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runner

 

Posts: 357
Joined: Dec. 5 2008
From: New Jersey USA

Finding Vivian Maier 

Just watched (DVD) this outstanding documentary about the eccentric but genius street photographer Vivian Maier. Maier was principally employed as a nanny, but was an obsessive and superb photographer, leaving behind at her death more than 100,000 images. She was clearly a troubled soul, a hoarder, rootless, extraordinarily private, with some dark areas in her personality. But her work is almost hypnotic in its excellence. Finding Vivian Maier: look for her.

While I'm on the subject, I also totally recommend Tim's Vermeer, a documentary by Penn and Teller (of all people) about their friend Tim Jenison, a wealthy, talented, and insatiably curious obsessive, and his attempt to figure out and to duplicate how Vermeer painted his various masterpieces. He appears to have solved the mystery of Vermeer's hyper-realism by a combination of intuition, insight, and very hard work, and the result is amazing.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 1 2015 3:08:44
 
Escribano

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RE: Finding Vivian Maier (in reply to runner

Seen both and completely agree with you.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 1 2015 12:34:07
 
estebanana

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RE: Finding Vivian Maier (in reply to runner

quote:

While I'm on the subject, I also totally recommend Tim's Vermeer, a documentary by Penn and Teller (of all people) about their friend Tim Jenison, a wealthy, talented, and insatiably curious obsessive, and his attempt to figure out and to duplicate how Vermeer painted his various masterpieces. He appears to have solved the mystery of Vermeer's hyper-realism by a combination of intuition, insight, and very hard work, and the result is amazing.


He came to the wrong conclusion about Vermeer's working method. And Vermeer painted with many layers of glazes not one flat robotic layer. I wish someone would make a movie to debunk Tim's Vermeer. He did not painting anything even close to a Vermeer, for about a hundred reasons.

There are other solutions to how Vermeer worked with the camera obscura that make more sense, the guy who made the copy of the room and all that was just crazy and ultra OCD. The movie was more about him and that project than about Vemeers method.

Read Jane Jelley's PDF on her research project. Many, many reseachers and painting conservation experts have already figured out Vermeer's method and it's more like this:

http://www.printedlight.co.uk/uploads/2/8/3/8/2838494/perception_to_paint.pdf

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 1 2015 13:37:47
 
runner

 

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RE: Finding Vivian Maier (in reply to estebanana

Stephen, prompted by your reaction to the film, I read a number of reviews of it, and also the paper. The experience left me scratching my head over the harshness of your remarks. Certainly the Guardian's reviewer was deeply offended by what he perceived to be Jenison's lack of proper reverence for the genius and discipline of Vermeer's ART (note boldface and all caps), rather than with Jenison's own obsessive zeal and ingenuity. Perhaps someone should have warned that critic to stay home instead--Sheesh! I'm glad I saw the movie anyway: it got me thinking (always good), and gave me renewed respect and appreciation for both Vermeer's Art and for his very likely blending of his own undoubted skills with contemporary innovations in optics. What's not to like?

EDIT: A further search on the Internet turns up an exhaustive, endless (like some of our discussions), even exhausting discussion of Tim's Vermeer among Vermeer specialists at essentialvermeer.com or flyingfox.jonathanjanson.com entitled Tim's Vermeer, from a painter's point of view. You will get yet another taste of what specialist infighting can be like. My takeaway is that there are several possible explanations for how Vermeer executed his paintings--various hypotheses, but nobody was there to see how he did it and wrote it down to tell us. Maybe he did it Tim's way; maybe using the camera obscura another way; maybe he just painted what he saw using no optics at all. But see the documentary; it's very absorbing.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 1 2015 14:28:50
 
Escribano

Posts: 6415
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From: England, living in Italy

RE: Finding Vivian Maier (in reply to estebanana

I liked the curve he saw in the keyboard and the premise of the camera obscura. I like photography.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 1 2015 20:57:34
 
estebanana

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RE: Finding Vivian Maier (in reply to runner

I yes I see how the film can be fascinating, I've seen it. It has so many problems not addressed that many people who understand painting don't like it. Why? Because you can't suspend your belief for bad documentary the way you can for fiction. The Red Violin works because it is fiction, otherwise it is full of factual holes. This movie is full of factual holes and opens questions they fail to address, ( or perhaps are not even aware of/) which if you are in the audience makes you feel like that are railroading you. In writing that is called being an unreliable narrator.

