Frank Lloyd Wright | HOW TO SEE Rosenwald School with Mabel Wilson

In the 1920s, Frank Lloyd Wright designed a school for the Rosenwald Fund, a philanthropic organization which built over 5,000 schools for African American students who, under Jim Crow laws, were required to pay for their own educational facilities despite paying taxes. Mabel Wilson explores Wright’s plans for the Rosenwald School as well as the architect’s interest in progressive education reform throughout his career.

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Ad Reinhardt | WideWalls

The advocate of the philosophy he called Art-as-Art, Ad Reinhardt was a prominent painter, writer, critic and educator whose work has been associated with the Abstract Expressionism although it had its origins in Geometric Abstraction, announcing the Minimal and Conceptual Art and Monochrome Painting. As a member of the American Abstract Artists, he was a part of the group gathered at Betty Parsons Gallery that became known as Abstract Expressionism. Recognizable for his cartoons that made fun of the art, Reinhardt is also remembered for the Black or Ultimate Paintings that he claimed to be the “last paintings” that anyone can paint.

Ad Reinhardt – Abstract Painting, 1948, photo via cavetocanvas.com

Early Life and Decision to Study Art History

Adolph Frederick Reinhardt was born on December 24, 1913, in Buffalo, New York. He showed an interest in art from his early childhood, working as an illustrator for the school’s newspapers. Rejecting several scholarships from art schools, he chose to study art history at Columbia University in New York, under the famous Meyer Shapiro who gave him a solid background in theory and humanities through latest trends and contemporary approaches. Shapiro also had a great influence on Reinhardt’s political views, introducing him to the radical leftist Marxist believing that he adhered for the rest of his life. In 1935, he began artistic training at the national Academy of Design and at the American Artists School in New York, falling under the influence of two prosperous painters, Carl Holty and Francis Criss who worked under the postulates of the Cubism and Constructivism.

Reinhardt studied art history at Columbia University in New York under the famous Meyer Shapiro
Ad Reinhardt – Abstract Painting, 1960, photo via art-agenda.com (Left) – Red Abstract, 1952, photo via quotesgram.com

Strivings for an Absolute Abstract Forms

During the late 30’s Reinhardt was among the artists employed by the government WPA project, which proved to be important for his further career, considering his acquaintance with Willem de Kooning and Arshile Gorky with whom he became a life-long friend. Creating in a realm of the geometric abstraction, his work starting to show the aspects of gestural abstraction. In this period, he worked a freelance illustrating job for several New York publications. Constantly striving for an absolute form of abstraction deprived of narratives or any kind of reference to anything outside the canvas, Reinhardt could no longer find himself in Abstract Expressionism, charging it for the opulence of emotional indications and a cult of the ego. Highly influenced by the art of Kazimir Malevich and Russian Suprematist theories, he became occupied with solid fields of color arranged in geometric forms of squares and rectangles, directly inspired by Malevich’s Black Square (1915). In his theoretical writings Reinhardt has brought these ideas into connection with complex philosophies, as Neo-Platonism, Negation Theology and Zen Buddhism.

Reinhardt was highly influenced by the art of Kazimir Malevich and Russian Suprematist theoriesAd Reinhardt – Untitled, 1966, photo via cavetocanvas.com (Left) – Abstract Painting Blue, photo via mutualart.com

Painting in Red, Blue and Black

Believing in an absolutely pure, ordered and balanced abstract art, in 1950’s Reinhardt began his experiments using the single color in the series of paintings. He started with Red paintings, then the Blue ones and finally came to the Black that marked his career for the rest of his life. Bringing the medium of painting to its limits of expression, he tended to create absolute zero, the end of the light. Challenging the viewer’s patience, making him stunned by the complete absence of narrative, palette, or any other element that everybody was used to, Reinhardt explained that everything is on the move, so the art should be still. He created collaborative art pieces, the ones whose existence were impossible without the viewer’s presence. As our experience of particular painting alters, instead of the inert images, these works became events. They change in every different feeling of their audience. Read more (…) : Ad Reinhardt | WideWalls

He was in a constant search for the pure and balanced abstract art

Top Image : Ad Reinhardt portrait, 1966, photo via mythgallery.com

The Incredible Life and Collection of Peggy Guggenheim | WideWalls

The Life of Peggy Guggenheim

Marguerite ”Peggy” Guggenheim was born in New York in 1898 to a Jewish family. Her biographer Jacqueline Bograd Weld said that it wasn’t just Marguerite who was fascinating as a subject, but that her entire family was full of wonderful eccentricities. Her mother Florette Seligman who came from a family of bankers was known to repeat everything three times, while one of her aunts used to sing most of what she said, possibly leading her husband to an early death. Her father, Benjamin Guggenheim was member of the prominent mining family. They had two more daughters – Hazel and Benita, who were Peggy’s only companions in her childhood and who both lost their lives tragically as young women. The family enjoyed the wealth and comforts of high society. For Peggy, those early years of bourgeois lifestyle were insufferably boring. When her father died on the RMS Titanic she was 13 years old and her family fortune was already decimated. At the age of 19 she inherited her father’s money. She called herself a poor Guggenheim, which was true only in a sense that her inherited wealth was considerably less than that of her cousins. This was just one more thing setting her apart from what she knew. Peggy craved adventure, fulfillment and recognition. Rebelling against aristocratic lifestyle and future as some rich guy’s wife, she found a job in the avant-garde bookshop The Sunrise Turn, where she was exposed to artist and radical thinkers. A year later, in 1921, she moved to Paris, to a city that was giving birth to an art revolution. She marveled at the bohemian world, sharing it intimately with women and men like Kiki de Montparnasse, Man Ray, James Joyce and Ezra Pond. It was in Paris where her love for sex and art was fully awakened.

News is that Man Ray wrote many letters to GuggenheimLeft: Man Ray – Peggy Guggenheim, 1924, photo via jewishcurrents.org / Right: Peggy Guggenheim in in her bedroom; Behind her Alexander Calder’s Silver Bed Head (1945–46), 1961, photo via provokr.com

Lire la suite : The Incredible Life and Collection of Peggy Guggenheim | WideWalls

David Nash and the mystery of Wooden Boulder, his missing sculpture

David Nash’s most celebrated artwork has vanished. But what does it mean?

For 35 years, the artist David Nash mapped the progress of Wooden Boulder, his ‘free-range sculpture’, as it journeyed down the River Dwyryd in Wales. But now the gargantuan oak sphere has vanished.

James Fox investigates. (...)

Source : David Nash and the mystery of Wooden Boulder, his missing sculpture

 

Georgia O’Keeffe: 10 things to know

I had the pleasure to visit O’Keefe’s museum in Santa Fe in 2014. It really was a discover for me. I of course knew her flower paintings, but I particularly love her landscapes of New Mexico, very close to minimal and abstract painting. And most of all, she was a beautiful Woman in all her choices of life.

Read more : Georgia O’Keeffe: 10 things to know

Ahead of the sale of five works by one of the most significant artists of the 20th century, we take a closer look at the life, loves and landscapes of the ‘mother of American modernism’(…).