You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘beautiful’ category.
Those of us who like to cook up a storm will lavish no end of attention on a meal. So it’s not surprising that the visual chefs of the world, the artists and designers, have turned their talents to the platforms we provide to serve up the goodies. Picasso took to creating dishy plates fairly late in his career, and as usual he did it entirely his own way. Above from him found here.
Mr P turned his hand to plate making over and over and generated a pile of amazing work, including this great one with a couple of dozen petit visages that was up for auction, reported by the London Telegraph.
The creation and construction of wonderful plates for our food or just feasting our eyes has a long tradition and master practitioners in every era. The above was made about 1460 somewhere in Spain and is now residing (see here) in the wonderful Musee des arts Decoratifs in Paris.
This swell bird (“Coq”) plate also lives in the Musee des arts Decoratifs (well worth a visit, we think). It is the work of Jacques Besnard in 1930. Find it here and be sure to look around the site for much more.
You say plates, we say Fornasetti, namely Piero Fornasetti (1913 – 1988) the incomparable Italian designer who put his signature style–and often this particular woman’s face–on all sorts of household goods, including plates. They are still available and still much loved. The three above can be had at Barney’s, go here.
Well, you take a current design star like David Chipperfield and ask him to create a line of dishes and cups for Alessi and here’s what you get: a lovely tribute to one of our favourite artists, Giorgio Morandi, seen here. More on Mr Morandi in this NYT article. More on Mr Chipperfield in the RofL library here.
The Dutch de stijl movement from the first half of the 20th century continues to inspire designers. The above set of plates borrows–or steals, say the designers, London retailer Darkroom–the strong colour and shape from the movement, which was also applied to textiles and paper goods. Found here.
This nifty plate is from a design by Nikolai Suetin done in the so-called Suprematist style in 1905, auctioned recently, and reported here.
When the world was black and white and the smart set chowed down in the living room wearing the same clothes they wore to the office, plates came in lots of shapes and sizes and colours to handle the new trends, like fondue, crab dip, and miniature marshmallow/pineapple cube salad. Go back here.
Jetting back to our own time, we seem quite comfortable dishing food out on both the exquisite and the goofball, sometimes in the same meal. This swedish bear plate found here. What do you think you’d serve on that? Gumballs and goat cheese croquettes?
And this from our youth is a fine depiction of the magnificent Hopalong Cassidy on a plate by Kimmerle Milnazik discovered at the unforgettable Plate Lady website. No question what you’d serve up here: fresh carrots and sugar cubes, we reckon.
And we complete the meal with another American artist Molly Hatch who, among other things designs plates in groups so you only see the whole picture when they are all together–say on your large dining table or here.
If you care about food, we think you should care about what you put the food on, whether it is a blank white canvas or a handsome cowboy. If we are what we eat, maybe we are also, a little bit, what we eat OFF.
White light has something that coloured light doesn’t. For one thing, it contains all the other colours, as some of us remember from science class. It’s the mother light, it’s got it all. The trio above are maybe thinking about this as they hang out near a wonderful piece by artist Doug Wheeler found here.
It was learning about Mr Wheeler’s work (for above, go here) that got us looking at white light and wondering about it. We’re none the wiser, really, but it sure feels good–and not just on the eyes.
Doug Wheeler has been conjuring up moving encounters with white light all over the place for about 40 years. He had a solo show in New York in January/February 2012, and the lovely thing above is showing in France this summer and beyond, it says here.
Artist Robert Irwin has also been busy for years and years exploring the wonders of white light. Above (seen here) is a recent installation of a 1971 work now called slant/light/volume. Another view below, found at the site of the Walker Gallery–for whose opening back then the piece was originally commissioned–shows the scale of it.
And the above view, from the Walker as well, shows the work alone at last beaming like a slice of the moon.
James Turrell seems to have become the best known American artist working with light his primary medium. While he has not limited himself to white light (he does things with blue that will make you forget who you are and why it mattered), when he does take on the mother light, he does a nice job. Of course.
It’s time to back slowly away from the white light before you find you can’t. Let’s retreat in stages, by way of three more doses of Doug Wheeler’s light work. All of these are found at the David Zwirner gallery.
Pssst–time to go now. You can come back. Meanwhile, there’s always the moon.
