Impressions of Art
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School is back in session at long last, family vacations are a memory for another summer, and everything is hectic as we begin the transition towards the coming autumn. But, even in all bustle and hustle, don't forget to stop and appreciate the art that is around you.
No matter what impressions have been left by the passing of this summer, don't forget to remember those adventures with a mind for protecting, preserving, and displaying your photos, mementos, and art purchases in the way they deserve! Conservation is our specialty, and no one can beat the design experience of our expert art consultants, so stop in to any of our 9 SoCal locations to discuss the options for protecting your newest family heirlooms with one of our design consultants.
We follow last month's Art Education article about Expressionism with a look at the Impressionism movement and the artists who created it. So, if you love Art History, or just like knowing a bit more about some of your favorite classic artists, check out the In the Studio section below as we continue to cover some of the major styles in art.
And as always we are bringing you some of the latest gallery openings, art shows and events, as well as some articles from our blog, so don't miss out on what is happening of interest to the art scene in southern California in July!
And, don't forget to check out the newest addition to FrameStore's commitment to our clients over at our blog. Newsletters only happen once a month, but our art blog can keep you up to date on the newest news, information, gallery and museum events as well as help educate and enlighten you on everything about art, design, and framing. So, drop over and see what we have happening at the FrameStore Blog today!
Summer is winding down and our eyes turn towards the fall and the later holidays, and FrameStore wants to help you make your summer memories last!
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The line between amateur photography and vernacular photography is often a blurred one, and sometimes only defined by the discernible eye of a self appointed curator.
The art of the found image is celebrated this month at two galleries on either coast, both New York's ZieherSmith and Cohen Gallery in Los Angeles.
Read the full article at our blog:
The 42nd Malibu Arts Festival is fast approaching and promises to offer something for everyone.
42 years of incredible high-end art, 42 years of beauty, 42 years of a wonderful arts festival event - known world wide! Produced by the Malibu Chamber of Commerce, the two-day weekend event will take place July 27-28, from 10 am to 6 pm, in front of the Malibu Civic Center. The Optimist Club of Malibu will be serving a pancake breakfast at the site starting at 8 am.
Read the full article at our blog:
Group Art Exhibition
August 17, 2013 - September 7, 2013
Copro Gallery celebrates its 20th anniversary. Hatched from a friendship of Douglas Nason and Greg Escalante, that began when Doug bought a Robert Williams seriagraph from Greg that he published in 1989, Copro Nason Fine Art Publishing was formed in 1993. Publishing several serigraphs with Robert Williams, Big Daddy Roth, Sandow Birk, Russell Crotty and many other luminaries during the 1990's and curating several group shows, Greg Escalante, Douglas Nason and occasionally Gary Pressman collaborated with many artists during the beginnings of the Lowbrow / Pop Surreal movement. Greg Escalante's art juggernaut led him to co-found Juxtapoz Magazine as well as sit on the board of several local art museums during this time and working with Doug Nason curated many important museum exhibitions as well as gallery shows. Copro/Nason didn't have a permanent venue until December1999 when Copro/Nason Fine Art Gallery opened in Culver City with an exhibition called the "Leeteg Tribute". Followed by "The Art of Robert Williams" in March 2000, Mark Ryden Illustration show, Night of the Tiki with Shag and solo and group shows with artists such as Liz Mcgrath, Keith Weesner, Coop, Kozik, Rockin' Jelly Bean, Sandow Birk, David Choe, Brian Viveros, Van Arno the gallery continued to grow.
Gary Pressman started as Gallery Director at Copro/Nason gallery, Culver City 2002 and began curating feature and group shows with artists such as Isabel Samaras, Ausgang, Sas Christian, Chris Mars, Mark Ryden, Marion Peck, Esao Andrews, Glenn Barr, Shag, Tim Biskup, Kenny Scharf, John John Jesse, Joe Vaux, Ray Caesar, Luke Chueh, Alex Gross, Joe Ledbetter, Naoto Hattori, Jeff Gillette, Brian Viveros, and several others.
In the interest of expanding, June 2005 saw Copro/Nason's "Bergamot Invasion group show" christening Copro into a new space in Santa Monica at Bergamot Station. Some of the early exhibitons at Bergamot Station up to 2008, when Douglas Nason left the gallery were Ron English/Daniel Johnston, BLAB, Cannibal Flower, Chet Zar, Dan Quintana, Audrey Kawasaki, Lori Earley, Amy Sol, Luke Chueh, Kris Lewis, Kukula, becca, Yosuke Ueno, Lola, Travis Louie. From these formative years Copro grew into a serious art gallery and continues to hunt for new artists and break new ground. 20 years from inception to Copro Gallery 2013 we're still here with the same mission.
