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Archive for the ‘Paintings’ Category

PacitaArtstor and the Pacita Abad Art Estate are collaborating to make available 500 images of the artist’s works in the Digital Library.

The internationally renowned Philippine-American artist Pacita Abad (1946 – 2004) was born in Batanes, a small island in the South China Sea. Her 32-year painting career began when she had to leave the Philippines due to her student political activism against the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, and she traveled to the United States to study law. However, after a few years she switched careers to dedicate her life to art and studied painting at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. and The Art Students League in New York City. Since that time Abad never stopped being a nomadic artist and painted the globe while working on six continents and traveling to over 50 countries. During her career she created over 4,500 artworks, and her paintings were exhibited in more than 200 museums and galleries around the world.

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William Turner of Oxford, Shepherd Boy on a Hillside, ca. 1840. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection

William Turner of Oxford, Shepherd Boy on a Hillside, ca. 1840. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection

He was only eighteen years old, yet William Turner’s watercolors were already praised in print as follows: “By dint of his superior art he has rolled such clouds over these landscapes as has given to a flat country an equal grandeur with mountain scenery, while they fully account for the striking and natural effects of light and shade which he has introduced.” The critic John Ruskin would also become a big supporter in the artist’s later years.

How could they not admire those rolling landscapes, the colorful skies! No wonder Turner’s considered a precursor to the Impressionists! Oh wait—wrong William Turner.

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Éduard Manet, The Execution of Maximilian, ca. 1867-8. Photograph: ©The National Gallery, London

Éduard Manet, The Execution of Maximilian, ca. 1867-8. Photograph: © The National Gallery, London

Édouard Manet’s Luncheon on the Grass was the scandal of the year in France when it was exhibited in the 1863 Salon des Refusés, and Olympia was greeted with the same shock and indignation in the Paris Salon of 1865 (a journalist wrote, “If the canvas of the Olympia was not destroyed, it is only because of the precautions that were taken by the administration”). So selling tickets to show a new painting in America that was too controversial for France seemed a surefire way to get attention—and perhaps make a little money.

From 1867 to 1869, Édouard Manet had made some works depicting the execution of Emperor Maximilian in Mexico in 1867. But considering that Maximilian’s empire had collapsed after Napoleon III withdrew his support, it was not prudent to exhibit them in France while Napoleon remained in power.

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Joseph Peller, Night Owls. © Joseph Peller

Joseph Peller, Night Owls. © Joseph Peller

Artstor and Joseph Peller have released more than 30 images of his artworks in the Digital Library.

Joseph Peller (b.1953) explores the haunting notions of isolation and ambivalence inherent in the unnoticed rituals of modern urban life. He experiments with a wide range of pure and mixed techniques in painting, printmaking and sculpture. (more…)

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Albrecht Dürer, Hare (A Young Hare), 1502, Graphische Sammlung Albertina. Image and original data: Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.

Albrecht Dürer, Hare (A Young Hare), 1502, Graphische Sammlung Albertina. Image and original data: Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.

Easter is around the corner, and with it comes the inevitable barrage of images of the Easter bunny. The strange thing is that the only mentions of rabbits in the Bible are prohibitions against eating them in the Old Testament. So what gives?

The underlying idea is that rabbits are connected to the idea of rebirth—not only do they reproduce prodigiously, at one time they were believed to reproduce asexually. The connection of rabbits to rebirth also occurs in non-Christian societies: The Rabbit in the Moon (instead of our Man in the Moon) is a familiar symbol in Asia, and was part of Aztec legend, tying the idea of rabbits to a “rebirth” every night. But other qualities of rabbits and hares also get highlighted in folklore, including their mischievous side, playing the role of cunning tricksters in Native American and Central African mythologies. (more…)

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Claude Monet, Water Lilies,  1919. Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Claude Monet, Water Lilies, 1919. Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

After the coldest recorded February in New York City since 1934, spring has finally sprung, and we could not be more relieved.

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artstor_logo_rgb2Artstor and the Garth Greenan Gallery have collaborated to release 20 images of works by contemporary artist Howardena Pindell in the Digital Library.

Howardena Pindell (b.1943) explores issues of racism, feminism, violence, slavery, and exploitation through the language of abstraction. She is known for her use of unconventional materials in her otherwise formalist paintings, including string, perfume, glitter, and postcards. Pindell also occasionally works in video.

Pindell was a founding member of feminist art collective AIR Galleries in 1972, and her art has been exhibited at the Studio Museum in Harlem, Walker Art Center, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Pindell’s work is included in the permanent collections of MoMA, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Yale University Art Museum. (more…)

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