Blog - Painters biographies

Albrecht Dürer Biography

Albrecht Dürer Biography

Alina    2019-01-21 00:05:03    painters biographies   

Painter (1471–1528)

Albrecht Durer was regarded as the greatest German Renaissance artist. His work includes altarpieces, portraits and self-portraits, engravings, and woodcuts.

Synopsis

German Renaissance artist Albrecht Durer was born May 21, 1471, in Nurnberg. In 1494 he traveled to Italy, where he remained until 1495. The trip had a strong effect on Durer; echoes of Italian art are apparent in most of his drawings, paintings, and graphics of the following decade. Italian influences were slower to take hold in his graphics than in his drawings and paintings. He died in 1528.

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Aaron Douglas Biography

Aaron Douglas Biography

Alina    2019-01-09 00:05:02    painters biographies   

Painter, Illustrator (1899–1979)

Aaron Douglas was an African-American painter and graphic artist who played a leading role in the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s.

Synopsis

Aaron Douglas was an African-American painter and graphic artist who played a leading role in the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 1930s. His first major commission, to illustrate Alain LeRoy Locke's book, The New Negro, prompted requests for graphics from other Harlem Renaissance writers. By 1939, Douglas started teaching at Fisk University, where he remained for the next 27 years.

Early Life

Born in Topeka, Kansas, Aaron Douglas was a leading figure in the artistic and literary movement known as the Harlem Renaissance. He is sometimes referred to as "the father of black American art." Douglas developed an interest in art early on, finding some of his inspiration from his mother's love for painting watercolors.

After graduating from Topeka High School in 1917, Douglas attended the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. There, he pursued his passion for creating art, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1922. Around that time, he shared his interest with the students of Lincoln High School in Kansas City, Missouri. He taught there for two years, before deciding to move to New York City. At the time, New York's Harlem neighborhood had a thriving arts scene.

Harlem Renaissance

Arriving in 1925, Douglas quickly became immersed Harlem's cultural life. He contributed illustrations to Opportunity, the National Urban League's magazine, and to The Crisis, put out by the National Association for the Advancement Colored People. Douglas created powerful images of African-American life and struggles, and won awards for the work he created for these publications, ultimately receiving a commission to illustrate an anthology of philosopher Alain LeRoy Locke's work, entitled The New Negro.

Douglas had a unique artistic style that fused his interests in modernism and African art. A student of German-born painter Winold Reiss, he incorporated parts of Art Deco along with elements of Egyptian wall paintings in his work. Many of his figures appeared as bold silhouettes.

In 1926, Douglas married teacher Alta Sawyer, and the couple's Harlem home became a social Mecca for the likes of Langston Hughes and W. E. B. Du Bois, among other powerful African Americans of the early 1900s. Around the same time, Douglas worked on a magazine with novelist Wallace Thurman to feature African-American art and literature. Entitled Fire!!, the magazine only published one issue.

With his reputation for creating compelling graphics, Douglas became an in-demand illustrator for many writers. Some of his most famous illustration projects include his images for James Weldon Johnson's poetic work, God's Trombone (1927), and Paul Morand's Black Magic (1929). In addition to his illustration work, Douglas explored educational opportunities; after receiving a fellowship from the Barnes Foundation in Pennsylvania, he took time to study African and modern art.

Douglas created some of his best-known painting in the 1930s. In 1930, he was hired to create a mural for the library at Fisk University. The following year, he spent time in Paris, where he studied with Charles Despiau and Othon Friesz. Back in New York, in 1933, Douglas had his first solo art show. Soon after, he started one of his most legendary works—a series of murals entitled "Aspects of Negro Life" that featured four panels, each depicting a different part of the African-American experience. Each mural included a captivating mix of Douglas's influences, from jazz music to abstract and geometric art.

Later Career

In the late 1930s, Douglas returned to Fisk University, this time as an assistant professor, and founded the school's art department. Taking his educational responsibilities quite seriously, he enrolled at Columbia University's Teachers College in 1941, and spent three years earning a master's degree in art education. He also established the Carl Van Vechten Gallery at Fisk and helped secure important works for its collection, including pieces by Winold Reiss and Alfred Steiglitz.

Douglas remained committed to learning and growing as an artist, outside of his work in the classroom. He received a fellowship from the Julius Rosenwald Foundation in 1938, which funded his painting trip to Haiti and several other Caribbean islands. He later won other grants to support his artistic endeavors. Continuing to produce new works, Douglas had a number of solo exhibits over the years.

Death and Legacy

In his later years, Douglas received countless honors. In 1963, he was invited by President John F. Kennedy to attend a celebration of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, held at the White House. He also earned an honorary doctorate from Fisk University in 1973, seven years after his retirement from the school. He remained an active painter and lecturer until the end of his life.

