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Emese Cuth: Guest Article

I have known Emese for many years, and she is a very fine artist, so I wanted to include her in my list of very special guests.  She is a Hungarian, but now lives in Australia.  Below you can see her short introduction and some of her works.  Maybe we will have that coffee some day.

I am an ethnic Hungarian born in the former Czechoslovakia (today’s Slovakia); a Slovak and Canadian citizen currently living in Sydney, Australia.

At 14, my whole life changed due to a simple event: reading Michelangelo’s biography (Irving Stone: The Agony and the Ecstasy). I fell in love. I started drawing, and nothing has been the same since.

At 15, my family moved to Toronto, Canada. During my high school years I spent almost all of my free time drawing. I enjoyed the support and guidance of my amazing art teacher, dear Ms. Sophie Karman, but other than art classes in high school I never received any other art training. I was simply head over heels in love with my 3B pencils, my beautiful BFK Rives papers, and the ecstasy I experienced while putting pencil to paper.

At 20 I decided to move to Hungary with the intention of studying fine art at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in Budapest. I applied twice and was rejected on both occasions. Crushed, I finally ended up studying English and Hungarian at ELTE University while supporting myself by working as an English teacher and translator. I received my MA in English language and literature in 2010.

I ended up staying in Hungary for 11 years. Living in Budapest was my own personal agony and ecstasy. The experience was unbelievably beautiful, painful, arduous and blissful – all at the same time. I experienced unspeakably low lows and dizzily high highs. In the end I became depressed because life was too demanding and I had almost no time to draw. Over the course of 11 years I managed to have only 3 solo exhibitions in Budapest.

BUT.

I think I have spent an unhealthy amount of time wallowing in self-pity and brooding over how unfair life is. What I should have been doing all along is to give in to my elemental drive to draw and paint and forget about everything else.

I draw people because to me people are the most fascinating subject matter around. People are so goddamn beautiful. I am constantly in awe. Ceaselessly amazed.

When it comes to creating art, I’m not big on symbols, allegories, subliminal messages, or social-political concerns. My motives are simple and naive: I want to create images that are beautiful. I am also interested in evoking various moods and atmospheres through my drawings; as well as (yes, shoot me in the face) communicating emotions. What I am NOT interested in is portraying illness, ugliness, decay. I am a hypersensitive person who must always keep their eyes focused on beauty; otherwise I’ll become depressed and suicidal. “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” and so on – you know the drill.

If you want to see more go to the following pages and

Friedensreich Hundertwasser

“Transautomatism”

Transautomatism is Hundertwasser’s own theoretical creation. He sought to strike a balance between conventional art (with its rigid rules) and Tachism/Art Informel (which had nary a rule). Into the mix went a hefty dose of Surrealism and a controlled automatism – based more on organic thought than mechanical – that included using lots of spirals and discarding straight lines.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Hundertwasser was both founder and sole member of the Transautomatists.

Date and Place of Birth:

December 15, 1928, Vienna

His name at birth was Friedrich Stowasser. Around 1949 he exchanged the Czech “Sto-” (which translates to ‘hundred’) in his surname for the German “Hundert-” (which also translates to ‘hundred’). At this same time, he went from “Friedrich” to “Friedensreich” – effectively becoming “Peace-Kingdom Hundred-Water.”

Life:

Not content to merely paint and make prints, Hundertwasser was also an architect (uncredentialed) who wrote manifestos, designed posters and stamps, and traveled the globe bringing construction projects to realization and collecting awards. He was also an outspoken proponent of many environmental and anti-nuclear causes. Despite all of this, he is (rightfully) best known for his vibrantly-colored, opulently-decorated paintings and graphic works and his contributions to printmaking technique.

Works:

For paintings visit here

Art’s Survivors of Hitler’s War

By MICHAEL KIMMELMAN
Published: November 30, 2010

BERLIN — The past still thrusts itself back into the headlines here, occasionally as an unexploded bomb turning up somewhere. Now it has reappeared as art.

