Friday, January 17, 2020

01 Paintings, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, with Footnotes. #72

Christian Guémy, aka C215 (b 1973)
Untitled, c. 2014
Spray paint and acrylic on panel
118 x 80 cm - 46 1/2 x 31 1/2 in.
Private collection

Christian Guémy, aka C215, French, b. 1973, is one of the most talented and ubiquitous stencil artists working today. He is known for creating site-specific works that reflect the local community, especially the individuals most often neglected by society. Portraying his subjects with respect and sensitivity, he uses his street practice to draw attention to the marginalized and disempowered. He typically works with a restricted color palette, masterfully manipulating the subtleties of light and shadow to capture details usually lost in stencil work. The distinctive style of his street stencils—known the world over—translates fluidly into gallery pieces that often incorporate found objects to retain their urban aesthetic. Beyond his extensive street practice, C215 has exhibited in numerous international fairs and galleries, including Banksy’s Cans Festival and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome. More on Christian Guémy, aka C215





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Friday, December 27, 2019

02 Paintings, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, with Footnotes. #71

Khaled Hourani
Bayan, (2016 Martyr), 2019
Acrylic on canvas
205 × 155 in, 520.7 × 393.7 cm

A martyr is someone who suffers persecution and death for advocating, renouncing, refusing to renounce, or refusing to advocate a belief or cause as demanded by an external party. This refusal to comply with the presented demands results in the punishment or execution of the martyr by the oppressor. Originally applied only to those who suffered for their religious beliefs, the term has come to be used in connection with people killed for a political cause.


Most martyrs are considered holy or are respected by their followers, becoming symbols of exceptional leadership and heroism in the face of difficult circumstances. Martyrs play significant roles in religions. Similarly, martyrs have had notable effects in secular life, including such figures as Socrates, among other political and cultural examples. More on martyrs

Bayan Ayman Al-Esseili - 16-year-old female Palestinian accused of stabbing an Israeli soldier in Hebron, near the Cave of the Patriarchs on Oct. 17, 2015. The soldier shot and killed Al-Esseili.


Khaled Hourani, Palestinian, b. 1965•
Leena, (1976 Martyr), 2019
Acrylic on canvas
80 7/10 × 61 in, 205 × 155 cm

On May 15, 1976, a 17-year-old Lina was shot and killed by an IDF soldier while walking home from school in Nablus. According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Israeli authorities stated that a stray bullet hit Lina when a soldier’s rifle went off accidentally. 


Khaled Hourani, Born in Hebron, Palestine, in 1965. Khaled Hourani lives and works in Ramallah. He was Artistic Director (2007-2010) and Director (2010-2013) of the International Academy of Art Palestine, of which he is also one of the co-founders. He previously worked as the General Director of the Fine Arts Department of the Palestinian Ministry of Culture (2004-2006). Hourani has participated in many local and international exhibitions, most recently in a retrospective at Darat Al Funun in Amman , Jordan (2017).

In 2014, his first retrospective exhibition took place at the CCA in Glasgow and Gallery One in Ramallah. He exhibited works at the Times Museum in Guangzhou, China and in the 2nd CAFA Biennale of the CAFA Museum in Beijing. He also participated in dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel, and KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin. Moreover, Hourani was also one of the artists of the Sharjah Biennial in 2011. Hourani was the initiator of the 2011 Picasso in Palestine project. He has curated and organized several exhibitions, is an art critic and an active member and founder of a number of cultural and art institutions. Recently, he was the recipient of the Leonore Annenberg Prize, Creative Time for Art and Social Change in New York City.

Hourani has been working for over a year on a book project, which is itself based on a novel about a painting titled Jamal Al Mahamel by Palestinian artist Suleiman Mansour. This artwork was sold to  the former Libyan president Muammar al Gaddafi in the 1970s. Through this project, Hourani seeks to figure out what happened to the painting and the circumstances of its disappearance after the 2011 political upheavals in Libya. He also raises the question of the perception of art both in Palestine and Libya. More on Khaled Hourani




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Thursday, December 12, 2019

01 Painting, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, with Footnotes. #68

Jean Jansem, (French, 1920- 2013) 
Ballerina 
Oil on canvas 
10 1/2 x 14 inches.
Private collection