As a film about a guy doing something interesting with some optical phenomena it works, as a way of explaining Vermeer's work it's terribly misleading. It's like the the movie 'The Red Violin' the basic premise is flawed. It's not conjecture or up for internet debate that Vermeer painted in many, many glazed layers, it is a fact. It been proven by x-rays and other means of scientific and conservation analysis. That is only one problem the film does not address.

But the film Red Violin did not hurt the violin world, and so Tim's VerMess won't really hurt Vermeer. If you live on the East Coast there are Vermeers in Wash DC, Philidaephia and New York and might be a few in Boston.....Go see several real ones and then reflect on how that guys picture misses the mark.

I'm not mad, but why put up with misinformation just because a famous guy made a film? Fund a real scholar to make a film about Vermeer; it will never happen because the public needs this kind super hyped gimmick format.

So the problem is people walk away saying well Vermeer is so easy, a guy figured it out in a year. He figured out how to construct a ' tableau vivant' of a Dutch master painting ( tableau vivant was done as a hobby by special social groups in the 19th century) and then applied his optical theory. He missed by a mile and anyone with good eyes can see that. So in a sense that does down grade the achievement of Vermeer in the eyes of someone who will not take the time or cannot stand in front of several of them to see how truly wonderful they are.

Do you get that real Vermeer pictures look TOTALLY different than what he made?

Put it this way, if the movie was about flamenco and it fixated only on why Conde' guitars make flamenco music work, or why the nails in the tips of flamenco shoes are important and a guy took a year forge the nails or copy a Conde', not showing anything else about flamenco, would you be happy with or supportive of that? Because that is what this film does to Vermeer.

-----
After thought..Davig Hockney's book on the use of Optical Devices in Old Master paintings might be of interest to you too. He also arrives at a few wrong conclusions on some things, but shows other ideas that they think they discover in this film. A lot of it has to do with distortion in the optical process and reflection of light.

If Jenisen had gone to the library first..he might not have exasperated the rest of us so much.

DOH!

http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Knowledge-Expanded-Edition-Rediscovering/dp/0142005126

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 2 2015 0:29:30
 
runner

 

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RE: Finding Vivian Maier (in reply to estebanana

Stephen, the movie is, or ought to be, viewed as a hypothesis, a possible explanation if that's not too offensive a word, of how Vermeer might have executed his paintings, or some of his paintings. You seem to share the Guardian's critic's ruffled feathers that somehow Jenison's efforts cheapen or demean or invalidate Vermeer's rightful claim to have been a great artist; that somehow Jenison has committed some foul act by investigating one possible method by which Vermeer got the effects that he did. I read both Jelley's paper and quite bit of the back-and-forth on the essential Vermeer website, and am no more convinced of Jelley's hypothesis than of Jenison's; in fact, even less so. And there are painters and critics who side with Jenison, as the several posts make clear. You do have the advantage of me in that you are utterly persuaded that Jenison is wrong, when I don't know that we'll ever know-- somebody destroyed the videotapes that showed Vermeer at work. But I myself never got the impression that Vermeer's integrity or worth or genius as an artist was ever at issue in the documentary. In fact I'd bet serious money that Tim's Vermeer does more to spur interest in and appreciation of Vermeer than anything written about him in the last 20 years at a minimum. And your flamenco analogy doesn't work at all for me. Better to refer to a debate about the true origins of flamenco rather than nails in shoes, etc.; that's really the more accurate analogy.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 2 2015 3:41:28
 
minorthang

 

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RE: Finding Vivian Maier (in reply to runner

quote:

Finding Vivian Maier


The great thing regardless of education or ethnicity, we all view things differently , and i really found it a great documentary that gave me a thought provoking mood today (direct mood shift ) -- thanks for the suggestion
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 2 2015 9:33:15
 
estebanana

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RE: Finding Vivian Maier (in reply to runner

quote:

