John Harvey McCracken
John Harvey McCracken Biography
John Harvey McCracken (December 9, 1934 – April 8, 2011) minimalist artist. He was born in Berkeley, California, United States. He excelled in sculpture and was a reference to the Minimalist Movement. He dedicated four years of his youth to serve in the United States Navy. Subsequently, he entered the California School of Arts and Crafts in Oakland.
Obtaining a BFA in 1962 and completing most of the work for an MFA. Academic life allowed him to meet characters like Gordon Onslow Ford and Tony DeLap. He was hired at several recognized universities where he taught different art subjects, worked at the University of California, School of Visual Arts, University of Nevada, University of California, Santa Barbara, among others.
His first sculptural work was done with the minimalists John Slorp and Peter Schnore, and the painters Tom Nuzum, Vincent Perez, and Terry StJohn. Dennis also known Oppenheim, enrolled in the MFA program at Stanford. He began to experiment with increasingly three-dimensional canvases, McCracken began producing art objects made with industrial techniques and materials such as plywood, spray lacquer, pigmented resin, resulting in striking minimalist works with highly reflective and soft surfaces. He applied similar techniques in the construction of surfboards.
Later, McCracken was part of the Light and Space movement composed by artists such as James Turrell, Peter Alexander, Larry Bell, Robert Irwin, and others. The biggest influences of the art circle were Barnett Newman and the minimalists like Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, and Carl Andre. Thanks to this space, his sculptural work began to walk between the material world and design. He was the first to conceive the idea of the plank. The artist combined aspects of painting and sculpture in his work and many experimented with impersonal and elegant surfaces. In addition to the planks, the artist also created independent wall pieces and sculptures with different shapes and sizes, worked in highly polished stainless steel and bronze.
In McCracken’s work, it is usual to see solid colors in bold with its highly polished finish, it is a way that takes work to another dimension. His palette included pink gum, lemon yellow, deep sapphire and ebony, which he applied as a monochrome. He also made objects of stained wood, highly polished bronze and reflective stainless steel. For several years he relied on Hindu and Buddhist mandalas to make a series of paintings, they were exhibited at Castello di Rivoli in 2011.
His wife was the artist Gail Barringer, she revived to a certain extent her husband’s artistic career, and earned her the recognition of a younger generation of artists, merchants, and curators. Unfortunately, he died on April 8, 2011. Years before, his work had been honored in Documenta 12 in Kassel.
- “Primary structures” in the Jewish Museum (1966)
- “American sculpture of the sixties” at the Los Angeles County Museum (1967).
- “Inverleith House” at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (2009)
His top ten auction prices exceed $ 200,000, including his high auction mark for a Black Plank, in polyester resin, fiberglass and plywood, which sold for $ 358,637 at Phillips de Pury & Company London in June 2007. More recently, Flash (2002), a red-board piece of firefighters, sold for $ 290,500 at Christie’s New York in 2010.
Nine Planks V, Blue column, Plank, Don’t tell me when to stop, Mykonos, Pyramid, Blue Post and Dintel I, Love in Italian, Right, Blue Post and Dintel, Yellow pyramid, The Absolutely Naked Fragrance, Violet Block in two parties, you won’t know which one until you’ve been to All of Them, Red Plank, Ala (Aile), among others.
Biography of Gustave Courbet
Gustave Courbet, Jean Désiré Gustave Courbet (1819-1877) was a painter. Courbet was born in the French town of Ornans. His parents and family were landowners in Ornans. Courbet was influenced by his parents to study law, but his true passion was drawing. Therefore, while studying law, he began drawing under the tutelage of a student named Flajoulot. When he turned 20, he withdrew from his law studies and moved to Paris to complete his artistic training with the teachings of Steuben, Bonvin, and Père Baud, a student of Gros. There he became interested in the works of Chardin, the Le Nain brothers, and the Spanish painters Ribera, Zurbarán, Murillo, and Velázquez.
