Monday, October 06, 2008

Autumn Antiques Fair

Archibald Motley

It's called an "antiques fair"
but the best part of
these events
at the Chicago Merchandise Mart
is the 20th C. painting.

So they serve as a kind of rotating display of (mostly) American Art,
with an emphasis on regional artists.

they do exactly what
art museums used to do.

But in one way,
they're even better than art museums,
because they will show things
only because they have a chance of selling,
regardless of the artist's name,
(and even when it's unknown)

Archibald Motley (shown above) is a very famous name,
at least among those who follow African- American art.

I would say he's tops,
and that above painting is the best,
most exciting piece of his that I have seen in person.
(including the two at the Art Institute)

How could you live with that painting,
and not be dancing all the time?

on the other hand,
the name of the painter of this little piece
is entirely unknown.

He (or she) is simply listed as a
"Russian Impressionist"

How angular and delicious!

Vic Testermann

We know the name of this sculptor,
but that's all we know.

a guy who went to art school 1940-1960,
and ended up doing something else
for a living.

This would have been a nice little piece
(or maquette for a larger piece)
to be shown someplace like a doctor's office.

Gail Sherman Corbett

This lady was a
Classical sculptor as well as Impressionist painter.
She's not a great talent --
but still this piece caught my eye.

There's something honest about her.

Gustave Loiseau, 1926

I really like this painting,
completely delicious,
and inspiring a life of wanton abandon.

He's one of those post-Impressionists
that never seem to make it to American museums,
even if the works sell for princely sums ($300,000.)

James R. Hopkins

Not many nudes in this show,
artists like to paint them much more
than collectors like to buy them.

But this was a great one,
from a Cincinnati painter
who also did this charming piece

Jens Kongshammer, 1920's

From what I've learned on the Internet,
this poor, Danish artist
painted like crazy to earn a living.

I.e. -- he was a "starving artist"
before that concept was commercialized
and turned into a industry that turns out
cheap paintings to go above the sofa.

At the gallery where I saw this,
that's exactly how he is still being sold
(a piece was measured to see if it fit a specific wall)

but still, I get a kick out him.
This is how I remember Paris feeling to me
when I visited it as a young person.

I also like this painting,
though the artist was total phony.

Growing up as Anders Gittleson
in Brooklyn, New York

he changed his name to Andre Gisson
so he could better sell his
French Impressionist paintings.

He wanted to be French, not American
and -- well -- why not ?

I think the above piece is ecstatic:

"Up, up and away... in my beautiful ballooon."

Albert Krehbiel

While, here's a Midwest Impressionist who didn't mind being American.

Not quite so light hearted,
but hey - we're building the citadel of Freedom.

Belle Hoffman

Here's another American Impressionist.

Why does this feel like Wisconsin or Ohio instead
of Fontainbleau ?

I don't know - but it does.
Maybe because it's so scruffy.

Jess Hobby

This is definitely Wisconsin,
and something about
the wavy lines
makes me feel a bit inebriated.

(and what else is there to do when
out boating on a small lake)

Alexis Jean Fournier

Now -- here's a real Barbizon painter,
so the scene is more majestic

Fritz Peters

while nobody knows anything about this guy
other than his name.

Still... it's a nice cityscape,
and his name is worth knowing.


Blogger Robert said...

I supose I rather like the dancer in the ashtray, but then I would wouldn't I! Otherwise "wholesome" Chris!

October 07, 2008  
Blogger chris miller said...

I didn't even notice that was ashtray!

Can't you imagine finding it in the officers' club of your old regiment?

October 07, 2008  
Blogger artiseternal said...

That was a nice collection of paintings. If I had to chose, I'd have to be a zillionaire - I liked so many of them.

October 08, 2008  
Blogger marlyat2 said...

I like the Loiseau light-and-water pieceā€¦ could imagine living with that one. And Belle Hoffman, that light warm on my arms and hair, that uneven ground and fair sky.

October 13, 2008  
Blogger chris miller said...

It sounds like you've stepped right into that Belle Hoffman landscape, Marly -- and so have I.
I think that's the wonder of paintings done on site -- or, at least begun there.

October 14, 2008  
Anonymous marly said...

Hah, that ashtray exchange was so Robert-Chris!

I suppose you're right: one is really sensing and looking at the thing and carrying a little soul of a place--soil and scent and light--into the paint.

October 16, 2008  
Blogger Ethanne said...


I am distantly related to Gail Sherman Corbett.
So, I have a special interest in her work.

I especially like what I have seen of her bronze scuptures.

I also like her paintings from old time Paris.

Some of her work is still in the art market.

Ethel Stanton

October 22, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also am very fond of Jens kongshammer, I had a great painting of his bought by my father in 1940-42 from the artist. I have had it now for more than 40 years on my wall untill it was stolen last year. Paris: Flowermarket at the Madeleine Church

February 02, 2010  
Blogger chris miller said...

Ouch! Hopefully it will end up with a reputable dealer who returns it to you.

February 02, 2010  

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