Thursday, January 7, 2010


Titian, Flora, about 1516-18. Oil on canvas.

Veronese, Virgin and Child with Angels Appearing to Saint Anthony Abbot and Saint Paul the Hermit, 1562. Oil on canvas.

Tintoretto, Susannah and the Elders, about 1555-56. Oil on canvas.

The Murmur of the Innocents 1, 2009, mixed media (oil & acrylic) on canvas, 77 8/10 x 114 1/4in

The Murmur of the Innocents 5, 2009, mixed media (oil & acrylic) on canvas, 74 3/4 x 126in

The Murmur of the Innocents 4, 2009, mixed media (oil & acrylic) on canvas, 63 x 91in

The Murmur of the Innocents 9, 2009, mixed media (oil & acrylic) on canvas, 65 x 79 1/2in

Helnwein working on the series The Murmur of the Innocents (The Disasters of War, part II), 2009
Antonio Santin (Spanish, lives and works in Madrid and Berlin)

Antonio Santin, Katrin Lola, Oil on Canvas, 100 x 90 cm

Santin’s larger than life paintings of women’s faces start with a model being photographed in his studio. When translating these photographs into paint, Santin disturbs his sugary sweet images by applying abstract gestures of paint over the surface of the photo-realist painted faces. A provocative gesture and a painterly violation of photographic intentions, whilst "simultaneously suggesting a celebration of the freedom of paint, enlivening an image from the flatness and fixed, controlled nature of the photographic image".

Andrew Hollis (South African, lives and works in U.K.)

Andrew Hollis, 2009, Untitled, oil on linen, 50 x 75 cm

Andrew Hollis starts with photographic images, taken from magazines and newspapers and translates these into paint, creating images with bold brush-stokes. The emphasis is on the materiality of paint in his work whilst nonetheless still consciously retaining the sense of a photograph,

John Singer Sargent, 1856–1925, Mr and Mrs IN Phelps Stokes 1897, Oil on canvas, 214 x 101cm (84 1/4 x 39 3/4in.)

American Impressionism and Realism: A Landmark Exhibition from the Met

This major exhibition of works from the Metropolitan Museum's American Wing was made possible due to renovations allowing a large number of paintings to be lent. Queensland Art Gallery is the only venue that these paintings will be exhibited at before returning to USA.

The exhibition comprises of 71 paintings of the Metropolitan’s best examples in the American Impressionist and Realist traditions. Including works by James Abbott McNeill Whistler, John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer, Childe Hassam, William Merritt-Chase, John Sloan and William Glackens.

Also included are Australian artists who responded to key artistic developments of the time, more than 30 iconic Australian paintings are in the exhibition. Australian artists included are Tom Roberts, Charles Conder, Frederick McCubbin and Rupert Bunny.

Repose, 1895, John White Alexander, Oil on canvas. 132.7 x 161.6 cm (54 1/4 x 63 5/8 in.).

Still Life with apricots and cherries, 1773, oil on canvas

Still Life with figs and bread, c1770, oil on canvas

Still Life with box of jellied fruit, bread, silver salver, glass and wine cooler, 1770, oil on canvas

Still Life with Watermelons and apples in a landscape, 1771, oil on canvas

"Douce Lumiere", 2009, acrylic on canvas, 23.75 x 32in

"Framboise", 2009, acrylic on linen, 34 x 51in

"Portrait de Luh", 2008, acrylic on canvas, 51 x 35in

"La Boudeuse", 2005, acrylic on canvas, 15.25 x 15.25in

"Martine", 2009, acrylic on canvas, 23 x 23in 

Shadows on Greene Street, oil on canvas, 48 x 40", 2009

In The Real Art World: How do you go about finding the subjects for your paintings and what do you really look for when assessing it’s potential to make it as a painting?

Stephen Magsig:: I mostly work from images that are composed and photographed to be paintings. So every shot has the potentical of becoming a painting. Detroit is not a walking city so I drive around until I see some thing that interests me and stop and take shots to work from.

I may shoot hundreds of photos in one day. In NY we walk the city looking for subjects to shoot.. The NY shots are usually closer in and mostly vertical in format where the Detroit images are square or horizontal in format. My favorite areas in NY are Tribeca, the cast iron district of SOHO, The lower East side and the West Village. I like the lower Manhattan areas the best.
I have over 25 years of Detroit photos and 15 years of NY photos. It is always a mystery to me why one subject reaches out to me on any given day, I may look at an image for years with no response, then one day it is the one that excites me to create a painting using that image. I can only think it has to do with where I am at that particular time in my life, the image is really a reflection of my mental mood. It is really hard to explain, but so far I have always been able to find something that grabs me.

Brooklyn Bridge Reflections, 2009, oil on linen, 30x24in

In The Real Art World: Is there a nostalgic aspect to your paintings? Even though the locations exist now, there seems to be a preference for older buildings and of scenes not cluttered by the visual pollution of trivial advertising.

