Tag Archives: fine art

Mark Demsteader

Mark Demsteader, painter

Mark Demsteader (born 1963) is a British figurative artist. According to The Daily Telegraph, he is “one of Britain’s best-selling figurative painters,” and according to a great many people, he creates some of the most beautiful artwork by any artist alive today. (I, for one, completely agree…I find his work to be truly enchanting, both visually and viscerally.)

Born in Manchester, his formative years were spent in Manchester’s meat market where he would accompany his father (Harold Demsteader) to the family butchery and meat-packing business. Completely absorbed in the noise, smells, and sheer physicality of this environment, the young Mark learnt more about the structure of sinew, bone, and flesh—albeit livestock—than in any subsequent life drawing class.

Mark Demsteader, at work
Mark Demsteader, at work

As a teenager passionate about pursuing an artistic career, Mark completed two foundation courses: first and at Oldham and then Rochdale Colleges of Art. However, in the 1980s conceptual art dominated the mainstream market and there were little opportunities for a young figurative painter in Manchester. Forced to return to work at his father’s wholesale butchery, Mark continued to attend life classes throughout the next decade.

“Chloe Standing”
“Hannah Seated”

In the early 1990s the family business fell victim to the recession and Mark was spurred on to find a commercial outlet for his work. To allow himself time to build a portfolio, he took a job as an art technician at an Oldham grammar school for another ten years. A short course at the Slade School of Fine Art gave him an opportunity to tour the London galleries with his portfolio, but with Brit Art in the ascendency he found drawing out of favour. Eventually, a gallery in Blackheath offered him space in a mixed show where he sold six works. Mark gave notice at the grammar school soon after.

“The Crossing”

In 1997 he became a member of the Neomodern Art Group founded by Guy Denning. He has held an annual solo exhibition with Panter & Hall in the West End of London since 2004. He is now represented in Daikanyama, Japan by Art Obsession.

“Swathe” – image from Panter and Hall Gallery

Notably, he produced a surreal portrait of musician Anomie Belle for her album Flux, and 34 paintings of Harry Potter actress Emma Watson.

Anomie Belle
Emma Watson
Emma Watson
Mark Demsteader and Emma Watson

 


 Interviews:



For more information:

The artist’s website: markdemsteader.com
Twitter: @markdemsteader
Facebook: Mark Demsteader
Instagram: markdemsteader
Email: mark@demsteader.com


Text edited from:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Demsteader


Mark Demsteader

Digital collage portrait by Terri Maxfield Lipp
Created for The Artist Birthday Series
17 April, 2017
(click image for full resolution)


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Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse: painter, sculptor, printmaker

Henri Matisse (31 December 1869 – 3 November 1954) was a revolutionary and influential artist of the early 20th century, best known for the expressive color and form of his Fauvist style.


My choice of colors does not rest on any scientific theory; it is based on observation, on sensitivity, on felt experience.” —Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse was born December 31, 1869, in Le Cateau in northern France. Over a six-decade career he worked in all media, from painting to sculpture to printmaking. Although his subjects were traditional—nudes, figures in landscapes, portraits, interior views—his revolutionary use of brilliant color and exaggerated form to express emotion made him one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.

matisse at work

Henri Matisse was born on December 31, 1869, and was raised in the small industrial town of Bohain-en-Vermandois in northern France. His family worked in the grain business. As a young man Matisse worked as a legal clerk and then studied for a law degree in Paris in 1887-89. Returning to a position in a law office in the town of Saint-Quentin, he began taking a drawing class in the mornings before he went to work. When he was 21, Matisse began painting while recuperating from an illness, and his vocation as an artist was confirmed.

In 1891 Matisse moved to Paris for artistic training. He took instruction from famous, older artists at well-known schools such as the Académie Julian and the École des Beaux-Arts. These schools taught according to the “academic method,” which required working from live models and copying the works of Old Masters, but Matisse was also exposed to the recent Post-Impressionist work of Paul Cézanne and Vincent van Gogh while living in Paris.

