Facebook Crosspost: 2020-May-26

oking for inspiration for your “Portraits of the Pandemic” exhibition submission? What about some inspiration from art history?

Featured Historic Self Portrait:Kathe Kollwitz

Kathe Kollwitz (1867–1945) was a leading twentieth-century German printmaker and sculptor who explored the themes of motherhood, oppression, death, war and sacrifice. Much of her work is autobiographical and self-portraiture was one of her chief forms of expression.

From age 18, when she was an art student in Berlin, until she reached 76, two years before her death at the end of the Second World War, Kollwitz created more than 100 self-portraits. Kollwitz battled depression throughout her life, but it was the tragic death of her son at the onset of World War I that left an indelible mark on her spirit. Her self-portraits capture the depth of raw emotion of an artist who was tormented by great loss, grief and pain.

Inspired to submit? Click the link http://dbqart.org/portraits-of-the-pandemic/

Artists and Their Pets: 2020-May-25

Artists and Their Pets: Berenice Abbott

Berenice Abbott (1898-1991) documented the urban landscape of New York City with her with her wide-format camera in the 1920s and ’30s. Known for her signature bird’s-eye and worm’s-eye points-of-view, Abbott helped shape how others saw the evolving urban landscape. Abbott also redefined gender roles, unapologetically wearing ski pants rather than skirts and living with her life partner, art critic Elizabeth McCausland for decades. Abbott was a lover of cats, both real and in images. She was known to keep in touch with her friends by sending them cat postcards she found in museum gift shops.

Facebook Crosspost: 2020-May-23

Looking for inspiration for your “Portraits of the Pandemic” exhibition submission? What about some inspiration from art history?

Featured Historic Self Portrait: Cindy Sherman

“The still must tease with the promise of a story the viewer of it itches to be told”

For four decades, American photographer Cindy Sherman has used her own body in a variety of roles and persona to explore cultural themes of gender, identity, and celebrity.

Sherman is a member of the Pictures Generation, a group of artists who came of age in the 1970s and responded to the mass media landscape with both humor and criticism, appropriating images from advertising, film, television, and magazines for their art.

Sherman was always interested in experimenting with different identities. As she has explained, “I wish I could treat every day as Halloween and get dressed up and go out into the world as some eccentric character.”

Inspired to submit? Click the link http://dbqart.org/portraits-of-the-pandemic/

What’s Cooking: 2020-May-23

What’s Cooking: Louise Bourgeois

Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010) was a French-American artist best known for her large-scale sculpture and installation art. Her work explored a variety of themes including domesticity and the family, sexuality and the body, as well as death and the unconscious.

Bourgeois’ approach to cooking was as personal as her art. “I was told as a child in France that cooking is the way to a man’s heart,” she recalled in The Museum of Modern Art Artists’ Cookbook. “Today I know that the notion is absurd.”

Immersed in the New York avant garde art world of the 1960’2 and 70’s, Bourgeois was fond of entertaining her artist friends: “When the galleries close, we all troop over to my house. I have to be prepared to feed as many as fifteen people at a moment’s notice. It is easy for me because of my pressure cookers and my freezer,” she said at the time.

Bourgeois’s contributed to New York City’s Museum of Modern Art cookbook, which featured fellow artists Willem and Elaine de Kooning and Andy Warhol. She favored simple, economical dishes that honored her French heritage. Try this refreshing cucumber salad this summer! From Artsy.net

Louise Bourgeois’s French Cucumber Salad

  • 6 cucumbers, peeled
  • 6 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 ½ tbsp. tarragon vinegar
  • ½ tsp. tarragon
  • salt
  • pepper
  • chopped chives or green scallions

Layer slivers of cucumber in a small bowl, sprinkling with salt between each layer. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 12 hours. Remove the cucumbers and wash under cold running water, then dry on towels. To make the dressing, combine oil, vinegar, tarragon, salt, and pepper in a bowl and whisk. Drizzle the mixture over the cucumber slivers and toss. Add chives or scallions, then serve with hot French bread.