A ballet dancer (ballerina) is a person who practices the art of classical ballet. Both females and males can practice ballet; however, dancers have a strict hierarchy and strict gender roles. They rely on years of extensive training and proper technique to become a part of professional companies. Ballet dancers are at a high risk of injury due to the demanding technique of ballet

Ballet dancers begin their classes at the barre, a wooden beam that runs along the walls of the ballet studio. Dancers use the barre to support themselves during exercises. Barre work is designed to warm up the body and stretch muscles to prepare for center work, where they execute exercises without the barre. More on Ballerina 

Hovhannes "Jean" Semerdjian (9 March 1920 – 27 August 2013), also known as Jean Jansem, was a French-Armenian painter. Jansem's artworks are internationally known, and are part of museum collections throughout France, Japan and the United States. A Foreign member of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia (2002).

He was awarded by the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1953 and by the Knight of the French Legion of Honour in 2003. The President of Armenia awarded Jansem a Medal of Honor for his “reinforcement of Armenian-French cultural ties.”

Semerdjian was born in 1920 in Bursa, Turkey. In 1922, his family fled to Greece. He spent his childhood in Thessaloniki. They arrived to Issy-les-Moulineaux suburb of Paris, France in 1931 when he was 11 and that is when he began to paint. The first professional schools for Jansem became free academies of Montparnasse (1934-1936). He studied in the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs. Jansem also studied at the Sabatie studio for a year. Early paintings by Jansem were mainly to national issues. He had individual exhibitions in Paris, New York, Chicago, London, Tokyo, Rome, Brussels, Lausanne, Beirut etc. Hovhannes Semerdjian was elected the President of the Young Artists' Saloon in 1956.

He won the Comparison prize in Mexico in 1958. In Japan, two museums were built to honor Jansem′s work, located in Tokyo Ginza and Nagano Prefecture Azumino. In 1973 he visited Armenia for the first time. In 2001, 34 of his paintings were given to the Armenian Genocide Museum. More on Jean Jansem





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Saturday, December 7, 2019

01 Painting, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, with Footnotes. #69

Thuraya Al-Baqsami, B. 1952, KUWAITI
ALSAGANEYAT/ PRISONERS, c. 1986
Acrylic on canvas
71 by 54cm.; 28 by 21 1/4 in.
Private collection

Thuraya Al-Baqsami (born 1952) is a Kuwaiti artist and writer. She was one of the first active female artists in the Gulf region, where she began publishing her short stories and exhibiting her art works as early as her teenage years in the mid-1960s. She studied fine arts in Cairo, then at the Surikov institute in Moscow where she received her Master's degree in illustration. She later moved on to living in several countries in Africa until she settled back in her native Kuwait in the early 1980s. 

In 1990-91 she lived through the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, which immensely affected her creative output as a collective traumatic experience for her and her family. She was awarded the state prize for her book "Cellar Candles" (1993) in which she renders her ordeals during the war into poetic fiction. The book has since been translated in more than 10 languages.

Thuraya has held 60 solo exhibitions world wide, and participated in over 250 collective exhibitions spanning her long career.  She has won numerous awards for both her art and her writing. Her works are in the collections of the British Museum, UNESCO, the Museum of Human Rights Geneva, and the Kuwait National Museum among others. More Thuraya Al-Baqsami 




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Friday, November 29, 2019

01 Photograph, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, with Footnotes. #67

Firooz Zahedi, B. 1949, IRANIAN
ELIZABETH TAYLOR DRESSED AS AN ODALISQUE II, 1976
Chromogenic print
122 by 91.5cm.; 36 by 48in.
Private collection


An odalisque was a chambermaid or a female attendant in a Turkish seraglio, particularly the court ladies in the household of the Ottoman sultan. An odalık was not a concubine of the harem, but a maid, although it was possible that she could become one. An odalık was ranked at the bottom of the social stratification of a harem, serving not the man of the household, but rather, his concubines and wives as personal chambermaids. Odalık were usually slaves given as gifts to the sultan by wealthy Turkish men. Generally, an odalık was never seen by the sultan but instead remained under the direct supervision of his mother, the Valide Sultan. More on An odalisque

Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was considered one of the last, if not the last, major star to have come out of the old Hollywood studio system. She was known internationally for her beauty with which she captured audiences early on in her youth and kept the world hooked on with since.