Matisse began to show his work in large group exhibitions in Paris in the mid-1890s, including the traditional Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, and his work received some favorable attention. He traveled to London and to Corsica, and in 1898 he married Amélie Parayre, with whom he would have three children.

Matisse and his wife Amélie, 1913
Matisse and his wife Amélie, 1913

By the turn of the 20th century, the young artist had come under the more progressive influence of Georges Seurat and Paul Signac, who painted in a “Pointillist” style with small dots of color rather than full brushstrokes. Matisse stopped exhibiting at the official Salon and began submitting his art to the more progressive Salon des Indépendants in 1901. In 1904 he had his first one-man exhibition at the gallery of dealer Ambroise Vollard.

"Dishes And Fruit," 1901
“Dishes And Fruit,” 1901

Matisse had a major creative breakthrough in the years 1904-05. A visit to Saint-Tropez in southern France inspired him to paint bright, light-dappled canvases such as Luxe, calme et volupté (1904-05), and a summer in the Mediterranean village of Collioure produced his major works Open Window and Woman with a Hat in 1905. He exhibited both paintings in the 1905 Salon d’Automne exhibition in Paris. In a review of the show, a contemporary art critic mentioned the bold, distorted images painted by certain artists he nicknamed “fauves,” or “wild beasts.”

"Luxe, calme et voluptè (Luxury, Calm and Pleasure)," 1904
“Luxe, calme et voluptè (Luxury, Calm and Pleasure),” 1904-05
“Open Window,” 1905
“Woman With A Hat,” 1905

Painting in the style that came to be known as Fauvism, Matisse continued to emphasize the emotional power of sinuous lines, strong brushwork and acid-bright colors in works such as The Joy of Life, a large composition of female nudes in a landscape. Like much of Matisse’s mature work, this scene captured a mood rather than merely trying to depict the world realistically.

"The Joy Of Life," 1905
“The Joy Of Life,” 1905

Between 1905 and 1906, Matisse painted four different copies of the same scene in “The Joy of Life,” (translated from the original French, “Le Bonheur de Vivre“). Two of the copies are at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, one is at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and one is at the Museum of Copenhagen. The copy at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has maintained a vibrant yellow pigment that fills in the spaces between the reclining nudes in the middle the masterpiece. But a copy at the Barnes Foundation is gradually but steadily reacting with light and air and fading to a dull ivory color.

The copy of Matisse's "The Joy Of Life" at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has been steadily losing its vibrancy due to the chemistry of the paints the artist used.
The copy of Matisse’s “The Joy Of Life” at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has been steadily losing its vibrancy due to the chemistry of the paints the artist used.

Researchers took samples from one of the copies at the Barnes Foundation. “If we want to study the full paint layer, we take a scalpel and remove a tiny sample of the painting” that is equivalent to the size of a period at the end of a sentence of a Times Roman 10-point font, said one of the scientists involved, Jennifer Mass. The research found that when that top layer was exposed to air, the water-resistant, bright-yellow cadmium sulfide Matisse (and many other artists at the time) had used, oxidizes into cadmium sulfate. The binder, an oil paint used to make the paint stick to the canvas, can degrade to beige cadmium carbonate and cadmium oxalate. As for why one copy was not fading, Mass suggests Matisse most likely had substituted another pigment rather than cadmium yellow.

Research on, and conservation of, "The Joy Of Life," was led by Jennifer Mass, a senior scientist at the Winterthur museum in Delaware who was enlisted by the Barnes Foundation.
Research on, and conservation of, “The Joy Of Life,” was led by Jennifer Mass, a senior scientist at the Winterthur museum in Delaware who was enlisted by the Barnes Foundation.