Stephen, the movie is, or ought to be, viewed as a hypothesis, a possible explanation if that's not too offensive a word, of how Vermeer might have executed his paintings, or some of his paintings. You seem to share the Guardian's critic's ruffled feathers that somehow Jenison's efforts cheapen or demean or invalidate Vermeer's rightful claim to have been a great artist; that somehow Jenison has committed some foul act by investigating one possible method by which Vermeer got the effects that he did. I read both Jelley's paper and quite bit of the back-and-forth on the essential Vermeer website, and am no more convinced of Jelley's hypothesis than of Jenison's; in fact, even less so. And there are painters and critics who side with Jenison, as the several posts make clear. You do have the advantage of me in that you are utterly persuaded that Jenison is wrong, when I don't know that we'll ever know-- somebody destroyed the videotapes that showed Vermeer at work. But I myself never got the impression that Vermeer's integrity or worth or genius as an artist was ever at issue in the documentary. In fact I'd bet serious money that Tim's Vermeer does more to spur interest in and appreciation of Vermeer than anything written about him in the last 20 years at a minimum. And your flamenco analogy doesn't work at all for me. Better to refer to a debate about the true origins of flamenco rather than nails in shoes, etc.; that's really the more accurate analogy.


Runner,

I'm not ruffled over Vermeer being slighted so much, as I'm not that interested in Jenisen's idea. Here's the deal, he formulated his hypotheses on one part of how to construct a picture like the kind Vermeer paints.

I'll say it one more time, Vermeer painted in many, many layers, like the other Dutch painters of that time period. Jenisen does not understand that and formulated his theory predicated on the way a Vermeer is drawn. He may have solved for X, but he did not solve for the other 20 parts of the equation. He neglects to address this in his work, but instead spends a year nerding out building a tableau vivant of a room that looks like a Vermeer interior.

See he never gets into the kinds of pigments Vermeer used, the mediums, or the most important thing, how did Verneer layer different kinds of colors to get the luminosity in a real Vermeer. His picture is totally dead by comparison, it is not luminous. That means he did not understand the problem and only solved for the graphic aspect of how Vermeer MAY have used an optical device.

See you don't need to have been there in Vermeers studio and watched him paint to understand Jenisen did not see the bigger goal, that is how Vermeer achieved the inner light and luminous paint quality brought about by how Vermeer layers different kinds of paints. That is the hard part.

I'm at all worried or incensed that Vermeer's genius was challenged, because that guy missed by a mile. If you like th e film them great, frankly I did not like it for some really good reasons, and I thought it was rather badly made. So from my point of view I would not recommend seeing the film. I do recommend traveling out to see real Vermeer pictures, which make much more sense.

We can still be friends, I just won't come over on the night you screen that film.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 2 2015 12:14:01
 
runner

 

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RE: Finding Vivian Maier (in reply to estebanana

Here's a possible synthesis of views: Vermeer is a truly gifted painter, using underlayering and (widely-held hypothesis) some sort of optical device. He achieves miracles of both pictorial luminosity and of exquisite detail. Geek/nerd obsessive Jenison, armed with plenty of cash, time, and zeal, focuses on Vermeer's hyperdetailed surface and haunting use of light--having read of Hockney, Steadman and the others' optical-aid notions re Vermeer--and goes all-out to see if he can duplicate Vermeer's work (sort of). Ignores/doesn't care about/doesn't concentrate on ALL of the other aspects of Vermeer's technique that went into his art, as he is taken up with the demonstrating the optical-aid hypothesis. Since he fails to create another Vermeer (there was only one Vermeer), some critics feel he has wasted both his time and theirs, by presenting literally a "false picture" of Vermeer at work. But he hasn't wasted my time or the time of many, many others, as I came away with a renewed interest in Vermeer. And there may be a possibility that Vermeer used both some version of Jenison's technique, and of Jelley's, beginning the picture a la Jelley, then swinging over to Jenison--why not? Just a thought. In conclusion, I think Tim's Vermeer was a Good Thing for Vermeer, for Art, for encouraging healthy speculation and experimentation, and for spirited discussion.

I happen to be a big fan of well-executed "luminous" art, and am enamored of the Luminist movement in 19th century American art-- the works of Kensett, Heade, Fitz Hugh Lane, Sanford Gifford and others. One of the moments that I'll remember always is entering a room in the Philly Art Museum that held many of the great classics of American Luminism on its walls-- this was a special show on American landscape art of several genres put together by a British agency, and making the rounds of American museums-- after leaving the gigantic paintings of Church, Bierstadt & company, I experienced an actual shock, chill, thrill when entering this small room and feeling almost an actual radiation of energy emanating from these canvasses; I remember shaking all over. Amazing.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 2 2015 14:22:43
 
estebanana

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RE: Finding Vivian Maier (in reply to runner

quote:

I happen to be a big fan of well-executed "luminous" art, and am enamored of the Luminist movement in 19th century American art-- the works of Kensett, Heade, Fitz Hugh Lane, Sanford Gifford and others. One of the moments that I'll remember always is entering a room in the Philly Art Museum that held many of the great classics of American Luminism on its walls-- this was a special show on American landscape art of several genres put together by a British agency, and making the rounds of American museums-- after leaving the gigantic paintings of Church, Bierstadt & company, I experienced an actual shock, chill, thrill when entering this small room and feeling almost an actual radiation of energy emanating from these canvasses; I remember shaking all over. Amazing.


