GWOP University

"Art Study" by Kim Bell

Tag: modern art

Kerry James Marshall @ MOCA

This exhibition, Marshall’s first major retrospective in the United States, contains nearly 80 paintings, all of which contain images of Black subjects going about their daily business, presented with utter equality and humanity. A deeply accomplished artist, who makes ravishing paintings, Read the rest of this entry »

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Frank Stella (1983)

Frank Stella, in full Frank Philip Stella, (born May 12, 1936, Malden, Massachusetts, U.S.), American painter who began as a leading figure in the Minimalist art movement and later became known for his irregularly shaped works and large-scale multimedia reliefs.

Frank Stella works are influenced by Jasper Johns, Jackson Pollock, Barnett Newman, Franz Kline and Caravaggio. This 3 D Stella pictured above is one of my favorite paintings at the Detroit Institute Of Arts museum.

Photo 📸 Kim Bell

Basquiat “Skull” (1982)

Many of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s paintings are in some way autobiographical, and Untitled may be considered a form of self-portraiture. The skull here exists somewhere between life and death. The eyes are listless, the face is sunken in, and the head looks lobotomized and subdued. Yet there are wild colors and spirited marks that suggest a surfeit of internal activity. Developing his own personal iconography, in this early work Basquiat both alludes to modernist appropriation of African masks and employs the mask as a means of exploring identity. Basquiat labored over this painting for months — evident in the worked surface and imagery — while most of his pieces were completed with bursts of energy over just a few days. The intensity of the painting, which was presented at his debut solo gallery exhibition in New York City, may also represent Basquiat’s anxieties surrounding the pressures of becoming a commercially successful artist.

Photo 📸 Kim Bell

Jean Michel Basquiat “Obnoxious Liberals” (1982)

The Broad

Jean-Michel Basquiat began his career as a wild-child, anti-establishment graffiti artist, and his rebellious stance is most graphically evidenced in his 1982 painting Obnoxious Liberals.

As the title suggests, Obnoxious Liberals depicts a series of figures representing capitalism and its hapless, powerless victims. The exploited, corroded victim, on the one hand, is virtually held hostage by the minions of mainstream White American culture, as represented by dollar signs, cowboy hats and Uncle Sam top hats as well as a “Not For Sale” sign. The victim’s dark skin also hints at the systematic oppression of African-Americans.

Basquiat was born in New York City in 1960 to parents of Haitian and Puerto Rican descent. The racial injustices he witnessed from an early age filled him with rage and the urge to rebel against the system. The political overtones of an indignant Jean-Michel are most obvious in Obnoxious Liberals.

Basquiat had no compunction about accompanying his visual art with written words expressing his intentions. Phrases, expressions, even nonsense syllables were acceptable to him as long as they helped him to convey his urgent, keenly felt messages to the public. For Basquiat, his message, the need to be understood, was just as important as the visual creation itself.

One of Basquiat’s main influences was Pablo Picasso, and this influence is notable in Obnoxious Liberals. The painting is clearly reminiscent of Picasso’s masterpiece Guernica and also portrays the atrocities perpetrated on the helpless victims by ruthless and unscrupulous authoritarian figures.

Although Basquiat’s creations often appear chaotic, as if he simply blew them out of his head on the spur of the moment, in fact, this is an impression which the artist himself strove painstakingly to produce.

The truth was that, in reality, he spent a great deal of time pondering over his canvases and carefully constructing in his mind what he wished to display, the disposition and lay-outs of his work and the messages he wanted to transmit.

The charismatic creator was a brilliant artist who knew how to employ vivid color for masterful effect. The use of primal, primary tones, splashes of raging red to attract the eye, glaring blue and black contrasting with pristine white and the almost complete absence of any other hues are some of the notable features of this painting.

Obnoxious Liberals, with its clear, confident strokes, is without a doubt a perfect example of Basquiat at his best.

Photo: Kim Bell

Clyfford Still (1979)

Still Museum (Denver, CO)

Considered one of the most important painters 🎨 of the 20th century, Clyfford Still (1904–1980) was among the first generation of Abstract Expressionist artists who developed a new and powerful approach to painting in the years immediately following World War II.

After the artist’s death in 1980, the Clyfford Still Estate was sealed off from public and scholarly view. Still’s will stipulated that his estate be given in its entirety to an American city willing to establish a permanent museum dedicated solely to his work, ensuring its survival for exhibition and study. The Still Museum collection, which represents 95 percent of the artist’s lifetime output, includes approximately 3,125 works created between 1920 and 1980. This museum is full of inspiration. Pictured above is the last painting created by Clyfford Still in 1979.

📸photo: Kim bell