In the first decade of the twentieth century, Matisse also made sculptures and drawings that were sometimes related to his paintings, always repeating and simplifying his forms to their essence.

http://art-matisse.com

After finding his own style, Matisse enjoyed a greater degree of success. He was able to travel to Italy, Germany, Spain and North Africa for inspiration. He bought a large studio in a suburb of Paris and signed a contract with the prestigious art dealers of Galerie Bernheim-Jeune in Paris. His art was purchased by prominent collectors such as Gertrude Stein in Paris and the Russian businessman Sergei I. Shchukin, who commissioned Matisse’s important pair of paintings Dance I and Music in 1909-10.

“Dance 1,” 1910
“Music,” 1910

In his works of the 1910s and 1920s, Matisse continued to delight and surprise his viewers with his signature elements of saturated colors, flattened pictorial space, limited detail and strong outlines. Some works, like The Piano Lesson (1916), explored the structures and geometry of Cubism, the movement pioneered by Matisse’s lifelong rival Pablo Picasso. Yet despite his radical approach to color and form, Matisse’s subjects were often traditional: scenes of his own studio (including The Red Studio of 1911), portraits of friends and family, arrangements of figures in rooms or landscapes.

“The Piano Lesson,” 1916
“The Red Studio,” 1911

In 1917 Matisse began spending winters on the Mediterranean, and in 1921 he moved to the city of Nice on the French Riviera. From 1918-30, he most frequently painted female nudes in carefully staged settings within his studio, making use of warm lighting and patterned backgrounds. He also worked extensively in printmaking during these years.

“Seated Woman, Back Turned to the Open Window,” 1922
“Interior At Nice,” 1919

The first scholarly book about Matisse was published in 1920, marking his importance in the history of modern art as it was still taking place.

"Woman Seated on an Armchair, Open Robe," 1920
“Woman Seated on an Armchair, Open Robe,” 1920

In his later career, Matisse received several major commissions, such as a mural for the art gallery of collector Dr. Albert Barnes of Pennsylvania, titled Dance II, in 1931-33. He also drew book illustrations for a series of limited-edition poetry collections.

“The Dance II,” 1933 – at the wonderful Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, PA
Detail from “The Dance II,” 1933

Matisse was diagnosed with duodonal cancer in 1941, and after surgery that same year, he was often bedridden. However, he continued to work from a bed in his studio. When necessary, he would draw with a pencil or charcoal attached to the end of a long pole that enabled him to reach the paper or canvas.

His late work was just as experimental and vibrant as his earlier artistic breakthroughs had been. It included his 1947 book Jazz, which placed his own thoughts on life and art side by side with lively images of colored paper cutouts.

This project led him to devising works that were cutouts on their own, most notably several series of expressively shaped human figures cut from bright blue paper and pasted to wall-size background sheets (such as Swimming Pool, 1952).

“Swimming Pool,” now located at the New York Museum Of Modern Art
One of Matisse’s most well known images, “Blue Nude (I),” from 1952.

In one of his final projects, Matisse created an entire program of decorations for the Chapel of the Rosary in Vence (1948-51), a town near Nice, designing stained-glass windows, murals, furnishings, and even sacred vestments for the church’s priests.

Henri Matisse suffered a massive heart attack and died on November 3, 1954, at the age of 84, in Nice. By his side were his daughter Margarite, and his longtime model, muse, friend, personal assistant and eventual caretaker, the painter Lydia Delectorskaya.

Marguerite Mattise, the artist’s daughter, speaks with Queen Elizabeth II, in London, 1966
Lydia Delectorskaya
Lydia Delectorskaya and Henri Matisse

 

Henri Matisse was buried at the Monastère et Cimetière de Cimiez, in Nice, France.

The artist’s sons, Pierre Matisse (L) and Jean Matisse (R), walk beside their mother Amélie at the funeral of the great artist
The funeral procession of Henri Matisse, Monastère et Cimetière de Cimiez, Nice, France

Edited from:

Barnes Foundation Matisse painting undergoes analysis to explore color changes


Henri Matisse

Digital collage portrait by TMLipp
Created for The Artist Birthday Series
December 31, 2016
(click image for full resolution)

 


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Henri Cartier-Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson: photographer

Henri Cartier-Bresson, (1908—2004) was a French photographer whose humane, spontaneous photographs helped establish photojournalism as an art form. His theory that photography can capture the meaning beneath outward appearance in instants of extraordinary clarity is perhaps best expressed in his book Images à la sauvette (1952; in English, The Decisive Moment).

