Paul Gauguin

French Impressionist painter Paul Gauguin was born on June 7, 1848 in Paris, France. Originally a stockbroker, Gauguin renounced his profession in middle age to become an artist and moved to Tahiti a few years later. Gauguin was also known as a mentor and companion of Vincent Van Gogh although their relationship was also stormy and often destructive. Best known for his earthy palette and broad strokes in depicting Tahitian women, Gauguin was known as one of the prime artists of French Impressionism.

Museum Design

UMMAUMMA

Curious about the big hole at the corner of State and South University (across from the Michigan Union)?

It’s a much anticipated addition and restoration of the University of Michigan Museum of Art.

Expected to reopen early 2009, here is what we know about the project.

Not coincidentally, the selection of the architect, Brad Cloepfil for this project has generated much enthusiasm among the museum community, and has already won a major national architectural award for its design. Just yesterday, the New York Times published an extensive article on Mr. Cloepfil and his controversial and brilliant restoration of yet another major museum -- the “Lollipop” building at 2, Columbus Circle (in Manhattan), new home for the Museum of Arts and Design.

The Outsider Art of Martin Ramirez

Martin Ramirez: Example of Martin Ramirez's artMartin Ramirez: Example of Martin Ramirez's art

Martin Ramirez may be famous for his art, but he is better known for his history as a catatonic schizophrenic who created most of his artwork during his stay at various hospitals. NPR has a retrospective of the artist's work, including several images. For further reading, the library also has the book "The Artist Outsider" that provides further examples of the artist's work and details of his life.

Artist remembered

Today, April 30, is the birthday of African-American artist, Ellis Wilson. Wilson was born in Mayfield, Kentucky in 1899. He moved north to Chicago in the early 1920's where he attended the Art Institute of Chicago. He later moved to New York where he participated in the WPA art programs. Awarded with a Guggenheim fellowship, Wilson traveled to South Carolina and painted African-Americans harvesting crops and selling goods at the open air markets in Charleston. He also was inspired during his time in Haiti where he painted peasants at work. He is probably best known for his painting, "Funeral Procession" which was displayed in the living room of the popular TV sit-com, the Bill Cosby Show.

Imagining Eden: Connecting Landscapes

Lyle GomesLyle Gomes

Imagining Eden: Connecting Landscapes, an exhibition by photographer Lyle Gomes is on view at the University of Michigan Museum of Art Off/Site (through June 3, 2007)

Created over a sixteen-year period, this project represents a long-term study of “idealized human-made landscapes of parks, golf courses, gardens, and garden cemeteries (and) explore the enduring human impulse to shape the landscape and to strive for a harmonious balance between humankind and nature.”

Many of the images in this exhibition reflect Gomes’ personal journey and professional development. His Fulbright Scholar Award allowed him to spend time in Britain and a Rockefeller Foundation residency took him to Bellagio, Italy. He continues to reside in the San Francisco Bay Area and heads the Photography program at College of San Mateo. He is represented locally by the Halsted Gallery.

Sol LeWitt, American Artist

Sol LeWittSol LeWitt

Sol LeWitt, 78, sculptor and muralist died April 8th, 2007 in New York.

Most often associated with his early sculptures Incomplete Open Cubes (image) seen in museums all over the world, LeWitt will be remembered for his dry humor (see New York Times Obituary} and his efforts to usher in Conceptualism and Minimalism as dominant art movements of the postwar era.

In 2000, a retrospective organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, which traveled to the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago showcased a new direction for LeWitt with newly colorful wall drawings that critics called "eye candy".

“A life in art is an unimaginable and unpredictable experience.”~ Sol LeWitt

John Himmelfarb, Chicago Artist

John HimmelfarbJohn Himmelfarb

Harvard educated, Chicago artist John Himmelfarb will give an artist talk on Saturday, April 7, 4 p.m. at the River Gallery (120 S. Main Street, Chelsea, Michigan) in conjunction with his one-man show (through May 19th).

Son of Samuel and Eleanor Himmelfarb, both accomplished painters, John Himmelfarb’s work has appeared in numerous galleries nationally and internationally, and has installed public works at such places as Boston Logan Airport and Chicago Transport Authority.

This exhibition will include paintings, drawings, prints, cast bronze sculpture, urns, and a tapestry of a canvas, hand woven in Peru. For more information, contact the Gallery at 734.433.0826.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #57

Portrait of an Unknown Woman* by Vanora Bennett, a British journalist trying her hand at fiction for the first time.

Set in Henry VIII’s England, Meg Giggs, the heroine of this historical, is a budding herbalist and a ward of Lord Chancellor Sir Thomas More, the defender of the Catholic faith under threats of the Protestant heretics.

John Clements, a young physician is more than he appears. His courtship and marriage to Meg would be sorely tested by the secrets he keeps. On the other hand, Meg’s loyalty to More will also be called into question when religious and political conflicts roil at court.

“An engrossing, quietly impassioned historical”, no less for the added delicious details of the famous German painter Hans Holbein the Younger, commissioned to paint what will be his famous portraits of More and that of his family. For more information on the paintings and the time period, the author has created a website.

* = Starred Review

Think Spring in Botanical Language

Think SpringThink Spring

Two mid-career Michigan artists will dazzle you with luminous images of botanicals at the River Gallery in Chelsea, Michigan, March 3 - March 31st.

Mary Beth Koeze is an award-winning painter who received her degree from the University of Wisconsin.

Kim Kauffman, a technically astute photographer, will present unique photo collages created from multiple scans of original botanical images.(Artist statement).

An artist talk is planned for March 17th at 4 p.m. at the gallery. FREE.

Embracing Eatonville at UMMA Off/Site

EMbracing EatonvilleEMbracing Eatonville

There is still time to visit the photography exhibition Embracing Eatonville at the University of Michigan Musuem of Art Off/Site (through March 18th).

Located in Orange County, Florida, Eatonville was the first incorporated African-American community in the nation. Today, it is perhaps best known for its annual showcase of arts, literature and culture that celebrates native daughter Zora Neale Hurston.

The current exhibition "celebrates the spirit and character of Eatonville through the work of contemporary photographers Dawoud Bey, Lonnie Graham, Carrie Mae Weems, and Deborah Willis, each of whom have created a new body of work for this exhibition as they explore the importance of place to individual and collective identity".

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