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"Corporate" Art.

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      Further to recent discussion regarding art and how we view it.

      The main difference between fine art and corporate art, are that logos need to be seen from far away for the best impact. They can't be too finely detailed. Again, as was the case with much of Mondrian's art work, with a little imitation or even plagiarism, it became suitable for applications on signs, letterheads, billboards,and all corporate artwork.

      I've always loved art was quite good in school but the daily bustle and demands from employers and bills mainly left little time to focus on the beauty of things, including the (') on off switch.

      Some strong messages here for example.

      They are ubiquitous.

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      Elaine De Kooning – A Painter: Women In The Visual Arts Series

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          Megan -- Elaine de Kooning

          Quickly scanning her bio the Leonardo da Vinci School popped out almost falling onto my lap. My father recounted briefly attending that school, but his description completely defies its reality. Perhaps he had confused the name of this veritable institution with another project run my Italian emissaries loyal to Mussolini who taught in the old way having their students work with sharpened pencils tediously replicating the drawings of no other than Leonardo himself. My father described them as kind and gentle oldsters who attempted in vain to encourage their American students. He dropped out only after a few months uncomfortable with their exacting but stifling approach.

          However, the Leonard da Vinci School that lasted during the prewar years 1923 to 1942 was attended by Isamu Noguchi and was headed by the Italian-American sculptor Onorio Ruotolo who had no such sympathies to the dictator. Quite the opposite was the case where he had working class sympathies and in his later years was employed by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. Well, so much for memories and an oral but personal history.

          Here is where Elaine de Kooning came into the picture. Upon leaving Hunter College where she had attended for only a few weeks, Elaine enrolled in the Leonardo da Vinci school whose faculty was populated by WPA artists. At that school, she became politically active. And when one means politically active in those days in lower Manhattan in all probability it was not necessarily for either of America's two major parties. She represented the school at the John Reed Club. One might remember the movie, “Reds” in which John (Jack) Reed an errant journalist searching with lance in hand or in his case a pen and typewriter finds his castle in the nascent Soviet Union. The club or rather association of clubs fronted the U.S. Communist Party that had been seeking new recruits. Although at first independent, these clubs along with the New Masses publication united with the party.

          Peter Fried -- Elaine de Kooning

          At these meetings, Elaine tried or organize art students into their own union. It was there that she met Milton Resnick who represented the American Artists School which likewise associated with left progressives although it did not allow itself to be sandwiched into the party. Nevertheless it was comprised from top-to-bottom with fellow travelers and some ardent members to boot. There, Elaine joined the Young Communist League. While pursuing a life of activism and study, she supported herself modeling through the Model's union. Modeling for artists and students alike probably did not pay very well back then. It still does not pay very well. And yet models posing draped or in the nude are indispensable not only for the education of future artists but enables professional painters to fine tune their skills. Attending open life drawing sessions, I hobnobbed with students, hobbyists, and commercial artists along with fine artists.

          At the American Artists School, Elaine studied under Raphael Soyer. If my memory serves me correctly my father tried studying under him at the Educational Alliance or was it Moses Soyer? Here my memory falters. In any case he did not appreciate his teaching methods and soon left. What my father was to early-mid Twentieth Century New York scene an unpublished footnote, Elaine was a running narrative with biographies and other references to her time and place.

          Self Portrait 1946 -- Elaine de Kooning

          In the Fall of 1938 just a few years before both art schools would shut their doors, Elaine met her future husband Willen. His studio was relatively empty housing gray floors, white walls, an easel upon which rested a painting as well as a table. It reminded me of the Caspar David Friedrich's studio depicted in some of his paintings also barren with shuttered windows and rulers and t-squares suspended on one wall. He kept his studio spartan so as to avoid all forms of visual distraction. His work space, as it were, served as a monastic compound combining contemplation with the slow but steady movement of his brush across canvas. Willen de Kooning, on the other hand, was earning a mere $22 a week and probably had no discretionary funds for furnishing his studio although he had an $800 phonograph for playing records. Apparently music was important as it is to me when painting. He offered Elaine drawing lessons which she accepted and in that same year she sold her first watercolor for a mere $10. In the following year, she moved in with him beginning a long but tumultuous relationship. They married about five years later.

          She sailed to Provincetown, Massachusetts joining their art colony. Upon returning a few months later, she discovered that they had been evicted and the couple scrambled to find other lodgings eventually locating on Carmine street in Greenwich Village, a domicile previously rented by Milton Resnick. Their main room became their work space with easels set up at opposite ends. But they had already grown apart.