Based in Paris since 1839, he delved into the Realist painting trend of the 19th century. He studied at the Swiss Academy and extensively analyzed the works of some artists from the Flemish, Venetian, and Dutch schools of the 16th and 17th centuries. He achieved artistic maturity when he discovered the works of Rembrandt on a trip he took to the Netherlands in 1847. From then on, works such as L’après diner a Ornans (1849), El entierro en Ornans (1849) or Los paisanos de Flagey volviendo del campo (1850) emerged, where the characters are represented with all their vulgarity or a compromising sensuality.
Courbet’s works caused a stir and controversy because the public was faced with a new realistic vision of everyday events. Additionally, his style as a revolutionary and provocative man, follower of the anarchist philosophy of Proudhon, and participant in the 1871 Paris Commune, led to his imprisonment for six months, until he sought refuge in Switzerland in 1873. All of this scandalized the public, who often criticized him but also admired him. His self-portraits were based on Romanticism. In 1846, he wrote a manifesto against Romantic and neoclassical tendencies with Bouchon. Courbet’s realism was a protest against the sterile academic painting and exotic motifs of Romanticism. He focused on the revolutionary environments of the 19th century.
He traveled to Holland to study the works of Hals and Rembrandt and participated indirectly in the military uprising. During this period, two of his most important realist works were created: The Burial at Ornans and The Stone Breakers, this work was lost due to World War II. Courbet’s paintings elicited all types of comments due to their realistic portrayal of the lives of ordinary people. After the coup d’etat of Louis Napoleon Bonaparte in 1852, the painter returned to his hometown.
While there, Courbet opened his own exhibition titled “Realism.” It was born as a protest against the rejection of his works at the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1855. The central work was the enormous painting: “The Painter’s Studio” (1855). It was presented as a “realistic allegory.” Later, other figure and portrait paintings emerged: “Ladies by the Seine” (1857), the self-portrait “The Cellist” (1849) and “The Beautiful Irishwoman” (1866). The artist also created works related to the sea, landscapes of forests and mountains with their fauna, flowers and still lifes.
Courbet became a representative of the emerging realism of the time. Courbet was described as a conceited man, who claimed to be the most handsome and seductive of humans, due to his Assyrian profile, he boasted of his ability to illuminate new forms of truth and beauty to end the outdated trends of Paris. For this reason, we can understand why he was such a controversial painter and was often hated. Nevertheless, the magnificent works that this painter conceived during his life could not be denied.
Let’s return to The Burial at Ornans (1849), it is his work of greatest dimensions and complexity, he wanted to bring a huge fragment of rural reality from his land to the refined environment of Paris. This composition can be seen as disordered and with little hierarchy. Courbet manages to make the viewer sit at the same level as the villagers of Ornans and symbolically attend the funeral of a humble peasant. In addition, the diversity of individual expressions tries to make a critical description and a study of the social categories of a population. This work is admired for its formal and coloristic stylization, and its horizontal composition.
Another great work of this French painter is Bonjour, monsieur Courbet (1854). The painting shows in great detail the local environment, as well as the light and characters, reflecting a real event with great objectivity. This painting has become a kind of standard-bearer of realistic art for many artists in recent decades. Courbet broke the mold with the work Señoritas a orillas del Sena (1857), because the Parisian public was used to paintings on mythological or historical themes; on the contrary, in Courbet’s canvas, the two women represented in showy clothes are two prostitutes resting by the river.
Also impressive was the way it was painted, in opposition to the tastes and rules of the time; the thick brushstrokes, the color tones and the disregard for the canons of beauty. In that work both the composition and the color, want to reflect reality, each of the elements reflect the same importance, transmitting a certain sense of imperceptible objectivity. Courbet showed total uninhibitedness in front of the female sex. A reflection of this is the work The Origin of the World (1866), was made by order of Bey, this was the most transgressive painting of the 19th century.
Other paintings by this French painter include: Self-Portrait with Black Dog (1842), The Desperate Man (1845), The Meeting (1854), The Painter’s Studio (1855), Woman with Parrot (1866), The Trout (1871) among others. These are just a few of the many works that this artist left for posterity and for future generations interested in realistic art. Courbet’s radical stance, reflected in the realm of politics, specifically with the Paris Commune, led to him being accused of participating in the demolition of the Vendôme Column. He had to go into exile in 1875 in Switzerland, where he died two years later in solitude and poverty.
