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1000 Years of Art

A Brief Look at Some of Mankind's Greatest Artistic Achievements
The art of Ukraine of the 20-th century

Pages of Ukrainian Secession. History and Modernity
Oleksandr Klymenko and His Philosophy of Light
Aprominent western art critic once remarked that to say something new - after a lot has already been said - about a painter's art is almost as difficult as to paint a new picture...more

(0352) 43-25-21

 Art Books on Parade
 These stunning books are as informative as they are beautiful.
 From Mexican muralists to the Great Tenors, there's something for everyone
El Greco Edited
by Jose Alvarez Lopera Skira

  Artists at Work
by David Seidner Rizzoli
Treasures of Art Nouveau
by Michel Draguet Skira
Last year the world saw a
unique exhibition spanning three Mediterranean countries: Spain, Italy and Greece. El Greco spent part of his life in each.In case you missed visiting those countries, you are offered the rare opportunity to study the fullness of El Greco's art as a whole with this catalog, which features scholarly essays and exquisite color plates
  By the late, award-winning
photographer, David Seidner, this
work offers a glimpse into the studios and lives of some of the most important artists of our time, including Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein. Seidner's perceptive prose, striking black-and-white portrait photographs, and color images of the studios in
which the artists work, all combine to make this a fascinating book.
  Those who appreciate the fine craftsmanship and sinuous beauty
of the Art Nouveau age will adore
this sumptuous book. It is packed
with full-color p h o t o -graphs of
an outstanding privately owned collection of paintings, furnishings, jewelry and everyday items. The
author, a doctor of philosophy and literature, discusses this celebrated period in art and design history
expertly and in depth.

The Great Tenors
by Helena Matheopoulos Vendome Press
Mexican Muralists
by Desmond Rochfort Chronicle Books
Local Color
The Di Rosa Collection of Contemporary California Art

by various authors Chronicle Books
This treat for music lovers covers nearly a century of great tenors, from Enrico Caruso to Jose Carreras, with excellent biographical essays, supplemented by many hard-to- obtain photographs. A 77-min. long CD featuring all the afore-mentioned tenors performing their best known and most loved arias is also included, as are the lyrics in both English and the original language.

  This book follows the careers of the three most prominent artists of the Mexican mural movement. Trace the lives of Jose Clemente 0rozco , Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros, from their rural childhoods through the bloody years of the revolution to artistic maturity. With lively, insightful text and splendid color photography, this book is one to treasure.   In the Napa Valley is the Di
Rosa Preserve, a showcase of more than 1,600 works by hundreds of California artists. Once a private vineyard estate and collection, the Preserve is now open to the public. This book features the work of 76 artists accompanied by insightful essays, including Imogen Cunningham, Mel Ramos and Richard Shaw.
1000 Years of Art
A Brief Look at Some of Mankind's Greatest Artistic Achievements
11th Century
Romanesque-At the last turn of the millennium, Europe, was in the second half of the Middle Ages (or Medieval period), which began in the 5th century and lasted until the 15th. It has been described as an "age of faith," a time when the point of human existence was the salvation of the soul. During the llth and 12th centuries, a period in art described as the Romanesque (meaning "in the Roman manner" because of its use of some aspects of Roman buildings), castles, churches and monasteries were springing up everywhere.   One of the most notable was The Abbey Church of Sarnie-Toy (c 1080-1120) in Conques, France,

Interior of St. Michael's, Hildesheim, Germany, is a superb example of Romanesque architecture.
  which drew pilgrims from far and wide to view the relics of a child saint. Lofty tunnel arches were the dominant feature of the Romanesque style of architecture. Virtually all art objects-namely architectural and independent sculpture, wall paintings and books-were made for religious purposes. Artists, who usually labored in workshops, were anonymous and had little status.

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12th Century        
Gothic -This style predominated in Europe from about 1140-1400, first emerging in architecture. It is recognizable by its soaring verticality, pointed arches, ribbed cross vaults, flying buttresses and luminescent stained glass windows. The Cathedral of Notre-Dame (1194-1120) in Chartres, France, is a stunning example.