Well here we have ample common ground. I love the Hudson River school and especially Innes and Kensett. In 1980s early 90's my girlfriend was a waspy model who was a descendent of Luminist Rembrandt Peale. But I have a deep appreciation for that light and water and Hudson River subject matter.

Her younger sister was an art historian and they were sisters from a blue blood social registry Eastern family. We used to spend summers at the Easter Shore in Maryland and played Trivial Pursuit at night after we ate soft shell crab, corn and blue fish.

I used to nail all the art history questions in Trivial Pursuit and her sister asked my girlfriend finally, what is up with this surfer from California? He seems intelligent despite being a beach bum. She said he spends all his free time at the National Gallery or the Phillips studying pictures. Like I said love the Hudson River School and much else.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 3 2015 13:47:32
 
Ricardo

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RE: Finding Vivian Maier (in reply to runner

Funny thing is I am reading this, I know some Vermeer (girl with guitar is classic for us guitar students) and I am thinking "hyper real"? His stuff looks fake to me...ie it was painted with no special tricks. I have vauge memory of a gallery of one guy's work when I was a kid on a field trip that was more real than real...it just jumped out, amazing to see up close. I couldn't believe what I was seeing and left my class behind to study his stuff. I had to search a long time and found his work...harnett....and learned about the whole trompe-l'oeil genre. Pretty interesting...I haven't a clue how one goes about learning to do what Harnett did.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 3 2015 17:44:29
 
BarkellWH

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RE: Finding Vivian Maier (in reply to Ricardo

An artist (actually a graphic artist) who is in a category all his own is M.C. Escher. Escher's prints deceive the eye as well, but they belong to neither trompe l'oeil nor surrealist genres. Escher's prints explore and illustrate impossible activity, infinite loops, and objects morphing into other objects.

One of his pieces, entitled "Ascending and Descending" portrays groups of people in an infinite loop of stairs. Another, "Drawing Hands," portrays a pair of hands, each drawing the other. Another, "Waterfall," portrays what appears to be ducts carrying water which falls down at the end of one into a pool, and when the eye meets the water being carried by the ducts, one realizes it was not above the pool as it first appeared, although the water and ducts appear to be ascending in an impossible illusion.

There are whole books of Escher's illustrations and prints, and it is very entertaining to go through them.

Bill

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 3 2015 18:41:25
 
runner

 

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RE: Finding Vivian Maier (in reply to estebanana

Stephen, I hope your girlfriend's art historian sister did not think that her distinguished ancestor was a Luminist. His portraits are indeed luminous, but they are not Luminist. The Luminist canon has been pretty well defined and elucidated by art historians beginning with John Baur, and continuing with Barbara Novak and John Wilmerding. They list, among other traits, that Luminist works are overwhelmingly horizontal landscapes that evoke, through a near-absence of stroke, both timelessness and silence. The paintings themselves are almost never large in the manner of Church, Bierstadt, Moran, but rather convey a feeling of motionless immensity. Novak says that Luminism is the painter's expression of American Transcendentalism. And fundamentally it's the light......

As I indicated before, the four painters Kensett, Heade, Lane, Gifford are the archetypical Luminists, with artists like George Caleb Bingham, Bierstadt, Jasper Cropsey, William Hazeltine and many others associated with the Hudson River School often working in a Luminist mode--in fact, Luminism is a subset, though a special one, within the Hudson River School. A fine book on Luminism, with lots of plates, is American Light: the Luminist Movement, 1850-1875, edited by John Wilmerding. There are also full books, richly illustrated, on Kensett, Fitz Hugh Lane, and Gifford. By pure good fortune, I once had the chance, while kayaking on the Tappan Zee section of the Hudson River, to stop to eat my lunch on the shore of Croton Bay on a lovely October day. As I sat there eating my sandwich and looking out over the water toward Hook Mountain on the western shore, I became aware of a feeling of déjà vu--the scene was hauntingly familiar, as well as hauntingly beautiful. When I got back home, I raced for one of my art books and found the painting: Hook Mountain, near Nyack, on the Hudson, by Sanford Gifford. I had been sitting exactly where Gifford had stood while painting the exact same scene. It was all the same--the autumn color, the sun, the light, the grandeur, the silence. Another magical moment.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 3 2015 20:50:34
 
estebanana

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RE: Finding Vivian Maier (in reply to runner

