Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Falling Bough, by Walton Ford (2002)

Watercolor, gouache, ink and pencil on paper,
60 3/4 x 119 1/2 inches

Walton Ford images on Google

Walton Ford creates large-scale watercolor paintings that build upon the history of Audubon wildlife illustration. However, Ford's portrayals of nature are not simply taxidermic - something to be safely observed under glass or in a biology textbook. In his work, nature turns on us - it unleashes it's chaotic energy in an often disturbing violence. It resists containment and classification even as it uses the tools of classification in its depiction (many of his works have a small script at the bottom identifying the species being portrayed).

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Quiz, by Neo Rauch

I'm attaching three paintings by a German artist named Neo Rauch. Why three? Because he is one of the more important contemporary painters living today. He is working out of a Post-Berlin-Wall, post-industrial German context. His figures are listless and often have a defeated, yet plodding-along look to them. The "work" his characters are involved in seems determined, yet borders on absurdity. His color palette is intentionally off-putting as is his distortion of proportion, creating an ambiguous tension in the paintings.

Neo Rauch's works

Oil on linen
98.43 x 82.68 inches

Schmerz, by Neo Rauch

Oil on canvas
106.3 x 82.68 inches

Neue Rollen, by Neo Rauch

diptych; each oil on canvas
106.3 x 165.35 in.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008