Autumn Antiques Fair
It's called an "antiques fair"
but the best part of
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
How angular and delicious!
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,
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."
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.
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.
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
while nobody knows anything about this guy
other than his name.
Still... it's a nice cityscape,
and his name is worth knowing.