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  Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Chartres, France is a stunning example of the Gothic building style.    

13th and 14th Century        
Proto-Renaissance - The most significant artist from this period leading up to the Renaissance was Giotto di Bondone whose "Lamentation" fresco in the Arena Chapel in Padua, Italy, (c. 1305) introduced facial expression into art for the first time.   "Lamentation Over the Dead Christ," a fresco by Ciotto  

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15th Century        
The term "Renaissance," French for rebirth, refers in this context to a revival of certain ideals of Greek and Roman civilization which arose in the 15th century and spread throughout Europe in the 16th. Economic prosperity, particularly in The Netherlands, gave rise to a prosperous class of merchants and bankers who supported scholarship, literature and the arts. During this period, artists began to be regarded as trained intellectuals. Many became famous, and they began to sign their work with more regularity. The contemporary idea of the artist as a genius has its roots in this time. Early Renaissance, Italy - Painter Masaccio is significant for "The Trinity with the Virgin Mary, Saint John and Two Donors," (c 1425-28) in which he demonstrates a thorough   knowledge of the method of scientific perspective developed by architect Filippo Brunelleschi in 1425.
, with his sensuous bronze sculpture of "David" (1448) revived the life-sized, free-standing nude figure, not seen in art since the Greeks. His carved wooden sculpture of the gaunt "Penitent Mary Magdalene" (c 1430-1450) took expressiveness in art to a new level. The Gutenberg Bible was published in 1450-56; by 1460, woodcuts were being used for

  illustrations in books. Sandro Botticelli was instrumental in reviving female nudes with his "Birth of Venus" (c 1484-86).
Early Renaissance, Northern Europe
. The Renaissance took quite a different form in Flanders (now Belgium), where interest in the natural world was manifested in careful observation and recording of nature. Breath-takingly accurate realism became the hallmark of the period. Jan Van Eyck applied layer upon layer of thin oil paint to achieve remarkable color nuance and convincing detail in his highly symbolic "Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and Giovanna Cenami" (1434). Van Eyck not only signs his work but paints in a self-portrait, testament to the artist's rising self-awareness about his art.
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16th Century        
High Renaissance, Italy-Leonardo da Vinci's "Mono Lisa" (1503-6), with her enigmatic smile and penetrating gaze, is perhaps the best-known painting in the history of art, and his wall mural of the "Last Supper" (1495-98), stands as a supreme example of Renaissance achieve ment, although it has deteriorated badly. Michelangelo Buonarroti is unmatched even today in his depiction of the human figure. His marble sculpture of the "Pieta," (1498-99) located in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, is a tender representation of Mary cradling her crucified son, whose form is so convincing you cannot believe it was carved from stone.
Michelangelo's art
in the Sistine Chapel (1495-98) in the Vatican, with its depiction of the ancestors of Jesus
  and scenes from Genesis, is one of the most complex and awe-inspiring works of art ever created.

"Mona Lisa" by Basilica in Leonardo da Vinci

Raphael's "Philsophy" fresco (1509-11) represents the ideal in painting at the time, both for its content-famous Greek philosophers, the type of lofty and educational subject that was prized in the day-and the technical mastery he displays in perspective,
  human anatomy, facial expression, architectural detail and realism.
Venice-Titian introduces loose brushwork and "impasto" (paint that slightly rises up in relief) in his dramatic painting of the "Rape ofEuropa" (c 1559-62).
Northern Europe
-With such works as "Adam and Eve" (1504), German artist Albrecht Durer became the first internationally famous printmaker.
As the Reformation took hold in Europe and art for religious purposes waned, Pieter Bruegel the Elder turned to scenes of every day life and to the landscape for subject matter. "Hunters in the Snow" (1565) and "The Peasant Wedding Feast" (1566) are two of his best known.

