July Offerings – Part XI: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of IV: James McNeil Whistler

“I can’t tell you if genius is hereditary, because heaven has granted me no offspring.” – James McNeil Whistler, American-born, British-based artist, who was born 11 July 1834.

Below – “Symphony in White No 1: The White Girl”; “Nocturne: Blue and Gold – Old Battersea Bridge”; “Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1”; “Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket”; “Arrangement in Pink, Red, and Purple”; “Arrangement in Gray: Portrait of the Painter.”
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American Art- Part II of IV: Kimberly Cook

In the words of one writer, “Kimberly Cook is currently an instructor in Beginning and Advanced Ceramics at Foothill College, Los Altos Hills, CA. She has been working as an artist, using clay as the primary medium of expression, for ten years. She attended Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas, where she studied Liberal Arts, and in 2008, she completed her MFA in Spatial Art at San Jose State University.”
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“Man is a reasoning rather than a reasonable animal.” – Alexander Hamilton, a Founding Father of the United States, Chief of Staff to General George Washington, author of 51 of the 85 installments of the “Federalist Papers,” promoter of the Constitution, the founder of America’s financial system, and Secretary of the Treasury, who died 11 July 1804.

Some quotes from Alexander Hamilton:

“He who stands for nothing will fall for anything.”
“There are seasons in every country when noise and impudence pass current for worth; and in popular commotions especially, the clamors of interested and factious men are often mistaken for patriotism. ”
“Men give me credit for some genius. All the genius I have lies in this; when I have a subject in hand, I study it profoundly. Day and night it is before me. My mind becomes pervaded with it. Then the effort that I have made is what people are pleased to call the fruit of genius. It is the fruit of labor and thought.”
“A well adjusted person is one who makes the same mistake twice without getting nervous.”
“I never expect a perfect work from an imperfect man.”
“It has been frequently remarked, that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country to decide, by their conduct and example, the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not, of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend, for their political constitutions, on accident and force.”
“Give all the power to the many, they will oppress the few. Give all the power to the few, they will oppress the many.”
“A powerful, victorious ally is yet another name for master.”
“The inquiry constantly is what will please, not what will benefit the people. In such a government there can be nothing but temporary expedient, fickleness, and folly.”
“For in politics, as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution.”

Born 11 July 1886 – Boris Grigoriev, a Russian painter and graphic artist.

Below – “Sunflowers”; “Village”; “Sergei Rachmaninoff”; “Girl with Milk Can”; “Old Man from Olonets.”
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Here is the Artist Statement of Korean sculptor Seo Young Deok: “Until I entered university, I lived in a small, rural province. I first came to Seoul because of my entrance into college, and the city scenery at that time gave me quite a shock and even some fear. At the time, I didn’t know a single soul and everything was strange and unfamiliar. City people led different lives than the rural, countryside people. Uniformed black suits and square bags, traveling at a set time to a set destination among crowded masses – the people in these scenes struck me as zombie-like, contaminated by a virus. Now, I’m used to scenes such as this, and I, too, live following their patterns. I wonder – have I not also been infected by the city? This is the setting and the background for my current piece.
My work aims to reflect the disease-like contamination we experience caused by materials in our society, I hope to reveal the amount of suffering it places on the modern-day human. To express this, I utilized metal chains to create the modern man. Chains were made by our civilization and created through mass production, yet it is also just one accessory, one part in a massive piece of machinery. I considered each part of the chain a human cell and used the chains to create a human figure. Thus, this being’s form has been created in contamination by materials in our current world. Several works in this exhibition use chains as accessories to focus on man’s endless vanity and ill-judged consumption habits.
My work is a mirror to modern man. I hope one can find himself or herself in these works.”

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The Art of Portugal – Part I of II: Gil Heitor Cortsao

Painter Gil Heitor Cortsao (born 1967) lives and works in Lisbon.

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“One of the grotesqueries of present-day American life is the amount of reasoning that goes into displaying the wisdom secreted in bad movies while proving that modern art is meaningless.” – Harold Rosenberg, American writer, educator, philosopher, and art critic, who died 11 July 1978.

Some quotes from the work of Harold Rosenberg:

“The values to which the conservative appeals are inevitably caricatured by the individuals designated to put them into practice.”
“No degree of dullness can safeguard a work against the determination of critics to find it fascinating.”
“The purpose of education is to keep a culture from being drowned in senseless repetitions, each of which claims to offer a new insight.”
“The differences between revolution in art and revolution in politics are enormous. Revolution in art lies not in the will to destroy but in the revelation of what has already been destroyed. Art kills only the dead.”
“The story of Americans is the story of arrested metamorphoses. Those who achieve success come to a halt and accept themselves as they are. Those who fail become resigned and accept themselves as they are.”
“American time has stretched around the world. It has become the dominant tempo of modern history, especially of the history of Europe.”
“The aim of every authentic artist is not to conform to the history of art, but to release himself from it in order to replace it with his own history.”

