Halloween Art

In the ‘spirit’ of Halloween I found this great website with some quirky flyers.

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danblakeslee

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Antonio Berni

Delesio Antonio Berni (14 May 1905 – 13 October 1981) was a neofigurative artist, born in Rosario, province of Santa Fe, Argentina. He worked as a painter, an illustrator and an engraver. His father, Napoleón Berni, was an immigrant tailor from Italy. His mother, Margarita Picco, was an Argentinian, daughter of Italians settled in Roldán, a nearby town.

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In 1914 he became an apprentice in the Buxadera and Co. vitraux factory, receiving instruction from its founder, a Catalan craftsman. He spent only a short time here, since his father returned to Italy, and Berni was sent to his grandparents’ house in Roldán. Napoleón Berni died in World War I.


“Juanito Laguna remontando un barrilete” Antonio Berni – 1973

In July 2008, thieves disguised as police officers stole 15 Berni paintings “of great national value”, according to Culture Secretary Jose Nun. The paintings were being transported by truck from a suburb to the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires.

You can read the full story below:

Fake cops steal valuable Berni paintings in Argentina

Thieves disguised as cops stopped a truck and made off with 15 paintings of Argentina’s late Antonio Berni “of great national value,” Culture Secretary Jose Nun said Saturday.

The paintings, which were being transported from a suburb to the Bellas Artes National Museum, “have no commercial value since they can’t be sold legally in the country,” Nun said.

But they are “of great national value and represent an enormous loss to Argentine culture,” he added.

“The robbers, disguised as cops, forced the truck to make a detour, transferred the cargo to another truck and threatened our employees with weapons,” said Jorge Mendez, who runs the transportation company that owns the truck.

The artist’s son Juan Antonio Berni described the stolen paintings as “the core work” of his father, who died in 1981.

According to auction house reports, Berni’s paintings have sold for in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith

I found this Native American artist and really liked Her work.  As Jackson Pollock was influenced by Native Americans I had to include her, so here she is.

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Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (1940- ) Native American artist, whose best-known works combine traditional Native American symbols with a sophisticated understanding of modern abstraction. Native American identity and social issues form the focus of many of her paintings and collages.

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Quick-to-See Smith was born at the Saint Ignatius Mission on the Combined Salish and Kootenai (Flathead) Reservation of western Montana, and traces her ancestry through the Salish, Shoshone, and Cree tribes. In 1976 she received a B.A. degree in art education from Framingham State College in Massachusetts, and in 1980 earned an M.A. degree in fine art from the University of New Mexico.

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In the early 1980s Quick-to-See Smith began to create paintings that address the complexities of Native American identity, both on the personal level and as a communal experience. Since 1990, many of her works have drawn attention to specific issues affecting this community, including preservation of the environment, racial and gender stereotyping, and problems of alcoholism.

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For a large-scale collage titled Genesis (1993, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia), Quick-to-See Smith layered dripping blue, yellow, and red paint; news clippings about Native Americans; and line drawings of a bison and other Native American symbols. The result is a composition that combines the vigorously applied paint of abstract expressionism with images that suggest stories to the viewer.

Australian Aboriginal Art

Contemporary Art by Australian Aboriginal Artists

In 1971, Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri painted his first art work using acrylic on canvas. This was – except for a very few preliminary attempts – the beginning of the Aboriginal Art Movement, that spread in great leaps within just a few years. After only 15 years, that is in the mit-80s, all large art museums within Australia had built up their collections and had begun showing the works within the sections of contemporary art within the permanent collection.

The argument about whether the art is contemporary art or traditional handicraft, or about whether one should classify it together with Art Brut or together with ethnographical works – a much-favoured solution in Germany – was largely settled during those years in Australia, whereby large private collectors and the art museums of all the major cities decided in favour of the contemporary side.

Since the very beginning of the art movement, the artists create their art work for a broad public. The resulting works were therefore never intended for anything other than the presentation of art and culture. They reflect not past traditions, but rather present culture and ideas. They are not religious objects. The works are part of the contemporary art scene of Australia: one of its two supporting pillars.

The History of the Art Movement

A number of concurrent and serendiptious socio-political trends favoured the art movement, which spread out from Papunya, a settlement about 250 km west of Alice Springs in the heart of Australia.

The settlement of Papunya was created around 1960 as one of the last impulses of the assimilation policy of the white Australian government. The Aborigines should learn – whichever of them had survived the frightful repression and trend toward genocide which had continued well into the 20th century – to adapt to the european style of living. Other grounds for the forceful resettlement of various groups of Aboriginal peoples were the expansion of the Woomera Rocket Range (established in 1946) and the growth of the outback tourism industry.

Wantonly ignoring their different cultural backgrounds, about 1000 individuals from a number of different Aborigine peoples were thrown together in Papunya in the mid-60s. This inevitably lead to strong social tensions since usually they lived in smaller groups which only met to celebrate common religious ceremonies and otherwise maintained a respectful distance.

The restrictions and pressure which arose, also due for example to the forceful prevention of leaving the reservation except with the permission of the whites, as well as the realisation by the elders of the communities that their culture was suffering untold damage, made it essential to seek a way out.

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The land-rights movement which began in the mid-60s had a further impact on the growing desire of the Aborigines not only to preserve their own culture but also to have it recognised and respected. It wasn´t until 1967 that Aborigines were recognised as citizens of Australia. And only a few years early had they won the fight in the courts to receive equal pay for equal work (compared to whites).

