Painting


Duran Duran´s second album “Rio”, originally released in 1982 carries both an album cover and 9 songs to be fascinated by. “Rio”, “My Own Way”, “Lonely In Your Nightmare”, “Hungry Like A Wolf”, “Hold Back The Rain”, “New Religion”, “Last Chance On The Stairway”, “Save A Prayer” and finally “The Chauffeur” (the weakest song) are all single material. This is just an excellent album. I reckon this was and is Duran Duran´s high point in their career. The band had their own plans and ambitions for promotion as well back then. They reunited with director Russell Mulcahy (who had directed the music video for their first single, “Planet Earth”), and planned the release of a full length video album—eleven videos for the best songs off of the Duran Duran and Rio albums. The band travelled to Sri Lanka and Antigua between tour dates to film the memorable videos for the singles “Rio”, “Hungry Like the Wolf” and “Save a Prayer”, as well as the lesser-known “Lonely in Your Nightmare”.

Patrick Nagel (November 25, 1945 – February 4, 1984) an american artist, was the one who painted the cover of the best selling album Rio. He created popular illustrations on board, paper, and canvas, most of which emphasize the simple grace of and beauty of the female form, in a distinctive style descended from Art Deco. Nagel would start with a photograph and work down, always simplifying and removing elements which he felt were unnecessary. The resulting image would look flat, but emphasized those elements which he felt were most important. Nagel’s figures generally have black hair, bright white skin, full-lipped mouths, and the distinctive Nagel eyes, which are often squared off in the later works. Because of the intense stylization and reduction of facial features into clean lines, generally the figures resemble each other, though Nagel worked with many models, including Playboy Playmates Cathy St. George, Tracy Vaccaro and Shannon Tweed. Nagel also painted several celebrity portraits including those of Joan Collins (whose portrait was subsequently released as a limited edition print) and Joanna Cassidy. Nagel also painted men, though only one was ever released as a fine art print while Nagel was alive. He had and continues to have a devoted following of collectors. Nagel’s artwork strongly influenced the illustration and clip art of the late 1980s. (via Wikipedia)

The design of the cover itself was created by the british graphic designer Malcolm Garrett (born 1956). The sleeves that Garrett designed for Duran Duran (from 1981 until 1986) include their first four albums (Duran Duran, Rio, Seven and the Ragged Tiger (together with Keith Breeden) and Arena) and their associated singles such as Planet Earth, Is There Something I Should Know? and The Reflex. (via Wikipedia)

“Rio” is an album that shows how the merge between an interesting cover and great music can add several other layers to the final product.

Digging Andy Smith´s poparty play with words, typography and symbolism.

Illustrator Andy Smith’s solo show, Sunny Side Up, is currently running at Bristol’s Soma gallery until August 20. The show features a host of screenprints, invariably featuring hand-lettered messages, plus some painted and screenprinted wooden panel artworks too. Almost all the 50 x 70 cm screenprints are available to buy in signed and numbered editions of 30, with prices starting from £50.

Sunny Side Up runs until August 8 at Soma Gallery, 4 Boyces Avenue, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 4AA. (via Creative Review)

http://asmithillustration.com/

http://www.viceland.com/blogs/en/2011/04/12/suzannah-sinclairs-watercolor-playmates/