          Willen had his first solo show at the Charles Egan gallery and then Elaine commenced having an affair with this gallerist. In that same year Elaine followed Willen to the experimental school called Black Mountain College situated in North Carolina's Smokies not far from Asheville. She stayed while Willen went back to New York. Although estranged, they participated in a group show at the Sidney Janis Gallery along with Pollock and Krasner and the Arps. In that same year these three couples along with artists Franz Kline, Mercedes Matter, Mark Rothko and Philip Pavia formed the Artists' Club also known as the Eighth Street Club.

          Spring 1965 -- Elaine de Kooning

          Seduced by the zeitgeist of those times, Elaine pursued Abstract Expressionism except that she did not completely depart from figurative painting. By 1957, Elaine taught at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. It was her first time out west and was mesmerized by the intense clarity of the land with deep blue skies and angular mountains rich in color. Perhaps she is best known for her presidentially commissioned portrait in 1962 of President Kennedy. After creating several preliminary sketches in person, she spent the entire year of 1963 painting his portrait reflecting his frenetic manner of one a leader of this nation obligated to perpetually multi-task.

          After his assassination, Elaine stopped painting for a year concentrating on her teaching career. A number of venerable institutions graced her presence including Yale, Pratt and Carnegie Mellon. Her career in education continued into the 1970s. By mid-decade, the de Koonings purchased a home in East Hampton as a material mark of their success. Soon thereafter both stopped drinking. She became sober in order to negotiate the commute from East Hampton to her teaching post at the University of Georgia. And she encouraged Willen to join along with her Alcoholics Anonymous.

          John F. Kennedy Wearing a Tie (charcoal collage on paper) -- Elaine de Kooning

          In the 1980s, she traveled the world broadening her repertoire of places seen that influenced her work. Alas, years of abuse, as was customary for artists of that time period, took its toll and she underwent surgery to remove a cancerous lung. She passed February first, 1988. Her husband who was suffering from severe dementia was never informed of her passing.

          Death is always a reminder not only of one's mortality but also serves as a negative incentive to go on creating. It is because of our mortality that I paint now in my latter years. Perhaps the greatest legacy that every artist offers the world is this reminder that we toil for ourselves but also for posterity.

          Allen Ginsberg 1973 -- Elaine de Kooning

          Source:

          http://www.theartstory.org/artist-de-kooning-elain...

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              Art should be thoroughly objective, but a large part of it's intrigue is how thoroughly subjectively we view it.

              How is it possible for us (the viewer) to maintain our objectivity, when we know one of these 16" canvasses costs more than a family home?

              We have to temporarily don our "artist's spectacles" clear the palette of "remnants and hues". And temporarily "suspend disbelief " to "feel the ground" beneath the artists feet..

              http://www.telegraph.co.uk/luxury/art/josef-albers-sunny-side-exhibition-david-zwirner/

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              A Thought About Thought, Art And Life.

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                  I have to delete or adjust many of my posts I take no shame in it. I'm here just to share my thoughts and learn.

                  This is a deep thought that started out life as a shallow one. I hope you give it some..

                  Originally, we preserved thoughts for others through art.

                  For there was no written language.

                  A physical "3D" product still is notoriously difficult for a brain to produce from nothing more than an original thought. As is the case with a sculpture or a painting, an artist's thought process has been represented by themselves through a media that allows them to capture an intangible yet physical evocation and freeze it in time..Thereby sending many future viewers the same original message. Yet still the artist may never be happy with the final product and strive repeatedly to perfect the message by recreating it.

                  Time-warp.

                  As civilizations rapidly developed life became more complex, so did the message.

                  The artists mastered new languages, in order to simplify the message, lest it get lost, or garbled.

                  What was the artists original thought?

                  The answer of course is that it's always open to interpretation, because each of us is ourselves an artist with our own perceptions thoughts and language, and we don't have much time to make art.

                  If we are to appreciate the artists message then we have to visualize ourselves as the creators of the piece, look at it with an artists eye..

                  We need to suspend our disbelief and wear their shoes for a moment, while remembering that some are standing in their bare feet..While others are sh1tting down gold toilets...

                  Only then maybe we can truly get the message.


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                  Elaine De Kooning

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                      Megan by Elaine de Kooning

                      Introducing my next blog coming to you this Sunday evening. It will be about Elaine de Kooning who just happened to have been married to Willem de Kooning. This will be a special treat even for me as I look at some of her work which will be in my blog as well.

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