Saturday, March 22, 2014

Exhibition: Emergence : Anthony Cramer & Juan Jr. Ramirez

Anthony  Cramer

Back in 2012,
I posted this debut of four young artists,
one of whom was Anthony Cramer

Anthony Cramer

Now, Anthony returns with another young, self-taught artist
who found him on Craig's list
looking for partners in plein air painting

Juan Jr. Ramirez

Not to take anything away from Anthony,
but I'm totally fascinated by Juan

Juan Jr. Ramirez

Perhaps because he has an interest in sculpture
as evidenced by this study of a head
from Rodin's Burghers of Calais

Juan Jr. Ramirez

He's more interested in some of the formal qualities of painting,
especially the illusion of volume,
than in the direct observation of nature,
so you're not going to find him
in our open workshops.

But I hope we continue to find him
in our exhibitions.

Juan Jr. Ramirez

Juan Jr. Ramirez
(portrait of Anthony Cramer)

Juan Jr. Ramirez

Juan Jr. Ramirez

Juan Jr. Ramirez

Juan Jr. Ramirez

As it turns out,
Juan's approach to landscape painting
is not exactly plein air.

But that's O.K.
He seems to be channeling
the early 20th C. Modernists.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Faculty Show 2014

Stephen Assael

How painful!

Don't mess with her - she has suffered enough already.

 Andrew Conklin, "Allegory of Spring"

How charming !

And so much more comfortably groomed.

I like frozen moments of promise.

James Hajicek

This looks like Jade, a model who worked here about 10 years ago.

Helen Oh

That yellow stripe on the table cloth puts this into the early 20th instead of late 19th Century..

Here is the cropping that I'd prefer

David Leffel, portrait of Val

 The painting as whole feels too much like George Washington

David Leffel

 Mary Qian

This figure has not yet dissolved into nervous energy -- but he's more than half-way there.

 Stuart Fullerton

Stuart's figures have ended up being quite close to those done by Richard  Schmid, especially the ones on display in the second floor classroom.

 Don Yang

 Michael Van Zeyl

"Mannerism is notable for its intellectual sophistication as well as its artificial (as opposed to naturalistic) qualities. Mannerism favours compositional tension and instability rather than the balance and clarity of earlier Renaissance painting." ... Wikipedia

Monday, January 27, 2014

Clayton Beck - Clayton Beck - Clayton Beck

I've never seen this many paintings in a one-person show in our gallery.

It makes the gallery feel cluttered - but I'd rather see more paintings rather than less.

The viewer is invited to make his or her own choices.

Here are my favorites:

Rather than enhancing the human figure with abstract expression -- Clayton seems to have done the reverse.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Charles Hansen

Oskar Hansen (1892-1971) was one of the more colorful members
 in the club's storied past -- I've posted about him here and here

Last week, I heard from his grandson, Charles,
who recently graduated from art school
and started making sculpture.

At the age of 65 !

After a career in I.T.,
he finally could not deny his family's destiny.

And as you can see from the above,
his pieces have that same upward lift
that characterized his grandfather's work.

But being born 50 years later,
his work is more varied

And Charles has added this information about his grandfather:

Oscar was born in 1892 in Nordland county,  a very rural and desolate area 
of northern Norway, which includes the well-known Lofoten Islands.  He was 
born out of wedlock, and although there are several tempting references to a 
royal connection, I have the parent's names from parish church records of 
the time.  In June of 2011 I did much digging on Oscar, and got a lot of 
help from Norwegians on the NorwayHeritage site.   Norway has 
digitized many records going back several centuries.

I've just gotten involved in this again over the past few days, as I was 
just contacted by a fellow in Oslo whose grandmother was also a child of 
Josefine, who was Oskar's mother - so we're second cousins.  His brother had 
found my thread and recognized the commonality, and they've learned things 
from the dialogue there that they didn't previously know.
"My grandmother told me that Oskar was known to be very creative person with 
a very special personality."

Around 15-16, he became a cabin boy on a freighter, that spent a lot of time 
in the Americas.  In June 1916 he jumped off ship and swam ashore near 
Wilmington, North Carolina.  After 3 years in the Army, I gather to 
establish himself in the US (he later became a citizen), he moved to the 
Chicago area.  He had sent the attached photo to his foster parents in Klo 
(a very tiny place, but Google maps finds it), and it was published in a 
book about local farm history.

Regarding Oscar's art training, it looks like he may have been largely 
self-taught.  However, this sounds as likely as anything - but I don't buy the Rodin bit, 
as that would be a longer shore leave than allowed, and Paris isn't even a 
"Hansen told the reporter that he had developed a passion for sculpture 
while he was at sea. He visited Italy on his many travels and
began learning the craft when the ship's carpenter adapted his tools and 
obtained some marble that the two of them began to carve.
Hansen also claimed to have studied with famed sculptor August Rodin in 

Almost all of the descriptions of him on the net use the inflated stuff he 
wrote on the back of the slip-cover for his book, and much of it is fantasy. 
For example, he says he is a son of King Oskar II of Sweden, but the woman 
he claims as his mother was actually the wife of Oskar I.  I'm also quite 
certain that he never served in the French Foreign Legion or with Pancho 
Villa.  I just noticed there's a very short Wikipedia entry on him, and I 
may try to flesh it out, but I may not have enough citations for their 

There's a well-known Polish architect (go figure) who also has the name of 
Oskar Hansen.  There's a show on him in Barcelona next year, and I thought 
of writing them and suggesting a later show on the "other Oskar Hansen". 
However, as has been noted, I don't think there's much of his work that 
could be shipped there, and I think some of it is lost - or at least 
misplaced.  For example - his Leif Ericson piece that supposedly used to be 
in Grant Park (in your blog entry).  Also, a bust of Albert Michelson that 
used to be at the Adler Planetarium - this has one of the most interesting 
mounts of a portrait bust that I've ever seen.  His book shows a lovely bust 
of a Mrs. Deering Danielson - again with a wonderful base, that I don't know 
anything about.  He calls the piece "Rosemarie", which makes me wonder if 
perhaps she was an early patron - and what Mr. Danielson thought of the 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Exhibit: Portrait Show 2013

Ali Hasmut

(Event photos by Del hall)

Bo Zhang

Bobbie Putrich

Dan Kolleng

Dave Martin

Don Yang

Erroll Jacobson

George Zaremba

Kimberly Beck

Lenin DelSol

Liang Rong

Misha Livshulz

Nicholas Moscalink

Stuart Fullerton

Valerie Stanaszek

Vinco Lisnic