September Offerings – Part XV: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of III: Andre Kohn

Here is one critic describing the background of Andre Kohn: “The precise convergence of three dynamic forces-culture, environment and talent-combined to produce one of the most collected figurative painters on the American art scene today. Raised by an artistically gifted family near the Caspian Sea in southern Russia, Andre Kohn’s childhood was marked by the natural splendor of mountains and sea, and by an unfettered access to all the creative arts.
In 1993, while Kohn was in America visiting his parents, his father announced his intention to defect to the United States. Suddenly, the young artist realized he would never again be permitted to return to his homeland.
It took little time for American art audiences and media to discover the mature, fresh figurative painting style of the young Russian. His first one-man show in America created instant interest in his work and helped introduce Kohn to audiences in his adopted country.”
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Here is one critic describing the artistry of Italian painter Francesca Strino: “Francesca was born in 1979 in Naples, Italy. Her powerful paintings reflect the influence of her father, Maestro Gianni Strino. She graduated from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Napoli with specialisation in sculpture and portraiture. She was a pupil of the great master G. Di Fiore
There is virtuosity in Francesca’s painting that should be admired in such a young artist. The unflinching gaze of an exhausted ballerina after a long performance and the ruffles of her tutu are painted with apparent ease. Manipulation of delicate brushstroke and a complex use of tone and chiaroscuro in Francesca’s painting excite the eye and stir the soul.”
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Francesca Strino
Francesca Strino
Francesca Strino

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“I think the greatest curse of American society has been the idea of an easy millennialism—that some new drug, or the next election, or the latest in social engineering will solve everything.” – Robert Penn Warren, American poet, novelist, literary critic, and recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes – the 1947 Pulitzer Prize for the Novel and the 1958 and 1979 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry – the only person to have won Pulitzer Prizes in both fiction and poetry, who died 15 September 1989.

“Evening Hawk”

From plane of light to plane, wings dipping through
Geometries and orchids that the sunset builds,
Out of the peak’s black angularity of shadow, riding
The last tumultuous avalanche of
Light above pines and the guttural gorge,
The hawk comes.

His wing
Scythes down another day, his motion
Is that of the honed steel-edge, we hear
The crashless fall of stalks of Time.

The head of each stalk is heavy with the gold of our error.

Look! Look! he is climbing the last light
Who knows neither Time nor error, and under
Whose eye, unforgiving, the world, unforgiven, swings
Into shadow.

Long now,
The last thrush is still, the last bat
Now cruises in his sharp hieroglyphics. His wisdom
Is ancient, too, and immense. The star
Is steady, like Plato, over the mountain.

If there were no wind we might, we think, hear
The earth grind on its axis, or history
Drip in darkness like a leaking pipe in the cellar.

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“San Francisco Night Windows”

So hangs the hour like fruit fullblown and sweet,
Our strict and desperate avatar,
Despite that antique westward gulls lament
Over enormous waters which retreat
Weary unto the white and sensual star.
Accept these images for what they are—
Out of the past a fragile element
Of substance into accident.
I would speak honestly and of a full heart;
I would speak surely for the tale is short,
And the soul’s remorseless catalogue
Assumes its quick and piteous sum.
Think you, hungry is the city in the fog
Where now the darkened piles resume
Their framed and frozen prayer
Articulate and shafted in the stone
Against the void and absolute air.
If so the frantic breath could be forgiven,
And the deep blood subdued before it is gone
In a savage paternoster to the stone,
Then might we all be shriven.
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Here is one critic describing the artistry of Belgian painter Mieke Teirlinck: “Austerity is essential in her work. Only the subject is painted in an extremely delicate play of light and shadow. Honesty prevails. She doesn’t use distracting backgrounds, settings or frames.”
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Mieke Teirlinck
Mieke Teirlinck
Mieke Teirlinck

15 September 1949 – “The Lone Ranger,” starring Clayton Moore (as the Ranger), Jay Silverheels (as Tonto), and Silver (as “a fiery horse with the speed of light”), premieres on ABC-TV.

