blakegopnik:

THE DAILY PIC:  I came across this Warhol portrait of Robert Rauschenberg the other week in Andrea Caratsch’s gallery in Zurich. I was shocked to find that one of the most significant works of the 20th century was selling for less than $2 million – maybe five per cent of what less important, later Warhols can fetch. Last I checked, it still had not been bought. (Caratsch wouldn’t take my Sam’s Club card.)
Made in 1962, this is, as far as I can tell, the earliest portrait of a living sitter in Warhol’s mature career, and one of his very earliest silkscreens. (I don’t count his movie-star images as portraits: They are closer to Rembrandt’s “heads” of Aristotle or Jesus.) That means this work is a first experiment in the genre that filled the final two-thirds of Warhol’s career.
The 1962 portrait features one of the cutting-edge artists that Warhol was most keen on emulating, and whose friendship he had only just managed to win. Average museumgoers, and even experts, don’t always realize how deeply committed Warhol was to the classic, egghead avant-garde, and how deeply immersed he was in it at this point in his career; this portrait stands as his declaration of that commitment. It also comes at just the moment when Warhol was able to turn the tables on Rauschenberg, by offering to help his elder learn the new photo-silkscreen technique. (Although the tale’s also told that Rauschenberg taught him.)
Rauschenberg was also some kind of model for Warhol of what it was to be a successful gay artist, even if he had once rejected Warhol as too “swish” for his tastes. I think you can read Rauschenberg’s un-swish-ness from the way Warhol depicts him here, in an image that has none of the camp playfulness of Warhol’s Pop works from this era. Drowning in a deep-blue sea, Rauschenberg has stronger echoes in this portrait of his own Black Paintings, or of Warhol’s later “Disasters”, than of Warhol’s “Troy Donohue” or “Marilyn” silkscreens. You could almost read this dour, barely-there portrait as being in mourning for, or at least a token of, Rauschenberg’s closeted life. With its figure small and lost, gazing up into the heavens, this is one of the most wistful images Warhol ever made. All that blackness, and the filmic stutters running down the surface of the work, remind me most of Warhol’s dark and cryptic “Shadow” silkscreens from 1978.
The painting also comes close to being a direct quote from the all-blue monochromes of Yves Klein. Warhol cannot have missed the Frenchman’s 1961 New York show with Leo Castelli, who became Warhol’s own dealer not long after.  (A couple of years later, Warhol was asking a lover, the art historian Robert Pincus-Witten, to tell him what Klein was like.) Klein is one of the few artists of this era who can rival Warhol for his mix of brainy profundity and absurdist play, and this portrait almost proves the connection. Within a year or two, Warhol was including Kleinian monochromes in his silkscreened diptychs; this earlier “Rauschenberg” can almost be thought of as a collapsed diptych, with a silkscreen portrait sandwiched on top of a blue monochrome. Which means there’s also cancelling-out going on – a deliberate attempt to make a portrait that conceals more than it shows. Warhol may have admired and envied Bob Rauschenberg, but more than anything he wanted to cast the shadow of his own art over his new friend’s. This darkling portrait casts that shadow, symbolically, before Warhol had made a whole lot of art that could actually outshine Rauschenberg’s. (Image courtesy Andrea Caratsch, © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.)
The Daily Pic also appears at blogs.artinfo.com/the-daily-pic. For a full inventory of past Daily Pics visit blakegopnik.com/archive.

blakegopnik:

THE DAILY PIC:  I came across this Warhol portrait of Robert Rauschenberg the other week in Andrea Caratsch’s gallery in Zurich. I was shocked to find that one of the most significant works of the 20th century was selling for less than $2 million – maybe five per cent of what less important, later Warhols can fetch. Last I checked, it still had not been bought. (Caratsch wouldn’t take my Sam’s Club card.)

Made in 1962, this is, as far as I can tell, the earliest portrait of a living sitter in Warhol’s mature career, and one of his very earliest silkscreens. (I don’t count his movie-star images as portraits: They are closer to Rembrandt’s “heads” of Aristotle or Jesus.) That means this work is a first experiment in the genre that filled the final two-thirds of Warhol’s career.

