As his monumental retrospective at San Francisco’s de Young Museum comes to a close, Dale Chihuly sits proudly at the art World’s Pinnacle.
As the morning sun rises above the dramatic San Francisco skyline, streams of warm light begin to penetrate the patterned, porous, copper façade of the mighty de Young Museum, pointing the way to an historic exhibition that owes its genesis to an orange molten substance and its brilliance to the illuminating powers of light. This shared companionship of red-hot energy and the inherent properties of transparent colored glass has been a constant force and inspiration to Dale Chihuly, as evidenced in the de Young’s newest show—the largest museum exhibition of this artist’s career.
As his latest museum show comes to a close, New York master Alex Katz muses on his success and reveals his new technique
“I had no idea if they would be any good or if people would understand them,” confesses Alex Katz, reflecting on his early works.
In hindsight, Katz’s concern seems absurd.Today, his portraits are coveted throughout the art world for their distinctive electric-pastel color schemes and their depiction of a genteel lifestyle removed from the nitty gritty of the real world. Katz’s canvases now fetch upward of six figures— nice recompense for an artist who lived for twelve years without a functioning radiator.
This fall, filmmaker Milos Forman brings Goya’s Ghosts to the big screen, taking the extraordinary historical and personal circumstances surrounding the life of vaunted Spanish master Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes and imagining the kind of events that could have shaped the artist, his work and his changing outlook on the world in which he found himself. Art and Living’s Andy Johnson took a stroll through the galleries of Madrid’s Museo del Prado— which house one of the world’s most extensive collections of the artist’s works—in order to sort out the real Goya: his life, his passions and, most of all, his art. Here’s what he discovered.
During his lifetime, Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (born in a small Aragonese village, Fuendetodos in 1746) went from being one of eighteenth and nine- teenth century Spain’s most popular portraitists to a widely-revered progenitor of modern art. Despite his position as a commissioned portraitist for the wealthy and the noble during his career— both before and after being officially named as painter to the king Carlos IV in 1786—flashes of Goya’s individuality and his tendency to break with the conventions of the artistic strictures of his time can be seen again and again in the broad spread of his oeuvre showing permanently throughout the Museo del Prado. The artist’s darker work, produced after he reached middle age, would become a key inspiration for later movements like Expressionism and Surrealism.
She has drawn and painted, made prints and photographs and collages, but Betye Saar is best known for her assemblages bearing witness to the history of African Americans as defined by slavery and racial discrimination. Bold graphically and also intricate in visual narrative, her work focuses on the toxic effects of racism in all its forms. Yet, it also celebrates strength and resiliency, spirituality and, as her latest collages attest, familial bonds.
“There is nothing you can’t do, if you do it right,” asserts Billy Al Bengston, who has lived by that creed for at least 60 years. Early drive and focus placed him on the roster of the history-making Ferus Gallery, where he had his first show in 1958.