Douglas died at the age of 79 on February 2, 1979, in a Nashville hospital. According to some reports, he died of a pulmonary embolism.

A special memorial service was held for Douglas at Fisk University, where he had taught for nearly 30 years. At the service, Walter J. Leonard, the university's president at the time, remembered Douglas with the following statement: "Aaron Douglas was one of the most accomplished of the interpreters of our institutions and cultural values. He captured the strength and quickness of the young; he translated the memories of the old; and he projected the determination of the inspired and courageous."

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Su Shi Biography

Su Shi Biography

Alina    2019-01-08 00:05:02    painters biographies   

Medical Professional, Poet, Author, Painter (1037–1101)

Su Shi was an 11th century Chinese scholar, writer and visual artist renowned for the excellence of his craftsmanship.

Synopsis

Born on January 8, 1037, in Meishan (now in the Sichuan province), China, Su Shi received top honors in governmental civil service exams. Though revered in his appointed state posts, Su also faced banishment due to his opposition to the New Laws Party of Wang Anshi. A humorous, thoughtful man, Su mastered a variety of literary forms and was also known for his calligraphy and bamboo paintings. He died on August 24, 1101, in Changzhou, located in China's Jiangsu province.

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Max Ernst Biography

Max Ernst Biography

Alina    2019-01-07 00:05:02    painters biographies   

Sculptor, Editor, Painter (1891–1976)

Max Ernst was a German artist--in painting, sculpture and collage--who was a key figure in the Dadaist and Surrealist art movements.

Synopsis

Max Ernst was born on April 2, 1891 in Brühl, Germany. After serving in the German army during WWI, he became an artist in the Dada movement and was notorious for his art events (one staged in a public rest room) and his dreamlike collage work. In 1922 Ernst moved to Paris and helped found Surrealism. He was married to Peggy Guggenheim, and Dorothea Tanning. Ernst died in 1976.

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Jean-François Millet Biography

Jean-François Millet Biography

Alina    2019-01-06 00:05:02    painters biographies   

Painter (1814–1875)

Jean-Francois Millet was a French painter who is well known for his paintings of peasants and the labors of rural life.

Synopsis

Born in Normandy, France in 1814, Jean-Francois Millet was a French painter well known for his paintings of peasants and rural life. His first successful piece was The Milkmaid (1840), and his most popular painting became Angelus (1859). Because of his focus on the labors of rustic living, he was accused of being a socialist. He is linked with the Barbizon school.

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Thomas Eakins Biography

Thomas Eakins Biography

Alina    2019-01-05 00:05:02    painters biographies   

Painter, Sculptor, Photographer (1844–1916)

Thomas Eakins was a naturalist figure painter, portraitist and sculptor. He is considered one of the most influential artists in U.S. history.

Synopsis

Thomas Eakins was born on July 25, 1844, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Throughout the mid-19th century he studied sculpting in Paris. In 1870, he started teaching at Pennsylvania Academy, but resigned in 1886 when he refused to stop using nude models. Beginning in the 1880s, he used photography to study motion. By his later years, he was considered a major painter. He died on June 25, 1916, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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Romare Bearden Biography

Romare Bearden Biography

Alina    2019-01-04 00:05:02    painters biographies   

Illustrator, Painter (1911–1988)

Romare Bearden is considered one of the most important American artists of the 20th century. He depicted aspects of black culture in a Cubist style.

Who Was Romare Bearden?

Considered one of the most important American artists of the 20th century, Romare Bearden’s artwork depicted the African-American culture and experience in creative and thought provoking ways. Born in North Carolina in 1912, Bearden spent much of his career in New York City. Virtually self-taught, his early works were realistic images, often with religious themes. He later transitioned to abstract and Cubist style paintings in oil and watercolor. He is best known for his photomontage compositions made from torn images of popular magazines and assembled into visually powerful statements on African-American life.

Romare Bearden's Art and Style

The works of Romare Bearden’s cover a wide range of techniques, themes, and styles. In college, Bearden aspired to be a cartoonist, drawing for and then editing Boston College’s humor magazine in the early 1930s. He continued his cartooning after he moved to New York City to attend New York University. Studying for medical school, he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in science.

Living in Harlem, he joined a black artists group and became excited about modern art, particularly, Cubism, post-Impressionism and Surrealism. His paintings depicted scenes of the American South. Some works were more realistic and showed influence from Mexican muralists like Diego Rivera. Other works were done in the Cubist style with rich colors and simple forms. Like many budding artists, Bearden couldn’t make a living solely from his art. He juggled several jobs while taking advanced classes and occasionally drew cartoons for several African-American publications including W.E.B. DuBois' The Crisis.

