Friday, October 21, 2016

California ArtBeat

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California ArtBeat
California Arts Council
Advancing California through the Arts and Creativity
October 20, 2016
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We're Hiring! Associate Arts Grants Administrator Vacancy

We'll soon be hiring a new staffer to join our programs team. At this time, interested individuals should take the Associate Arts Grants Administrator exam. Could this be the perfect job for you or someone you know? Check out the posting and spread the word. Exam deadline: November 18th.  MORE >>

Introducing the California Arts Education Data Project

All students in California deserve to have access to high quality arts education that will provide them with important skills they need to succeed in today's competitive workforce. But up until now, we lacked the tools to show us where (and how) arts education is offered across the state.
Today, Create CA, in partnership with the California Department of Education and the Arts Education Data Project, launched a first-of-its-kind suite of tools designed to help increase participation in arts education across California. This new tool gives you insights on access to and enrollment in arts programming in local schools. You can review school-level, district, county and statewide data on middle and high school arts education course offerings and enrollment.  MORE >>

what's new
Administrative Assistant
California Alliance for Arts Education
Pasadena, CA
Development & Communications Associate
California Alliance for Arts Education
Pasadena, CA
Development Manager
Atherton, CA
Artistic Assistant
The Wallis
Beverly Hills, CA
artist calls
2017-2018 Performing Arts Japan
Japan Foundation 
Deadline: 2016-10-31
Individual Support Grants
The Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Foundation
Deadline: 2016-12-15
36th Bradley International Print and Drawing Exhibition
Bradley University Galleries
Peoria, IL
Open Call for November Pop Up Show
Artists' Television Access Main Gallery
San Franscico, CA
6th Annual Armstrong National 2D Competition Exhibition
Armstrong State University
Savannah, GA
Tote your Float
NewTown Arts
Pasadena, CA
National Arts Marketing Project (NAMP) Conference
Americans for the Arts
Austin, TX
Date: 2016-11-11
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Jobs related to "art history" found 10 new jobs.

Vitae. A Service of The Chronicle of Higher Education
 Jobs related to "art history" found 10 new jobs.
Murray State University
posted on October 14
University of Alaska Anchorage
posted on October 14
Monmouth University in New Jersey
posted on October 14
University of Oklahoma - Norman
posted on October 14
El Camino College in California
posted on October 14

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Vitae. A Service of The Chronicle of Higher Education 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

What you should know about Lucian Freud.

There are some artists who are household names at this point. Especially for figurative painters there is one artist who stands out more than others in terms of being the quintessential “fine artist” who paints figures. I’m talking about Lucian Freud. Pronounced, “looshun” according to his David Dawson, (Freud's studio assistant and biographer).  

Freud is one of those artists that none of us can afford, however, would love to. 

Probably the most important thing about Lucian Freud’s work is that it looks beautiful and also would fuel beautiful if you are able to touch it. So let’s start with how it looks.

In terms of how Freud’s paintings look the first thing that appeals to most people is that it’s the new form. And it looks very real in some ways. However, there’s a distortion in the anatomy of Freud’s paintings that some people find disturbing and for this reason some people also find it really beautiful. In some instances, he exaggerates features in the face and then in the case of women, almost takes it to a grotesque level. It’s almost like finding something kind of grotesque and ugly beautiful in a way. For example, some people really love the photographs of this WPA era photographer named Dorothea Lange. 

If you look at her photos these people are so ugly that their beautiful and they almost like caricatures. The way in which they render with the beautiful grays and in between shades and tones of the black and white photographic makes it even more beautiful to us.

So, I guess you could say the same is true with Freud’s work because he exaggerates things like eyes and, bony protuberances on knees and legs as well as ribs, as well as the flesh of the almost disgusting overweight body of a male model. In his drawing and his exaggeration caricatures of these figures he’s kind of showing us something that we kind of enjoy watching in things like scary movies or Gothic novels.

