Jackson Pollock and James Presley’s Birthday

Well the day is nearly over and I just arrived home from work.  I wanted to look up something on Google and noticed they had one of Jackson Pollock’s paintings on their search page.  It made me think about how much I adore his paintings so I will once again wish him happy birthday and as we share the same birthday I might drink a toast to us.  From what I gather after reading about his life he craved for company all the time and when he was alone drink led to his ruin.  Well I have just moved and had to start over again and have many barriers, and I also hate to be alone, so I can understand.  Hopefully I will make friends quickly.

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Jackson on Wednesday

This wednesday, is the birthday of Jackson Pollock, but also my birthday.  I have just moved abroad again and I am so happy with my decision.  Yesturday I met someone and I haven’t met anyone for 2 years so it was very nice.  Tonight I will paint.

Happy Birthday Jackson, Happy Birthday James, Happy Birthday to my son Dawid Jackson Presley, on Friday.

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Gina Mariotto

A friend of mine just introduced me to this abstract artist and I really liked what she was doing.  It reminded me very much of the American Abstract Expressionist and her work was very inspiring, I hope you all like it as much as I did.  She also had some nice things to say.  To find out more about her and to see more of her works you can visit her site here: Gina Mariotto

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Richard Pousette-Dart

Richard Pousette-Dart was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, to a poet mother and a painter father who throughout his formative years strongly encouraged their second son to pursue his art. While he was still a young child, his parents relocated to Valhalla, New York. Pousette-Dart briefly attended nearby Bard College before moving to New York City to devote himself full time to painting and sculpture.

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White Gothic No 5 (1961) oil on canvas by Richard Pousette-Dart

Along with artists Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko, and Willem de Kooning, Pousette-Dart became a founder of the New York School, which thrived during the immediate postwar decade. Like its other members, Pousette-Dart turned away from realism, creating abstract, spontaneous-seeming compositions that incorporated Freudian and Jungian symbolism and elements of European modernism. In the 1950s the artist produced a series of white paintings with penciled lines in which the bird motif of his small brass sculptures from the 1930s reappeared. Abandoning the all-white approach in the late fifties, Pousette-Dart began to build up thick, stucco-like surfaces of expressive color. His work grew in scale in the 1960s and 1970s, and by the late seventies his simplified, pointillist compositions were suggesting exploding stars, planets, and the depths of infinite space.

Throughout his career, Pousette-Dart also taught painting at a number of New York institutions, including the New School for Social Research, the School of Visual Arts, Columbia University, Sarah Lawrence College, and the Art Students League. In 1981 he received the first annual “Distinguished Lifetime in Art” award from the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation. The following year Pousette-Dart was chosen by the International Committee of the Venice Biennale to exhibit in the main pavilion.

Charles Howard January 2nd, 1899

From http://www.sullivangoss.com/

I. BIOGRAPHY

Though he was born in the small town of Montclair, New Jersey, Howard’s life became one that knew no physical boundaries. On January 2nd, 1899, he became the third child of Mary Robertson Bradbury (1866-1931) and future architect of the UC Berkeley campus, John Galen Howard (1864-1931). In 1902, the family relocated to Berkeley, California, where Charles later attended both Berkeley High School and UC Berkeley. After majoring in journalism, he went on to pursue graduate work in English at both Harvard and Columbia universities. With thoughts of becoming a professor and novelist, he spent a post-graduation summer abroad; it was there that he met artist Grant Wood (1892-1946), the man responsible for urging Howard to abandon his literary career and take up painting. This, coupled with his self-proclaimed life-altering encounter with a Giorgione altarpiece encouraged him to move back to New York to pursue art in a professional capacity.

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This change led him into the hands of Louis Bouche and Rudolph Guertler, who employed him for five years as a journeyman painter at their decorating firm. This was the extent of what may be considered his formal training. He lived in Greenwich Village, occupying his spare time by creating satirical literary sketches. These were the subject of his first one-man show at what would become the Whitney Museum.

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His marriage to painter Madge Knight led to his move to England, where she could live in her native country and he could be more involved in the progressive Surrealist scene. Europe afforded him opportunities that America could not, and he took advantage of his close proximity to the artists in his academic circle. He was embraced quickly in London and exhibited there frequently. Unfortunately, the war coaxed them back to the U.S. in 1941, and they made their home near the family compound in the Bay Area. He taught frequently at the California School of Fine Arts, and later at the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts in London. It wasn’t until 1970 that he decided to retire; he and his wife moved to Bagni di Lucca, Italy, where he died on November 11th, 1978.

II. AN ANALYSIS OF THE ARTIST’S WORK

Though the themes found in his paintings were recurring throughout the breadth of his career, Howard certainly achieved a dramatic evolution. Though always meticulous and precise, a hallmark of the painters in his family, it seems that his canvasses can barely contain the geometric shapes and the free curves that populate their surfaces. His imagery is a search for presumed realities beyond, as he works to suspend his forms somewhere between comprehension and irrationality.

As the 1940’s showed little promise for a moderate political climate, Howard’s style began a subtle change. He began to divide each of his paintings into three vertical sections, rather than work across one larger plane. What has been described as a light source, or a flame, emanates from behind his forms. His colors were slightly altered, his forms multiplied and the fundamental elements more complicated.

Howard was, perhaps because of his familial ties, lucky in finding representation for his work. His career was overseen by the likes of Peggy Guggenheim, Douglas MacAgy, and, the New York-based art dealer credited with first promoting American Surrealism. Charles, in fact, was one of only two other Americans to be featured in Levy’s momentous international Surrealist exhibition.

Toward the end of his career, however, his direction changed once again. He rid his style of what he considered to be clutter, constraining his palette to just a few colors and creating simpler, much more streamlined works.

III. AMERICAN SURREALISM

Charles Houghton Howard’s Abstract-Surrealist label has often been questioned by those who closely examine his work. Though the themes with which he is primarily concerned- the ephemeral, the metaphysical, the cerebral- are in step with the branch of Surrealism he is commonly associated with, he seeks something of an equilibrium between this intangible world and that of traditional painting.

Although works by surrealists could be seen in America as early as the 1920’s, Julien Levy championed the movement by highlighting artists like Howard, Joseph Cornell and Man Ray, in conjunction with other European artists. Southern California, however, didn’t feel the first rumblings of the Surrealist movement until November of 1934, when a series of shows appeared, highlighting the giants like Dali, Ernst, Miro and Tanguy.

Howard’s role was of intermediary, between the Bay Area art community and that of the European painting in the early part of the century; a balance between careful reasoning and intuitive talent. His worldly experience, in accordance with his finely-tuned instincts, brought new elements of style and composition to both the U.S. and to the Abstract-Surrealist movement.