Taylor was born on February 27, 1932 in London, England. Although she was born an English subject, her parents were Americans, art dealers from St. Louis, Missouri. Her mother had been an actress on the stage. Elizabeth lived in London until the age of seven, when the family left for the US when the clouds of war began brewing in Europe in 1939. 


The family relocated to Los Angeles. A family friend noticed the strikingly beautiful little Elizabeth and suggested that she be taken for a screen testt. Her first foray onto the screen was in There's One Born Every Minute (1942).


Throughout the 1950s, Elizabeth appeared in film after film with mostly good results. Her busiest year was 1954. 


Upon the death of her friend, actor Rock Hudson, in 1985, she began her crusade on the behalf of AIDS sufferers. In the 1990s, she also developed a successful series of scents. In her later years, her acting career was relegated to the occasional TV-movie or TV guest appearance.



Elizabeth Taylor died on March 23, 2011 in Los Angeles, from congestive heart failure. More on Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor

Firooz Zahedi (born 1949) is an American photographer of Iranian descent. His family moved to England where he received his secondary education. In 1969 he came to the US to attend Georgetown University in Washington DC. He graduated with a degree in Foreign Service in 1973.

After graduation, Zahedi served briefly as a diplomat for the former government of Iran but resigned to go to the Corcoran School of Art from which he received a degree in visual communication in 1976.

While at art school he began photographing for Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine and served as its Washington DC correspondent.

In May 1976 he met and became friends with Elizabeth Taylor and soon after they traveled together to Iran. The photographs from that trip, which included the actress dressed in local tribal costumes. In 1978 he accompanied Elizabeth Taylor to Hollywood as her personal photographer on the set of the film Return Engagement.

He settled in Los Angeles to pursue his photographic career as a photographer.

His editorial work has appeared internationally on the covers of such magazines as Vanity Fair, Vogue, GQ, Town & Country, Glamour, In Style, Time, Architectural Digest and Entertainment Weekly. More on Firooz Zahedi 




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Saturday, November 23, 2019

01 Painting, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, with Footnotes. #67

Bana Safar - الفنانة بانه سفر (Syria) 1980
Syrian Portrait, c. 2018
Oil on Canvas
80x60cm

Bana Safar الفنانة بانه سفر (Syria) is a young Syrian artist graduated with Excellence from the Faculty of Fine Arts Damascus University in 2001, the 1st in class for 4 years consecutively. From 2003 - 2006 She was professor assistant in the faculty of Fine Arts; Damascus and is a member of the Association of Fine Arts Damascus. She is a member of the Emirates Fine Arts Society Sharjah UAE. Bana Safar’s art is held in collections in Syria, UAE, USA, KSA and Germany.. Exhibitions and prizes include; Saudi Women Artists Exhibition 2002, “Malwan” Art contest for the Saudi Airlines 2003, group Exhibition at the Arab Cultural Centre in Damascus 2003, group Exhibition at” Amana” gallery Riyadh Saudi Arabia 2003, INSAN Exhibition at the Museum of King Abdul Aziz in Riyadh 2009, Stars Auction at Al Jowhara Ballroom Madinat Jumairah Dubai UAE 2012, Dubai international art symposium 2nd session 2015, Dubai international art symposium 3rd session 2016, “In the eyes of women “group art exhibition at Al Badia Golf Culp 2015. More on Bana Safar




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01 Painting, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, with Footnotes. #66

Nancy Ellen Craig (1927 - 2015)
 Portrait of Young Girl, Paris, c. 1952
Oil on canvas
24 x 19 1/2"
Private collection

Nancy Ellen Craig (1927-2015) was born in New York City and graduated from Bennington College and the Art Students League in New York before beginning her career in portraiture. Commissioned paintings of famous men and women like Frank Lloyd Wright, Lady Jean Campbell, and Anjelica Huston supported both Craig and her husband as they traveled the world. They settled in Truro, Massachusetts, where she painted in the studio located in an antique barn.

Throughout her career, Nancy Ellen Craig’s critics have compared her work to that of Thomas Eakins and John Singer Sargent. She won numerous awards in both the United States and Europe, including the Audubon Artists Patrons Prize and the $20,000 Pollock-Krasner award. Her work now resides in such collections as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Baltimore Art Museum, and the John Ringling Museum. More on Nancy Ellen Craig





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Saturday, November 16, 2019

01 Painting, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, with Footnotes. #65

Charles Louis Müller, 1815 - 1892, FRENCH
ODALISQUE
Oil on canvas
130.5 by 89cm., 51 by 35in.
Private collection

An odalisque (Turkish: Odalık) was a chambermaid or a female attendant in a Turkish seraglio, particularly the court ladies in the household of the Ottoman sultan. 

