Tag: Great stories about great paintings
On the road with Hiroshige’s other women
Volumes have been written about Hiroshige’s evocative series “Fifty-Three Stations of the Tōkaidō” and also about the men who pursued the great road’s prurient pleasures. Today I’m looking at the women of the Tōkaidō — all of the women, not only the courtesans.
Why isn’t artist Norman Lewis famous?
Abstract Expressionism — the first uniquely American art movement to attain international influence — trumpets the limitlessness of artistic horizons. But limitless for whom? How many Black abstract expressionists can you name?
Henri Matisse and that cursed armchair
Henri Matisse liked to paint quiet moments of repose in order to catch his breath before returning to the turmoils of life. Peace of mind is what he craved and what he wanted to bestow on us. Does it mean he wasn’t quite serious enough as an artist?
Stuart Davis was hip to the jive
Did modern artist Stuart Davis take the same passionate risks as a jazz musician? Or is that hard to bring off? Likewise, did the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra truly transform the colors, lines, and layers of a Stuart Davis painting into live music? Here’s a rare opportunity to compare notes.
Sheeler, Rivera, and machine-age anxiety
Charles Sheeler and Diego Rivera jumped at the chance to portray Henry Ford’s unprecedented manufacturing complex. Do their pictures celebrate the potential of machines to liberate us from drudgery? Or do they warn us about the dangers of living in a technology-driven society?
Who cancelled Berthe Morisot?
Berthe Morisot’s brushwork was audacious, even for a French Impressionist. Nevertheless, contemporary critics reviewed her work favorably. Today she is the least-known member of this popular group of painters. The lady (almost) vanished. Where did she go?
George Bellows: Last stop, 59th Street
The scale of the lone tenement building under the new Queensboro Bridge seems odd. Is it real? Or is it a ghost, urging us to remember all the homes that were bulldozed in the name of urban expansion and the human interactions that once took place inside them?
Leonardo’s brazenly feminist portrait
During the Italian Renaissance, women were portrayed as ideals, symbols, and allegories — even in their own portraits. Then one day Leonardo da Vinci and Lisa Gherardini said goodbye to all that.