Monday, November 30, 2009
James Brantley, Steppin' Out, 58” x 33”, acrylic/canvas, 2009
The lush landscapes and surreal cityscapes presented in Transference of Light are provocative, emotive and beautiful. Brantley’s scenes blend familiarity and mystery into complex visual performances. Always presenting a stimulating point of view in his work, Brantley’s newest series is no exception. In this new body of work, he has created a strong visual language that combines impressionist representation with abstraction. This unique combination redirects our expectations of light and space, expanding the mind to experience something new. Brantley masterfully paints his signature skies, clouds and sunsets, where he uses color and light with intense restraint to evoke powerful emotional responses in the viewer. Brantley’s paintings in this show are surprising and fresh as he explores new compositional structures.
Brantley’s work is held in major public and private collections including Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Brantley’s work in The Sorgenti Collection’s exhibition, Chemistry of Color, is currently on view at the Taft Museum in Ohio and will travel to Hudson River Museum in New York and Columbia Museum in South Carolina thoughout 2010. In addition, Brantley will have a solo exhibiton at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts in August 2010.
SANDE WEBSTER GALLERY
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New York, NY - Bloomsbury Auctions, the world’s leading auction house for rare books and works on paper, announces their annual holiday sale of original illustrations and fine illustrated books on Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at 2:00pm. The sale will showcase important works from the Golden Age of Illustration to the present day. It will commence with the artistic estate of award winning African American artist Tom Feelings - a native of Brooklyn. The late Tom Feelings worked as a freelance illustrator of children’s books for over thirty years.
Throughout his career, Feelings received numerous awards and honors for his outstanding portrayals of Africans and African Americans. Among the highlights of the sale is the entire collection of Feelings’ seminal 1996 work The Middle Passage ($250,000-$350,000), Caldecott Honor Book Moja Means One (1972), Now Sheba Sings the Song (1987) and Soul Looks Back in Wonder (1994).The sale will also offer the artist’s personal collection of paintings, drawings, fine prints and sculptures by such prominent African American artists as Don Nelson, Paul Goodnight, Karen Johnson, Joel Gresham, Leroy Clarke and Brian Collier. The second session will include a drawing for a book cover by Aubrey Beardsley ($9,000-$10,000), John R. Neill’s painting of Cap’n Bill as a merman ($10,000-$15,000) from L. Frank Baum’s The Sea Fairies , Willy Pogány’s watercolor for A Midsummer's Nights Dream ($12,000-$15,000) and Gustaf Tenggren’s early illustration of Trolls ($10,000-$12,000).
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
The photographer Roy DeCarava has died. The great chronicler of 20th century African-American life, especially in New York, DeCarava had a sophisticated aesthetic and a capacious sense of life. As one example of just how sophisticated, check out this picture, which I would say is the work of a man who had thought long and hard about Leger's great painting The City. In 1996 he had a major retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, a wonderful show that I reviewed for Time.
Like Cartier-Bresson, DeCarava had an eye for the off-kilter visual intricacies that a photograph can contain within its frame, so that even when he was working in a documentary vein, it was with an acute and unorthodox sense of spatial organization. I think one thing I said about him at the time of that MoMA show still stands:
To the question of what's personal and what's political, what's lyric and what's documentary, he offers back a teasing answer. It all is.
For more, click HERE.
NEW YORK, NY.- The Studio Museum has awarded the 2009 Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize to Glenn Ligon. Director and Chief Curator Thelma Golden announced the award to over 700 supporters and friends, including George Wein, at the Museum’s Gala 2009 on October 26. Jazz impresario, musician and philanthropist George Wein established the Prize in 2006 to honor his late wife Joyce Alexander Wein, a woman whose life embodied a commitment to the power and possibilities of art and culture. Joyce was a dedicated Trustee of The Studio Museum in Harlem and was deeply involved with philanthropy and the arts throughout her life. Inspired by Joyce’s lifelong support of living artists and envisioned as an extension of the Studio Museum’s mission to support experimentation and excellence in contemporary art, the Wein Prize recognizes and honors the artistic achievements of an African-American artist who demonstrates great innovation, promise and creativity, and includes an unrestricted monetary award of $50,000. Previous recipients include Nadine Robinson (2008), Trenton Doyle Hancock (2007) and Lorna Simpson (2006).
A distinguished panel consisting of Eungie Joo, Director and Curator of Public Programs, the New Museum; Carter Foster, Curator of Drawings, the Whitney Museum of American Art; Nancy L. Lane, Trustee and Chair, Acquisition Committee, The Studio Museum in Harlem; and Naomi Beckwith, Assistant Curator, the Studio Museum, met in September to select just one winner from a competitive pool of candidates recommended by nominators nationwide.
“In receiving this prize, which is so much in the spirit of both Joyce and George’s longtime support for the arts,” said Glenn Ligon, “I realized that while I sometimes take for granted the things that I do in my studio, other people think deeply about, appreciate and cherish the work I make. I am honored.”
A New York-based conceptual artist, Ligon has a wide-ranging art practice in multiple media, including text-based painting, neon, print, installation and video. His work engages social and personal histories, memory, and the ways in which groups and individuals are represented—revealing the complexities and subtleties of social constructs of race, language, sexuality and gender.
Born in the Bronx in 1960, Ligon received a BA from Wesleyan University in 1982. In addition to Stranger, his 2001 solo exhibition at The Studio Museum in Harlem, he has had solo museum exhibitions at the Power House, Memphis (2008); the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2000); the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1996); and the Kunstverein München, Germany (2001). His work has been included in numerous national and international group shows, including Documenta XI, Kassel, Germany (2002); the Venice Biennale (1997); and the Whitney Biennial (1991, 1993).
Ligon’s work is represented in many public collections, including those of The Studio Museum in Harlem; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Tate Modern, London; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. In addition, he has received numerous awards and recognitions for his work, including the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant (1997) and two National Endowment for the Arts grants (1982, 1989).