Japanese anime or animation emerged at the beginning of the 20th century influenced by animation and the world of cinema developed in the United States, later it was modified and claimed Japanese culture. The anime-style as we know it began to develop in the late 1950s, when the production company Toei Studios and the different series based on short sleeves or cartoons, such as Tetsuwan Atomu, also known as Astro Boy. From the 1980s and 1990s, the anime became popular, appearing large cult series such as Dragon Ball, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Sailor Moon, Detective Conan, Rurouni Kenshin, and Cowboy Bebop, among others. In the new millennium, the Japanese animated industry has been booming, providing new content every season based on successful manga, light novels, video games, and music.
The first Japanese animations were small short films developed at the end of the 1910s, largely inspired by American animation, in these, folk and comic themes were addressed. The first short film was Namakura Gatana by Junichi Kouchi, it was two minutes long, the story told the story of a man with his katana (Japanese sword or saber). In the following decade, the duration of the short films was extended to ten or fifteen minutes, in which typical oriental tales were represented. Among the pioneer artists of this era are Oten Shimokawa, Junichi Kouchi, Seitaro Kitayama and Sanae Yamamoto; by this time the short film Obasuteyama (The Mountain Where Old Women Are Abandoned) by Yamamoto was published.
During the 30s and 40s, the Japanese animated industry went through a series of changes, the stories were neglected and western stories were taken into account. A short time later the anime Norakuro (1934) of Mituyo Seo, one of the first animations based on a manga. Since then this became a frequent practice. By the end of the 1930s, World War II broke out, a warlike confrontation in which Japan was involved as a member of the Axis powers, at which time the animations became war propaganda. At the end of the war, the country was occupied by the allied powers led by the United States, which seriously affected the country that was going through a deep economic crisis.
Industry development and international boom
In the course of the crisis, the manga and anime industry became popular in the country, thus establishing the basis for the development of the own animated style that occurred around the middle of the 20th century. It was around this time that Toei Studios, an animation film producer, emerged as one of the key figures in the history of anime. This company was a pioneer in the animation of Japan, provided various productions that allowed the advancement of animation in the country. The company’s first animation was Koneko no rakugaki, a short thirteen-minute film published in 1957. The following decade the company grew by focusing on the development of feature films. Other companies such as Mushi Pro, a producer that made the animation of Tetsuwan Atomu (Astro Boy) by Osamu Tezuka, mangaka and animator, one of the most relevant artists of the Japanese animated industry of the 20th century.
Between the 1960s and 1970s, the anime of robots (mecha) became popular appearing iconic series such as Tetsujin 28-gō and Mazinger Z or Gundam, for this same period the popular Doraemon series (1973), based on the homonymous anime, began to air Fujiko Fujio, a series that tells the story of a cosmic robot cat that has attached to its body a bag from which it subtracts various artifacts which are used in the adventures of Doraemon and his human friend Nobita. In the 1980s and 1990s, Japanese animation boomed internationally, which led to many series beginning to dub into English and Spanish, in these years cult series such as Dragon Ball, based on the manga of Akira Toriyama. Saint Seiya also known as The Knights of the Zodiac, Captain Tsubasa, exported as Super champions; Rurouni Kenshin, known in the west as Samurai X, Neon Genesis Evangelion of Hideaki Anno; Pokémon, Ranma ½, and Sakura Card Captor, among others.
In 2000, the already booming anime is largely massified by the acceptance and the huge fan base that it had acquired at the time, these followers known as otakus, boosted the Japanese animated industry. Since then there have been numerous animated productions that have been distributed worldwide, among the most prominent series of the new millennium are One Piece, Naruto, Bleach, Fullmetal Alchemist, Inuyasha, Yu-Gi-Oh, Rozen Maiden, Kuroshitsuji, and Death Note, all are ace based on sleeves that when becoming successful, allowed the development of the animated series.
