Sunday, August 14, 2016

Exhibit: Livshultz Family

Is this the fourth or fifth iteration of the Livshultz family show?

Whatever --- it's always fascinating.

Above Misha  demonstrates that he would have qualified for a job in the Pharoah's workshops - back before Moses led his people into the  wilderness of iconoclasm.

So strong, peaceful, and timeless.

Here's a piece by his father, Chaim.

Minimal but succinct depictions of human form and character.

Here is this year's magnus opus.  As I recall, Chaim spent several decades working on this piece. Misha says that it is finished -- but I think that the whole is still less than the sum of its parts.

Organizing a life size, multi-figure, realist figure painting has got to be the greatest challenge in the visual arts.  (which is why I found the current show at the MCA by Kerry James Marshall so extraordinary) 

Here are studies  for two of the figures.

Here's a photo  showing the fallen tree that appears in the painting.

It also shows the Livshitz family.

Misha is the one saluting the camera.





Some very strong portrait busts - better than almost all the contemporary busts found in public settings.

I'm not sure -- but I think this was done by Misha before he left Minsk.

The landscape feels so intensely Russian.

Here is the series of one-day paintings that Misha did while looking out the window of the Palette and Chisel's dining room.

Very lively.

I like them more than some of the longer and larger studies that he did of the same subject.

As our Hindu/Russian member, Raul, has pointed out -- South Asian figure sculpture may also feature figurative reliefs on the furniture.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Exhibit: Nathan Silver

I don't think this talented young artist has quite figured out where he wants to go yet --- but it's exciting to see him plunge in and then try to paint himself out of a variety of paintings, both figurative and otherwise.

There doesn't seem to be much pre-planning to his figurative work. He starts with
a view of a  model and then sees where he might take it -- as in quick sketch drawing.

This one's my favorite.

There certainly is a lot of manic energy here.  It seems hopelessly, but merrily,  entangled.
There's not anger -- there's not joy -- there's not beauty.  But there is excitement.  A sense of "I will try anything"

Another one of my favorites with some nice, sharp drawing in the face - and
an overall majesty and power that echoes Titian.

The show overflowed into the dining room (which I hope gets turned into another gallery space some day. Why do we need a dining room?)

Contrasting the old and new at the Palette and Chisel.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Exhibit: Vladimir Tartakover

My favorite  paintings from the Vladimir Tartakover retrospective were his portraits of  African Americans.

Perhaps he paints figures better with a darker skin tone.

Perhaps he responds more to their character.

Whatever the reason -- these are strong and dramatic paintings of that subject most  famously handled by Kerry James Marshall

Here's one of the earliest paintings in the show - from 1983

His landscapes have a  gritty, tactile feeling.

Same thing with his cityscapes.  You can feel his struggle to grab and hold everything he can see.

The details are rough - but not clumsy.

Which could also be said of Van Gogh.

Who  also was less interested in pleasing the viewer or a market, than in coming to  grips with the world around him.