Monday, March 25, 2024

William T. Williams (USA b. 1942)

Old Bethel (1970)
acrylic and graphite on paper 141 x 104 cm

William T. Williams (born July 17, 1942) is an American painter and educator. His artistic journey has been marked by a process-based approach to painting, drawing motifs from personal memory and cultural narratives to create non-referential, abstract compositions. Let’s delve into his fascinating life and work:

  1. Early Years and Background:

    • Born in Cross Creek, North Carolina, Williams’s family later moved to Queens, New York when he was four years old.
    • His formative years included visits to North Carolina during summers.
    • In 1956, a pivotal encounter with famed artist Jacob Lawrence fueled his belief that he could pursue a professional artistic career.
  2. Education and Artistic Development:

    • Williams attended the High School for Industrial Arts in Manhattan, where he frequented the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
    • He graduated from New York City Community College in 1960 and later earned his B.F.A. degree from Pratt Institute in 1966.
    • His artistic journey continued at Yale University School of Art and Architecture, where he obtained his M.F.A. degree in 1968.
  3. Career and Exhibitions:

    • Williams’s first exhibit was part of a group show called “X to the Fourth Power” at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1969.
    • Throughout the 1970s, his work was showcased at prestigious venues such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum in New York, as well as the American Embassy in Moscow and the Fondation Maeght in France.
    • He became a professor of art at Brooklyn College in 1970 and held summer residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.
  4. Influences and Style:

    • Williams’s art was profoundly influenced by his first trip to Africa in the late 1970s.
    • His work evolved, incorporating elements from African art and culture.
    • His non-referential abstract compositions often reflect personal memories and cultural narratives.
  5. Recognition and Legacy:

    • In 1986, Williams became the first Black artist included in H.W. Janson’s History of Art textbook.
    • He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1987.
    • His legacy endures as a trailblazer in American art.

Kazuo Nakamura

Blue Reflections, 1965
oil on canvas, 86.3 x 114.3 cm

Kazuo Nakamura (1926–2002) was a Japanese-Canadian artist who produced one of the most varied and consistently original bodies of work of his generation. His artistic journey spanned more than forty years, during which he created paintings and sculptures that reflected his exploration of different styles and techniques. Here are some key points about his life and art:

  1. Early Years and Background:

    • Born on October 13, 1926, in Vancouver, Canada.
    • Nakamura was a second-generation Japanese Canadian (nisei).
    • His father, Toichi Nakamura, had immigrated to Canada from Hiroshima in 1911.
  2. Inspiration and Influences:

    • Fascinated by his uncle’s collection of Japanese art magazines, Nakamura developed an early interest in art.
    • He studied with influential West Coast artists during his teenage years.
  3. Painters Eleven:

    • Nakamura was a founding member of the Toronto-based Painters Eleven group in the 1950s.
    • This group played a significant role in advancing abstract art in Canada.
  4. Artistic Exploration:

    • Inspired by his colleagues in Painters Eleven, Nakamura moved between figuration and abstraction.
    • He experimented with different styles and techniques, seeking to reveal universal laws of nature found in science and mathematics.
  5. Achievements and Legacy:

    • Nakamura achieved remarkable success during his lifetime, which was unprecedented for any Japanese Canadian artist.
    • His muted landscapes and abstract compositions garnered acclaim.
    • His legacy continues to inspire a new generation of artists.
  6. Where to See His Work:

    • You can explore Nakamura’s art at various institutions, including the Art Gallery of OntarioCanadian War MuseumGovernment of Ontario Art CollectionMacLaren Art CentreMuseum London, and the National Gallery of Canada.

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Guiliano Boscaini (Italian, b. 1958)

“Train Station, (Il saluto)”, 2020 
Watercolor Painting

Giuliano Boscaini is a contemporary Lombard artist, born in Turate, Italy, in 1958. His artistic journey began in the field of advertising graphics, where he worked until 1986. At that point, he decided to become an independent professional, acquiring leading companies in the national territory for his portfolio. Boscaini’s passion, creativity, and affinity for drawing led him to explore art, particularly landscape painting using the oil technique.