The art teacher Geoffrey Bardon acted at Papunya as the spark for the above volatile mixture and who set off the explosive development of the Aboriginal art movement. He simply asked his students (and later others who joined in) to paint in their own visual framework and language … and supplied them with acrylic paints and canvas.

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The art movement spread rapidly from settlement to settlement, from reservation to reservation, along the old lines of family ties – which are quite different and more wide-ranging than purely blood-relations – and along the old paths of religious celebrations.

The Artform

Today we find a great range of painting styles. Within just three decades, the art movement underwent rapid diversification in many directions.

The academic investigation of these styles has not yet, however, developed meaningful terminology or categories for them. There is solely a differentiation between Desert and City art. Within the Desert-Art styles, however, one can distinguish two main directions: dot painting and lines.

Another categorisation is equally simplified, namely according to the regions where the style arose. One speaks, for example, of art from Papunya/Kintore, from Yuendumu, from Utopia, Wirrimanu (also known as Balgo) or Warmun.

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This can still in a way be justified, when for example the paintings from Warmun, a community in the Kimberleys in north-west Australia, are studied. They are always composed, using natural earth pigments on cotton canvas, in the form of a number of relatively large areas of solid colour. But even though the artists share a common use of materials, individual differences between their styles make their works immediately and uniquely identifiable.

Also the works from Wirrimanu make it very clear, that the categorisation of the art style according to point of origin is not a defining characteristic. The style of painting by the individual artists is simply too different to unite under one classification, although they may on occasion paint under one roof.

Misunderstanding is only increased by any attempt to compare the dot-painting from Yuendumu, Papunya or Utopia with French Pointilism, or to link works with terms such as Op Art, Abstract Expressionism or Fauvism. The art of the Australian Aboriginal artists has nothing to do with those themes, even though the basic techniques of Desert-Art (the dots, lines, monochrome areas, or multi-layering) are also found in modern western art and even though the works therefore often remind one of contemporary abstract (western) art.

On the other hand, it IS possible to consider aspects such as the iconography and symbolism in the works and to discuss their narrative content.

The Tjukurrpa and the Iconography

As previously discussed in the section on Tjukurrpa, the paintings recount events of long ago. The stories, which are can be explained in varying detail by the artist, are intrinsic to the works and are made visible in the form of symbols. It is important to note that, contrary to the practise in European art, the same symbol may not represent the same meaning from one work to another. Depending on the story, a set of concentric circles can represent for example a meeting place, a water hole, a religious site or something else. On the other hand, U-shapes usually always represent people.

The comparison of paintings with their stories shows a number of typical characteristics of the art of the first Australians. The story itself is often discoursed in only a rudimentary way. It is artistically translated, not directly represented in the work. This translation occurs as either symbolic ideograms, which is the case for many artists from the central part of Australia who work using the dot-painting technique, or else as very formal, highly stilised compositions of dotted structures or lines. The paintings often show a landscape, which is usually the country to which the artist belongs.

The stories recount events from the tjukurrpa, which are important to aboriginal law. They contain all the knowledge about animals, plants and sustenance, about medicine and also about moral law, which provides the basis for human co-existence and survival. The stories are not mystical; they serve to pass on important knowledge as well as history.

Antoni Tàpies

Antoni Tàpies was born December 13, 1923, in Barcelona. His adolescence was disrupted by the Spanish Civil War and a serious illness that lasted two years. Tàpies began to study law in Barcelona in 1944 but decided instead within two years to devote himself exclusively to art. He was essentially self-taught as a painter; the few art classes he attended left little impression on him. Shortly after deciding to become an artist, he began attending clandestine meetings of the Blaus, an iconoclastic group of Catalan artists and writers who produced the review Dau al Set.

Antoni Tapies, Creu I R, 1975

Tàpies’s early work was influenced by the art of Max Ernst, Paul Klee, and Joan Miró, and by Eastern philosophy. His art was exhibited for the first time in the controversial Salo d’Octubre in Barcelona in 1948. He soon began to develop a recognizable personal style related to matière painting, or Art Informel [more], a movement that focused on the materials of art-making. The approach resulted in textural richness, but its more important aim was the exploration of the transformative qualities of matter. Tàpies freely adopted bits of detritus, earth, and stone—mediums that evoke solidity and mass—in his large-scale works.

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In 1950, his first solo show was held at the Galeries Laietanes, Barcelona, and he was included in the Carnegie International in Pittsburgh. That same year, the French government awarded Tàpies a scholarship that enabled him to spend a year in Paris. His first solo show in New York was presented in 1953 at the gallery of Martha Jackson, who arranged for his work to be shown the following year in various parts of the United States. During the 1950s and 1960s, Tàpies exhibited in major museums and galleries throughout the United States, Europe, Japan, and South America. In 1966, he began his collection of writings, La practica de l’art. In 1969, he and the poet Joan Brossa published their book, Frègoli; a second collaborative effort, Nocturn Matinal, appeared the following year. Tàpies received the Rubens Prize of Siegen, Germany, in 1972.

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Retrospective exhibitions were presented at the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris, in 1973 and at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, in 1977. The following year, he published his prize-winning autobiography, Memòria personal. In the early 1980s, he continued diversifying his mediums, producing his first ceramic sculptures and designing sets for Jacques Dupin’s play L’Eboulement. By 1992, three volumes of the catalogue raisonné of Tàpies’s work had been published. The following year, he and Cristina Iglesias represented Spain at the Venice Biennale, where his installation was awarded the Leone d’Oro. A retrospective exhibition was presented at the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris, and the Guggenheim Museum SoHo, New York, in 1994–95. Tàpies lives in Barcelona.