At present, any manga that has a large number of followers is very likely to have adapted in an animated series, such as Hunter x Hunter, Pandora Hearts, Ao no Exorcist, Mirai Nikki, Bakuman and Shingeki no Kyojin, among many others, light novels have been adapted that have become popular as Durarara!!, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Sword Art Online, and My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong, As I Expected, among others. In recent years, the Yaoi and Yuri genres have been popularized in which romantic relationships between people of the same sex are addressed, among these series it is possible to rescue Junjō Romantica, Sekaiichi Hatsukoi, No. 6, Aoi Hana, Sasameki Koto and Yagate Kimi ni Naru
At present, the Japanese animated industry produces numerous series, ova, and films per year, becoming one of the strongest industries in the world of animation. Among the most prominent people in this industry is Hayao Miyazaki, founder of Studio Ghibli, a studio where films such as My Neighbor Totoro, The Incredible Vagabond Castle, The Journey of Chihiro, and Ponyo, among others, likewise, stand out in the present, artist Makoto Shinkai, creator of 5 centimeters per second, Hoshi Wo Ou Kodomo, Kotonoha no Niwa and Kimi no Na Wa.
John Ruskin Biography
John Ruskin (February 8, 1819 – January 20, 1900) writer, painter, art critic, and reformer. He was born in London, England. His parents were Margaret Cox and John James Ruskin, a rich merchant who instilled in him a passion for art, literature, and adventure. He studied at the University of Oxford. In 1837, he entered the University of Oxford. Then, he founded a drawing school for students: the Company of St George, for social improvement, useful arts, and the defense of an ornamentalism linked to the reform of society.
He received socialist influences, especially from the group of “Sheffield socialists,” as did William Morris. He advanced a postulate regarding the relationship between art and morals, these dissertations appear in the first volume of Modern Painters (1843), a work that provided an important place among art critics. Later, he published The Seven Lamps of Architecture (1849) and The Stones of Venice (1851-1853), where the moral, economic and political importance of architecture were analyzed. In 1851 he became interested in pre-Raphaelist painters such as Dante Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, and John Everett Millais.
His ideas denounce the aesthetic numbness and the pernicious social effects of the Industrial Revolution. His work at Oxford ended in the rejection of the vivisection practices carried out in the laboratories of that institution. After marrying Effie Gray, he published Conferences on architecture and painting (1854), Conferences on the political economy of art (1858) and Fors Clavigera (1871-1884).
Ruskin suffered some psychiatric episodes and little by little he lost the sense of reality. Finally, he died in Lancashire on January 20, 1900. He aroused the admiration of generations of Victorian artists, especially as an introducer of the neo-Gothic taste in England, the greatest champion of pre-Raphaelism. Currently, part of his works is preserved between drawings of nature and different Gothic cathedrals at the University of Oxford.
- Modern painters
- The seven lamps of architecture
- The stones of Venice
- Conferences on architecture and painting
- The political economy of art
- Two ways
- Sesame and lilies
- The morale of dust
- The crown of wild olive
- Fors Clavigera
- The Amiens Bible
Gian Lorenzo Bernini
Gian Lorenzo Bernini Biography
Gian Lorenzo Bernini (December 7, 1598 – November 28, 1680) Born in Naples, Italy. Architect, sculptor, and painter, considered one of the most prominent figures of Italian baroque and 17th-century architecture. The renowned Mannerist sculptor Pietro Bernini was trained as an artist in his father’s workshop and subsequently began working with the support of various patrons, including the Borghese family. He began his artistic career in the mid-1610s, with the sculptures San Lorenzo de la Reticle (1614), La Cabra Amaltea (1615) and San Sebastián (1616). He was appointed architect of the basilica of San Pedro in 1629 and since then he worked for various pontiffs and kings. Among his most outstanding works are the monuments: Sepulcher of Urban VIII and Altar of the Blessed Sacrament and the sculptures: Daniel and the lion and Habakkuk and the angel.
