Monthly Archives: July 2017

All About Fine Arts

The artists later formed their own group, the Society for Traveling and Exhibiting Art. In the late 1800’s, conflict became evident between three art styles, idealism, classicism and Ideological realism. Realism then took center stage up until the late 1900’s. This group would later dedicate their energies to populist themes set in realism.

Realism is a painting style that encompasses nature in its natural form. Nature is painted as it is with no objectivity to the stroke of the brush. It is a somewhat conservative art style. The first art paintings depicted in realism were dominated in themes based on the Russian Clergy, landscape and Russian peasantry.

18th Century Art: Ideological Realism

The Society for Traveling and Exhibiting Art Organization was known as Peredvizhniki in Russian language. It translates to itinerants or travelers in English. Peredvizhniki was the movement that caused the Russian art to follow realism from the mid eighteen century up to early 1900. Their goal was to enhance social reform and promote national consciousness.

Other famous artists that enhanced realism include Isaak Levitan, Mikhail Vrubel, Ivan Aivazovsky, Samuel Adlivankin, Abram Arkhipov, Alexey Venetsianov amongst many other artists. These artists would paint portraits and nature in its true form. The kind of art produced was inspired by everyday life and its occurrences. Some famous paintings of the1800’s include “A Kolkhoz Celebration”, “The Blue Expanse”, “The Year of 1918 in Petrograd” and “Stalin and Voroshirov in the Kremlin” amongst other paintings.

19th Century Art: Romanticism and Neoclassicism Art Styles

One artist in particular had a massive impact on Western European influenced art styles restrictions. He helped overturn realism styles and allow appreciation for romanticism and neoclassic styles. He did the famous painting “The Last Day of Pompeii”. His name was Karl Briullov, a master painter of fine art. The painting was done in a neoclassical and Romanticism style.

19th Century Art: The Slavic Revival

The Slavic revival period lasted throughout the late 19th Century. This was a period of revival in Russian national heritage with art acquiring a medieval nature that best represented the Russian culture and way of life. It reintroduced Ideological realism with more symbolism and beauty in the paintings. One noteworthy painter during this period was Victor Vasnetsov. Vasnetsov painted Russia in the Kievan History.

21st Century Art: A glimpse into Russian Contemporary Art

Contemporary art embraces all things objective. It is not subject to natural rules and goes beyond imagination. It may use abstract objects to portray life and use living things to depict modernization. Contemporary art is modern in all sense of the word. It was born in Russia out of personalizing art and moving away from Stalin’s norms and the soviet culture. During the reign of Stalin, contemporary art was seen as an act of defiance.

When Mikhail Gorbachev came into power, the rules changed and contemporary art could be publicly exhibited. He granted artists their freedom and removed all limitations placed by Stalin’s government. The aesthetic gap that had previously divided non-conformists and conformists of art disappeared and both worlds merged their art to create a combined theme of modern art.

Contemporary art embraces iconography. This is iconic painting, which has long been in historic art but has been modified to include portraiture fused with spiritual life and mystic tendencies. It ultimately brings art to a completely new level of pluralistic styles that have fused into one major style, the contemporary art style. One example of contemporary art is George Skripnichenko’s painting titled “A Man is the Eyes Good” displayed in the Museum of Contemporary Russian Art.

Mogul School Always Have a Great Influence With Indian Art

The fact that India has always been well connected to the outside world has also meant that Indian fine art has been influenced by the cultures of other lands, and this has simply served to enrich the art even further.

Indian Paintings a Fusion of Different Cultures

The art of India depicts their ancient heritage, medieval times, British rule, Mughal rule, progressive art as well as contemporary art, and in fact the very earliest recorded art of India originated from a religious Hindu background, to be replaced later by Buddhist art. Indian paintings can be anything from early civilizations to the present day; and today the art form is a fusion of different cultures and traditions. Art in India has also been inspired by spiritualism and mystical relationships between man and god, and the artists of India have relied on religious scriptures to draw inspiration, making use of water colors, charcoal as well as vegetable dyes.

