Category Archives: Modernism

African Mask & Sculpture Influence upon Modernism (slideshow) — Related: “Disguise: Masks & Global African Art,” Brooklyn Museum, through September 18th

Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973): Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, 1907. Oil on canvas, 8′ x 7′ 8″ (243.9 x 233.7 cm). Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, USA.

Related Exhibition: “Disguise: Masks & Global African Art”
April 29 — September 18, 2016
Brooklyn Museum, NY

Among the European avant-garde in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there was a search for the “primitive” in art. The benchmark Armory Show of 1913 introduced the exoticism of African art. Adaptations of the shapes, contours and lines of African masks and sculptures quickly found their way into the new modernism styles. Premier among these works: Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, Paris, 1907.

Why masks? Maybe it is the simple mystery of it. Or perhaps it is an association with the mask’s original purpose, that of disguising a personal identity so to function as a direct conduit to the transcendent — or to magic. Or is it the symbolism of that which is ideal, beyond imperfection and thus more potent?

Currently showing through September 18th at the Brooklyn Museum, NY, is a closely related show: Disguise: Masks & Global African Art. The exhibition highlights contemporary works with historical African objects from the collections of the Seattle Art Museum and the Brooklyn Museum “within an immersive and lively installation of video, digital, sound, and installation art, as well as photography and sculpture.”* The romance, adaptation and influence of African art is happily still strong, vital, powerful.

— Jules Cavanaugh

* Press Release, Brooklyn Museum, NY


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Ed Moses — Santa Monica Auctions, June 5th

(Lot 87) Ed Moses (American, b. 1926): Nambe #8, 1987-97. Oil and acrylic on canvas, 72 x 60 inches. Signed and dated in ink on verso. Provenance: Brian Gross Gallery, San Francisco; LA Louver, Venice, CA, tag on verso. © Ed Moses.

A major painting by Moses, a central figure of postwar West Coast art, will highlight next week’s June 5th Santa Monica Auctions anchored by Robert Berman’s long established gallery. Nambe #8, is an iconic Moses ‘Grid painting.’

Secondary Market Modern & Contemporary Fine Art
Paintings | Prints | Photography | Multiples | Sculpture
Auction, June 5, 2016 @ 1:00 PM, PDT
Santa Monica Auctions, Bergamot Stations Art Center, 2525 Michigan Ave, Suite A5
The direct link for online bidding is: CollectEdMoses.com

Ed Moses is premier among the Southern California postwar abstract painters. He was among the first generation of artists to exhibit at L.A.’s legendary Ferus Gallery in 1957. At 90 years ‘young,’ he shows no sign of slowing down in a most notable career. Clement Greenberg solidified his modern art historical status in his review of Moses’ solo NY show in 1973. Ed Moses continues to work and exhibit worldwide. The William Turner Gallery took over the former Santa Monica Museum to mount “Moses@90,” a survey of his works spanning six decades, which will remain on view through June 25th.

Ed Moses (American, b. 1926): #1 (Sink), 2004. Pigment print on Epson Ultrasmooth Fine Art paper. Paper: 43-1/2 x 63-1/2 inches (110.49 x 161.29 cm), Image: 40 x 60 inches (101.6 x 152.4 cm). The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA, USA. © Ed Moses.

Ed Moses (American, b. 1926): A-1, 2007. Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 72 inches. © Ed Moses. Photography: © Alan Shaffer.

Ed Moses (American, b. 1926): A-1, 2007. Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 72 inches. © Ed Moses. Photography: © Alan Shaffer.

Ed Moses (American, b. 1926): Chosp, 2008. Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 96 inches. Private Collection. © Ed Moses.

Ed Moses (American, b. 1926): Gacos, 1988. Oil and acrylic on canvas, 198.12 x 167.64 cm. (78 x 66 inches). © Ed Moses.

Ed Moses (American, b. 1926): Gacos, 1988. Oil and acrylic on canvas, 198.12 x 167.64 cm. (78 x 66 inches). © Ed Moses.

Ed Moses (American, b. 1926): Zook #4, 2005. Acrylic on canvas, 72 x 60 inches. © Ed Moses.

For Love — of Chagall

“In our life there is a single color, as on an artist palette which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love.”

(Marc Chagall)

 

Perhaps it’s the hot, sultry July nights, or maybe the all-too-lengthy drought…

Whatever the cause, my mind gravitates to the luscious artworks of Chagall. Specifically, his highly charged images of lovers. Often incorporating depictions of his beloved wife Bella and village life, he remains unrivaled in his masterful exploitation of emotive colors, fantastic imagery, unbridled joy — happy and uninhibited expressions of spiritual and sensual passions. With a deft hand, with a loving hand, he created a pageantry of life’s exuberance and exultation that lives and breathes today… that satisfies on a hot July night, that eases the drought…

What’s not to love?