Stephen Magsig:: I feel I have more respect and more in common with traditional artists from the past, regardless of the subject they painted. The urban subject is a vehicle for me to communicate to others. As Hopper said " if I could say it in words I wouldn't have to paint" I do like to par it down to the simplest essence, so I do edit the photos to suit me, just as if I was on site painting. The photo is information for me to work from, not to copy verbatim.

I do have a preference for things that have a patina of life to them, the new and shiny does not interest me as much as a building that has been used and or abused, or forgotten. There is more interest and mystery. I like to paint things with a history and a story, even if I do not know the story I can still have a sense of it. Empathy is something that I feel is very important in life today.

Some of the paintings I do are of buildings or scenes that change or have been torn down. I feel I am also recording a time in Detroit, a visual record for better or worse. Detroit is a tough city and we are used to getting through hard times. There is a very vibrant art scene here.

Moulin Bleu, 2009, oil on canvas, 62x48in

Prince Street Reflections, 2009 oil on linen, 30x24in

In The Real Art World:Tell me about your working process, how an idea becomes a finished painting?

Stephen Magsig:: After deciding on an image to paint. I print out the image in proportion to the canvas size I will use. I use a large proportional grid on the printed image and on the canvas. This is a way for me to keep things in proportion and straight as I have a astigmatism, and everything would lean to the left without vertical guide lines. I do my drawing with thin paint and a brush rather than with a pencil. On larger works I will under paint the masses while drawing. I work from dark to light. The small painting are done in one setting, I like painting wet into wet. I can control edges more that way. On the larger works I try to do certain color sections in one setting just like the smaller works, so I can control the paint without having to overpaint. I feel this keeps the paintings fresh and not overworked. Working on each section until I am happy. I will mix up a very large range of colors for what I am painting at that setting. A range of colors from warm to cool and then each of these light to dark and added reflective colors in the same value. This allows me to put more color into an area without having to mix. I can also intermix this palette and the colors stay harmonious. I can also have more freedom to use warm and cool colors within a certain value to give an area more life or color perspective. On a typical larger painting I will work on the shadow areas of a section first and then add the sunlit areas and then add the highlights. Working on each area until all is complete. I then finish off the painting making any color correction or perspective changes and finally adding the last few highlights.

I do work from a computer screen and from the printed image. I use the printed image to do the drawing and refer to the screen for color and detail. The screen is near my painting and I use it as a tool for gathering information and color.

White Street, 2009, oil on canvas, 42x36in

In The Real Art World: Who are the artists that at the moment you are looking at, or find their work resonates for you?

Stephen Magsig:: There are so many it is hard to single out a few, I really like all GOOD artwork regardless of subject or style.

I really like Alyssa Monks work as she is a great painter. Her brush work and color is incredible. Ben Aronson, Martha Armstrong, Joan Mitchell, Jeremy Lipking, Francis Livingston. are a few I like.
Also I am always looking at Hopper, Fairfield Porter, Bonnard, Matisse, Whistler, Diebenkorn, Ralph Wickiser, Eric Fischl, Robert Ryman, Edwin Dickenson, Rackstraw Downes, and Bob Thompson among others.

With the daily painters I am always learning from Julian Merrow-Smith's and Don Gray's work. I also like Pierre Raby, Edward B. Gordon, Sheila Vaughan and Regis Pettinari.

164 Red, oil on canvas, 24 x 20", 2007

In The Real Art World: I'm always curious of which colors make up the palette used by the artist, can you list them for me?

Stephen Magsig:: I really like Williamsburg paints, favorite colors: Indigo, Titanium White, Unbleached Titanium, Raw Umber, Naples Yellow, Persian Rose, Provence Violet Bluish, Cobalt Blue, Cadmium-Green, Yellow & Red, Mars Yellow, Black, and Orange.

Wooster and Grand, 2009, oil on canvas, 62x48in

In The Real Art World: Finally, what's next?

New Studio 2009 oil on linen, 60 .5 x 91.2cm

Curtains 2009, oil on linen, 103 x 68.5cm

Stalwart 2009, gouache on paper, 58 x 39cm  

Gerhard Richter, Horst with dog, 1965, oil on canvas, 80 cm X 60 cm

Gerhard Richter, Betty , 1977, Oil on canvas, 30 cm X 40 cm

2. Constable Portraits: The Painter and His Circle, Until 14 June

Mary Freer by John Constable, 1809, 24.8 in x 29.92 in

3. The National Portrait Gallery Permanent Collection

Dame (Alice) Ellen Terry ('Choosing')
by George Frederic Watts
oil on strawboard mounted on Gatorfoam, circa 1864, 18 5/8 in. x 14 in.

Frederick Gustavus Burnaby
by James Jacques Tissot
oil on panel, 1870, 19 1/2 in. x 23 1/2 in.

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