FAMILY AND BEGINNINGS
Son of Mannerist sculptor Pietro Bernini and his wife Angelica Galante; Bernini had as brothers Luigi, Dorotea, Eugenia, Agnese, Francesco, Vincenzo, Emiliana, Beatrice, Domenico, Camilla, Giuditta, and Ignazio. When Gian Lorenzo was six years old, the family moved to Rome, where his father began working under the protection of Cardinal Scipione Caffarelli-Borghese, a member of the powerful and influential Borghese family. Established in Rome, Bernini began training as an artist in his father’s workshop, taking lessons in painting and sculpture. His father’s influence in these formative years and his interest in Hellenistic sculpture can be seen in his first sculptures such as San Lorenzo de la Reticle (1614), La Cabra Amaltea (1615), Faun joking with Cupids (1616) and San Sebastian (1616)
The overflowing talent of the artist led him to be quickly recognized by important personalities of the city such as the Borghese family, who since his youth supported him financially. Under the protection of the Borghese, Bernini restored and created important sculptures and monuments that enshrined them as one of the most important artists of his time. His first works with the support of the family were the four Borghesian Groups, a group of four sculptures that addressed biblical and mythological themes. These four sculptures were: Aeneas, Anchises and Ascanius (1618-1619), based on the work Virgil, Aeneid; The Rapture of Proserpine (1621-1622), David (1623-1624) and Apollo and Daphne (1622-1625).
GIAN LORENZO BERNINI’S ARTISTIC CAREER
After becoming known as a sculptor of the powerful and influential Borghese family with the sculptural group known as the four Borghesian Groups, Bernini became one of the most sought-after and important sculptors in Rome, being in charge of most of the architectural works of The ecclesiastical community. His first work was the statue of Santa Bibiana for the church of the same name commissioned by the then Supreme Pontiff Urban VIII, who fascinated by his work named him the architect of God and architect in charge of St. Peter’s Basilica in 1629. Shortly before his appointment, Bernini began to build the new altar of the basilica, on which stands a large bronze canopy supported by four columns of Solomonic style; Built between 1624 and 1633.
While carrying out this work, the construction of the Mausoleum of Urban VIII began, which ended in 1647, with several years of delay. Later he created the Ecstasy of Saint Teresa (1647-1651), a marble sculptural group commissioned by Cardinal Cornaro, currently located in the Church of Santa María de la Victoria. For this same period he created the works in marble La Verdad (1645) and the Fountain of the Four Rivers (1648-1651), for the Navona Square, works that were considered the artist’s summit.
In the course of the 1660s, he finished his work in the basilica, decorating the interior with his famous sculpture, Cathedral de San Pedro (1666) and building his iconic elliptical colonnade and the Scala Regia at the entrance of the basilica.
During this same period, he made several architectural constructions such as the collegiate church of Ariccia and the church of Castel Gandolfo for the Chig family and the Sant’Andrea for Camilo Pamphili.
In the mid-1660s, he moved to France to deal with the restructuring of the Louvre, but his designs did not like the French commissioners, so he returned to Italy in six months; During his stay in France he was commissioned to perform the Equestrian Portrait of Louis XIV, a statue that after several modifications was located in the Palace of Versailles.
Upon returning to Rome, Pope Alexander VII commissioned him to the tomb construction, a monument of great importance in which the Pope is harassed by death with four allegorical figures: Charity, Truth, Prudence, and Justice. The Tomb of Alexander VII (1671-1678) and The Bust of the Savior, were the last works of this renowned Italian sculptor. Bernini’s work profoundly influenced Italian baroque art and 17th-century European architecture, reaching to influence the work of artists such as the British Christopher Wren and the Spanish Ventura Rodríguez.
This prominent Baroque architect died on November 28, 1680, in Rome.
Vasíli Kandinski biography
Vasíli Kandinski (December 4, 1866 – December 13, 1944), Russian plastic artist. He was born in Moscow, Russia. His family was of high status, his father Vasíli Silvéstrovich Kandinsky served as kyakhta tea merchant, his father’s mother was part of the Mongol aristocracy and was part of the Gantimúrov dynasty. Lydia Ivanovna Tijieyeva, his mother, was from Moscow. His family always tried to give Kandinsky the best, he went to prestigious schools and had private piano and cello teachers, art was always very important to him. When he entered youth he began his studies of Law and Economic Sciences at the University of Moscow; there he also studied ethnography. These studies alternated them with drawing and painting classes.