Mogul Painters Make Use of Native Materials

In 1550 the Indian subcontinent was divided between Muslim and Hindu kingdoms and the Moguls established a new dynasty, coming from the mountains, north of the Indus River valley. One of the purposes of their art was to draw attention to the king and glorify his deeds, and they made good use of native materials in their works of art. Good art symbolized the prosperity of many an empire in ancient India. Art was an extension of their tribute and respect to the king, and the artwork of Hindu kings depicts scenes from Ramayan and Mahabharat.

The founder of the Moguls was Babur. Persian painting had become academic, it excelled in skill of brush work and mastery of color, but it lacked spiritual energy and vitality and it had lost touch with life. India has a tradition of vital painting, especially in the Rajput states and in the Deccan, and the king, Abkar, changed the course of development of art with the founding of his new religion which had many foreign elements.

The Origins of Mogul Art

Mogul art had its real beginnings during the reign of Akbar (1556) and he wanted to accurately record the events of his reign. He appreciated the realism in Europe engravings and paintings, steering his painters towards greater naturalism and encouraging the use of modeling and of European perspective in landscape.

Realism and strong colors are the characteristics of the Mogul school of miniature painters. Mogul painters excelled in portraiture of animals and people and leaned towards an excessive idealization and to an interest in lighting. Glass work and ceramics also flourished under the Moguls, and carpets were also made. The Mogul invaders attracted some of the best 16th century painters in India to their courts.

Rajasthani Art

A striking feature of Rajasthani art is an intensity of feelings and emotions with architecture usually in the background to create some perspective. The Rajput school takes pride of place among the local styles, as the Rajput princes were more closely linked than any others with the Mogul court. Many of their artists worked for the court, and the subjects illustrated by the Rajput painters were never taken from Moslem court life but depicted a number of themes, events, Krishna’s life, humans and landscapes, and humans.

An Increasing Interest in the Art of Indians

Today many Indian artists are producing excellent works of art and exhibiting them overseas. Of course the uniqueness of this art is its rich cultural heritage, and today you keep hearing of how art by Indians is fetching a fortune. Today there has also been an increasing interest in art magazines like Art India and Indian Contemporary Art Journal among others. Excavations of art in India has shown that the art is highly sophisticated, and artists of the 21st century use both ancient, historical styles as well as modern ideas in their art.

Interview with Art Critic

In June, 2010, Bob Pincus found himself in the center of a firestorm when the newly established editor of the San Diego Union Tribune, Jeff Light, laid off 35 jobs – including his job as Art Critic and Books Editor. Immediately after learning of this event, the San Diego art community rallied to Pincus’s side with Facebook campaigns “We Want Bob’, to community forums at the Warwick Bookstore in La Jolla where a few hundred folks gathered with arts leaders, to blogs on the Huffington Post, articles in the LA Times and more – everyone calling to reinstate Bob Pincus to his art critic position. As Pincus put it “Its’ like I died, but didn’t”. Feeling overwhelmed at the outpouring of emotion and support from the San Diego community for his plight, Pincus put the past behind him. The San Diego Union Tribune would not budge from their decision. Hugh Davies, MCASD Director, commented:

“For over 20 years, Robert Pincus has been a first-rate critic — fair, intelligent and well-informed — and he deserves great credit for the maturation of the art and museum world in San Diego. His departure from the paper is a huge loss to the visual arts community here. Support from our city’s newspaper in the form of information but, more importantly, informed criticism is vital to San Diego’s future growth and improvements as a vibrant cultural destination.”

Budget cuts continue to plague the San Diego arts community as it does in many other cities around the U.S. In fact, for the past year and a half, Pincus has been the Senior Grants and Art Writer for MCASD – and in spite of the fact that he was able to win significant grants for the museum from the NEA and the Andy Warhol Foundation, and in spite of the comments Hugh Davies made(above),he was recently laid off from his position. It is difficult to separate the career of Robert Pincus from the ever evolving changes of the art world, its institutions and challenges, and the decision makers within it. It is enlightening, however, to complete the story – and look to the trajectory of Pincus’s life and how his life-story evolved in San Diego.