Henri-Cartier-Bresson-photographer
Cartier-Bresson was born and attended school in a village not far from Paris. In 1927–28 he studied in Paris with André Lhote, an artist and critic associated with the Cubist movement. Lhote implanted in him a lifelong interest in painting, a crucial factor in the education of his vision. In 1929 Cartier-Bresson went to the University of Cambridge, where he studied literature and painting.

"Buttes-Chamont"
“Buttes-Chamont”

As a boy, Cartier-Bresson had been initiated into the mysteries of the simple “Brownie” snapshot camera. But his first serious concern with the medium occurred about 1930, after seeing the work of two major 20th-century photographers, Eugène Atget and Man Ray. Making use of a small allowance, he traveled in Africa in 1931, where he lived in the bush, recording his experiences with a miniature camera. There he contracted blackwater fever, necessitating his return to France.

Ivory Coast, 1931
Ivory Coast, 1931

The portability of a small camera and the ease with which one could record instantaneous impressions must have struck a sympathetic chord, for in 1933 he purchased his first 35-mm Leica. The use of this type of camera was particularly relevant to Cartier-Bresson. It lent itself not only to spontaneity but to anonymity as well. So much did Cartier-Bresson wish to remain a silent, and even unseen, witness, that he covered the bright chromium parts of his camera with black tape to render it less visible, and he sometimes hid the camera under a handkerchief. The man was similarly reticent about his life and work.

1933
1933, Spain

 

1933
1933, Spain

 

1933
1933, Spain

 

1933
1933, Spain

In more than 40 years as a photographer, Cartier-Bresson wandered continually around the world. But there was nothing compulsive about his travels, and he explicitly expressed a desire to move slowly, to “live on proper terms” in each country, to take his time, so that he became totally immersed in the environment.

1935, Mexico
1935, Mexico

 

1935, London
1935, London

In 1937 Cartier-Bresson produced a documentary film, his first, on medical aid in the Spanish Civil War. That year also marked his first reportage photographs made for newspapers and magazines.

Photographers Jacques Lemare, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Herbert Kline, 1937
Photographers Jacques Lemare, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Herbert Kline, 1937

 

Children playing - Spain, 1937
Children playing – Spain, 1937

 

Proud boy with wine - Spain, 1937
Proud boy with wine – Spain, 1937

 

The crowning of King George VI, 1937, London
The crowning of King George VI, 1937, London

His enthusiasm for filmmaking was further gratified when, from 1936 to 1939, he worked as an assistant to the film director Jean Renoir in the production of Une Partie de campagne (A Day in the Country) and La Règle du jeu (The Rules of the Game).

As a photographer he felt indebted to the great films he saw as a youth. They taught him, he said, to choose precisely the expressive moment, the telling viewpoint. The importance he gave to sequential images in still photography may be attributed to his preoccupation with film.

1939, New York
1939, New York

In 1940, during World War II, Cartier-Bresson was taken prisoner by the Germans. He escaped in 1943 and the following year participated in a French underground photographic unit assigned to record the German occupation and retreat. In 1945 he made a film for the U.S. Office of War Information, Le Retour, which dealt with the return to France of released prisoners of war and deportees.

 

Though Cartier-Bresson’s photographs had been exhibited in 1933 in the prestigious Julien Levy Gallery in New York City, a more important tribute was paid to him in 1947, when a one-man exhibition was held in that city’s Museum of Modern Art. In that same year, Cartier-Bresson, in partnership with the U.S. photographer Robert Capa and others, founded the cooperative photo agency known as Magnum Photos.