When he finished his studies, he decided in 1892 to marry his cousin Anna Chemyákina, until in 1904, due to complex differences, they divorced. A year after being married, he took the position of associate professor in the Faculty of Law. In 1896 he understood that his satisfaction was in art, and the University of Tartu offered him a vacancy as a professor and rejected it to devote himself fully to art. It is necessary to indicate, that he was driven by an exhibition he attended on the Impressionists in Moscow; where he delighted with the works of Claude Monet and the representation of Lohengrin by Richard Wagner at the Bolshoi theater.
To that extent, he moved to Munich with the intention of studying painting, initially, he was not admitted to the Art Academy. So, he studied temporarily at the private academy of Anton Ažbe. He made another attempt to be admitted to the Academy of Art, succeeding in 1900. At the Academy met influential teachers in his career, for example, his teacher Franz von Stuck, who taught him great techniques for painting in shades of gray. After that, he decided to take a trip to several places in the countries of Europe that lasts a few years. When he returned, he decided to adopt his chromatic abundance style and the simplicity of the forms.
His style was taking a tendency to abstract art. In 1911, he thought about founding a team of artists to promote and organize various art exhibitions in Munich and Berlin, initially. For this reason, he contacted his colleagues August Macke and Franz Marc, founding then Der Blaue Reiter. At the time of the outbreak of the First World War, he was forced to return to his place of origin; there he will be responsible for organizing various activities of the Department of Fine Arts of the Popular Commissariat of Education. As a result, Der Blaue Reiter had to freeze his projects for a while until they settled in Dessau in 1925.
To stabilize somewhat the German situation, Wassily Kandinsky decided to go back in the twenties to join the prestigious School of the Bauhaus, one of the academies craft, art, design, and most emblematic architectural history and most important XX century, as a teacher, until the Nazi policies issued its closure in 1933, arguing that this institution showed a clear socialist and Jewish tendency, many of its members were persecuted, they should flee to those countries where Nazism not dominated
However, while Vasíli Kandinski exercised his teaching profession he left a very important legacy in the art world: he was responsible for the professionalization of industrial design and graphic design. In addition, another of his contributions to the art world was to determine the bases of modern architecture and also the establishment of a new aesthetic pattern in various aspects of art. Feeling the German atmosphere full of hostility, he embarked on a new direction to the French country, where he spent the rest of his life. While in France, he began to focus on abstract art; artistic tendency that excludes figuration in its creation, in other words, there is no place for real spaces, objects, and landscapes, among others; meanwhile, shapes, colors, and lines predominate, which will form a completely independent visual language and a different reality.
Then Vassily Kandinsky, abstract art to master decided to innovate and enter a special branch of this trend: lyrical abstraction, this is a branch of abstract art that emerged from the year 1910. The basic characteristic of this artistic proposal is the purest emotional manifestation of the artist through painting, that is, serves to represent personal and immediate emotion and does not give rise to objective representation but subjective. Some of Kandinsky’s works that are part of this line are Impression No. 5, Black Arch, Composition VIII, Unstable Composition and Conglomerate. The most used technique is watercolor, although they also used oil, gracias to that the color is always preponderant on the form.
Apart from being considered one of the most outstanding in abstract art and lyrical abstraction; also, Vasíli Kandinski is considered a precursor of expressionism, at the time, this movement was an authentic vanguard, which was characterized basically by heterogeneity. In other words, it was not a style with specific and uniform characteristics but, on the contrary, it contained different tendencies and different artists that tried to give a different touch to each work, thanks also to its different formations.
In that sense, Expressionists defended and promoted a personal art in which the internal vision of the artist prevails. The fundamental characteristics of his works were the invented forms, the colors combined in the most complex way possible, the geometric signs and the Slavic ornamentation, a faithful exponent of it was Paul Klee. Also, it should be noted that Kandinsky as art theorist was a promoter of this trend and this has been expressed in several literary works of his authorship, such as: Of the spiritual in art, Der Blaue Reiter’s Almanac, Point and line on the plane.
Vasíli Kandinski died on December 13, 1944, at the age of 77 in Neuilly Sur Seine, a suburban area of Paris. The death was caused by arteriosclerosis, which then caused a stroke. Unfortunately, his legacy began to be recognized some years after his death, so, in life, he did not get the great recognition he deserved.
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