To begin at the beginning, Robert Pincus was born in Connecticut and moved with his parents and sister to southern California when he was seven years old. His father, who was in the womens’ fashion and merchandising industry moved the family from San Diego to the Westwood area of Los Angeles when Pincus was 11, and that is where he spent the balance of his childhood. He commented that while his family frequented arts and cultural events, he was not initially interested in visual art – his passion was literature. A self described ‘counter culture teenager’, who loved the poetry of Dylan Thomas and T.S. Eliot and the music of Bob Dylan and Neil Young, he began writing poetry. At Cal State Northridge where he spent his first two years of college, an English instructor, Mrs Connelly recruited him to write for the school’s literary magazine and this began his writing career. Another English teacher introduced the idea of ‘voice’ in literature by reading stories out loud to the students. This added the dimension of the spoken word, further capturing Pincus’s imagination.

Pincus began as an English major, but was soon drawn to interdisciplinary studies and when he transferred to the University of California Irvine for his last two years of college, he changed his major to Comparative Cultures. Pincus found himself fascinated by the Avant Garde as a cultural phenomena and noted he was influenced by Professor Dickran Tashjian, who was a scholar of Dada and Surrealism and he gravitated to both English and American literature as well. He took classes about Conceptual Art and Duchamp and instructors sent the students to galleries in Los Angeles to write exhibition reviews. It was at this point that Pincus began writing for the university newspaper. He also did book reviews and for two semesters, and was the fine arts editor – later becoming the editor of the entire paper. He commented that he never intended on going into journalism. He went on to receive a BA in Comparative Cultures with a focus on literature and art history.

Before continuing on to graduate school, Pincus took one year ‘off’ and worked for a friend’s family who were in the ‘seminar’ business. He helped organize seminars, wrote brochures, and was a ‘jack of all trades’. He then attended the University of Southern California, studying for a masters degree in American Studies. He was offered a full scholarship and he taught freshman writing. He focused his masters thesis on Los Angeles and Art History and was particularly interested in artist Ed Kienholz – When he was a teenager a family friend had taken him to see a major exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art where he was originally introduced to Kienholz’s work. After completing his masters thesis Pincus went on at USC to study for a PhD in Philosophy with a concentration in Art History and English. He commented that he had no plans to become a professional art critic – however, one of his advisors Susan Larson, suggested he write for Art Week and later for the LA Times where he became a freelance writer. He found his voice as an art writer and wrote the review for artist Mike Kelly’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles. There he developed a style of writing for newspapers, focusing on the general reading audience. He continued to focus his studies on Nancy and Ed Kienholz and interviewed them many times over the years of his study for a PhD. Looking towards the end of his program at USC, Pincus was thinking about future job prospects and his friend Christopher Knight told him about an open position at the San Diego Union Tribune.

Pincus was offered the job as art critic for the Tribune and he moved to San Diego. There, he worked days at the paper and spent nights and weekends completing his dissertation. Eventually, his dissertation took the form of a book On A Scale That Competes With The World: The Art of Edward Kienholz and Nancy Reddin Kienholz, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990). During his twenty-five years at the Union Tribune, Pincus worked as Art Critic and Books Editor as well as simultaneously writing for Art in America and Art News magazines. He has also completed books and written dozens of art catalogues.

Now that he is no longer working for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Pincus plans to continue teaching courses at the University of San Diego and do freelance art writing. The course he teaches “Art Now: How to Think Critically About Art ” speaks to his continuing commitment and perspective about the importance that people seek to understand art and make it part of their daily lives. When asked about his thoughts on art reviewing, Pincus explained that in reviewing, the reviewer goes through an academic process, informing themselves about the kind of art it is, with the goal of “staking out a new point of view rather than just adding another small bit of information to an already received body of knowledge.” He went on to say that the reviewer can make negative comments, but that they must be constructive – and critical but respectful.