1951, Rome - Magnum Photos/Henri Cartier-Bresson
1951, Rome – Magnum Photos/Henri Cartier-Bresson

The organization offered periodicals global coverage by some of the most talented photojournalists of the time. Under the aegis of Magnum, Cartier-Bresson concentrated more than ever on reportage photography. The following three years found him in India, China, Indonesia, and Egypt.

1950, Egypt
1950, Egypt

 

1949, Nanjing, China - portrait of General Ma Hung Kouei
1949, Nanjing, China – portrait of General Ma Hung Kouei

 

1958, China
1958, China

 

1948, India - the funeral of Mahatma Gahndi
1948, India – the funeral of Mahatma Gahndi

This material and more, taken in the 1950s in Europe, formed the subjects of several books published between 1952 and 1956. Such publications helped considerably to establish Cartier-Bresson’s reputation as a master of his craft. One of them, and perhaps the best known, Images à la sauvette, contains what is probably Cartier-Bresson’s most comprehensive and important statement on the meaning, technique, and utility of photography. The title refers to a central idea in his work—the decisive moment—the elusive instant when, with brilliant clarity, the appearance of the subject reveals in its essence the significance of the event of which it is a part, the most telling organization of forms. Later books include Cartier-Bresson’s France (1971), The Face of Asia (1972), and About Russia (1974).

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1944, portrait of Matisse
1944, portrait of Matisse

 

1944, Matisse painting
1944, Matisse painting

He was singularly honored by his own country in 1955, when a retrospective exhibition of 400 of his photographs was held at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris and was then displayed in Europe, the United States, and Japan before the photographs were finally deposited in the Bibliothèque Nationale (National Library) in Paris. In 1963 he photographed in Cuba; in 1963–64, in Mexico; and in 1965, in India. The French filmmaker Louis Malle recalled that, during the student revolt in Paris in May 1968, Cartier-Bresson appeared with his 35-mm camera and, despite the explosive activities, took photographs at the rate of only about four per hour.

1968, Paris - student protest
1968, Paris – student protest

 

1968, Paris - student protest
1968, Paris – student protest

 

1968, Paris - Henri Cartier-Bresson photographed by Alain Nogues during the student protests
1968, Paris – Henri Cartier-Bresson photographed by Alain Nogues during the student protests

In the late 1960s Cartier-Bresson began to concentrate on making motion pictures—including Impressions of California (1969) and Southern Exposures (1971). He believed that still photography and its use in pictorial magazines was, to a large extent, being superseded by television. On principle, he always avoided developing his own prints, convinced that the technical exigencies of photography were a harmful distraction. Similarly, he directed the shooting of films and did not wield the camera himself. With this medium, however, he was no longer able to work unobtrusively by himself. Cartier-Bresson devoted his later years to drawing.

tumblr_nyudtxCj3R1rce5tlo1_500

His Leica—his notebook, as he called it—accompanied him wherever he went, and, consistent with his training as a painter, he always carried a small sketch pad. There was for Cartier-Bresson a kind of social implication in the camera. To his mind, photography provided a means, in an increasingly synthetic epoch, for preserving the real and humane world.

Henri_Cartier-Bresson

Cartier-Bresson died on August 3, 2004, at the age of 95. He was buried in the Cimetière de Montjustin, in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, France.

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Edited from:

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Henri-Cartier-Bresson


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Dwinell Grant

Dwinell Grant: painter, film maker

Dwinell Grant (1912-1991) was an American visual artist known for his nonobjective painting and his pioneering contributions to the field of art film.

grant profile

Clarence Dwinell Grant was born in Springfield, Ohio on August 11, 1912.  When he was twelve years old, he began studying landscape painting with his grandfather. Seeking further traditional training, in 1931 Grant enrolled at the Dayton Art Institute, which he discovered had modernist leanings, a style that did not much appeal to him at the time.