'The Passion of Christ'

After serving in World War II, Romare Bearden returned to his art, which displayed an increasing abstract style. In 1945 he exhibited a series of Cubist inspired watercolor and oil paintings titled The Passion of Christ. The series of 24 pieces is more a statement about the human condition then a depiction of biblical text. Between 1950 and 1952, he studied at the Sorbonne in Paris where he met Pablo Picasso. His later paintings showed influences of old masters such as Johannes Vermeer and Rembrandt as well as modern artists like Picasso and Henri Matisse. He also studied Chinese painting techniques and co-wrote a book on Chinese art.

Known For His Collages

Romare Bearden is perhaps best known for his collage and photomontage compositions, which he began creating in the mid-1960s. During this time, he felt he was struggling in his art between expressing his experiences as a black man and the obscurity of abstract painting. For Bearden, abstraction wasn’t clear enough for him to tell his story. He felt his art was coming to a plateau, so he started to experiment again. Combining images from magazines and colored paper, he would work in other textures such as sandpaper, graphite and paint. Influenced by the Civil Rights movement, his work became more representational and socially conscious. Although his collage work shows influence of abstract art, it also shows signs of African-American slave crafts, such as patch-work quilts, and the necessity of using whatever materials are available. Taking images from mainstream pictorial magazines such as Life and Look and black magazines such as Ebony and Jet, Bearden crafted the African-American experience in his works.

'The Block'

One of Bearden’s works that best captures this amalgam of styles is titled The Block. It depicts a Harlem street, with row-house buildings and the bustling life of the neighborhood. At first glance, it’s a cacophony of shapes and images. But as the scene settles in, the faces of people catch the eye. Composed of two or more fragments of photos, they begin to reveal a lifetime of experiences.

Bearden and the Harlem Renaissance

Bearden’s collage work has also been compared to jazz improvisation. Growing up during the Harlem Renaissance, he was exposed to many of the jazz greats. Duke Ellington was one of his first patrons. Bearden wrote songs for Billie Holiday and Dizzy Gillespie and later designed a record cover for Wynton Marsalis. In his collages, Bearden’s images reflect some of the elements of jazz with its interplay among the characters and improvisation of the materials used.

Though Romare Bearden was vastly prolific, he is not that widely recognized as a major American artist. The American art world possessed the same prejudices and segregation of society. Also, Bearden’s work is hard to categorize. But during this life and after, his exhibitions have received enthusiastic reviews and critical praise and he was recognized with multiple awards and honorary doctorates.

Early Life & Family

Born Sept 2, 1912, in Charlotte, North Carolina, Romare Bearden was the only child of Richard and Bessye Bearden. The family moved to New York City when he was a toddler. Bessye was a reporter for a leading black newspaper and eventually become president of the Negro Women’s Democratic Association. The household was a gathering place for Harlem Renaissance luminaries such as W.E.B. DuBois, Langston Hughes and musician Duke Ellington.

Education

After graduating from high school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he was living with his maternal grandmother, Bearden played a little semi-pro baseball in Boston. He returned to New York City to attend college, with plans to go to medical school. He majored in science at New York University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree. But while there, he worked on the school humor magazine as a cartoonist and in his senior became its editor. After college he joined a black artist group and became excited about modern art, particularly Cubism, Futurism, post-Impressionism and Surrealism. He traveled to France to study at the Sorbonne.

Romare Bearden was drafted into the United States Army in 1942 and served in the all black 372nd Infantry Regiment until May 1945. After his return to civilian life, Bearden got a job as a New York City social case worker to supplement his income as an artist. In 1954 he married Nanette Rohan, 27 years his junior, who was an accomplished dancer and founder of the New York Chamber Dance Company.

Death

By age 58, Bearden had reached a level of recognition (and income) that he was able to become a full-time artist with his own studio. He earned grants and commissions and was often a visiting professor at universities. By the 1960s, his medium of choice had moved from painting to collages, though he continued to paint large scale murals and series pieces for museum and gallery exhibitions. Though he was still working in his studio, Bearden contracted bone cancer and on March 12, 1988 died in New York City. In the last few years of his life, Bearden and his wife made plans for a foundation that would aid in the education and training of talented art students. The Romare Bearden opened in 1990. 

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Joan Miró Biography

Joan Miró Biography

Alina    2018-12-23 00:05:03    painters biographies   

Painter, Sculptor (1893–1983)

Catalan painter Joan Miró combined abstract art with Surrealist fantasy to create his lithographs, murals, tapestries, and sculptures for public spaces.

Synopsis

Joan Miró was born April 20, 1893, in Barcelona, Spain. His mature style evolved from the tension between his fanciful, poetic impulse and his vision of the harshness of modern life. He worked extensively in lithography and produced many murals, tapestries, and sculptures for public spaces. In spite of his fame, Miró, an introvert, continued to devote himself exclusively to looking and creating.

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Contact

Alina Sluchinskaya, 41100 Shostka, Sumy region, Ukraine
Website: www.alina-arts-gallery.com
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