The 1962 portrait features one of the cutting-edge artists that Warhol was most keen on emulating, and whose friendship he had only just managed to win. Average museumgoers, and even experts, don’t always realize how deeply committed Warhol was to the classic, egghead avant-garde, and how deeply immersed he was in it at this point in his career; this portrait stands as his declaration of that commitment. It also comes at just the moment when Warhol was able to turn the tables on Rauschenberg, by offering to help his elder learn the new photo-silkscreen technique. (Although the tale’s also told that Rauschenberg taught him.)

Rauschenberg was also some kind of model for Warhol of what it was to be a successful gay artist, even if he had once rejected Warhol as too “swish” for his tastes. I think you can read Rauschenberg’s un-swish-ness from the way Warhol depicts him here, in an image that has none of the camp playfulness of Warhol’s Pop works from this era. Drowning in a deep-blue sea, Rauschenberg has stronger echoes in this portrait of his own Black Paintings, or of Warhol’s later “Disasters”, than of Warhol’s “Troy Donohue” or “Marilyn” silkscreens. You could almost read this dour, barely-there portrait as being in mourning for, or at least a token of, Rauschenberg’s closeted life. With its figure small and lost, gazing up into the heavens, this is one of the most wistful images Warhol ever made. All that blackness, and the filmic stutters running down the surface of the work, remind me most of Warhol’s dark and cryptic “Shadow” silkscreens from 1978.

The painting also comes close to being a direct quote from the all-blue monochromes of Yves Klein. Warhol cannot have missed the Frenchman’s 1961 New York show with Leo Castelli, who became Warhol’s own dealer not long after.  (A couple of years later, Warhol was asking a lover, the art historian Robert Pincus-Witten, to tell him what Klein was like.) Klein is one of the few artists of this era who can rival Warhol for his mix of brainy profundity and absurdist play, and this portrait almost proves the connection. Within a year or two, Warhol was including Kleinian monochromes in his silkscreened diptychs; this earlier “Rauschenberg” can almost be thought of as a collapsed diptych, with a silkscreen portrait sandwiched on top of a blue monochrome. Which means there’s also cancelling-out going on – a deliberate attempt to make a portrait that conceals more than it shows. Warhol may have admired and envied Bob Rauschenberg, but more than anything he wanted to cast the shadow of his own art over his new friend’s. This darkling portrait casts that shadow, symbolically, before Warhol had made a whole lot of art that could actually outshine Rauschenberg’s. (Image courtesy Andrea Caratsch, © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.)

The Daily Pic also appears at blogs.artinfo.com/the-daily-pic. For a full inventory of past Daily Pics visit blakegopnik.com/archive.

Reblogged from sheilastansbury

free-parking:

Paintings by Hilma af Klint (1862-1944)

Five years before Wassily Kandinsky (he of the book Concerning the Spiritual In Art, 1910), before Piet Mondrian and Kazimir Malevich, before the images of Carl Jung and Rudolf Steiner—who dismissed her ideas as wrong—was this revolutionary artist and abstractionist, Hilma af Klint, possibly the first purely abstract painter to produced non-objective works in the early 1900s.

Hilma af Klint was influenced by contemporary spiritual movements, such as spiritism, theosophy and, later, anthroposophy. Her oeuvre builds on the awareness of a spiritual dimension of consciousness, an aspect that was being marginalised in an increasingly materialistic world. When she painted, she believed that a higher consciousness was speaking through her. In her astonishing works she combines geometric shapes and symbols with ornamentation. Her multifaceted imagery strives to give insights into the different dimensions of existence, where microcosm and macrocosm reflect one another.

Reblogged from free-parking

dynamicafrica:

Test Shots by Rog Walker.

Test Shots is an ongoing series of portraits taken in the studio with photography couple Rog and Bee Walker. Each photograph, taken mostly of their close friends and fellow creatives, is as striking as it is simple.

Opting for a sombre and dark background, coupled with poised and pensive subjects, Walker’s shots manage to maximize on the simplicity of the traditional portrait style by making use of a medium format camera that provides an image quality which, despite the powerful stillness of each individual, vividly brings the details of each photograph to life. This brings out both a sense of strength and vulnerability in each picture, alluding to the intimate two-way dialog between subject and photographer.

"This is the most organic method of communication I have. Photography is the way I speak…It doesn’t get more personal than another human, and that’s what I’m looking to capture, that connection between humanity." - Rog Walker

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Reblogged from crowntilted