Posts Tagged ‘Exhibitions’

Nude Study, 1938. Lee Krasner (1908-1984). Charcoal on paper, 25 x 18 7/8 in. New Britain Museum of American Art, Friends Purchase Fund, 1985.09.

Lee Krasner, a progressive female artist working hard throughout the Great Depression of the 1930s until the mid 1980s, has become known in larger circles as the wife of Jackson Pollock. Both artists worked for the government as part of the Works of Art Project’s (WPA) Federal Art Project (FAP) which was formulated by Franklin Delano Roosevelt during his four terms as US president, up until World War II. While Pollock may be a household name, Krasner is a celebrated artist in her own right. She was academically trained in drawing, painting, and other media. Yet it was the influence ofHans Hofmann that facilitated her Cubist-style detachments of forms in Nude Study. It was acquired by NBMAA in 1985, a year after her death. (more…)


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Rene Magritte's "The False Mirror"

The False Mirror, 1928. René Magritte (1898-1967). Oil on canvas, 21 1/4 x 31 7/8 in. The Museum of Modern Art. 133.1936

Following the First World War, Surrealist artists, such as Salvador Dalí (1904-1989), Yves Tanguy (1900-55) and René Magritte (1898-1967) employed in their imagery “meticulous detail, recognizable scenes and objects that are taken out of natural context, distorted and combined in fantastic ways as they might be in dreams.”1 Dreams have long fascinated human beings. Many a philosopher, physician and layperson have theorized their purposes and meanings, but perhaps none more so than the artist. One such contemporary artist working in the Surrealist tradition of dreams is Jon Rappleye, whose work will be featured in the upcoming exhibit NEW/NOW: Jon Rappleye: After Eden opening at the New Britain Museum of American Art on July 30th, 2010. (more…)

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Ballast, 2009. Sandra Allen (b. 1963). Graphite on paper, 18 ½ x 11 feet. Carroll and Sons Gallery.

Sandra Allen, born in 1963, has been using trees as the subject of her stunning large-scale drawings since 2001. Appropriate to her work, she lives and works in the small New England town of Hingham, Massachusetts. Previously a painter, Allen now focuses entirely on drawing trees, using mostly graphite on white paper. The result is a photorealistic drawing that requires viewers to come closer in order to see the hand of the artist in the graphite lines and shading. Allen explains her feelings on this form of art: “Drawing is both a noun and a verb. The action registers the process of the making and the image becomes an object of contemplation. Drawing is also one of our most basic primitive instincts and I consider it the closest medium to thought.” (more…)

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The Parthenon, 1871. Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900). Oil on Canvas, 44 1/2 x 72 5/8 in. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, bequest of Maria DeWitt Jesup, from the collection of her husband, Morris K. Jesup, 1914.

When looking at Frederick Edwin Church’s painting The Parthenon, one is reminded of the fact that artists have used other works of art as subject matter for several centuries. The Parthenon is part of seven masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of  Art on view until September 2010 at the New Britain Museum of American Art.

The Arch of Constantine with the Collosseum in the Background, ca 1742 – 45. Giovanni Antonio Canal (called Canaletto) (1697-1768). Oil on canvas, 32 1/4 x 48 in. Getty Center, 70.PA.52.

During the Grand Tour era, many Grand tourists would buy paintings by artists like Canaletto. He was famous for his views or vedute of Venice and is said to have used a camera obscura to achieve accurate perspectives in his paintings, yet he would often change his sketches corresponding to his own artistic vision. This can be seen in his painting of the Collosseum where he moved the arch of Constantine so that a beautifully framed view of the Collosseum is created. (more…)

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Chimera, 2006. Jennifer Maestre. Pencil stubs and thread, 21 x 12 x 12 in.

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Jennifer Maestre is a Massachusetts-based artist.  She graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art where she studied glass in 1999 with her BFA.  However, she is currently known for her sculptures made from sewing the tips of colored pencils together.  Her inspiration comes from the form and function of sea urchins.  She describes their spines as being “so dangerous yet beautiful, [they] serve as an explicit warning against contact.  The alluring texture of the spines draws the touch in spite of the possible consequences.  The tension unveiled, we feel push and pull, desire and repulsion.”

Maestre creates her sculptures by drilling holes into 1 inch sections of pencils and using them as beads to sew them together using a beading technique called peyote stitch.  The story of how this technique emerged from her studies at the Massachusetts College of Art is quite interesting: (more…)

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Dancing with the Woman in Red, 2008. Kwabena Slaughter. Detail at inch 410. 35mm slide filmstrip on light-box. Collection of the artist.

The photography-based work of NEW/NOW artist Kwabena Slaughter is currently featured in the New Britain Museum of American Art’s Cheney Gallery from Jan. 29 to April 25, 2010.

Popular photographic images bear a strong visual similarity with western painting; Slaughter deconstructs this notion of photography, as well as the structure of the camera, by utilizing an entire roll of film to create one distorted and continuous photograph. He considers cameras and photographs cultural artifacts that reveal a great deal about the society. His work asks: “what would photography look like if it had grown out of a different aesthetic tradition?”


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