De Stijl (Dutch pronunciation: [də ˈstɛɪl], English: /də ˈstaɪl/), Dutch for “The Style”, also known as neoplasticism, was a Dutch artistic movement founded in 1917. In a narrower sense, the term De Stijl is used to refer to a body of work from 1917 to 1931 founded in the Netherlands. De Stijl is also the name of a journal that was published by the Dutch painter, designer, writer, and critic Theo van Doesburg (1883–1931), propagating the group’s theories. Next to van Doesburg, the group’s principal members were the painters Piet Mondrian (1872–1944), Vilmos Huszár (1884–1960), and Bart van der Leck (1876–1958), and the architects Gerrit Rietveld (1888–1964), Robert van ‘t Hoff (1887–1979), and J.J.P. Oud (1890–1963). The artistic philosophy that formed a basis for the group’s work is known as neoplasticism — the new plastic art (or Nieuwe Beelding in Dutch). Proponents of De Stijl sought to express a new utopian ideal of spiritual harmony and order. They advocated pure abstraction and universality by a reduction to the essentials of form and colour; they simplified visual compositions to the vertical and horizontal directions, and used only primary colors along with black and white. Indeed, according to the Tate Gallery’s online article on neoplasticism, Mondrian himself sets forth these delimitations in his essay ‘Neo-Plasticism in Pictorial Art’. He writes, “… this new plastic idea will ignore the particulars of appearance, that is to say, natural form and colour. On the contrary, it should find its expression in the abstraction of form and colour, that is to say, in the straight line and the clearly defined primary colour.” The Tate article further summarizes that this art allows “only primary colours and non-colours, only squares and rectangles, only straight and horizontal or vertical line.” The Guggenheim Museum’s online article on De Stijl summarizes these traits in similar terms: “It [De Stijl] was posited on the fundamental principle of the geometry of the straight line, the square, and the rectangle, combined with a strong asymmetricality; the predominant use of pure primary colors with black and white; and the relationship between positive and negative elements in an arrangement of non-objective forms and lines.”

The name De Stijl is supposedly derived from Gottfried Semper’s Der Stil in den technischen und tektonischen Künsten oder Praktische Ästhetik (1861–3), which Curl suggests was mistakenly believed to advocate materialism and functionalism. In general, De Stijl proposed ultimate simplicity and abstraction, both in architecture and painting, by using only straight horizontal and vertical lines and rectangular forms. Furthermore, their formal vocabulary was limited to the primary colours, red, yellow, and blue, and the three primary values, black, white, and grey. The works avoided symmetry and attained aesthetic balance by the use of opposition. This element of the movement embodies the second meaning of stijl: “a post, jamb or support”; this is best exemplified by the construction of crossing joints, most commonly seen in carpentry. In many of the group’s three-dimensional works, vertical and horizontal lines are positioned in layers or planes that do not intersect, thereby allowing each element to exist independently and unobstructed by other elements. This feature can be found in the Rietveld Schröder House and the Red and Blue Chair. De Stijl was influenced by Cubist painting as well as by the mysticism and the ideas about “ideal” geometric forms (such as the “perfect straight line”) in the neoplatonic philosophy of mathematician M.H.J. Schoenmaekers. The works of De Stijl would influence the Bauhaus style and the international style of architecture as well as clothing and interior design. However, it did not follow the general guidelines of an “ism” (Cubism, Futurism, Surrealism), nor did it adhere to the principles of art schools like the Bauhaus; it was a collective project, a joint enterprise. In music, De Stijl was an influence only on the work of composer Jakob van Domselaer, a close friend of Mondrian. Between 1913 and 1916, he composed his Proeven van Stijlkunst (Experiments in Artistic Style), inspired mainly by Mondrian’s paintings. This minimalistic—and, at the time, revolutionary—music defined “horizontal” and “vertical” musical elements and aimed at balancing those two principles. Van Domselaer was relatively unknown in his lifetime, and did not play a significant role within the De Stijl group.

From the flurry of new art movements that followed the Impressionists’ revolutionary new perception of painting, Cubism arose in the early twentieth century as an important and influential new direction. In the Netherlands, too, there was interest in this “new art.”However, because the Netherlands remained neutral in World War I, Dutch artists were not able to leave the country after 1914 and were thus effectively isolated from the international art world—and in particular, from Paris, which was its centre at that time. During that period, painter Theo van Doesburg started looking for other artists to set up a journal and start an art movement. Van Doesburg was also a writer, poet, and critic, who had been more successful writing about art than working as an independent artist. Quite adept at making new contacts due to his flamboyant personality and outgoing nature, he had many useful connections in the art world.