That does not Apeale to you? The later Peales Charles and James...
I don't have a library here so I can't do research, but I'm well acquainted with the paintings you're talking about, they even have good representation in San Francisco at the H.M. de Young Museum, so I've seen them on the West coast too.

I don't associate Bingham or Bierstadt, Moran or Church etc. so much with luminism or Hudson River school proper as much as they were painters who documented the Western landscape in a grand manner. I think they were more about the exploration of the west and the push to Manifest Destiny, in hindsight at least. Bingham I identify with the Mississippi Basin and the exploration of the Louisiana Purchase, his pictures are more tonally painted and have a strong sense of narrative. Bierstadt, Church, Moran, have more in common with the European painters, they came from that lineage artistically of were born and trained in Europe. They are more like extentions of Casper David Frederick and similar painters. A great chunk of Moran and Bierstads body of work was paintings of California and is held in California based museum collections. Churches work goes to South America and describes tropical locations, and is not always horizontal.

The archetypal Hudson stuff seems to me to be distinct in that it mostly celebrates a kind of misty diffused light, or dusky dusk light. Like sunshine through layers and layers of valley mists. Foregrounds in shade with openings and patches of stronger sun elsewhere. They have a lot on common with early Barbizon school work, Daubgny, Corot, and the English landscape painters like Constable.

I also include still life painters like the later James and Charles Peale as luminist in the sense that they come out of Dutch painting of cheeses and breads that are "self illuminating" they exude inner light. Luminism is not limited to landscape. And most landscape is horizontal in format, just because the horizon line is horizontal. I've seen shows mounted about luminism that delved deep into still live and genre pictures that did not include only Hudson River ideas or define it as strictly landscape. The real core of the Hudson School is Heade, Kensett, Innes..ect but you get lots of similar artists, they all have this kind of calm romantic light. Except in storm pictures. But I think the calm, beatific sort of view is shared in both luminist landscape and still life. I get nervous when historian brand one kind of art transcendental...all good art is transcendent.

But I have had the moment of recognition you talk about on the banks of the river. Usually in California when I see foggy days and mist around landscape a water. It reminds me of California painters who dealt with that, Gordon Cook, Nathan Oliviera and often of Morandi.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 3 2015 23:35:08
 
runner

 

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RE: Finding Vivian Maier (in reply to estebanana

When we discuss the Hudson River School and also Luminism, we need not be overly concerned with geography--Bierstadt, Church, while they often painted far outside of the northeast, yet are considered Hudson River by common assent. Both of them built large, impressive homes on the banks of the Hudson; Church's is open to the public and well worth the visit. For that matter, many Luminists, or those painting in a Luminist manner, depicted scenes in the West, as did several other Hudson River artists-- Worthington Whittredge comes to mind. Bierstadt's Surveyor's Wagon in the Rockies is a prototypical Luminist painting. No, the key to these schools is not so much the specific where that they depict, but the how. As I indicated, starting with Baur and elaborating with Novak, Wilmerding, etc., Luminism has been pretty carefully sketched out, defined, limited to those criteria that I partially enumerated: landscapes (predominantly horizontal, but with important exceptions-- see Gifford's radiant Kauterskill Falls), crystalline light, almost complete lack of stroke, a feeling of an endlessly deep, receding background.....the list goes on and is thoroughly discussed in the texts. By definition, still lifes and portraits are ruled out as Luminist sensu stricto, though, as you point out, they may share some qualities with Luminism. And we can like them all.

I also am a great enthusiast of Inness, especially his very late, and sometimes strange paintings like Home of the Heron. But the American painter for whom I have had the longest admiration is Albert Pinkham Ryder. It is one of the great tragedies of art that his paintings, because of his methods, are decaying before our very eyes. In the case of Ryder, I would enthusiastically support a program, using both scholarship and modern technology, to reconstruct best-case approximations of what Ryder's works looked like when they finally left his studio--these would be displayed alongside the current works--many of which are now mere ruins-- so that people could experience what Ryder himself saw on his easel.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 4 2015 3:20:53
 
estebanana

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RE: Finding Vivian Maier (in reply to runner

I think we having a semantic snafu. I meant more directly painters that dealt with the environs of the Hudson River Valley and the East Coast when I was thinking Hudson River. But we know 'Hudson River School' in the greater sense includes those painters who covered the continent and made monumental pictures from studies taken all over the place.