However, it was his encounter with watercolorist Emilia Aldo Taron that played a decisive role in his artistic development. Watercolor, with its unpredictable results, became a medium that brought him immense satisfaction and emotions. Boscaini describes painting in watercolor as a moment of meditation, allowing him to extract energy and stillness from space.

His art, often characterized by the interplay of water and color, invites viewers to experience the emotions evoked by this captivating technique. 

To explore more of Giuliano Boscaini’s watercolor works, you can visit his Facebook page1 or learn more about him on The Gallerist

Emile Claus (Belgium, 1849-1924)

Fog Lanterns in the mist (1916-18)
Oil on canvas, 42.8 x 45.7 cm.

Emile Claus (27 September 1849 – 14 June 1924) was a Belgian painter known for his luminous and impressionistic style. Here are some key points about his life and work:

  1. Early Life and Education:

    • Born in Sint-Eloois-Vijve, a village in West Flanders, Belgium.
    • His father was a grocer-publican, and his mother came from a Brabant skipper’s family.
    • As a child, Claus loved drawing and attended the Academy of Waregem to learn how to draw.
  2. Artistic Journey:

    • Despite his father’s reservations, Claus pursued an artistic career.
    • He trained at the Antwerp Academy of Fine Arts after convincing his father with the help of composer Peter Benoit.
    • Claus settled in Astene, near Deinze, Belgium, where he drew inspiration from the countryside.
  3. Luminist Style:

    • Claus developed the distinct style of Luminism, characterized by its emphasis on light and color.
    • His paintings often depict serene landscapes, capturing the play of light on water, fields, and trees.
  4. Influences and Connections:

    • Claus befriended renowned figures like French sculptor Auguste Rodin and naturalist Émile Zola.
    • He traveled globally to exhibit his work and gained recognition as a celebrity artist.
  5. Relationships:

    • The painter Jenny Montigny played a significant role in Claus’s life, attending master classes at his workshop.
    • Despite their age difference, they shared a relationship that lasted until Claus’s death.
  6. Notable Works:

    • Some of his famous paintings include:
      • “The Ice Birds”
      • “Bringing in the Nets”
      • “First Communion”
      • “Hay Stacks”
      • “Summer”
  7. Legacy:

    • Claus’s luminist approach influenced Belgian art and left a lasting impact on the country’s artistic landscape.

For a deeper exploration of Emile Claus’s art, you can visit the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Brussels or explore more of his works on WikiArt

Ellen Thesleff (Finland, 1869-1954)

 Self portrait (1894-1895)

oil on canvas 31.5 x 23.5 cm

Ellen Thesleff (1869–1954) was a Finnish expressionist painter, celebrated as one of the foremost modernist artists in Finland. Born in Helsinki on October 5, 1869, she was the eldest daughter among five siblings, and her father was an amateur painter. Thesleff’s artistic journey took her from Finland to Paris, where she honed her skills at the Finnish Art Society Drawing School (now known as the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts) under the guidance of Gunnar Berndtson. In 1891, she ventured to Paris and enrolled at the Académie Colarossi.

Throughout her life, Thesleff divided her time between Finland, France, and Italy. She visited Italy for the first time in 1894 and maintained a family estate in Murole, Ruovesi. Despite her travels, she never married.

Thesleff’s artistic evolution is fascinating. Initially, she worked on symbolist paintings, influenced by artists like Eugène Carrière. However, she asserted that her greatest inspiration came from Édouard Manet. As her career progressed, she transitioned to expressionism and modernism, with a particular focus on landscapes.

In 1949, her paintings garnered acclaim at a major exhibition of Nordic art in Copenhagen. Her powerful use of lines and dynamic compositions resonated with viewers. Notably, Thesleff was part of the 2018 exhibit titled “Women in Paris 1850-1900”.

To explore more of Ellen Thesleff’s work, you can visit the Ateneum museum or view her self-portraits on Archives of Women Artists

Alice Brasser (Dutch , b. 1965)

Park fence 2021
Oil on perspex on wood , 20 x 17 cm.