Marg Moll’s “Dancer,” from around 1930, is one of the found works in the “Degenerate Art” show at the Neues Museum in Berlin.

Researchers learned the bust was a portrait by Edwin Scharff, a nearly forgotten German modernist, from around 1920. It seemed anomalous until August, when more sculpture emerged nearby: “Standing Girl” by Otto Baum, “Dancer” by Marg Moll and the remains of a head by Otto Freundlich. Excavators also rescued another fragment, a different head, belonging to Emy Roeder’s “Pregnant Woman.” October produced yet a further batch.

The 11 sculptures proved to be survivors of Hitler’s campaign against what the Nazis notoriously called “degenerate art.” Several works, records showed, were seized from German museums in the 1930s, paraded in the fateful “Degenerate Art” show, and in a couple of cases also exploited for a 1941 Nazi film, an anti-Semitic comedy lambasting modern art. They were last known to have been stored in the depot of the Reichspropagandaministerium, which organized the “Degenerate” show.

Then the sculptures vanished.

How they ended up underground near City Hall is still a mystery; it seems to involve an Oskar Schindler-like hero. Meanwhile a modest exhibition of the discoveries has been organized and recently opened at the Neues Museum, Berlin’s archaeological collection, the perfect site for these works.

Like the sculptures, the museum lately rose, all these years later, from the ruins of war. In the architect David Chipperfield’s ingenious, Humpty Dumpty-like reconstruction of the building, it has become a popular palimpsest of German history, bearing witness, via the evidence of the damage done to it, to a violence that not even time and several generations have been able to erase.

I can hardly express how moving this little show is, unexpectedly so. Its effect ends up being all out of proportion to the objects discovered, which are, in strictly aesthetic terms, fine but not remarkable. They are works of quasi-Cubism or Expressionism, mostly not much more than a foot high, several newly cleaned but still scarred, inspiring the obvious human analogy.

The poet and Holocaust survivor Paul Celan came up, in a different context, with the metaphor of bottles tossed into the ocean “at the shoreline of the heart,” now finally washed ashore. They’re like the dead, these sculptures, ever coming back to us, radiant ghosts.

In a country that for decades has been profoundly diligent at disclosing its own crimes and framing them in the context of history, it makes sense that the exhibition was installed to share a courtyard with Assyrian friezes from a long-ago regime that made an art of totalitarian rule and with an ancient frieze describing the eruption of Vesuvius, which preserved priceless objects, buried in the ash, that have found sanctuary in institutions like the Neues Museum.

Archeologists have so far determined that the recovered works must have come from 50 Königstrasse, across the street from City Hall. The building belonged to a Jewish woman, Edith Steinitz; several Jewish lawyers are listed as her tenants in 1939, but their names disappear from the record by 1942, when the house became property of the Reich. Among its subsequent occupants, German investigators now believe, the likeliest candidate to have hidden the art was Erhard Oewerdieck, a tax lawyer and escrow agent.

Oewerdieck is not widely known, but he is remembered at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial in Israel. In 1939, he and his wife gave money to a Jewish family to escape to Shanghai. He also hid an employee, Martin Lange, in his apartment. In 1941 he helped the historian Eugen Täubler and his wife flee to America, preserving part of Täubler’s library. And he stood by Wolfgang Abendroth too, a leftist and Nazi opponent, by writing him a job recommendation when that risked his own life.

The current theory is that when fire from Allied air raids in 1944 consumed 50 Königstrasse, the contents of Oewerdieck’s office fell through the floor, and then the building collapsed on top. Tests are being done on ash from the site for remains of incinerated paintings and wood sculptures. How the lost art came into Oewerdieck’s possession in the first place still isn’t clear.

But at least it’s now back on view. Scharff’s bust, of an actress named Anni Mewes, brings to mind Egyptian works in the Neues Museum. Karl Knappe’s “Hagar,” a bronze from 1923, twisted like knotted rope, has been left with its green patina of rust and rubble, making it almost impossible to decipher, save as evidence of its fate. On the other hand, Freundlich’s “Head,” from 1925, a work made of glazed terra cotta, gnarled like an old olive tree, loses little of its power for being broken. The Nazis seized the Freundlich from a museum in Hamburg in 1937, then six years later, in France, seized the artist and sent him to Majdanek, the concentration camp in Poland, where he was murdered on the day he arrived.

