July 18, 1991 |
Robert Motherwell, 76, one of the founders of the movement that made American art an international force after World War II, died Tuesday after suffering a stroke at his summer home in Provincetown, Mass. His death leaves 87-year-old Willem de Kooning as the sole survivor of the New York School, which developed the movement known as abstract expressionism. The flowering of modern art, which Motherwell once described as "an art of alienation and a rebellion against . . . any form of art that might be called morally uplifting," waned in the 1950s, but Motherwell kept it alive through his painting, which never abandoned the heroic stance epitomized by his most famous theme, Elegy to the Spanish Republic.
May 25, 1990 |
The 16 new paintings by Mark McCullen at Janet Fleisher Gallery continue an exploration of the visionary landscape that by now has become his signature. In these paintings, however, intimations of mysterious, universal energy and of incipient menace seem more pronounced. McCullen's visions are intriguing because they stand precisely on the boundary between that which appears plausible, although improbable, and that which is clearly imaginary. Some of their imagery conforms to common experience, but some is so exotic as to belong to another planet, or to a surreal dream world.
May 20, 1990 |
Russian artists may have trailed their European counterparts into the modernist arena, but in terms of collecting avant-garde art, two extraordinary Russians were so far ahead of the crowd that their achievement still seems remarkable. Sergei Ivanovich Shchukin (1854-1936) and Ivan Abramovich Morozov (1871-1921) assembled collections of impressionist, postimpressionist and early modern art that were the most adventurous of their time. Since 1918, when both collections were nationalized, this art has, at least in theory, belonged to the Soviet people.
October 13, 1989 |
The art in our city's museums - magnificent paintings, inspiring sculptures, intricate tapestries - can be seen and enjoyed just about anytime of year. But there's another kind of art that's on display only in the fall - and only outdoors: works of remarkable colors that take your breath away in the same manner a Velazquez or a Matisse would. Now that October is here, leaves in the region are changing. Some are already starting to turn yellow and orange. As the autumn nights get cooler, some leaves will begin to turn red. New England is especially famous for its dazzling display of autumn leaves.
May 11, 1989 |
Forget the Annenberg collection; Philadelphia has already seen the most exciting opening night for any local exhibition this season. Picture this: Art lovers milled around the museum lobby early Tuesday evening, checkbooks at the ready, waiting to rush the galleries and skim the cream off the walls. At exactly 5 p.m., the barrier dropped and the crowd coursed up the grand staircase. It was a bit like lottery fever; within 10 minutes, a line had begun to form at the sales desk as buyers claimed their prizes.
April 26, 1989 |
The estate of the late Violette de Mazia - lecturer, self-taught art scholar and high priestess of the philosophies and eccentricities of the Barnes Foundation in Merion - will go on the block today in the New York galleries of Christie's auction house. More than 400 items will be up for sale in a series of auctions that will continue next month. The items offer a glimpse into the life of de Mazia as a voracious and not always discriminating collector. Her taste ranged from two canvases by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, priced from $600,000 to $800,000 each, to minor artists whose paintings have been lumped together in lots of seven and offered for $140.
March 27, 1989
THERE'S NOTHING HEALTHY IN FLAG DESECRATION Claude Lewis ("Who are the real flag desecrators?", Commentary Page, March 15) thinks it's OK to desecrate the flag because discrimination, despair and other ills still exist in this country. Why don't we just urinate on the Bible? Are we not among liars and thieves still? And for good measure let's spray-paint some civil-rights slogans on the Lincoln Memorial. Our flag is a tangible symbol of a noble (but imperfect) nation, the Bible of love and good will, and Lincoln of justice and unity.
September 27, 1988 |
Last Tuesday afternoon about 2:30, the failing heart of Violette de Mazia, 89, finally stopped, setting into motion a series of events that will have a profound impact on the future of one of the world's greatest art collections, the Barnes Foundation's. To her students at the foundation's school, to visitors to the gallery and to the curious public, de Mazia was long emblematic of the fascinating, perplexing and controversial Barnes Foundation and its fabulous collection. Now, trustees and others associated with the foundation are faced with what one trustee calls "the most important event that has happened to the foundation since Albert Barnes died" 37 years ago and left behind a code of restrictions binding what some authorities have termed the most comprehensive assemblage of impresssionist art in the world.
May 8, 1988 |
Throughout his long career, Josef Albers maintained a rational, methodical approach to picture-making. Pursuing his aesthetic investigations more in the manner of a scientist than an artist, he banished spontaneity from his art and left nothing to chance. Albers, who died in 1976 at 88, was the supreme color theorist of the modern era. In his Homage to the Square series, which he painted to establish various color interactions, he incidentally created one of the enduring images of modern art. He also was one of the two most influential art teachers in America from the early 1930s to the 1960s; the other was fellow emigre Hans Hofmann.
November 3, 1987 |
After a week spotlighting casual clothes, glamour dressing took center stage yesterday in the big, lavish shows of Bill Blass and Carolyne Roehm that began the final week of Seventh Avenue spring collections. Naturally, the too-rich-and-too-thin set, gussied up in their new fall minis, were out in force to cheer on their favorite designers. Ivana Trump and her sister-in-law Blaine Trump, Nan Kempner, Jerry Zipkin and British fashion photographer Norman Parkinson headed up the celebrity contingent at Blass' show at the Parsons School of Design auditorium.