Friday, October 28, 2005
“American Landscapes” by Mark English
Over the last two decades, Mark English’s work has pushed the limits of the representational genre, exploring a range of expression from abstractionism to impressionism. Although his body of work includes both figurative and still life subjects, his primary focus has been the American landscape.
The surface of Mark English’s paitnings is always intriguing, often mimicking the texture of the topography he paints. They are richly textured with a depth that refects light as if clouds were passing overhead. His palette in these recent paintings is perhaps more diverse than in the past. While retaining his characteristic rich deep hues of burnt orange, sunset reds and forest greens, he has also created works that suggest a scene drenched in summer sunlight. These light and airy compositions are executed in delicate shades of pastel yellows, blues and pinks.
In a way, English’s landscapes, with their patterns of fertile fields crisscrossed by country roads, echo the geometric symmetry of an American quilt.
Friday, October 14, 2005
Helpful Hints for the Artist #3
Guiding Faculty member Charles Reid has this advice:
Use your artist’s eye
Never look at a subject with wide-open eyes—the more you look, the more you’ll see. Remember, less is more. You must understand your image. Is it dark against light? Is it light against dark? Painting is not as complicated as you might think.
If you don’t have a model, set up some objects in front of a window without a strong interior light. Squint very hard and see how objects and shadows merge without apparent boundaries. Still squinting, do you see any object that’s clearly darker or lighter than the thing behind it? All boundaries that are hard to see when squinting should be lost. All boundaries that are apparent when squinting should remain.
Monday, October 10, 2005
The Ghost in the Photograph
With Halloween rapidly approaching, it seems like a good time to go on a ghost hunt. And where better than the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s current exhibition, The Perfect Medium: Photography and the Occult.
You’ll see portraits of living people accompanied by ghostly images of friends or loved ones. There are levitating chairs, magical fire, mediums in the grip of dramatic trances, and evidence of ectoplasm, a substance believed to be a material representation of the spiritual world. All very easy to dismiss in broad daylight, perhaps, but on a dark and stormy night….who knows?
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
What is Art and Why Does It Matter?
This provocative query is the title of an online magazine that was recently launched by the Yale University Art Gallery. The Gallery, the artistic heart of a world-renowned institution of higher learning, is home to a collection whose breadth and depth would be prized by many municipal and public museums. Not content to serve as simply a repository for great works of art, however, the Gallery seeks to take an active part in the artistic life of the University and its surrounding community.
This online magazine is intended as a forum for learning about art in many different forms, and for discussions on looking at art, understanding art, and making art a part of our everyday lives.
Questions are posed: Why is ugly beautiful? Why don’t people talk about art the way they talk about movies? New ideas about familiar works are encouraged. Both undergraduate and graduate students are invited to present illustrative talks about various aspects of art. And new collaborative works are created, using the Gallery’s collection as a starting point.
This is only a small sample of the options open to virtual visitors to the Yale Gallery, so come on in!
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