Across the street from the Neues Museum contemporary galleries showcase the sort of work the Nazis hoped to eradicate but that instead give Berlin its current identity as a capital of cool. This is a city that resembles the young masses who gravitate here: forever in a state of becoming, wary, unsure and unresolved, generally broke, but optimistic about the future, with the difference that Germany can’t escape its past.

Farther down the block the Deutsches Historisches Museum’s Hitler exhibition, today’s version of a “Degenerate” show, means to warn viewers about succumbing to what present German law declares morally reprehensible. How could any decent German have ever been taken in? the show asks.

From The New York Times

That happens to be the question the Nazis’ “Degenerate” show posed about modern art. Many more Germans visited that exhibition than the concurrent one of approved German art. Maybe Oewerdieck was among those who went to the modern show and saw these sculptures in it. In any case, today’s Germany has salvaged them and has organized this display. Redemption sometimes comes late and in small measures.

Johnny Depp’s Artwork

I might be a bit behind, I know Johnny Depp is a great actor and have enjoyed many of his films but I didn’t know he was an artist.  Although some of his works are not really my cup-of-tea, they are not that bad.

For more go here: Depp Impact

New Exhibition

Well all is getting better, I have my first solo exhibition in The Czech Republic, and everyone likes my works, so far.  Weather is lovely today, and for once in a long time I am feeling good.  Summer time and the living is easy, fish are jumping, etc.

Ludio Fontana

Love the simplicity yet passion of his work

Ludio Fontana was born on February 19th, 1899 in Rosario di Santa Fé in Argentina. His father was an Italian sculptor. In 1905 the artist’s family moved to Milan. From 1914 Fontana attended Carlo Cattaneo’s vocational school for the building trade. Having completed his military service, he graduated in civil engineering in 1918. In 1922 he returned to Argentina, where he initially worked in his father’s sculptor studio. In 1924 he opened his own studio.

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In 1928 he was back in Milan, studying sculpture at the ‘Accademia di Brera’ until 1930. From 1931 he produced his first terracotta reliefs and painted gypsum plates alongside his figured sculptures, with which he approached abstract art. In 1934 Fontana joined the Paris group of artists ‘Abstraction-Création’. He set up their Milan section. In the following year they published a manifesto on abstract art. Fontana had his first solo exhibition at the ‘Galleria del Milione’ in Milan. In 1939 Fontana returned to Argentina, where he became the co-founder of the private academy of Altamira in 1946, and wrote the ‘Manifesto Blanco’ with his students. This manifesto demands a synthesis of the genre and a break with traditional material. In 1948 Lucio Fonatana voiced his search for a new spacial art in his ‘First Manifesto of Spazialismo’ in Milan. He founded the group ‘Movimento spaziale’. In a Milan gallery he realized the first ‘Ambiente spaziale’, a predecessor of Environment in 1949. In the same year he produced his first perforated canvasses, which, like all following pieces, were entitled ‘Concetto spaziale’ (spacial concept). In the 1950s alongside his perforations, he created a series of ‘Pietre’. In 1958 Fontana began to produce his famous cuts in canvas. These are brutish interventions in the form of sharp knife cuts in the mostly monochromously painted surfaces. In the early 1960s he combined his pictoral elements with thickly applied colors, often mixed with sand, into which he often scratched or drew. His large ball-shaped bronze objects followed. This time was marked by numerous solo and group exhibitions, including regular contributions to the Venice biennale, the Kassel documenta 4 in 1968 and the travelling exhibition of the Museum of Modern Art, New York from 1966 to 1968. The impressive series of works ‘La fine di dio’ completed Fontana’s development as an artist. From the 1960s Fontana had a considerable influence on the younger generation of artists. Lucio Fonatana died on September 7, 1968, in Varese.