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After a year, he left Dayton to go to New York where he entered the National Academy of Design in 1933. By the time he arrived in New York, he had seen the Bliss collection and had begun thinking more along the modern lines that he had originally rejected, though at the time he said his painting had not yet progressed “beyond the pointillist stage.”

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After five months, he left the National Academy and in 1935 became an instructor in art and director of dramatics at Wittenberg College in Ohio. By this time, Grant’s paintings were nonobjective, and he had come to believe that nonobjectivism “is a part of the earth itself. … In creating it we do not say something about something else, but rather we produce a rhythm which is a part of nature’s rhythm and just as deep and fundamental as a heartbeat, a thunderstorm, the sequence of day and night or the growth of a girl into womanhood. . . . Nature is not something to be commented on, it is something to be.

2006.22.03.29

At Wittenberg, Grant had little time to paint, however his work with the drama department provided an outlet for his innovative ideas. For an experimental, symphonic drama, Grant designed and built a large, nonobjective construction, painted it gray, then lit it with colored lights controlled by dimmer switches. By varying the intensity of the lights, he found he could change the color, and therefore the mood, of the dramatic presentation. Although Grant’s avant-garde ideas soon brought him criticism at Wittenberg, his friends at the Dayton Art Institute encouraged his work, and suggested he write to Hilla Rebay at the Guggenheim Foundation for support.

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Rebay quickly became enthusiastic about Grant’s ideas and began sending him a fifteen dollar monthly stipend (which would be approximately equal to $260 in 2016) to help with the cost of materials. She arranged for Solomon Guggenheim to buy two of his drawings, and used several of his paintings in a group exhibition at the Museum of Non-Objective Painting in the summer of 1940.

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The Constructivist stage set had transformed Grant’s ambitions, and he yearned to make an experimental, nonobjective film. He wrote to Rebay, “I am no prophet. I am simply an artist who sees a neglected beauty that is bursting to be possessed. In the midst of the confusion of nationalism, here will be an art that is clean, naked and straightforward. It will be barbaric because it will have none of the sickening stupid veneer that civilization has laid on the arts for hundreds of years, but it will not be crude. And it will drive in to the emotions a new depth because of the primitiveness, the directness, and the fundamentalness of its expression.

Grant_Untitled_MR16_IMAGE_ONLY2

With Rebay’s assistance, Grant moved to New York and began working at the Guggenheim. His own art flourished, and between 1938 and 1941, he made several experimental films, including Contrathemis, an eight-minute, animated production, for which he did some four thousand drawings. (An edited version of Contrathemis is seen below with added modern ambient music by Vimeo member “A.R.“)

Another short film by Grant, entitled Color Sequence:

In 1942, Grant went to work for a commercial film company and during World War II made navy training films. Soon thereafter, he began doing scientific illustration and making teaching films for the medical profession. Although he continued to paint and draw independently, his career in medical films took precedence, and until the mid 1970s, he exhibited his creative work only on rare occasions.

grant-dwinell-abstract

In New York in the early 1940s, Grant was friendly with John Sennhauser, Jean Xceron, Irene Rice Pereira, and others associated with the Guggenheim Foundation. However, he did not become actively involved with either the American Abstract Artists or other organizations that provided an artistic or political forum for practicing artists. His own vision had developed independently, and although his paintings bear some resemblance to those of Kandinsky, his interest in balance and rhythm grew intuitively rather than as the result of a theoretical searching for new forms of expression.

tumblr_ly1pqrVWtf1qahuhjo1_500

Dwinell Grant passed away in Doylestown, Pennsylvania at the age of 79, on May 2, 1991.


Seen below is another of Grant’s short films, but with a very modern, jazz/prog-rock soundtrack by “Devil Music Ensemble,” which proves to be rather interesting accompaniment. I would like to believe that Grant would approve.


Edited from:


TML Arts aims for accuracy in content and functionality in posts.
Click the button below to let us know about typos, incorrect information, broken links, erroneous attribution,
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Special thanks to: Daily Artfixx, On This Day, Wikipedia,
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wonderful information and images.