“Those thrilling days of yesteryear . . .”

Died 15 September 1940 – Dick Ket, a Dutch painter known for his still lifes and self-portraits.

Below – “Self-Portrait”; “Still Life with Grapes”; “Self-Portrait with a Bread Roll”; “Still Life with Flute.”
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Brazilian artist Elon Brasil (born 1957) is a self-taught painter.
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“The whole conviction of my life now rests upon the belief that loneliness, far from being a rare and curious phenomenon, is the central and inevitable fact of human existence.” – Thomas Wolfe, American novelist, short story writer, and author of “Look Homeward, Angel,” who died 15 September 1938.

Some quotes from Thomas Wolfe:

“We are always acting on what has just finished happening. It happened at least 1/30th of a second ago. We think we’re in the present, but we aren’t. The present we know is only a movie of the past.”
“There is no spectacle on earth more appealing than that of a beautiful woman in the act of cooking dinner for someone she loves.”
“Child, child, have patience and belief, for life is many days, and each present hour will pass away. Son, son, you have been mad and drunken, furious and wild, filled with hatred and despair, and all the dark confusions of the soul – but so have we. You found the earth too great for your one life, you found your brain and sinew smaller than the hunger and desire that fed on them – but it has been this way with all men. You have stumbled on in darkness, you have been pulled in opposite directions, you have faltered, you have missed the way, but, child, this is the chronicle of the earth. And now, because you have known madness and despair, and because you will grow desperate again before you come to evening, we who have stormed the ramparts of the furious earth and been hurled back, we who have been maddened by the unknowable and bitter mystery of love, we who have hungered after fame and savored all of life, the tumult, pain, and frenzy, and now sit quietly by our windows watching all that henceforth never more shall touch us – we call upon you to take heart, for we can swear to you that these things pass.”
“You can’t go home again.
You can’t go back home to your family, back home to your childhood, back home to romantic love, back home to a young man’s dreams of glory and of fame, back home to exile, to escape to Europe and some foreign land, back home to lyricism, to singing just for singing’s sake, back home to aestheticism, to one’s youthful idea of ‘the artist’ and the all-sufficiency of ‘art’ and ‘beauty’ and ‘love,’ back home to the ivory tower, back home to places in the country, to the cottage in Bermuda, away from all the strife and conflict of the world, back home to the father you have lost and have been looking for, back home to someone who can help you, save you, ease the burden for you, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time–back home to the escapes of Time and Memory.”
“Man is born to live, to suffer, and to die, and what befalls him is a tragic lot. There is no denying this in the final end. But we must deny it all along the way.”
“Some things will never change. Some things will always be the same. Lean down your ear upon the earth and listen.
The voice of forest water in the night, a woman’s laughter in the dark, the clean, hard rattle of raked gravel, the cricketing stitch of midday in hot meadows, the delicate web of children’s voices in bright air–these things will never change.
The glitter of sunlight on roughened water, the glory of the stars, the innocence of morning, the smell of the sea in harbors, the feathery blur and smoky buddings of young boughs, and something there that comes and goes and never can be captured, the thorn of spring, the sharp and tongueless cry–these things will always be the same.
All things belonging to the earth will never change–the leaf, the blade, the flower, the wind that cries and sleeps and wakes again, the trees whose stiff arms clash and tremble in the dark, and the dust of lovers long since buried in the earth–all things proceeding from the earth to seasons, all things that lapse and change and come again upon the earth–these things will always be the same, for they come up from the earth that never changes, they go back into the earth that lasts forever. Only the earth endures, but it endures forever.
The tarantula, the adder, and the asp will also never change. Pain and death will always be the same. But under the pavements trembling like a pulse, under the buildings trembling like a cry, under the waste of time, under the hoof of the beast above the broken bones of cities, there will be something growing like a flower, something bursting from the earth again, forever deathless, faithful, coming into life again like April.”
“O lost,
And by the wind grieved,
Ghost,
Come back again.”
“My dear, dear girl . . . we can’t turn back the days that have gone. We can’t turn life back to the hours when our lungs were sound, our blood hot, our bodies young. We are a flash of fire–a brain, a heart, a spirit. And we are three-cents-worth of lime and iron–which we cannot get back.”
“The old hunger for voyages fed at his heart….To go alone…into strange cities; to meet strange people and to pass again before they could know him; to wander, like his own legend, across the earth–it seemed to him there could be no better thing than that.”
“Make your mistakes, take your chances, look silly, but keep on going. Don’t freeze up.”
“All things on earth point home in old October; sailors to sea, travellers to walls and fences, hunters to field and hollow and the long voice of the hounds, the lover to the love he has forsaken.”
“Each of us is all the sums he has not counted: subtract us into nakedness and night again, and you shall see begin in Crete four thousand years ago the love that ended yesterday in Texas.
The seed of our destruction will blossom in the desert, the alexin of our cure grows by a mountain rock, and our lives are haunted by a Georgia slattern, because a London cutpurse went unhung. Each moment is the fruit of forty thousand years. The minute-winning days, like flies, buzz home to death, and every moment is a window on all time.
This is a moment.”
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According to one critic, “James Naughton was born in Bolton, Lancashire, on the 6th May 1971, and apart from his three college years in Leeds and a short spell in America, he has never left. It is from this large provincial northern English industrial town that he began what was to become a most extraordinary career as one of Britain’s most accomplished and sought after landscape painters.”
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American Art – Part II of III: Tamae Frame

