Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Art House, Bagno Vignoni

  Janelle and I enjoy discovering and exploring venues with contemporary art while we travel, and we have been pleasantly surprised to find a few gems here in our area of Umbria, as well as close by in Tuscany.

  An example is Art House, in Bagno Vignoni, Tuscany. It's not far, and a beautiful drive.
  Turns out it's a salute to a famous Italian Post-War art dealer, Plinio de Martiis, who was a key player in the contemporary art scene from the mid 50's to the mid 80's.

  The inhabitants of Bagno Vignoni have helped created the "Art House", a permanent exhibition space in his honor, because he lived here.

  This first exhibition of the new space, is a selection of paintings largely belonging to the artists' heirs.

  A nice discovery, this painting, below, is by Italian artist Tommaso Cascella. New to me, and a great discovery. I loved his artwork, and I purchased his book before we left.


"La Trama della Luce"  Tommaso Cascella

This little beauty is by Carlo Mattioli

  The exhibition space is on the first (our second) floor of an old palazzo, just off the main square.
  Upon entering, you are asked to put on little plastic booties. The floors are a beautiful felt type material. It's very quiet.
  The gentleman at the front desk was kind and helpful, as well as interested in our take on it all. I imagine he's a volunteer.

One of three rooms in the Art House.

  Some of the works are by post-war classic Italian artists who I've seen before in art books.

Enrico Baj.
There were three pieces by him here.

  Chilean artist Sebastian Matta, below, influenced both Jackson Pollock and Arshile Gorky. 

I really enjoyed seeing this.

  Maybe the highlight of the exhibition was a group of three Gerhard Richter prints. We were told that there are only ten of these prints in the world, which were created with some special process.
  We were shocked they weren't originals, the printing was that well executed. Upon close inspection, it was more obvious, of course.

  But they were truly special prints, from the foundation of Art Basel.

Pure luxury for the eye.

Sadly, these photos do them no justice.

   Mimo Rottela is known for tearing up street posters, and turning them into abstract works of art. I've know of him for years. Again, he's from the art history books, big time. 
  There was this little piece, both interesting and quite attractive. Really good.
  It may have been Janelle's favorite.

More works from the exhibition.
The photograph of Plinio de Martiis was photographed by
Alberto Burri, another Italian art star.

A subtle beauty we have no information on, but which we both loved.

  An odd but totally Italian addition, this "quilt" is by Ottavio Missoni, who, along with his wife Rosita, was part of the group of designers who launched Italian "ready-to-wear" in the 1950's, thereby insuring the global success of Italian fashion.
  This piece, "Patchwork, 50 Anni", celebrates 50 years of fabrics made famous by this mega fashion house.

Totally tactile.

  We feel so lucky to experience these wonderful art venues, especially when they are such a surprise. We never know what we'll find…but so far it's all been good, if not great.
  On days I can't paint, it's a pleasure to go see Art.

  Go. See Art.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Later On That Day….

 Later on, Day 1 of painting, 2015..

 Janelle & I drove around the local Umbrian countryside.
 No particular place to go, just driving, searching for another ideal setting to paint.

 Always an issue, finding an ideal setting also means finding somewhere with a spot to park, which isn't going to be threatened by cars, trucks or giant tractors.

I like to find a quiet area, with a dirt road off of the main paved road, room enough for any other vehicle to pass by me.

A perfect place to set up.

Once again hard at work.

A long view of the Panicale skyline.
I am still working with gouache on paper.

 To get an idea of the places I stop to work, here is a shot Janelle took, while she was walking up the hill. I am in the middle of the shot, working.

The design of the land itself is so abstract.

 My beret seems so cliche, but it is one of my most important tools. 
 Great for protecting my balding scalp, and it keeps the sun out of my eyes. 
 This time of year, early March, it's cold, so it also helps to keep me warm.

The beret, not just an artist's fashion statement.

The season is changing. I capture this time when the landscape is moving from late winter to early spring. 

Fields below Ceraso, Near San Fatucchio

A good end to first day of work.
Time for a glass of wine.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

First Day Painting, Umbria 2015

  First gouache of the season.
  Begin at the very beginning. It's still challenging to start a project, putting yourself out there, compelling yourself to do good work. And good work is really what it's all about.

  The day was perfect. In between rain storms. 

Laying down artist's tape to "frame" the image.

My wife keeps me smiling.

  Getting all the supplies together takes strategy, even this plastic chair, which we purchased two years ago. We store it with friends here, in Umbria.

I love this chair.
I've done a couple of gouaches of it.

A new set of colors purchased, always new paints.
Nice cigar box kit. And retractable water cup.

  The requirement of the work is to have formal inventiveness and pictorial intelligence that lives in the moment.

And it's all about the color.

First painting done.

  On to the next painting.
  Let the season begin.

Framing the images with different colored pencils.

  Stay tuned. More to come from Umbria.