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17th Century        
European wealth continued to increase in the 17th century. Many of the national identities we know today took form, strongly influencing artistic developments. Protestantism was already firmly established in Northern Europe, but the permanent schism in Europe between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism continued to have a profound effect on art. The Catholic Church waged a Counter Reformation and used art to try to strengthen its hold on believers and convert non-believers. The most typical art of 17th century was Baroque, a style characterized by the depiction of highly dramatic moments to evoke emotions in the viewer. The Baroque style, however, took different forms in different parts of Europe.
Baroque Italy-St. Peter's Basilica (1607-15) is built in the Vatican, Rome. Painter Caravaggio, in his highly realistic "Conversion of St. Paul" (1601), employs tenebroso, strong highlights and shadows, to dramatize a moment of intense emotion, and extreme foreshortening to successfully depict the human form at unusual angles.
  Divine revelations and mystical conversions were common themes in Italy. Gianlorenzo Bernini achieves enormous fame and wealth primarily working for the church in Rome. His multimedia sculpture "Ecstacy of St. Teresa" (1622-25) is a outstanding example of classical Baroque with its idealized forms and highly emotive religious content.
Baroque Spain - With his loose, painterly (showing brushstrokes) technique, court artist Diego demonstrates the highl approach to painting characti north in his "Las Meninas' portraits accord respect to -A painted, regardless of class or status.
1600 Baroque Flanders-One of the best educated and most intellectual artists of the 17th century was Peter Paul Rubens, whose "Arrival and Reception of Marie de Medici at Marseilles" (1621-25), one of a series of paintings on her life commissioned by the wife of King Henry IV, is a tour de force of Baroque realistic style.
Baroque Holland-Incredibly wealthy at this period, Protestant Holland was enjoying a Golden Age in its economy and art.
  Art was made for the open market and focused not on religious or classical themes but secular motifs-portraits, still lifes, landscapes, street scenes. One of the most creative and technically adept artists of all time was Amsterdam's Rembrandt van Rijn, who demonstrated his mastery of group portraiture in such paintings as "Milita Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq" (1642). His consummate skill in etching was captured in "Three Crosses" (1653). France-The Palace at Versailles (1669-85), the largest and most copied royal compound in the world, was built by Louis XIV.

