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)


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