An odalık was not a concubine of the harem, but a maid, although it was possible that she could become one. An odalık was ranked at the bottom of the social stratification of a harem, serving not the man of the household, but rather, his concubines and wives as personal chambermaids. Odalık were usually slaves given as gifts to the sultan by wealthy Turkish men. Generally, an odalık was never seen by the sultan but instead remained under the direct supervision of his mother, the Valide Sultan.

If an odalık was of extraordinary beauty or had exceptional talents in dancing or singing, she would be trained as a possible concubine. If selected, an odalık trained as a court lady would serve the sultan sexually and only after such sexual contact would she change in status, becoming thenceforth one of the consorts of the sultan.

In contrast to European depictions of nude harem women, they more often wore androgynous robes resembling those worn by the male pages of the palace. The conditions of the Ottoman harem "resembled a monastery for young girls more than the bordello of European imagination. More on an odalisque

Charles Louis Müller [also known as Müller de Paris] (Paris 22 December 1815 – 10 January 1892 Paris) was a French painter. He was a fecund producer of historic pictures and portraits. 

A pupil of two renowned masters of neoclassical and pre - romantic painting , Antoine-Jean Gros and Léon Cogniet , he was a versatile talent, a painter of history , a genre painter , a portraitist and a decorator. Presented at the Salon in 1834, he exposes until his death and is awarded several times.

It also enjoyed strong institutional recognition. He is appointed inspector of works of art at the Manufacture des Gobelins . Elected member of the Academy of Fine Arts in 1864, Charles Müller sat as a member of the admission committees for the 1878 World Fair in Paris. Decorated with the Legion of Honor in 1849, he was elevated to the rank of officer of the same order in 1859. More on Charles Louis Müller





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Thursday, November 14, 2019

01 Painting, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, with Footnotes. #64

Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer, 1865 - 1953, FRENCH
LADY OF MARRAKECH
Pastel on paper
50 by 62cm., 19½ by 24½in
Private collection

Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer (September 30, 1865 – September 24, 1953) was a French Symbolist/Art Nouveau artist whose works include paintings, drawings, ceramics, furniture and interior design.

He was born Lucien Lévy in French Algeria. In 1879 he began studying drawing and sculpture in Paris. He first exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1882. In 1887 Lévy began making his living near Cannes in southern France, overseeing the decoration of ceramics. From 1886 to 1895 he worked as a ceramic decorator and then as artistic director of the studio of Clément Massier. Around 1892 he signed his first pieces of ceramics, which were influenced by Islamic Art. In 1895 he left for Paris to begin a career in painting; around this time he visited Italy and was further influenced by art of the Renaissance.

In 1896 he exhibited his first pastels and paintings. He earned high praise for the academic attention to detail with which he captured figures lost in a Pre-Raphaelite haze of melancholy, contrasted with bright Impressionist colouration. 


After 1901 Lévy-Dhurmer moved away from expressly Symbolist content, incorporating more landscapes into his work because of his travels in Europe and North Africa. He continued to draw inspiration from music and attempted to capture works of great composers such as Beethoven in painted form.

He died in Le Vésinet in 1953. More on Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer





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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

01 Painting, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, with Footnotes. #63

Paul Hitter, (b. 1977)
The Pit, c. 2018
Oil on canvas
120 × 100 cm
Private collection

Paul Hitter, (b. 1977) is from Bucharest Romania, Paul studied in Munich at the prestigious Akademie der Bildenden Kunste. While completing his studies, he was showcasing his art with famous musicians like Gogol Bordello, Taraf de Hajdouks, Rona Hartner and Fanfare Vagabondu. This form of exhibiting his art with music, brought him instant international recognition. Now he lives and works in Los Angeles, California and occasionally tours the US.