He also does the same thing with skin tone and color. It’s kind of funny but the skin tone in Lucian Freud’s paintings feel an awful lot like how the color in some English movies looks when they’re portraying how gray it is in England. Even in some of the warmer tones of Lucian Freud’s depiction of flesh tones he kind of inserts what’s called a complementary color such as a gray or a blue which automatically takes it down a notch in terms of feeling orange or pink. In a way, some of his flesh tones look almost as if there green. I think he was using burnt umber and black but I haven’t really researched his palette. The flesh in Freud’s versions of skin color look almost a little zombielike but they appeal to us in the same way we like to look at zombie makeup. I don’t think most people find these paintings erotic I think that they find them sort of challenging and that’s what makes it exciting to look at.

How his paintings would feel if you are allowed to touch them is also kind of important. I’m talking about texture. Freud uses very thick paint and he also lays it on layer after layer week after week to build up the surface of the paintings sell their almost sometimes an inch thick with paint. I would imagine if you try to pick up one of these paintings would weigh double or tripple what you would imagine it weighed. The reason why say this is that’s can relate in some ways to why Freud became such an important artist even though the paintings are kind of a challenge. Thick paint is expensive and making art is a bit of a luxury. Now Freud wasn’t from a rich family in terms of money necessarily but he was from a family that was rich in terms of what some people call “cultural capital.”

Freud is directly related to his crazy grandpa Ziggy. Sigmund Freud the father of modern psychology relates directly to Freud’s success as a painter. It was something that in his biography he spoke about a little bit to his biographer any kind of felt guilty about it. He acknowledged that one of the reasons why he suspected he was successful was the way in which people saw him as related to Sigmund Freud. This idea dovetails very nicely in with the psychological aspects of Sigmund Freud’s theories as related to Lucian Freud’s paintings. Freud’s paintings work on us in an almost anti-aesthetic they don’t struggle with being beautiful because they’re not trying to be beautiful. Freud’s paintings are almost psychologically compelling because were trying to figure out why someone would paint the figure that way how the model actually looked how Freud interpreted the model and why were compelled to look at the paintings.

So Freud’s success is somewhat linked to the fact that he could afford oil paint, afford a place to paint in, his studio is quite an interesting building and Freud also have lived in some rough neighborhoods and has some kind of distant relationship to gangster culture when he was a kid. In his biography one of the things that they discuss is how his relationship to sort of gang culture when he was growing up related to him being almost a little bit of the route and there are reports by his biographer who was his studio assistant for decades that Freud would regularly bang women several times a day at some points. I think Lucian Freud also probably was a bit of an animal beyond the sexual because the last decade or so of his life well into his 70s he painted only standing up because he felt that sitting down was not active enough for a painter.

Duccio di Buoninsegna, Virgin and Child in Majesty (Maestà) main panel from the Maestà Altarpiece, from Siena Cathedral 1308-11

Duccio di Buoninsegna, Virgin and Child in Majesty (Maestà)
main panel from the Maestà Altarpiece, from Siena Cathedral
1308-11 Tempera and gold on wood, 7'x13'  (214 x 412 cm) 
Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Siena

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This altar is a perfect example of how altars looked and were made during the early Renaissance or some art historians refer to it as the late Gothic.

Physically, it is very similar to several other altarpieces you’ll be looking at during this period. For example, Giotto’s altar as well as Cimabue's.  It shares many of the same qualities that both the artist Giotto and Cimabue incorporated into their altarpieces. It is symmetrical, meaning Mary is in the center of the image and flanked by important characters who are important to Catholicism and Christianity in general. It incorporates gold-leaf as its background as well as using tempera paint which is made from a yolk and minerals and this is called egg tempera paint. It is painted on wood and is extremely large in this case it is 7 feet tall by 13 feet long.

In terms of its style, this altarpiece and the depiction of the figures in it incorporate many of the same qualities from earlier periods such as the Byzantine period and the late Gothic periods. The faces on most of the characters share in a similar quality to Giotto attention of the ways paintings and depictions of the human form. First of all, the anatomy of the faces are typically Byzantine or late Gothic. The nose is a little too long and the eyes are a little too far up in the forehead. The gestures and anatomy of the figures are a little awkward and unnaturalistic. Space is primarily constructed by using what’s called intuitive perspective, stacking the figures up as if they are standing on bleachers or steps, which is called vertical perspective and a little bit of size scale differences. If you look at the throne on which the Virgin Mary is seated, you will see that the orthogonals or lines that lead into the background almost seem to be using one point perspective but if you trace the lines out they would be incorrect in terms of linear one-point perspective. Remember that linear perspective does not get used until around the 1420s.