Around 1915, Van Doesburg started meeting the artists who would eventually become the founders of the journal. He first met Piet Mondrian at an exhibition in the Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum. Mondrian, who had moved to Paris in 1912 (and there, changed his name from “Mondriaan”), had been visiting the Netherlands when war broke out. He could not return to Paris, and was staying in the artists’ community of Laren, where he met Bart van der Leck and regularly saw M.H.J. Schoenmaekers. In 1915, Schoenmaekers published Het nieuwe wereldbeeld (The New Image of the World), followed in 1916 by Beginselen der beeldende wiskunde (Principles of Plastic Mathematics). These two publications would greatly influence Mondrian and other members of De Stijl. Van Doesburg also knew J.J.P. Oud and the Hungarian artist Vilmos Huszàr. In 1917, the cooperation of these artists, together with the poet Anthony Kok, resulted in the founding of De Stijl. The young architect Gerrit Rietveld joined the group in 1918. During those first few years, the group was still relatively homogeneous, although Van der Leck left in 1918 due to artistic differences of opinion. Manifestos were being published, signed by all members. The social and economic circumstances of the time formed an important source of inspiration for their theories, and their ideas about architecture were heavily influenced by Berlage and Frank Lloyd Wright. The name Nieuwe Beelding was a term first coined in 1917 by Mondrian, who wrote a series of twelve articles called De Nieuwe Beelding in de schilderkunst (Neo-Plasticism in Painting) that were published in the journal De Stijl. In 1920, he published a book titled Le Neo-Plasticisme.

Around 1921, the group’s character started to change. From the time of van Doesburg’s association with Bauhaus, other influences started playing a role. These influences were mainly Malevich and Russian Constructivism, to which not all members agreed. In 1924, Mondrian broke with the group after van Doesburg proposed the theory of elementarism, proposing that the diagonal line was more vital than the horizontal and the vertical. In addition, the De Stijl group acquired many new “members.” Dadaist influences, such as I.K. Bonset’s poetry and Aldo Camini’s “antiphilosophy,” generated controversy as well. Only after van Doesburg’s death was it revealed that Bonset and Camini were two of his pseudonyms.

Theo van Doesburg died in Davos in 1931. His wife, Nelly, administered his estate. Because of van Doesburg’s pivotal role within De Stijl, the group did not survive. Individual members remained in contact, but De Stijl could not exist without a strong central character. Thus, it may be wrong to think of De Stijl as a close-knit group of artists. The members knew each other, but most communication took place by letter. For example, Mondrian and Rietveld never met in person. Many, though not all, artists did stay true to the movement’s basic ideas, even after 1931. Rietveld, for instance, continued designing furniture according to De Stijl principles, while Mondrian continued working in the style he had initiated around 1920. Van der Leck, on the other hand, went back to figurative compositions after his departure from the group.

The De Stijl influence on architecture remained considerable long after 1931; Mies van der Rohe was among the most important proponents of its ideas. Between 1923 and 1924, Rietveld designed the Rietveld Schröder House, the only building to have been created completely according to De Stijl principles. Examples of Stijl-influenced works by J.J.P. Oud can be found in Rotterdam (Café De Unie) and Hoek van Holland.

Works by De Stijl members are scattered all over the world, but De Stijl-themed exhibitions are organised regularly. Museums with large De Stijl collections include the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague (which owns the world’s most extensive, although not exclusively De Stijl-related, Mondrian collection) and the Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum, where many works by Rietveld and Van Doesburg are on display. The Centraal Museum of Utrecht has the largest Rietveld collection worldwide; it also owns the Rietveld Schröder House, Rietveld’s adjacent “show house,” and the Rietveld Schröder Archives. (via Wikipedia)

László Moholy-Nagy (July 20, 1895 – November 24, 1946) was a Jewish-Hungarian painter and photographer as well as professor in the Bauhaus school. He was highly influenced by constructivism and a strong advocate of the integration of technology and industry into the arts.

Moholy-Nagy was born László Weisz in Bácsborsód to a Jewish-Hungarian family. His cousin was the conductor Sir Georg Solti. He attended Gymnasium (academic high school) in the city of Szeged. He changed his German-Jewish surname to the Magyar surname of his mother’s friend, Nagy. Later, he added “Moholy” (“from Mohol”) to his surname, after the name of the town Mohol in which he grew up. One part of his boyhood he spend in the Ada town, near Mol in family house. In 1918 he formally converted to the Hungarian Reformed Church (Calvinist); his Godfather was his Roman Catholic university friend, the art critic Ivan Hevesy. Immediately before and during the war he studied law in Budapest and served in World War I, where he sustained a serious injury. In Budapest, on leaves and during convalescence, Moholy-Nagy became involved first with the journal Jelenkor (“The Present Age”), edited by Hevesy, and then with the “Activist” circle around Lajos Kassak’s journal Ma (“Today”). After his discharge from the Austro-Hungarian army in October 1918, he attended the private art school of the Hungarian Fauve artist Róbert Berény. He was a supporter of the Hungarian Soviet Republic, declared early in 1919, though he assumed no official role in it. After the defeat of the Hungarian Soviet in August, he withdrew to Szeged. An exhibition of his work was held there, before he left for Vienna around November 1919. He left for Berlin early in 1920.