Copro Gallery 20th anniversary will feature many artists dating back to the beginning as well as current artists that are exhibiting at Copro today!
Artist List: Mark Ryden, Robert WIlliams, Big Daddy Roth, Liz Mcgrath, Shag, Sandow Birk, Brian Viveros, Andy Kehoe, Esao Andrews, Chris Mars, Adam Miller, Alexandra Manukyan
Ana Bagayan, Annie Owens, Ausgang, becca, Cathie Bleck, Chet Zar, Chloe Trujillo, Brian Smith, Chris Peters, Chrystal Chan, Clare Toms, Clark, Craig Larotonda, Dan Quintana, Dave MacDowell, David Molesky, Eric Fortune, Erik Alos, Genevive Zacconi
Germs, Glenn Barr, Isabel Samaras, Jason Hite, Jason Maloney, Jeff Christensen, Kelly Allen, Leslie Ditto, Luke Chueh, Macsorro, Mark Garro, Matt Dangler, Miran Kim, Miss Van, Naoto Hattori, Nathan Spoor, Nouar, Peter Chan, Peter Gric, Phil Lumbang, Richard Kirk, Robert Connett, Rose Freymuth-Frazier Santiago Caruso, Stella Im Hultberg, Timothy Smith, Tin, Vincent Cacciotti, Brian Despain. Von Dutch, Yoko dHolbachie and More!
The Poetry of Paper
This exhibition of drawings explores the concept of negative space-the unoccupied ground around drawn elements. It elucidates how artists deliberately left areas of paper blank to create the illusion of light and form, using absence to evoke a sense of presence.
For select drawings, the curator chose to write haiku-an unrhymed, three-lined poem-to describe how empty passages contain meaning. Employing only seventeen syllables in three lines to conjure an image or idea, these haikus complement the artful restraint of the works on view.
Forming the Figure
Slope of languid head
Against suggested pillow
When drawing human figures, artists frequently used negative space to suggest form, trusting the viewers imagination to interpret the empty passages. Here, for example, a blank area demarcated by a curved line adjacent to a resting head can be read as a pillow.
Radiates eternal light
In compositions featuring religious subjects, artists often employed dramatic light effects to suggest a divine presence. Here, areas of untouched white paper interspersed among dark wash or chalk could convey an ethereal glow, giving an otherworldly appearance to a messenger of God.
Nature Made Present
Blank expanses form
Fog dense as citadel walls
Old city shrouded
Inspired by the world around them, artists strove to capture what they witnessed in nature. By juxtaposing areas of bare white paper with various colors of wash, this artist suggests fog engulfing a walled city.
Held up by columns
Of only paper and shade
Dome of the heavens
Artists-utilized negative space in their renderings of architecture. Leaving areas around drawn elements untouched was an efficient way to suggest the effect of light streaming into a building or shining on a column, arch, or dome.
If you visit the exhibition, be sure to leave us your thoughts and impressions on our blog over at
Kitasono Katue (1902-1978) was the best known Japanese poet-artist in Europe and the US during the middle half of the 20th century. This is the first solo exhibit of his art outside Japan. Active from the mid-1920s as a pioneering avant-garde spirit, Kitasono made a priority of finding common ground with poets, artists and writers in Europe and the Americas. First entranced by Dadaism and Surrealism, he also thoroughly absorbed the ideas of Futurism, Cubism, Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism. His poems were often published in poetry and visual art journals, and he served as an editor and graphic designer for some of these, including the journal VOU, published from 1935 to 1940, and then again from 1945 until his death in 1978. Kitasono edited and designed more than 500 magazines and poetry books, and created numerous covers for novels, trade journals and commercial magazines. Plastic Poems, which fit in a category more broadly referred to as visual poetry, adorned many of his book covers; Kitasono began to produce Plastic Poetry after being inspired by the photographs done by members of the VOU group. In the last twelve years of his life, Kitasono continued to experiment with the limitless field of visual poetry, maintaining the clean form and finely conceived pairings of images seen in his earliest successful text poems.