19th century tintype portraits have a unique charm. Each member of this family of 5 photographed around 1870 has a quality that makes us look, again and again. Found here.
Part of it is likely because the people in this and other historic tintypes lived a different life than we do–shorter, less comfy, less connected, less concerned with minor celebrities–so we are attracted by the differentness. But there is something else too. It seems as if virtually every face captured in these simple, quick, cheap photographic portraits is interesting. How can that be? It makes no sense, and yet…
We haven’t been able to take our eyes off this young woman since we saw her. And look at those buttons. There are lots and lots of these people, including the 4 gals below, to be found at a jam packed site devoted to “Nova Scotia Faces” located here.
By her size, she might be 4 years old. By the look on her face, she could be 35.
Dark, pensive, challenging. No doubt the object of one fiery romance after another–some ending in gunshots.
“Now Mrs Belsin, I know you don’t really mean it when you say you’d rather be boiled in road tar than to let me take your magnificent daughter Swantilla to the annual Breeders’ Ball next Friday.”
This is, roughly, how a tintype photo was taken. You had to be still for about 3 seconds, then the image was developed, on metal (a thin sheet of blackened iron, not tin) within minutes and handed to you. From here
Then as now, not everyone was happy to have their picture taken.
(This above from Yale no less)
And some were provided with–or brought with them–props for added interest.
Is that a slingshot she’s whittling? You can make up your own caption.
There are lots of books and exhibitions showing tintypes from the last third of the 19th century
Like this one above. by Steven Kashner
And there are still tintypes being made by current photographers and artists. Two artists who use tintype methods for their work: John Coffer and Jayne Hinds Bidaut.
John Coffer is someone who has lived a life that largely parallels that of the original tintype photographers. He is now legendary as a teacher of the form. Above John Coffer image from here.
Admirable though these contemporary efforts are, for us the mysterious (haunting?) quality of the old tintypes is still supreme.
Like the 135 year old tintype of this little lady.
or this Miss.
Or this remarkable young woman found at “Family Tree Magazine”
Is it the tintype process or the people? Do we still HAVE people like this? We’ll keep looking.
So we had started a little tribute to each of these painters when it somehow made sense to show them together. The connection is not easy to explain. Ivon is all about colour—-beautiful fruit-paint, good enough to eat. Pierre is in love with BLACK on white. Vigorous, confident, and also physically beautiful.
Still, it seemed that they should meet, so we introduce them to each other here. This is their conversation.
Ivon Hitchens: b. 3 March 1893 – d. 29 August 1979 England
Pierre Soulages: b. 24 December 1919
Ivon Hitchens Divided Oak Tree No. 2 1958
Pierre Soulages 19 Juin 1963
Ivon Hitchens poppies and buds
Soulages 26 Juin 1999
PS 17 November 2008
Ivon H, An early post-war work, Drive Gates 1946
M Soulages, incroyable, makes you shake and re-think what anything else means
Mr Hitchens, Red Centre
Nice, M Soulages, very nice.
There’s a book about Ivon
There’s a book about Pierre.
This is painting. These are painters. They would know what to say to each other. We think.
Here at the R of L, we like painters of old and we like painters of new, so long as, in both cases, they are the real thing. But don’t ask us to explain that. Lately we went looking for painters painting now, not sure what or who we’d find. Well, it turns out there are lots of painters painting now in cities all over the place. Here’s a few.
Above three paintings Markus Saile. Go see more here
Whatever is going on here, it is true. Nice work by Sabine Tress who has more here.
Above two images are of work by Maria Chevska. She knows a thing or two. See more.
This nifty piece of painting is by Diane Delgado, from the USA. She has a website.
Thomas Helbig, again. The Saatchi Gallery knows about him, see here.
Canada has its share of painters doing the real thing, always has. This one is Andy Dixon in Vancouver. He has more on his website.
Well, the above three kept us gawking for quite some time. The painter’s name is Stefan Kubler. He’s seen in lots of places, including here .
Above is by Elisabeth Neel.
In the last few weeks, Cy Twombly and Lucian Freud, each pegged by people who should know as The Greatest Living Painter, left their studio for the last time. It remains to be seen if the term will ever be used again. What we do know, from the evidence above, is that painters are still with us, and painters are still painting, and some of them produce work that makes your brain buzz and your heart get hot and thumpy just like the greats of old, and not quite like anything else. Lucky us.