The pictures specifically of the Hudson River and Eastern coast that are smaller in scale by Kenssett and the others who traveled less are more what I was thinking and what I like best. Although you are of course correct to include the Bierstadt and Co. in the bigger context of HRS. But Bierstadt is like Wagner in spirt and intent and a little Wagner goes a long way. Big monuments.

The problem I have however is that Wilmerding writes a book about a cannon in which he includes his own collection, conflict of scholarly interests? Not every scholar is in agreement with his classifications. And the term 'Luminst' has been used as a moniker for different movements and groups of artists, other than the strict use of it in Wilmerding's writings. Anyway that is my take on it. It's a classification issue and I think Wilmerding is kind of a tight ass. One could create other ways of grouping those artists. See the problem is that Luminist makes a nice handle for us today to grab all that. But those artists were not sitting around talking about luminism to each other.

I am also in favor of Ryder and Blakelock. Well if I could get you in gallery full of these things I would in person disabuse you of your Wilmerdingisms. But how can you argue with guy who is rich enough to collect the Hudson River School, smart enough write a monograph on his collection and generous enough to donate it to the nation? Still I can't buy all his arguments or categorizations, any more than you approve of the Guardians critic panning Tim's Vermeer.

We can each curate for ourselves. I like the curation of others and find it helpful, but I prefer my own over all because I see art the way I see it, not as Wilmerding, or the critic of the Guardian sees it.

And you like and I both prefer Ryder. I think Ryder himself built in the part that his pictures would not all last. Gravity tears them apart they slide off the supports. Not all of them are danger and conservators are pretty good these days. His work is very important, and intimate, I prefer almost anything of Ryder's under one foot square to any thing of Bierstadt at 8 feet square. Ryder's 'night on the sea' pictures kill anything else. No one can touch him.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 4 2015 10:01:43
 
runner

 

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RE: Finding Vivian Maier (in reply to estebanana

"But 'glory' doesn't mean 'a nice knock-down argument,'" Alice objected.

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean-- neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master--that's all."

I agree that we may have a semantic snafu-- maybe several. I am compelled, by my nature, to use the term "Luminism" in the sense, the definition, the parameters, the usage, of those several art specialists who have defined and elucidated the concept. The examples that are offered by these specialists as displaying the several attributes of the Luminist canon are as coherent a group of paintings as one could wish. I guess, like Wilmerding, Novak, Baur, John Paul Driscoll, John Howat, I'm a tight ass when it comes to what is or isn't Luminism. I am also a tight ass about what is or isn't flamenco. BTW I don't get your suggestion that because Wilmerding has/had a great collection of Luminist (and other) American landscape art, he is somehow suspect in his views on Luminism. What would happen if we applied such a test to people writing about flamenco? Again, I say Sheesh!

But we do share an appreciation for Luminist art, for Inness, for Ryder. I find American painting in general to be my particular cup of tea. And I really like your cicadas.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 4 2015 14:11:45
 
Ricardo

Posts: 14607
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Finding Vivian Maier (in reply to BarkellWH

quote:

ORIGINAL: BarkellWH

an artist (actually a graphic artist) who is in a category all his own is M.C. Escher. Escher's prints deceive the eye as well, but they belong to neither trompe l'oeil nor surrealist genres. Escher's prints explore and illustrate impossible activity, infinite loops, and objects morphing into other objects.

One of his pieces, entitled "Ascending and Descending" portrays groups of people in an infinite loop of stairs. Another, "Drawing Hands," portrays a pair of hands, each drawing the other. Another, "Waterfall," portrays what appears to be ducts carrying water which falls down at the end of one into a pool, and when the eye meets the water being carried by the ducts, one realizes it was not above the pool as it first appeared, although the water and ducts appear to be ascending in an impossible illusion.

There are whole books of Escher's illustrations and prints, and it is very entertaining to go through them.

