Friday’s Famous Artist is …. Jackson Pollock

Imagine if you will a world filled with post renaissance work, Madonna and child, an eloquent Victorian lady in a scene  perhaps the illuminating painting of Monet or Van Gogh to seize upon.

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Fresh out of the war and into a new idea of American Importance comes Jackson Pollack, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko and Robert Motherwell to name a few.    Flash forward here we are in American in the 1940’s fresh out of the depression to end all depressions and World War 2.    Enter Peggy Guggenheim.


This is New York in 1942  where Peggy Guggenheim established the Museum of Modern Art named after her Uncle.  With a thrill for the unusual and a absolute passion for abstract art, New York became the entreated hub for the New form of work called Abstract Impressionism.

Jackson Pollock

They worked large and they worked messily, recklessly. Pollock “broke the ice,” de Kooning would say.”


In fact Pollack was given supreme prestige for his work, a position garnered without the intense presence or nod from “the old school.”  America/Pollack, were creating their own identity and staking a claim on art that no other place in the world could. For This Pollock earned a supreme and undeniable place in history.


The great mystery of unlocking a door no person had ever unlocked in the art world … that honor went not only to his friends but also to Pollack who seized the essence of this unique form of expression and laid it down on the canvas.  In this process his friends and colleagues also imparted their own vision in the wake of knowledge unknown to artists before.


Notorious for his drinking problem and his struggle with alcoholism, Pollock crashed his car August 11, 1956 and died near his New York home.

“Abstract painting is abstract. It confronts you. There was a reviewer a while back who wrote that my pictures didn’t have any beginning or any end. He didn’t mean it as a compliment, but it was.” Jackson Pollock


Fridays Famous Artist Is …..

Robert Motherwell …..

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Robert Motherwell born Jan 1915 and living until July of 1991 was an American abstract expressionist painter and printmaker.  He was one of the youngest of the New York School which included Jackson Pollack, Mark Rothko, Willem De Kooning and Phillip Guston.

Robert’s gift for rhetoric and easy comfortable feeling around people is credited with placing him on the map.  Though others in his group who later became as famous, might not have been had Motherwell not been so engaging with groups.

His writing and three published books:

  • The Dada Painters and Poets, R. Motherwell, New York, 1951.
  • Robert Motherwell, The Collected Writings of Robert Motherwell, University of California Press, 1999.
  • Robert Motherwell translated to English Paul Signac‘s book, D’Eugène Delacroix au néo-impressionisme, 1938.

are all considered a credit to his ability to engage the average reader and not just the art critic.

To me his gift as a printmaker served him very well as a painter and he was able to glean techniques and improvise on the canvas creating almost cinamographic images with his paint.  His work is beautifully fluid and yet eloquently simple and moving at the same time.

News From The Couch … Kitten Sneak …

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So here I am in my studio, working on a a piece that is unlike anything I’ve done before and along comes my amazing kitten … climbing on top of the cupboards and then into the cabinets all by his little self.  I couldn’t believe it.  He opened every cupboard with his paws and worked his way through 4 cupboards and kept going even after I grabbed the camera.  Guess he doesn’t mind the attention.

That’s the News from the Couch … How’s your day going.

[New post] News From The Couch: A photo Album

News From The Couch: A photo Album

agapistudios | September 11, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Categories: Uncategorized | URL:

I was spending some time actually working with different ideas I had for presenting my work online.  Here is one of them.  Does the layout make you curious to see more … or is it just annoying?  Leave me a comment and let me know.
That’s the news from the Couch … how’s your day going?

Friday’s Famous Artist is …. Mark Rothko

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Born in Russia (Sept 1903 – February 1970) his family moved to Portland, Oregon when they feared they would be drafted into the czarist Russian army.

Life was difficult as they lost a sibling on the trip over which meant all the kids had to work to help the family make ends meet.  Markus was in 3rd grade at this time and was excelling so well he was moved to the 5th grade where he learned his 4th language after, Hebrew which was English.

Mark Rothko went on to study at Yale University but felt it was an elitist establishment and dropped out after his 2nd year.  It was an encounter in New York some years hence where he saw a young student sketching that started his desire to become an artist which continued to the end of his life.

By this time Rothko had joined a group of other fairly well known painters and is known for painting what he himself claimed were “industrial paintings” works that hung on large walls.  Rothko’s work was 8 to 10 feet long and equally as high.

The progression of a painter’s work as it travels in time from point to point, will be toward clarity.. toward the elimination of all obstacles between the painter and the idea.. and the idea and the observer.. To achieve this clarity is inevitably to be understood.

Rothko suffering from severe depression took his own life in February of 1970.

To me Rothko seemed deeply affected by an intense need to arrive somewhere in his work which in some small insignificant way I can understand.  There is a hidden drive in some artists to get at it.  The vision can be so intense at times that portraying it is almost the hardest thing to do.  As you get a bit of it, you think it’s right and then somehow in the next day or so it slips away.

I think if you spend some time deeply looking at Rothko’s work you will see much in what appears to be “nothing.”  He is extremely adept at layering and shading with the colors underneath bouncing through to the foreground.  His work shimmers and has a very lush quality about it.  He definitely had a vision for his work and it saddens me that in the end he took his life for it.

New Work …. From The Studio



Vivid Red seems to be the theme for HOT SUMMERSI have been working on 14 x 17’s pretty much exclusively all summer.  I had a need to work out a series which means for those of you who aren’t familiar with artist’s terms …. create about 20 like minded and inspired pieces.   The idea of a series is to stick to the same theme, using repetitive patterns so when you look at them all together, framed and ready to rock and roll … they all look similar.  All the work should be as if they belong as oppose to NOT belonging.


Anyone familiar with the jury process at an art show will know that the art work has to look cohesive.  Cohesive. 

My work is considered abstract and expressionist which means it is not a picture of an apple or a cat or a landscape … it’s an abstraction of ???   It’s an abstraction of an expression.  What does a SCREAM feel like?  What does the smell of rain look like, and so on.  That’s expressionism. 

That’s the News From The Studio … how’s your day going?