In 1923, Moholy-Nagy replaced Johannes Itten as the instructor of the foundation course at the Bauhaus. This effectively marked the end of the school’s expressionistic leanings and moved it closer towards its original aims as a school of design and industrial integration. The Bauhaus became known for the versatility of its artists, and Moholy-Nagy was no exception. Throughout his career, he became proficient and innovative in the fields of photography, typography, sculpture, painting, printmaking, and industrial design. One of his main focuses was on photography. He coined the term “the New Vision” for his belief that photography could create a whole new way of seeing the outside world that the human eye could not. His theory of art and teaching was summed up in the book The New Vision, from Material to Architecture. He experimented with the photographic process of exposing light sensitive paper with objects overlaid on top of it, called photogram. While at the Bauhaus, Moholy’s teaching in diverse media — including painting, sculpture, photography, photomontage and metal — had a profound influence on a number of his students, including Marianne Brandt.

Moholy-Nagy is regarded as one of the fathers of Light art. Light sculpture and moving sculpture are the components of his Light-Space Modulator (1922–30), One of the first light art pieces which also combined kinetic art. Moholy-Nagy was editor of the art and photography department of the European avant-garde magazine International Revue i 10 from 1927 to 1929. He resigned from the Bauhaus in 1928 and worked in film and stage design in Berlin, where he was required to submit his work to be censored, and then in Paris and Holland before moving to London in 1935. In England, Moholy-Nagy formed part of the circle of émigré artists and intellectuals who based themselves in Hampstead. Moholy-Nagy lived for a time in the Isokon building with Walter Gropius for eight months and then settled in Golders Green. Gropius and Moholy-Nagy planned to establish an English version of the Bauhaus but could not secure backing, and then Moholy-Nagy was turned down for a teaching job at the Royal College of Art. Moholy-Nagy made his way in London by taking on various design jobs including Imperial Airways and a shop display for men’s underwear. He photographed contemporary architecture for the Architectural Review where the assistant editor was John Betjeman who commissioned Moholy-Nagy to make documentary photographs to illustrate his book An Oxford University Chest. In 1936, he was commissioned by fellow Hungarian film producer Alexander Korda to design special effects for Things to Come. Working at Denham Studios, Moholy-Nagy created kinetic sculptures and abstract light effects, but they were rejected by the film’s director. At the invitation of Leslie Martin, he gave a lecture to the architecture school of Hull University.

In 1937, at the invitation of Walter Paepcke, the Chairman of the Container Corporation of America, Moholy-Nagy moved to Chicago to become the director of the New Bauhaus. The philosophy of the school was basically unchanged from that of the original, and its headquarters was the Prairie Avenue mansion that architect Richard Morris Hunt designed for department store magnate Marshall Field. Unfortunately, the school lost the financial backing of its supporters after only a single academic year, and it closed in 1938. Moholy-Nagy was also the Art Advisor for the mail-order house of Spiegel in Chicago. Paepcke, however, continued his own support, and in 1939, Moholy-Nagy opened the School of Design. In 1944, this became the Institute of Design. In 1949 the Institute of Design became a part of Illinois Institute of Technology and became the first institution in the United States to offer a PhD in design. Moholy-Nagy authored an account of his efforts to develop the curriculum of the School of Design in his book Vision in Motion.

Moholy-Nagy died of leukemia in Chicago in 1946. Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest is named in his honour. Works by him are currently on display at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. The software company Laszlo Systems (developers of the open source programming language OpenLaszlo) was named in part in honor of Moholy-Nagy. In 1998, he received a Tribute Marker from the City of Chicago. In the autumn of 2003, the Moholy-Nagy Foundation, Inc. was established as a source of information about Moholy-Nagy’s life and works. (via Wikipedia)

Digging the Oakland native Seth Armstrong´s works.

http://www.setharmstrong.com/

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