"The Night Watch" by Rembrandt van Rijn

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18th Century        
The 18th century has been called the Age of Enlightenment, when secular and scientific issues took precedence over theological. It was marked by faith in human reason, natural human rights, scientific inquiry and progress toward a Utopian society. Many artists were trained in academies rather than serving apprenticeships. Artists began showing their works in salon and academy exhibitions.
Rococo-After the death of France's
  Louis XIV, who epitomized the left Versailles to return to Paris. Art during this period was simply to entertain, and the predominant style of the day. Rococo, with its flourishes and exuberant, ornate excess, reflects that philosophy. Antoine Watteau's "A Pilgramage to the Island of Cythera" (1717), with its depiction of artistocratic pleasurable pastimes, celebrates the pleasures of life. Neoclassicism-With the outbreak of revolution in France, the guillotine   eliminates much of the aristocracy that sponsored Rococo art. The style favored by the revolutionaries is Neoclassicism, a return to "uplifting" subject matter, often drawn from Classical Greece, and technical mastery in anatomy and perspective. Jacques-Louis David's "Death of Socrates" (1787), painted before the revolution, was the benchmark because its theme of heroic suicide illustrated the value of stoicism and absolute sacrifice.
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19th Century        
Europe and the United States were dominated by economic, political and technological revolutions. A spirit of reform characterized the century, and the resulting changes in institutions, lifestyles and class structure had a profound impact on the art world. The emerging importance of the individual was reflected in many ways. The subject matter of artists broadened, with France dominating the art scene.
Romanticism - Francisco Goya created the first social protest art with his highly expressive "The Execution of Madrilenos on the Third of May, 1808" (1814-15), commemo-rating a doomed uprising against the French in Madrid. Eugene Delacroix in his passionate "Liberty Leading the People" (1830) employed color divisionism, using complementary colors in separate strokes for each color. This layed the foundation for the Impressionist movement. Joseph-Nicephore Niepce created the first photograph in 1826.
Realism-Courbet's "A Burial at Ornans" (1849) is a self-expressive
  painting that reflects a personal vision of the world. His technique was a "problem" in that by the standards of the day, the painting looked unfinished. Edouard Manet defied convention and depicted contemporary life in his "Luncheon on the Grass" (1863). The public was shocked by the combination of a nude female figure with two fully clothed men. He flattened the background space, moving closer to what will become non-objectective art.
-A revolutionary new school of French painters used quick, spontaneous brush strokes of separate colors to create impressions of scenes. The intention was to capture light and color-brilliance. Claude Monet was the leading member of this illustrious group; his "Impression Sunrise" (1872), displayed in the first exhibition by these renegades, gave the movement its name. Other notables included Edgar Degas, Auguste Renoir, Berthe Morrisett and an American woman, Mary Cassatt.
Post-Impressionism-Vincent Van Gogh objected to the formlessness of the
  Impressionists and employed strong edges in his paintings. With bold brush strokes filled with energy and movement, he represented transcendent feelings about subjects he painted, as in "The Starry Night" (1889). In works such as "Still Life with Basket of Apples" (1890-94), Paul Cezanne employed differing viewpoints in one painting, setting the stage for Cubism. Auguste Rodin, with such powerful sculptures as "The Burghers of Calais" (1884-86) gave new realism, honesty and vision to the human figure. Gustave Eiffel created the Eiffel Tower in Paris in 1887-89.

Van Gogh's "Starry Night"

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20th Century        
Rapid technological change dominated the 20th-century landscape against a backdrop of political conflict and warfare. The ecology of the planet began to suffer the effects of technology and overpopulation. Communication and transportation networks link the planet, shrinking it to a global village. Twentieth-century art is often referred to as modern art. Modernists shared two general characteristics: a dedication to developing original aspects of style and the belief that art could address the problems of contemporary society. Art shifted away from the representation of specific things to emphasize the intrinsic qualities of a specific medium. Universities now trained artists. Artists mainly sold their work on the open market.
Fauvism-Henri Matisse, in such works as "The Dance" (1909-10) explored the boundaries of color, using flattened, simplified forms to achieve highly expressive works of art.

"Denoiselles d'Avignon" by Picasso

Cubism-Pablo Picasso rocked the art world with works such as "Les Demoiselles D'Avignon" (1907), which view objective reality from multiple perspectives and break it down into flattened geometric forms. This style pushed art to further abstraction, edging ever closer to non-objectivity. Dada-Jean Arp eschewed all accepted notions of art in "Collage Arranged According to the Laws of Chance" (1916-17) in which he created collages by dropping torn .
  pieces of paper randomly onto another piece of paper and gluing them down.
Abstraction and non-objectivity became the hallmarks of the 20th century as illustrated by Georgia O'Keeffe's "Evening Star III" (1917).
German architect Walter Gropius and others founded the Bauhaus (1919), which lays down the tenets of the Modernist movement in architecture, with its use of contemporary technology and materials, and emphasis on streamlined, unadorned surfaces. Piet Mondrian broke the link between art and objective reality. With works like "Composition with Red, Blue and Yellow" (1930), he strove to reduce art to its simplest formal vocabulary-primary colors, primary values (black and white), and basic elements (horizontal and vertical)-in order to transcend the dross of the natural world and reach the essence of higher beauty. Frank Lloyd Wright's "Fallingwater" (1936), made use of new technology and materials to create an asymmetrical architectural style that boldly defies gravity, while wedding the structure with the natural surroundings. The International Style glass box skyscraper, as typified by Mies van der Robe's Seagram Building in New York (1956-58), changed the face of metropolitan skylines.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Kaufmann House, "Fallingwater," Bear Run, Pennsylvania