If you visit the exhibition, be sure to leave us your thoughts and impressions on our blog over at
Santa Monica Museum of Art:
dosa at SMMoA:
Exploring Joshua Tree
July 13, 2013 - August 24, 2013
The Santa Monica Museum of Art's gift shop, GRACIE, presents dosa at SMMoA: Exploring Joshua Tree, a unique art installation and temporary shop that invokes the desert landscape of southeastern California. dosa at SMMoA: Exploring Joshua Tree features clothing, accessories, and housewares from the exquisite Summer 2013 collection of the internationally acclaimed dosa clothing line.
This collection draws upon the sensory world of Joshua Tree National Park, a constant source of inspiration for dosa's renowned designer, Christina Kim. The installation at SMMoA distills the contours, hues and saturations of the desert and its distinctive flora, and highlights new items available for the first time at SMMoA during Exploring Joshua Tree.
dosa at SMMoA: Exploring Joshua Tree continues an ongoing creative friendship among SMMoA executive director Elsa Longhauser, GRACIE retail curator Amy Coane, and dosa founder Christina Kim. The project extends the breathtaking success of the summer 2012 dosa at SMMoA, which raised over $30,000 to support the Museum's programs. Likewise, all proceeds from Exploring Joshua Tree benefit the Museum.
Art Styles and Movements:
Impressionism is a 19th-century art movement that originated with a group of Paris-based artists. Their independent exhibitions brought them to prominence during the 1870s and 1880s, in spite of harsh opposition from the conventional art community in France. The name of the style derives from the title of a Claude Monet work, Impression, soleil levant (Impression, Sunrise), which provoked the critic Louis Leroy to coin the term in a satirical review published in the Parisian newspaper Le Charivari.
Impressionist painting characteristics include relatively small, thin, yet visible brush strokes, open composition, emphasis on accurate depiction of light in its changing qualities (often accentuating the effects of the passage of time), ordinary subject matter, inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience, and unusual visual angles. The development of Impressionism in the visual arts was soon followed by analogous styles in other media that became known as impressionist music and impressionist literature.
Radicals in their time, early Impressionists violated the rules of academic painting. They constructed their pictures from freely brushed colours that took precedence over lines and contours, following the example of painters such as Eugène Delacroix and J. M. W. Turner. They also painted realistic scenes of modern life, and often painted outdoors. Previously, still lifes and portraits as well as landscapes were usually painted in a studio. The Impressionists found that they could capture the momentary and transient effects of sunlight by painting en plein air. They portrayed overall visual effects instead of details, and used short "broken" brush strokes of mixed and pure unmixed colour-not blended smoothly or shaded, as was customary-to achieve an effect of intense colour vibration.
Impressionism emerged in France at the same time that a number of other painters, including the Italian artists known as the Macchiaioli, and Winslow Homer in the United States, were also exploring plein-air painting. The Impressionists, however, developed new techniques specific to the style. Encompassing what its adherents argued was a different way of seeing, it is an art of immediacy and movement, of candid poses and compositions, of the play of light expressed in a bright and varied use of colour.
The public, at first hostile, gradually came to believe that the Impressionists had captured a fresh and original vision, even if the art critics and art establishment disapproved of the new style.
By recreating the sensation in the eye that views the subject, rather than delineating the details of the subject, and by creating a welter of techniques and forms, Impressionism is a precursor of various painting styles, including Neo-Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, and Cubism.
In the middle of the 19th century-a time of change, as Emperor Napoleon III rebuilt Paris and waged war-the Académie des Beaux-Arts dominated French art. The Académie was the preserver of traditional French painting standards of content and style. Historical subjects, religious themes, and portraits were valued (landscape and still life were not), and the Académie preferred carefully finished images that looked realistic when examined closely. Colour was somber and conservative, and traces of brush strokes were suppressed, concealing the artist's personality, emotions, and working techniques.
The Académie had an annual, juried art show, the Salon de Paris, and artists whose work was displayed in the show won prizes, garnered commissions, and enhanced their prestige. The standards of the juries represented the values of the Académie, represented by the works of such artists as Jean-Léon Gérôme and Alexandre Cabanel.
