In a dynamic and excellently illustrated new book with essays about her ongoing influence, “The heroine Paint” After Frankenthaler” published by Gagosian Gallery, the art historian Katy Siegel quotes Frankenthaler in 1964 in response to a question from Henry Geldzahler, then the curator of American Art at the Metropolitan Museum,

“How do you feel about being a woman painter?”

Frankenthaler replied,

Obviously, first I am involved in painting not the who and the how… Looking at my paintings as if they were painted by a woman is superficial, a side issue… The making of serious painting is difficult and complicated for all serious painters. One must be oneself, whatever.

(“The heroine Paint” After Frankenthaler edited by Katy Siegel. Cover artwork © 2015 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Rob McKeever.)

THE PAINTING TECHNIQUES OF AD REINHARDT: Abstract Painting, AB EX NY via MOMA, 5 min.

Another chapter of the great AB EX NY series of short videos discussing the painting techniques of key NY Abstract Expressionist artists.  Produced for the MoMA exhibition: Abstract Expressionist New York, October 3, 2010–April 11, 2011

Filmed by Plowshares Media
Images courtesy of the Estate of Ad Reinhardt/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; and The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Photos by John Loengard/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
Music by Chris Parrello
Chris Parrello, Ian Young, Kevin Thomas, Ziv Ravitz

ELLSWORTH KELLY, hard edge art legend

Ellsworth Kelly’s earliest works of art were created in service to the United States, as part of a special camouflage unit in France during World War II. Kelly and his fellow artist-soldiers were tasked with fooling the Germans—using rubber and wood to construct fake tanks and trucks—into thinking the multitudes of Allied troops on the battlefield were much larger than reality. While this seems an unconventional early training for an artist, it proved a fitting one for Kelly.

“He was able to understand that there were these realities that for most of us are camouflaged,” says Virginia Mecklenburg, chief curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. “He would evoke those realities—a distinct feel of gravity, or the physics of weight and momentum that we rarely think about in tangible terms. He was able to get that across.” Continue reading ELLSWORTH KELLY, hard edge art legend

AB EX NY, The Painting Techniques of Barnett Newman: Vir Heroics Sublimis, via MoMA, 4 min.

Another short piece from the MoMA AB EX NY series, discussing Barnett Newman’s techniques in creating his Zip Paintings.

The Painting Techniques of Barnett Newman: Vir Heroicus Sublimis

Abstract Expressionist New York
The Museum of Modern Art, October 3, 2010–April 11, 2011
MoMA.org/abexny

Filmed by Plowshares Media
Images courtesy of Barnett Newman Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; and The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Music by Chris Parrello
Chris Parrello, Ian Young, Kevin Thomas, Ziv Ravitz

© 2010 The Museum of Modern Art