Surrealism-Salvador Dali in "Persistence of Memory" (1931), with his limp, misshapen clock faces, tried to open up the world of the irrational and illogical to provoke the subconscious mind.
Abstract Expressionism-Jackson Pollock, in non-objective works such as "Convergence" (1952), would Hing and drip paint onto canvases on the floor to
  reach his individual subconscious and express a personal vision.
Hard-Edge Abstraction
-Frank Stella's "Empress of India" draws attention to the visual elements of painting- color, line and shape. To emphasize his point, he used shaped canvases.
Pop Art-In the '60s, Andy Warhol commented on mass production and the capitalistic nature of our society by painting common commercial products, such as Coca Cola bottles and Campbell's soup cans.
Earth and Land Art
-Robert Smithson used the earth's surface as his canvas to create "Spiral Jetty" (1969-70) in the Great Salt Lake, Utah. Post-Modernism-Le Corbusier's Notre-Dame-du-Haut chapel in Ronchamp, France, with its curvilinear, sweeping forms, introduced a sculptural, natural element to contemporary architecture. Frank Gehry created the massive, undulating, otherworldly Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, (1997) an astonishing secular cathedral that set the stage for radical new forms in architecture in the next millennium. Where do we go from here? Only time will tell. But wherever new thought and technology takes us in terms of art, it will be influenced by what has gone before-1,000 years of awesome artistic accomplishment, clearly among mankind's proudest achievements.

The Persistence of Memory" by Salvadore Dali

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The art of Ukraine of the 20-th century
Pages of Ukrainian Secession. History and Modernity
Secession, also called Modern, Art Nouveau, Jugendstil, appeared fro the first time in Austria and Germany late in the 19th century as antithesis to deathly academic style and "unorderly" Impressionism. In art the time of "touch-down" Realism was running out. The artists came to feel their involvement in space, physical and spiritual. That cosmism became the determinant of symbolism, the important influential trend in European culture. According to the tradition of North-European art, in which spiritual had long prevailed over corporal, conditional over real, linearity over plastic volume, Secession preferred graphic, bringing the conventionality level up. Oriental art operated with eternity categories, timelessness, fancied plane instead of deep perspective, decorativeness instead of chiaroscuro, bringing art beyond pragmatism scope into the domain sacral. Artists appealed to the European Middle Ages as well: to icon-painting with its renunciation of "carnal", so called realm of the Creation. The Secessionists abolished the antithesis of "high" (academic, intellectual) and "low" (emotional, applied) art. From then on their painting united topicality with decorativeness; flat colorful spot, contoured by sinuous line, became the sign of artistic form of the new style. The pictures combined carpet-like surface and poetic motifs. Their characters never reminded of real type, but were conventional characters, carriers of concepts, experience, presentiments and preferences of an artist, which became art-pundit, destined to charge the world with aesthetic energy. Artists acknowledged the independence of artistic quality, renouncing moralization, politics, sociality, which should be handled by other professionals. "We despise any moral or social regulations," wrote in his treatise "The Philosophy of Mystic" Carl Duprel, a fancy philosopher of the late 19th century. The main thing is to enlighten the soul, light it up by the rays of "extraterrestrial" mysterious energy, so that the soul touches the source "whence life undulates" (Andrey Platonov). The Ukrainian youth of the early 20th century manifested extraordinary sensitivity to the new tendencies. Artistic information processes had been quickened by thenm and nobody needed at the time decades or centenaries to tune in to the newest European wave. The ways of Austrian Secession to Ukraine were various, especially via the Kharkiv Art Academy (Kharkiv belonged to the Austrian-Hungarian Empire). Pupils of this Academy - M. Zhuk and O. Novakivsky - adopted the ideas of their teacher S. Wyspiansky, one of the major masters of this style, and developed their own Ukrainian variant of Secession, while F. Krychevsky acquired it directly in Vienna studying there the works of Austrian artist G. Klimt. In Munich O. Murashko, A. Manevych, and H. Narbut came to know German Secession. But our artists never confined themselves to apprenticeship. They became part and parcel of the All-Russian Modern style, and, e.g., Heorhiy Narbut became a major book designer in the famous Ptersburg group "Mir Iskusstva". The Ukrainian artists never used innovations mechanically. Some of them by means of Secession graphic "arranged" the spontaneity of Impressionism. Other threw in all their creation with this style. There is only scarce evidence of its influence upon O. Murashko.
The brush in his colorful pictures reminds of an energetic stroke as a prototype of an ornament. As a result, an amorphous colored mass is pierced by lines of force, becomes more resilient and organized.