Some younger artists painted in a lighter and brighter manner than painters of the preceding generation, extending further the Realism of Gustave Courbet and the Barbizon school. They were more interested in painting landscape and contemporary life than in recreating historical or mythological scenes. Each year, the Salon jury rejected their works in favour of works by artists faithful to the approved style. A group of young realists, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, and Frédéric Bazille, who had studied under Charles Gleyre, became friends and often painted together. They gathered at the Café Guerbois, where the discussions were often led by Édouard Manet, whom the younger artists greatly admired. They were soon joined by Camille Pissarro, Paul Cézanne, and Armand Guillaumin.
In 1863, the jury rejected Manet's The Luncheon on the Grass (Le déjeuner sur l'herbe) primarily because it depicted a nude woman with two clothed men at a picnic. While the Salon jury routinely accepted nudes in historical and allegorical paintings, they condemned Manet for placing a realistic nude in a contemporary setting. The jury's severely worded rejection of Manet's painting appalled his admirers, and the unusually large number of rejected works that year perturbed many French artists.
After Emperor Napoleon III saw the rejected works of 1863, he decreed that the public be allowed to judge the work themselves, and the Salon des Refusés (Salon of the Refused) was organized. While many viewers came only to laugh, the Salon des Refusés drew attention to the existence of a new tendency in art and attracted more visitors than the regular Salon.
Artists' petitions requesting a new Salon des Refusés in 1867, and again in 1872, were denied. During the latter part of 1873, Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, and Sisley organized the Société Anonyme Coopérative des Artistes Peintres, Sculpteurs, Graveurs ("Cooperative and Anonymous Association of Painters, Sculptors, and Engravers") to exhibit their artworks independently. Members of the association, which soon included Cézanne, Berthe Morisot, and Edgar Degas, were expected to forswear participation in the Salon. The organizers invited a number of other progressive artists to join them in their inaugural exhibition, including the older Eugène Boudin, whose example had first persuaded Monet to adopt plein air painting years before. Another painter who greatly influenced Monet and his friends, Johan Jongkind, declined to participate, as did Édouard_Manet. In total, thirty artists participated in their first exhibition, held in April 1874 at the studio of the photographer Nadar.
The critical response was mixed. Monet and Cézanne received the harshest attacks. Critic and humorist Louis Leroy wrote a scathing review in the newspaper Le Charivari in which, making wordplay with the title of Claude Monet's Impression, Sunrise (Impression, soleil levant), he gave the artists the name by which they became known. Derisively titling his article The Exhibition of the Impressionists, Leroy declared that Monet's painting was at most, a sketch, and could hardly be termed a finished work.
He wrote, in the form of a dialog between viewers,
Impression-I was certain of it. I was just telling myself that, since I was impressed, there had to be some impression in it ... and what freedom, what ease of workmanship! Wallpaper in its embryonic state is more finished than that seascape.
The term impressionists quickly gained favour with the public. It was also accepted by the artists themselves, even though they were a diverse group in style and temperament, unified primarily by their spirit of independence and rebellion. They exhibited together-albeit with shifting membership-eight times between 1874 and 1886.
Monet, Sisley, Morisot, and Pissarro may be considered the "purest" Impressionists, in their consistent pursuit of an art of spontaneity, sunlight, and colour. Degas rejected much of this, as he believed in the primacy of drawing over colour and belittled the practice of painting outdoors. Renoir turned away from Impressionism for a time during the 1880s, and never entirely regained his commitment to its ideas. Édouard Manet, although regarded by the Impressionists as their leader, never abandoned his liberal use of black as a colour, and never participated in the Impressionist exhibitions. He continued to submit his works to the Salon, where his painting Spanish Singer had won a 2nd class medal in 1861, and he urged the others to do likewise, arguing that "the Salon is the real field of battle" where a reputation could be made.
Among the artists of the core group (minus Bazille, who had died in the Franco-Prussian War in 1870), defections occurred as Cézanne, followed later by Renoir, Sisley, and Monet, abstained from the group exhibitions so they could submit their works to the Salon. Disagreements arose from issues such as Guillaumin's membership in the group, championed by Pissarro and Cézanne against opposition from Monet and Degas, who thought him unworthy. Degas invited Mary Cassatt to display her work in the 1879 exhibition, but he also caused dissension by insisting on the inclusion of Jean-François Raffaëlli, Ludovic Lepic, and other realists who did not represent Impressionist practices, causing Monet in 1880 to accuse the Impressionists of "opening doors to first-come daubers". The group divided over invitations to Paul Signac and Georges Seurat to exhibit with them in 1886. Pissarro was the only artist to show at all eight Impressionist exhibitions.