In his closing comments, Pincus expressed his belief that though there are signs of growth in the San Diego art scene of artists and galleries, that San Diego has essentially gone backwards in the amount of critical writing, reviews, and commentary. He believes that the more conversation and critical writing there is about contemporary art, there will be more interest generated about art in general. And, that this writing will encourage more people to go and see exhibitions.

Art Collector Wingmen, 5 Experts That Will Be Needed on Your Team

Anyone with a passion for art and some discretionary funds can buy a few collectables for their home. It’s a lovely idea and we hope everyone enjoys art as an integral part of life. But collecting is much more than hanging a painting over your sofa. It’s a leap into the heart of the art world, a strange and wonderful junction where love, taste and commerce meet. When you are ready to get serious about collecting, it’s smart to consult professionals who will help you navigate the complex process of creating and nurturing your collection.

Here are the seven experts you should tap when you get serious about art: Art Title Provider, Art Consultant, Art Conservator, Art Insurance Expert, Art Attorney, Art Logistics Professional and a Collection Manager.

Provenance, Pedigree and a Paper Trail

You wouldn’t think of buying a home without a thorough title check. Smart art collectors check the provenance (history) of any work prior to purchase. Buying and selling art “in good faith” is not enough as laws regarding legitimate ownership vary around the world. The stories about recovered Nazi plunder, the repatriation of looted relics and long missing works stolen from museums are fascinating, but you will not want to be a featured player in any of these dramas.

Serious collectors protect themselves from buying works with a suspect history by employing the help of an Art Title Provider. In addition to the history of ownership, you may discover facts that enhance the value of your new acquisition, from inclusion in museum retrospectives to use in the set decoration of a film. A good provenance is a pedigree that appreciates with time. After you fall in love with a painting (sculpture, print, mixed media work, etc.) check the provenance to make sure the love will endure.

The Vision Thing and Collecting

When it’s time to move from casual art buying to serious collecting, you’ll want to develop a coherent vision for your collection and a strategy to get you there. An Art Consultant will advise you about when, where and what to buy in order to make your dream a reality, with knowledge about current pricing and a big picture perspective on when it’s best to sell as well as what to buy as your collection matures. An experienced art consultant knows his or her way around the art auction houses, galleries, private sales, online art sites and art fairs. These critical advisors help collectors see which objects are mere infatuations and what you’ll want in you collection long-term.

Healthcare for Your Art Collection

A professional Art Conservator is a key member of any art collector’s team. They provide preventive care -suggesting how to avoid damage from light, mold and other hazards -and they may restore or preserve a treasured work that has been damaged due to an accident or neglect. Museums rely on art conservators to protect their investments and so should you.

Natural and Unnatural Disasters

Everyone in the New York art scene took note when Hurricane Sandy sent floodwaters into galleries and art storage warehouses in 2012, making Art Insurance a serious consideration for all collectors. An expert in Art Insurance will ensure that you have the appropriate kind and amount of insurance to protect your investment. Smoke damage, fire, a leak from a neighbor’s loft and other less theatrical disasters are more likely than Steve McQueen as Thomas Crown lifting a painting from your wall, but theft and fraud are disturbing realities. Smart collectors carry insurance against disasters.

Legal Protection

An Art Attorney should be consulted on all your transactions to safeguard your best interests -both when you are buying art and when you are selling, too. A serious art collection may also figure in estate planning. An experienced art attorney will have recommendations that suit your personal and family needs.

Artful Logistics

Whether you are moving, reframing and rehanging, rotating what you display in your home, redoing lighting, loaning works to a show or simply putting art into storage, you’ll want to consult an expert in Art Logistics. The right professional input can make the difference between a smooth transition and unnecessary and expensive missteps.