(oil on canvas)

(oil on canvas)

(oil on canvas)

The chaotic Impressionism on Murashko's canvases is done with due to the Secession form. His turning to religious subjects is explained by Secessional "cosmic" tendency to combine earthly and celestial. "The Annunciation" is distinguished by elucidated, almost transparent coloring with superiority of bluish and yellowish tones. The orientally dark-haired archangel Gabriel and Mary with light brown hair and Slavic lines are as if woven of light ether matter. They are irradiating heavenly light. Murashko of the 1910s was emotionally more strained. Coloring on his canvases grows thicker and includes darkly blue-violet colors; the uneven temperamental stroke impresses the spectator with dramatic energy. In order to clamp down on his gloomy temperament, Murashko introduces ornamental motifs to the costumes of his characters, giving the Secession its due. Spectator often associated Modern with Decadence promoting poetic calming down, dissolution, disappearance. The characters of F. Krychevsky resisted such mood due to their lust of life, energy, for their author was an optimist. However, he was a proponent of Secession. He portrayed Lidiya Staryts'ka as an embodiment of earthly beauty. But she was painted not against real, but ornamental background. It brings on associations with the "seventh" heaven, paradise, Eden. Though combination of real and symbolic is not that organic here. The image of a woman still gravitates toward academism. Krychevsky proved to be a remarkable advocate of the new style in the "Life" triptych, where linearity and spaciousness create plastic unity through inventive employment of Secessional and Cubist forms. The triptych is tripartite. During Renaissance it was the term for the pictures showing paradise, earth, and hell. While Krychevsky tells a story of a peasant family, the artist uses elevated metaphorical language to recount it. Unlike "effeminate" Klimt, whose refined characters plunge into the poetic universe, Krychevsky treats the lovers ("Love") in a touch-down manner, heavily, but not prosaically. The melodious rhythm of lines and refined plasticity turn their embraced figures into a symbol of human Emotion. Fedir Krychevsky became the instructor of such bright artist as Vsevolod Maksymovych, whose artistic development was like a lightning. The decorative talent of the native of Poltava (Poltava had been always famous for cut-outs, tapestry, embroideries) combined with cultural impressions from Vrubel, Somov, Beardsley. His canvases, submerged into archaic times, revive the old fecundity cult. The characters are braided with endless garlands with vegetable patterns, looking like Olympians. Athleticism was Vsevolod's vital and zestetic ideal. He belonged to the known group of nudist athletes of Poltava, founded by the artist Ivan Myasoyedov, Maksymovych's teacher. Introduction of athleticism into the stylistics of Secession with her rather exhausted airy imagery was Maksymovych's innovation. His athleticism was marked by narcissistic self-admiration. The beautified faces of men and women on his panels are as if copied off the artist himself. His own beauty he showed in the "Self-Portrait". The endless inventive weave of ornamental stylization with "peacock's eyes" carries a death tune: a skull, like an inkling of secret intensions of the young Adonis of slender lusty build. A vulnerable sensible spirit is hidden in the strong body. An unhappy love led to a to a tragedy: the twenty-five-year-old lad committed suicide. Shortly before his death he created one of his masterpieces: "The Kiss". Love carries a human on an element wave: either sea foam, or celestial spheres.

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