Bill


Yes he is very famous...fun stuff and he is used in psych textbooks for optical illusion. Very clever. But with the trompe thing it goes beyond an optical illusion, for me it is truly amazing work of detail and technique that I had never known existed. THe photo's of harnett (like most art of course) don't do it justice, despite what I am sure would be criticizm of technique over expression. For whatever reason his worked grabbed me beyond normal realistic still life works I had seen till then.
Apparently he was so good in his day, he got arrested


http://www.nga.gov/feature/artnation/harnett/money_1a.htm

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 4 2015 20:24:24
 
runner

 

Posts: 357
Joined: Dec. 5 2008
From: New Jersey USA

RE: Finding Vivian Maier (in reply to BarkellWH

Bill, I also like Escher. I'll bet you also have a strong interest in the paintings of Rene Magritte, another depictor of strange and improbable objects and scenes.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 4 2015 20:29:37
 
estebanana

Posts: 9308
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Finding Vivian Maier (in reply to runner

quote:

I agree that we may have a semantic snafu-- maybe several. I am compelled, by my nature, to use the term "Luminism" in the sense, the definition, the parameters, the usage, of those several art specialists who have defined and elucidated the concept. The examples that are offered by these specialists as displaying the several attributes of the Luminist canon are as coherent a group of paintings as one could wish. I guess, like Wilmerding, Novak, Baur, John Paul Driscoll, John Howat, I'm a tight ass when it comes to what is or isn't Luminism. I am also a tight ass about what is or isn't flamenco. BTW I don't get your suggestion that because Wilmerding has/had a great collection of Luminist (and other) American landscape art, he is somehow suspect in his views on Luminism. What would happen if we applied such a test to people writing about flamenco? Again, I say Sheesh!




But we do share an appreciation for Luminist art, for Inness, for Ryder. I find American painting in general to be my particular cup of tea. And I really like your cicadas.


Thank you for the compliment on the drawings. I wish they were more Ryder in intensity.....

Ok I hear you on the ides of classing those artist as Luminists, and I get why and it's fine. However there are other ways of grouping those artists and they don't all fit into neat boxes. They all have very divergent origins and come out of very separate and distinct artistic lineage for one. My position is not unique, there are many other scholars and important curators who don't group those arts together like that. One major idea that which I mentioned is the about Manifest Destiny connection. It's a lot like how David and Gericault's paintings work on a grand scale. The monumental and the intimate are at cross purposes in terms of intention to the public and that is why I think scale, intimacy vs. public display and monumentality, play a factor in how these pictures are grouped.

We can disagree on nomenclature because there is to much good common ground to have fin with. I agree the American art or specifically painting in the 19th century was pretty interesting. There are many examples of paintings that document westward expansion that are not political or associated so much with manifest destiny, many of them are genere works that depict scientific themes. Some great paintings of archeological digs can be found in Wash DC. and Eakins paintings is doctors at work.

There is also a strand of esoteric painters who are American, but as odd or eccentric as Gustave Moreau and Odilon Redon. Elihu Vedder is one, Ryder in some ways and Blakelock. There are plenty of naive painters too, but in the realm of academic artists who turned to the fringes of art like Redon, there are good American artists who explored symbolism and strange ness.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 5 2015 0:36:01
 
runner

 

Posts: 357
Joined: Dec. 5 2008
From: New Jersey USA

RE: Finding Vivian Maier (in reply to estebanana

SF, you would appreciate and enjoy a book by Abraham Davidson titled The Eccentrics and Other American Visionary Painters. Davidson covers 150 years--roughly 1800 to 1950--of strange, grotesque, bizarre, enigmatic, and all sorts of other paintings by both recognized masters and artists known perhaps to few. All our old friends are there--Ryder, Blakelock, Elihu Vedder, Edward Hicks, Rimmer (Led Zeppelin fans will recognize one particular Rimmer painting), Quidor, even Inness and Benjamin West, and lots of others. You will especially like Davidson's inclusion of the Japan-triggered works of John La Farge. Good book.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 5 2015 3:57:31
 
estebanana

Posts: 9308
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Finding Vivian Maier (in reply to runner

The distances to which a New Jerseyan will piss never cease to amaze me.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 5 2015 12:26:21
 
runner

 

Posts: 357
Joined: Dec. 5 2008
From: New Jersey USA

RE: Finding Vivian Maier (in reply to estebanana

Confession: I really like American Art, and know a tiny bit about it. And my bladder is empty.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 5 2015 13:24:39
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