Alice Brasser, born in Alkmaar, The Netherlands in 1965, is a talented artist who currently lives and works in Haarlem. She received her education at the Amsterdam Academy of Fine Art. Brasser’s captivating work has found its way into both corporate collections and numerous private collections within the Netherlands and abroad12.
Her artistic expression primarily revolves around the theme of landscapes. In her paintings and drawings, you’ll encounter recurring motifs such as trees, grasses, fields, and flowers. These natural elements come alive through her use of intense colors, creating an atmosphere of mystery. Additionally, her compositions often feature human beings or traces of human presence, adding depth and intrigue to her work1.
A monograph titled “Dreamscapes”, published in September 2017, provides an overview of her art from the years 2007 to 2017. In this collection, you’ll find glimpses of lush landscapes, shadowy entertainments in forests, and scenes that evoke both beauty and curiosity. The impact of her works transcends mere aesthetics; they leave a lasting impression that defies simple characterization1.
Brasser’s art invites us to explore the interplay between nature, light, and human existence—a captivating journey through her dreamscapes

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Galileo Chini (Florence 1873)

Icarus, 1907
Oil on canvas

Galileo Andrea Maria Chini, born on December 2, 1873, in Florence, Italy, was a multifaceted artist known for his contributions to the Liberty style (also known as Art Nouveau) in Italy. Let’s delve into his life and artistic journey:

  1. Early Years and Training:

    • Galileo Chini was born to Elio, a tailor and amateur flugelhorn player, and Aristea Bastiani.
    • He attended the Scuola d’Arte di Santa Croce in Florence, where he studied decoration.
    • His formative years included apprenticeships with painters like Amedeo Buontempo and Augusto Burchi.
  2. Ceramics and Decorative Arts:

    • In 1896, Chini co-founded the “Arte della Ceramica” (Art of Ceramics) factory in Florence with artists such as Giovanni VannuzziGiovanni Montelatici, and Vittorio Emanuele Giunti.
    • His collaboration extended to collector Giuseppe Gatti Casazza from 1902 onward.
    • Chini’s ceramic works blended artistic sensibility with craftsmanship.
  3. Restoration and Frescoes:

    • After his uncle Dario Chini passed away, Galileo took over the restoration of frescoes in the San Miniato Municipality.
    • He restored the Sala delle Sette Virtù (Hall of the Seven Virtues) and discovered ancient paintings in the church of San Domenico.
    • Chini’s restoration work extended to other chapels as well.
  4. Versatility and Recognition:

    • Chini’s artistic versatility spanned painting, decoration, graphics, and ceramics.
    • His influence was significant during the Liberty movement in Italy.
    • Notable works include the “Piastrella” (Tile) from the Manifattura Chini in Borgo San Lorenzo (1911).
  5. Legacy and Honors:

    • His artistry left an indelible mark on Italian aesthetics.
    • Chini’s contributions to ceramics, decorative arts, and fresco restoration continue to inspire.

In summary, Galileo Chini’s creative journey epitomizes the fusion of tradition, innovation, and the spirit of the Liberty movement in Italy


Juhani Palmu (Finland b. 1944)

Vinterstämning - Winter Mood (n.d.)
oil on canvas 29 x 43 cm

Juhani (Jan) Palmu, born on July 8, 1944, in Turku, Finland, was a Finnish painter known for his distinctive approach to capturing rural landscapes and symbolic elements. Here are some key details about his life and artistic contributions:

  1. Artistic Themes:

    • Palmu’s works often revolve around Finnish countryside economic centers, such as barns and other rural structures.
    • He also incorporates landscapes and shamanistic symbols, which he combines with stylized human figures reminiscent of cave paintings.
  2. Versatility and Exploration:

    • Throughout his career, Palmu explored various artistic styles and techniques.
    • His paintings reflect influences from Finnish landscape art.
  3. Biography:

    • Born in Turku, Finland, in 1944, Palmu spent part of his upbringing in Sweden.
    • His artistic journey led him to create evocative works that resonate with viewers.
  4. Notable Artworks:

    • Some of his notable pieces include:
      • “Karelia”
      • “Yard”
      • “Still Life”
      • “Rural Landscape” (1980)
      • “Houses” (1983)
      • “House” (1984)
      • “Yard Landscape” (1982)
  5. Legacy:

    • Palmu’s paintings continue to captivate audiences, blending traditional subject matter with a touch of symbolism and modern sensibility.

In summary, Juhani Palmu’s art reflects the essence of Finnish rural life and the timeless connection between nature, symbolism, and human existence123.