The individual artists achieved few financial rewards from the Impressionist exhibitions, but their art gradually won a degree of public acceptance and support. Their dealer, Durand-Ruel, played a major role in this as he kept their work before the public and arranged shows for them in London and New York. Although Sisley died in poverty in 1899, Renoir had a great Salon success in 1879. Monet became secure financially during the early 1880s and so did Pissarro by the early 1890s. By this time the methods of Impressionist painting, in a diluted form, had become commonplace in Salon art.
- Short, thick strokes of paint quickly capture the essence of the subject, rather than its details. The paint is often applied impasto.
- Colours are applied side-by-side with as little mixing as possible, creating a vibrant surface. The optical mixing of colours occurs in the eye of the viewer.
- Grays and dark tones are produced by mixing complementary colours. Pure impressionism avoids the use of black paint.
- Wet paint is placed into wet paint without waiting for successive applications to dry, producing softer edges and intermingling of colour.
- Painters often worked in the evening to produce effets de soir-the shadowy effects of evening or twilight.
- Impressionist paintings do not exploit the transparency of thin paint films (glazes), which earlier artists manipulated carefully to produce effects. The impressionist painting surface is typically opaque.
- The play of natural light is emphasized. Close attention is paid to the reflection of colours from object to object.
- In paintings made en plein air (outdoors), shadows are boldly painted with the blue of the sky as it is reflected onto surfaces, giving a sense of freshness previously not represented in painting. (Blue shadows on snow inspired the technique.)
Painters throughout history had occasionally used these methods, but Impressionists were the first to use them all together, and with such consistency. Earlier artists who used these techniques include Frans Hals, Diego Velázquez, Peter Paul Rubens, John Constable, and J. M. W. Turner.
French painters who prepared the way for Impressionism include the Romantic colourist Eugène Delacroix, the leader of the realists Gustave Courbet, and painters of the Barbizon school such as Théodore Rousseau. The Impressionists learned much from the work of Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and Eugène Boudin, who painted from nature in a style that was similar to Impressionism, and who befriended and advised the younger artists.
Impressionists took advantage of the mid-century introduction of premixed paints in lead tubes (resembling modern toothpaste tubes), which allowed artists to work more spontaneously, both outdoors and indoors. Previously, painters made their own paints individually, by grinding and mixing dry pigment powders with linseed oil, which were then stored in animal bladders.
Content and Composition
Prior to the Impressionists, other painters, notably such 17th-century Dutch painters as Jan Steen, had emphasized common subjects, but their methods of composition were traditional. They arranged their compositions so that the main subject commanded the viewer's attention. The Impressionists relaxed the boundary between subject and background so that the effect of an Impressionist painting often resembles a snapshot, a part of a larger reality captured as if by chance. Photography was gaining popularity, and as cameras became more portable, photographs became more candid. Photography inspired Impressionists to represent momentary action, not only in the fleeting lights of a landscape, but in the day-to-day lives of people.
The development of Impressionism can be considered partly as a reaction by artists to the challenge presented by photography, which seemed to devalue the artist's skill in reproducing reality. Both portrait and landscape paintings were deemed somewhat deficient and lacking in truth as photography "produced lifelike images much more efficiently and reliably".
In spite of this, photography actually inspired artists to pursue other means of artistic expression, and rather than compete with photography to emulate reality, artists focused "on the one thing they could inevitably do better than the photograph-by further developing into an art form its very subjectivity in the conception of the image, the very subjectivity that photography eliminated".
The Impressionists sought to express their perceptions of nature, rather than create exact representations. This allowed artists to depict subjectively what they saw with their "tacit imperatives of taste and conscience". Photography encouraged painters to exploit aspects of the painting medium, like color, which photography then lacked: "The Impressionists were the first to consciously offer a subjective alternative to the photograph".
Another major influence was Japanese art prints (Japonism), which originally came into France as wrapping paper on imported goods. The art of these prints contributed significantly to the "snapshot" angles and unconventional compositions that became characteristic of Impressionism.
Edgar Degas was both an avid photographer and a collector of Japanese prints. His The Dance Class (La classe de danse) of 1874 shows both influences in its asymmetrical composition. The dancers are seemingly caught off guard in various awkward poses, leaving an expanse of empty floor space in the lower right quadrant. He also captured his dancers in sculpture, such as the Little Dancer of Fourteen Years.
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