Adapted from: The Museum of Modern Art Artists’ Cookbook (MoMA, 1978)

Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010)

From the Collection: 2020-May-20

William E.L. Bunn (America, 1910-2009), Dubuque III, 1934, oil on composition board, Dubuque Art Association purchase, 1987.02.11
William E.L. Bunn was born in Muscatine, Iowa. He studied under Grant Wood at the University of Iowa. In March 1934, a call went out through President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal program for mural submissions for the new federal post office in downtown Dubuque. This painting is Bunn’s winning submission. Four Mississippi steamboats were named “Dubuque.” The third “Dubuque” was built in 1867 but destroyed by fire in 1876. Bunn’s mural is one of two that can be seen today in the 6th Street entrance of the post office, just across Washington Park from the museum.

Dubuque III is the latest featured work on the museum’s Conservation Corner page. We are raising money for it to be conserved by a professional paintings conservator. See our website for more info and to contribute to the fund: http://dbqart.org/conservation-corner/

William Edward Lewis Bunn, Dubuque III (mural study), 1934, oil on Masonite, 24 1/4 x 20 inches, Collection of the Dubuque Museum of Art. Purchase of Dubuque Art Association.

Facebook Crosspost: 2020-May-19

Looking for inspiration for your “Portraits of the Pandemic” exhibition submission? What about some inspiration from art history?

Featured Historic Self Portrait: Jan Van Eyck

Early Netherlandish painter Jan van Eyck’s “Portrait of a Man in a Turban” is regarded as the earliest known self-portrait. Like many things in art history, this view is not unanimous. The inscription at the top of the frame has been cited as strong evidence in favor of the attribution. It reads “Als Ich Can” (as I/Eyck can) which is a pun on the painter’s name.

Van Eyck painted both secular and religious work. He was an in-demand portrait painter of the emerging merchant class, known for his manipulation of oil paint, meticulous attention to detail and keen powers of observation. Van Eyck apparently depicted himself in two other works; he seems to be reflected in the mirror in the “Arnolfini Portrait” and in Saint George’s armor, in his helm and on the shield of St George in “The Madonna Of Cannon Van Der Paele”.

Participate in “Portraits of the Pandemic,” click here for more info!

Artists and Their Pets: 2020-May-18

Artists and Their Pets in Friendship – Matisse & Picasso

French artist Henri Matisse and Spanish artist Pablo Picasso were friends and rivals. They had a profound influence on one another and their art.

They first met in 1904 when they were introduced at the Paris salon of art collector, Gertrude Stein. At the time they were rivals, each vying for recognition in the art world. Picasso’s disciples once wrote anti-Matisse graffiti on the walls near Picasso’s studio. Matisse responded by using the term “Cubism” to mock the art of Picasso and his followers, a label that stuck and became part of art history.

As they grew older, they grew closer. By the end of World War II, the rivals had become great friends. Matisse was now almost eighty, nearly bed-ridden and living in apartments in Vence, a town close to Nice. Alone, his wife having recently divorced him and his children grown, Matisse kept his studio filled with birds and cats for company and inspiration.

Picasso with his mistress, Francoise Gilot, visited Matisse often. Picasso, who was eleven years younger, brought recent paintings to Matisse for comments. They exchanged paintings and even exhibited together. Picasso considered Matisse “an elder brother.” Matisse thought of Picasso as “the kid.”

Matisse and Picasso shared a love for doves. Picasso grew up around pigeons, which are scientifically the same as doves. His father, also an artist, bred pigeons and they were one of his favorite subjects to paint. In turn, they became a subject Picasso returned to again and again throughout his life.

Matisse’s love for doves began in 1936 when he acquired a a variety of caged songbirds and doves from merchants along the river Seine. He delighted in their shapes and colors, plumage and singing. Doves were also inspiration for his “Cut-outs”.
In a gesture of friendship. Matisse gave Picasso, who also loved birds, one of his doves.

In 1949, Picasso created the “Dove of Peace” poster for the 1949 Paris Peace Conference. It caught on and became an international symbol for the peace movement. Picasso’s daughter with Francoise Gilot was born the same day as the poster hit the streets of Paris. It seemed ordained that she be named Paloma, which is “dove” in Spanish.

When Matisse died in November of 1954, Picasso was disconsolate and couldn’t paint for days. When a friend called on him, he saw him staring out a window, murmuring “Matisse is dead. Matisse is dead”.

Years before he had said, “When one of us dies, there are things the other will not be able to say to anyone else again.” As a final homage to his lost friend, Picasso painted a series called “Studio” showing an open window looking out on the Mediterranean surrounded by doves. Matisse’s doves.