Saturday, September 22, 2018

Exhibit: Leonid Osseny

Once again,  the Palette and Chisel Gallery appears on the cover of Reklama, our local Russian language newspaper.

Don't these large, calm faces bring to mind Alex Katz ? 

...except that there's something just a little bit wacky about them
(like that unusual earring, for example)

Don't these large open eyes and enigmatic expression bring to mind a mannerist like Pontormo ?

This is the kind of work that belongs in the presidential palace of an eccentric autocrat.

And then there's this magnificent portrait of the artist's brother-in-law, Misha Livshulz.   Misha also happens to be the Palette and Chisel's most popular model and the People's Hero of the coach house sculpture studio.  (he's recently installed a ventilation system, rebuilt one of the kilns, and filled the back room with shelves, floor to ceiling on every wall)

Misha has not fared so well in a series of debates with attorney Mark Huddle concerning the relative merits of communism versus free market capitalism.   But his performance may improve if he continues his daily study of "Das Kapital"

Here's one of my favorite pieces.  It might well illustrate some kind of Baltic legend involving beautiful young women and ugly old sea monsters.

It's a variation on "Fischblut", a drawing by Gustav Klimt -
and it makes me hear the music of Sibelius.

Strange, wonderful, and ecstatic

The Palette and Chisel hasn't had this kind of energy since the renegade Modernists of 1915

Gustav Klimt, "Fischblut"

Leon's cityscapes are out of this world

The above bridge makes me think of a rocket ship.

This decorative pattern belongs in the club car of a train headed for Santa Fe.

It's one of the first paintings that Leon did upon arriving in Chicago in the 1990's.

An homage to Toulouse Lautrec. 

A view of St Petersburg

This piece was parked in the library.  I saw it many times while  walking past it, but it remained a mystery until one of our more clever members explained the iconography.

It's Lee Harvey Oswald -- the clock behind him records the moment he assassinated John F. Kennedy. (I was in a high school chemistry class when the shocking news came over the intercom)

Friday, September 21, 2018

Labor Day Drawing Marathon 2018

Thanks, again, to Del Hall for documenting these events.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Misha and Ticco

ThisOldPalette does not usually get involved with domestic disputes.

But the ongoing conflict between Misha Livshulz and his parrot, Ticco, cannot be ignored.

The two headstrong adversaries are depicted above
 in a pair of linocuts byTor Muehl.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Richard Schmid Legacy

The above version of events  may be more myth than history.

According to Joe Vangsness, who followed Richard as President, a group of members, including himself, actively campaigned to elect Diana Farran as President in 1980, unseating the old guard led by Al Muenzenthaler.  Farran, along with Don Llanuza who followed her as President, reached out and opened up the club to many new members - doubling the membership rolls.

Which is not to say that Richard's presidency was not important - especially for me!

I had always assumed that the club was a stuffy group of old guys who painted by numbers.

Then, while relaxing in front of the television  one Sunday evening, I happened to see a program about art in Chicago on WTTW --- and it featured a bunch of young painters gathered around an old master named Richard Schmid.  Their enthusiasm was contagious.

A few months later I was a member - and monitoring a sculpture workshop in the coach house that I still monitor today.

On his gallery label in this show, Clayton Beck notes that he also studied with Ted Smuskiewicz at the American Academy - while Ted's website notes that all of the other artists in this show studied with him as well.









Lovely!  This one feels so much like the classical recreations of Alma-Tadema


This landscape, as well as the nude posted above it, were loaned to this show by its organizer,
 Val Yachik.

Val has been dreaming of making a Schmid and students exhibition happen ever since he became President, almost fifteen years ago.

He has finally succeeded.


The 2007 version is just a workshop demo, but this is still a fascinating opportunity to view two portraits of Clayton Beck done about twenty years apart.