The drapery, or clothing, of each of the figures is closer in it’s rendering to painters such as Giotto in his "Ognisanti Altar." Also, similarly to Giotto, Duccio also has some of the figures looking at the Virgin Mary. Duccio also uses the same hieratic scale that Giotto and Cimabue use, meaning that the figures of the Virgin Mary and Jesus seated on her lap are larger than the less important figures and are also placed in the center of the composition.

On the reverse side of the altarpiece are scenes from the life and times of Jesus and his accomplishments almost arranged as if it’s a comic book. The scenes incorporate the same types of stylistic elements as the front of the altar, for example the use of intuitive perspective, vertical perspective, and even light and shadow to some degree. However, unlike Giotto’s painting it is very hard to locate a single light source in this painting and therefore we cannot say that it exhibits very much chiaroscuro.

In terms of the symbols or iconography used in this painting they are very similar to many of the pieces by Pisano, Cimabue, and Giotto. On the front part of the altar is a clear depiction of the Virgin Mary surrounded by a series of Saints and important religious figures that serve to frame and amplify the importance of the Virgin Mary and Jesus. The fact that the Virgin Mary and Jesus are larger than everyone else and dressed in Royal colors such as purple and blue indicate their importance. Another thing that amplifies the importance is that some of the figures are looking At the Virgin Mary and Jesus seated on the throne. As an earlier Romanesque examples as well as in Giotto and Cimabue the “Throne of Wisdom,” are used as the center of this image. The use of expensive materials such as goldleaf and blue and red pigments made from semiprecious stones such as lapis lazuli also served to heighten the importance of the central figure.

On the reverse side of this altarpiece, sometimes referred to as the verso, there are several important scenes from the life and times of Jesus that are very similar to other scenes from other artists such as Pisano, Giotto, and Cimabue.

The scenes that parallel the other artists use of similar iconography include, “The Last Supper,” “Christ entering Jerusalem,” and various others. The small panel in the lower left-hand side that depicts “Christ Entering Jerusalem,” is probably the most important one because in this instance you could compare it to Giotto’s fresco of the same name. However, in comparison, Duccio does not have the same command of intuitive perspective that Giotto does and his spaces less convincing than Giotto’s painting of the same subject. Included in this are the ways in which things such as humanistic gesture and created.

The Scene of Christ Entering Jerusalem, contains all of the basic elements that Giotto’s painting has in terms of its iconography, Jesus is entering Jerusalem riding on a donkey and accompanied by his disciples. One figure is throwing a down in front of the donkey as if it is a carpet, children are in the trees throwing down palm branches to keep the dust down on the road and to honor Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem and we also see the town walls itself in both images. Hieratic scale is used to show the importance of the main figures in Duccio’s painting however in Giotto’s, (On the right) all the figures are roughly about the same size and the spaces were unified.
Giotto's version of Christ Entering Jerusalem

Here is the Bible passage that both are based on.

Matthew Chapter 21
When they drew near Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples,
saying to them, "Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find an ass tethered, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them here to me.
And if anyone should say anything to you, reply, 'The master has need of them.' Then he will send them at once."
This happened so that what had been spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled:
"Say to daughter Zion, 'Behold, your king comes to you, meek and riding on an ass, and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.'"
The disciples went and did as Jesus had ordered them.
They brought the ass and the colt and laid their cloaks over them, and he sat upon them.
The very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and strewed them on the road.
The crowds preceding him and those following kept crying out and saying: "Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; hosanna in the highest."
And when he entered Jerusalem the whole city was shaken and asked, "Who is this?"
11     And the crowds replied, "This is Jesus the prophet, from Nazareth in Galilee."

This painting is that it was made originally for Cathedral in Siena Italy in 1308 and was commissioned for about 3000 gold florins, which according to the records is the highest paid amount for any painting up to that time. When the piece was unveiled, it was a major civic event in 1311 and many of the town’s people showed up to the church and also celebrated with music and feasting for three days. Alms and charity were given out to the poor during this event. Inscribed on the altar was the following,

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