He is a prolific artist, constantly searching for inspiration on everyday life. His art is influenced by the life of nomad gipsy as well as the poor and the underdog. So far Paul Hitter created his own style, his own artistic universe; all inspired by Romanian folklore, and the stories and legends scattered allover the Balkans. His strong colors as well as the ability to keep them in harmony made his art unique and recognizable. More on Paul Hitter




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01 work, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, with Footnotes. #125

BINOY VARGHESE, (b.1966)
Untitled, c. 2009
Acrylic on canvas
46.75 in x 46.5 in   |  119 cm x 118 cm
Private collection

Born in 1966 in Kerala, Binoy Varghese is a National Diploma holder in Fine Arts from R.L.V. College, Thripunithura. He worked as artist-in-residence at Madhavan Nair Foundation India in Kochi, at Cholamandal Artists’ Village in Chennai, Kanoria Art Centre in Ahmedabad, Apparao Galleries in New Delhi and then at the Banff Centre for Arts in Canada and with Aicon Gallery in New York, finally setting up his studio in Delhi. 

Known for his skills in portraiture, his subject matter comes in a mix of landscape and a photo-realistic rendition. The colourful imagery on paper and canvas, often in a large format, focuses on issues of displacement, capturing posing protagonists, often women and children, in their newfound domains. Their socio-political and gender realities are highlighted by the dress they wear or the sharpness or softness of the background and foliage in the work. 

Winner of several accolades, Binoy has participated in several national and international art camps and workshops. His work has been exhibited by well-known galleries in solo and group shows held in different Indian cities and abroad. Featured in India Art Fair, and auctions, his work is held in important collections including National Gallery of Modern Art. He has also designed a stamp for the Postal Department, Government of India. Binoy lives in Ghaziabad and works out of his studio in the city. More on Binoy Varghese




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Tuesday, November 5, 2019

03 Paintings, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, Isadora Duncan, with Footnotes. #60

Abraham Walkowitz, American, 1878-1965 
Isadora Duncan 
Watercolor, ink and graphite on paper 
13 7/8 x 8 3/8 inches
Private collection

Angela Isadora Duncan (May 26, 1877 or May 27, 1878 – September 14, 1927) was an American and French dancer who performed to acclaim throughout Europe. Born in California, she lived in Western Europe and the Soviet Union from the age of 22 until her death at age 50, when her scarf became entangled in the wheels and axle of the car in which she was riding.

Isadora was born in 1877 in San Francisco and moved to Europe to become a dancer when she was in her early 20s. She had always loved to dance–in her teens, she worked as a dance teacher at her mother’s music school–but Duncan was not a classically trained ballerina. She was a free-spirited bohemian whose dances were improvisational and emotional; they were choreographed, she said, “to rediscover the beautiful, rhythmical motions of the human body.” Duncan typically danced barefoot, wrapped in flowing togas and scarves. Duncan’s performances celebrated independence and self-expression.

Duncan was a feminist and a Darwinist, an advocate of free love and a Communist. (For this, her American citizenship was revoked in the early 1920s.)  More on Angela Isadora Duncan

Abraham Walkowitz,  (1878–1965)
Isadora Duncan #29, c. circa 1915
Watercolor and ink over graphite on off-white, medium-weight, moderately textured laid paper
35.6 × 47 cm (14 × 18.5 ″)
Brooklyn Museum

Abraham Walkowitz (March 28, 1878 - January 27, 1965) was an American painter grouped in with early American Modernists working in the Modernist style.

Walkowitz was born in Tyumen, Siberia. He emigrated with his mother to the United States in his early childhood. He studied at the National Academy of Design in New York City and the Académie Julian in Paris under Jean-Paul Laurens. Walkowitz and his contemporaries later gravitated around photographer Alfred Stieglitz's 291 Gallery, originally titled the Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession, where the forerunners of modern art in America gathered and where many European artists were first exhibited in the United States. 

Abraham Walkowitz, American, 1878-1965 
Isadora Duncan 
Watercolor, ink and graphite on paper
Private collection

Through introductions made by Max Weber, it was in Paris that he met Isadora Duncan in Auguste Rodin's studio, the modern American dancer who had captured the attention of the avant-garde. Walkowitz went on to produce more than 5,000 drawings of Duncan.

While never attaining the same level of fame as his contemporaries, Walkowitz' close relationship with the 291 Gallery and Alfred Stieglitz placed him at the center of the modernist movement. His early abstract cityscapes and collection of over 5,000 drawings of Isadora Duncan also remain significant art historical records. More on Abraham Walkowitz




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