The Art of Portugal – Part II of II: Isabel Conreras Botelho

In the words of one critic, “Her work is filled with teasing symbolisms, as well images of objects and places seen in the past or perhaps just imagined.”
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“All Night, All Night”

“I have been one acquainted with the night.” – Robert Frost

Rode in the train all night, in the sick light. A bird
Flew parallel with a singular will. In daydream’s moods and
attitudes
The other passengers slumped, dozed, slept, read,
Waiting, and waiting for place to be displaced
On the exact track of safety or the rack of accident.

Looked out at the night, unable to distinguish
Lights in the towns of passage from the yellow lights
Numb on the ceiling. And the bird flew parallel and still
As the train shot forth the straight line of its whistle,
Forward on the taut tracks, piercing empty, familiar —

The bored center of this vision and condition looked and
looked
Down through the slick pages of the magazine (seeking
The seen and the unseen) and his gaze fell down the well
Of the great darkness under the slick glitter,
And he was only one among eight million riders and
readers.

And all the while under his empty smile the shaking drum
Of the long determined passage passed through him
By his body mimicked and echoed. And then the train
Like a suddenly storming rain, began to rush and thresh—
The silent or passive night, pressing and impressing
The patients’ foreheads with a tightening-like image
Of the rushing engine proceeded by a shaft of light
Piercing the dark, changing and transforming the silence
Into a violence of foam, sound, smoke and succession.

A bored child went to get a cup of water,
And crushed the cup because the water too was
Boring and merely boredom’s struggle.
The child, returning, looked over the shoulder
Of a man reading until he annoyed the shoulder.
A fat woman yawned and felt the liquid drops
Drip down the fleece of many dinners.

And the bird flew parallel and parallel flew
The black pencil lines of telephone posts, crucified,
At regular intervals, post after post
Of thrice crossed, blue-belled, anonymous trees.

And then the bird cried as if to all of us:

0 your life, your lonely life
What have you ever done with it,
And done with the great gift of consciousness?
What will you ever do with your life before death’s
knife
Provides the answer ultimate and appropriate?

As I for my part felt in my heart as one who falls,
Falls in a parachute, falls endlessly, and feel the vast
Draft of the abyss sucking him down and down,
An endlessly helplessly falling and appalled clown:

This is the way that night passes by, this
Is the overnight endless trip to the famous unfathomable
abyss.

Below – Murad Sayen: “Night Train”
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Italian painter Massimo Pedrazzi (born 1959) lives and works in Formigine.

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In the words of one writer, “Greek artist Kostas Rigoua-Tsigris (born 1954) began his college studies in the Mathematics Department of the University of Athens, but a deep love for painting changed the direction of his career.”
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“If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” – E. B. White, American writer, grammarian, and author of “Elements of Style” (with William Strunk, Jr.), “Charlotte’s Web” (voted the top children’s novel in a 2012 survey of “School Library Journal” readers – and not for the first time), “Stuart Little,” “The Trumpet of the Swan,” and “Once More to the Lake” (one of the great American essays), who was born 11 July 1899.

Some quotes from the work of E. B. White:

“All that I hope to say in books, all that I ever hope to say, is that I love the world.”
“Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.”
“‘Why did you do all this for me?’ he asked. ‘I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.’ ‘You have been my friend,’ replied Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing. After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die. A spider’s life can’t help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.’”
“I am pessimistic about the human race because it is too ingenious for its own good. Our approach to nature is to beat it into submission. We would stand a better chance of survival if we accommodated ourselves to this planet and viewed it appreciatively instead of skeptically and dictatorially.”
“A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there, in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort. A library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered. Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people – people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.”
“The world is full of people who have never, since childhood, met an open doorway with an open mind.”

Above – White on the beach with his dog Minnie
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American Art – Part III of IV: Robert Philipp

Painter Robert Philipp (1895-1981) was influenced by both Impressionism and Post-Impressionism.

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A Poem for Today

“Carried Away,”
By April Lindner

One rainy night we sat in traffic
and, overtired in back, you saw
a wind-whipped grocery bag afloat
beyond the clutch of jagged branches,
swept by gusts and whirled in eddies.
A sudden downdraft swooped it earthward,
where it danced till with a whoosh
a current luffed it past the power lines.
Disowned by gravity, small ghost
not yet snagged by twiggy fingers,
it couldn’t reach the earth. Thin-skinned,
it pulsed, translucent jellyfish.
You wept and pled to be let out
into the dark and slanted rain,
somehow to save that desolate thing.
The light turned green and still you begged,
Go back, go back, on its behalf,
caught and held, bossed and tossed
by a will much greater than its own.

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American Art – Part IV of IV: Daniel E. Greene

In the words of one critic, “Daniel E. Greene, N.A. is a former instructor of painting at the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League of New York. He is the author of ‘Pastel’ that was in print for 25 years and ‘The Art of Pastel,’ which were published in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Chinese. In 1969, Mr. Greene was elected to the National Academy of Design.”

Below – “The Water’s Fine”; “It’s Thrilling”; “Guida – Astor Place”; “Black, Red, Lupo Antique Gameboard with Orchids”; “Encounter”; “Clothed Maja”; “Naked Maja”; “People of the City”; “Wheel of Fortune”; “The Contest”; “96th Street Station.”
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