Artist Statement: “My work symbolizes the subject as a vehicle to convey the hidden part of our psyche and the feminine spirituality. I depict female spiritual bodies in the bold-headed nude figures, which have been pruned of the trappings of their earthly existence. My intention is to use the figures as fodder for delivering the women’s state of mind by subtly stretching, twisting or relaxing the body-lines for expressing their tension, struggle, or calmness.
I also create mystical figures in which their body-parts are connected with other organisms and creatures: they are the expressions of mysterious inner dimensions of female consciousness.
I use mid-fire stoneware clay for its strength and stone-like appearance, and this material has opened the door to the creation of my sculpture in an intuitive way. While shaping a subject, its plasticity allows my hands to have a dialogue with the material which gives me time to tap into my subconscious, and the result is a piece that has emerged from deep within myself.
I often draw my inspirations for color and texture from the ancient Asian art, particularly Japanese Buddhist art and Indian Hindu art. I am fascinated by those ancient surfaces, which had been affected by time.”
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Tamae Frame_sculptures
Tamae Frame_sculptures

A Poem for Today
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“A Curse Against Elegies,”
By Anne Sexton

Oh, love, why do we argue like this?
I am tired of all your pious talk.
Also, I am tired of all the dead.
They refuse to listen,
so leave them alone.
Take your foot out of the graveyard,
they are busy being dead.

Everyone was always to blame:
the last empty fifth of booze,
the rusty nails and chicken feathers
that stuck in the mud on the back doorstep,
the worms that lived under the cat’s ear
and the thin-lipped preacher
who refused to call
except once on a flea-ridden day
when he came scuffing in through the yard
looking for a scapegoat.
I hid in the kitchen under the ragbag.

I refuse to remember the dead.
And the dead are bored with the whole thing.
But you – you go ahead,
go on, go on back down
into the graveyard,
lie down where you think their faces are;
talk back to your old bad dreams.
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American Art – Part III of III: Ray Hare

In the words of one critic, “Realism takes on new dimension through the eyes of artist Ray Hare. Rays paintings are photorealism but his art goes beyond realistic likeness. In his work the larger than life close-ups are depicted with all their infinite color and details. It is as if he held a magnifying glass up to his subject and painted what he saw. What Hare captures as a result is a new reality. His unique vision through enlarged images and illusions is shared through paintings that grasp the essence of his subjects. The emotional impact of each painting confronts and challenges us to view reality with renewed emotion. He incorporates conceptual studies with practical mastery of fine art, testing each image and medium to its limit. The subjects seem so real we believe we can reach out and touch them.”
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