Apartment Houses, Paris, 1946
Oil with sand and charcoal on canvas 44 7/8 x 57 3/8 in. (114 x 145.7 cm)
In 1923, after reading Hans Prinzhorn’s Bildnerei der Geisteskranken (1922), in which the art of the mentally ill was first considered to have aesthetic value, Dubuffet became interested in pictures made by those without formal training—the uninitiated, the alienated, and especially the insane. Many years later, in 1945, he started a collection of these pictures, which he called “Art Brut” (“Raw Art”), that eventually comprised 5,000 items. Not only did he regard Art Brut as a more authentic, genuine, imaginative, and spontaneous form of artistic expression, but he also came to reject the methods and values of traditional art. “Beautiful” and “ugly” had no meaning for him, and he tirelessly defended his “anti-art” and “anti-culture” theories in lectures and in two volumes of essays (1967). He wanted his subject matter to be accessible to simple people and to relate to their daily lives, and thus his first paintings were of Parisians riding the crowded metro.
This painting, part of yet another series of some fourteen oils and gouaches, focuses on pedestrians in various back alleys of Paris. Emulating the features of Art Brut, Dubuffet intentionally adopted a crude style. The street, sidewalks, and houses are stacked in rows, one above the other, without perspective, depth, or modeling. Windows and shop signs are stuck at random onto facades. The overall effect evokes the backdrop of a puppet theater, such as Dubuffet himself had built and decorated during his previous interlude as a painter (1934–37), when he also carved and painted marionettes.
14 Jun 2012 @ 10:51PM /
TAGGED AS: jean dubuffet painting
(Left: Samantha Fricano’s Sling Shot Dart, right: David Oquendo’s Brothers.)
We’ve uploaded our photos from last night’s reception for Fresh Meat / Young Blood: New Jersey’s New Masters. Thanks to everyone who came! Click the image to see the album at Flickr.
“Deal Lake, looks nice on the card, but it don’t look that way now. - HBF”
Deal Lake - Asbury Park, NJ
Ha! Well, last we checked, it was looking quite nice.
02 Jun 2012 @ 12:37AM /
TAGGED AS: Asbury Park postcard
We’re busy preparing to open Fresh Meat / Young Blood, a showcase of New Jersey’s new Master of Fine Arts graduates. This year we’ll be exhibiting work from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Montclair State University, New Jersey City University and William Patterson University, with the reception being held this Saturday, June 2nd, from 6 - 9 PM.
Maya Lin’s original submission for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
For Memorial Day, we look at Maya Lin’s plan for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC. Lin submitted her entry into a blind contest while she was still a 21-year-old architecture student. Upon selection, she faced intense opposition, especially from veterans, and had to defend her design in front of Congress (a compromise was eventually reached, which placed an American flag and a heroic bronze trio of American soldiers a short distance from the wall). However, once the wall was finally completed, many came to appreciate the power and austere, haunting beauty that embodied Lin’s design.
28 May 2012 @ 11:29AM /
Matthew Thomas Cianfrani, Channel Capacity (video, 2011)
"Who or what cuts the rope is not important, but what matters is that the rope is cut at all, and speeds towards the lens, or the observer."
Cianfrani, an artist in New York City, works with both photos and video but is currently concentrating on combined media. View more of his work here.
26 May 2012 @ 10:09PM /
TAGGED AS: matthew thomas cianfrani video
Eva Hesse, Right After, 1969.
26 May 2012 @ 03:05PM /
TAGGED AS: eva hesse mixed media
Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry trailer
Ai Weiwei is China’s most famous international artist, and its most outspoken domestic critic. Against a backdrop of strict censorship and an unresponsive legal system, Ai expresses himself and organizes people through art and social media. In response, Chinese authorities have shut down his blog, beat him up, bulldozed his newly built studio, and held him in secret detention.
AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY is the inside story of a dissident for the digital age who inspires global audiences and blurs the boundaries of art and politics. First-time director Alison Klayman gained unprecedented access to Ai while working as a journalist in China. Her detailed portrait provides a nuanced exploration of contemporary China and one of its most compelling public figures.
Happy birthday to Ai Weiwei! (What is there to say about Ai that hasn’t already been said? We just love that he always keeps us guessing.)
18 May 2012 @ 12:40PM /
TAGGED AS: ai weiwei video
This Friday night at SICA, a showcase of New Jersey born and bred musical acts, celebrating all the amazing artistic talent that comes out of the Garden State!
All ages are welcome, but guests must be 21+ with a valid ID to drink. Tickets are $10 at the door.
The evening is presented by Heineken and complimentary snacks will be provided by Pretzel Crisps, Perky Jerky and Hint Water.
Click the flyer for more information!
16 May 2012 @ 02:14PM /
TAGGED AS: Asbury Park event music fundraising
Joseph Beuys, The End of the Twentieth Century, 1983-85
From the Tate Collection:
A major theme in Beuys’s work was renewal. This sculpture developed out of his environmental concerns, particularly a plan to plant 7,000 oaks in the city of Kassel, Germany. Next to each newly planted tree would be placed blocks of basalt rock. Here, the basalt itself becomes a symbol of potential growth. A cone has been cut out of each rock, allowing the cavity to be lined with clay and felt. Embedded in dead matter, these materials suggest the possibility of new life emerging at the end of a dark century.
Things we love: hares, Tartars, sleds, felt, animal fat and Joseph Beuys. Happy 91st birthday to the artist, teacher, philosopher and shaman.
12 May 2012 @ 09:40PM /
TAGGED AS: joseph beuys mixed media