Juan Gris

“Flowers” – 1914

A dumb daydream, but if I were told I could own any painting by any painter, well… that’d be a hard choice. But I guess I’d probably choose a still life by artist José Victoriano Carmelo Carlos González-Pérez, a.k.a. Juan Gris. I am able to lose myself completely in his line, shapes, color, pattern and texture. Seeing his work makes me so damn happy. If I am actually able to come across his work in person, my eyes smile for months. It’s no secret that I love Cubism, and Juan Gris was a master of that style. In my opinion, Gris helped realize it’s visual potential as much as anybody.

Saying that may seem like a stretch, especially since Cubism was thought up, invented and originally developed by Picasso and Braque. They were the first pioneers of the artistic movement. Their early work, often called Analytic Cubism, broke their subjects apart into it’s most basic shapes and colors.  Many other artists were inspired by these ideas and shapes. As the Cubism evolved, it became even flatter and often more simplified and, in a lot of cases, more colorful. These later Cubist works were often defined as Synthetic Cubism, and the artists who came after Picasso and Braque were sometimes labeled Salon Cubists. Even though early on in his career he painted in a more Analytic style, Juan Gris’ work as a whole is a fine example of a more evolved and fleshed out Synthetic style.

Gris was born in Madrid in 1887 but moved to Paris in 1906, where he became friends with Matisse, Braque, Léger, and later Modigliani. By 1910 Gris was serious about his artwork and developing his own personal Cubist style. I think it was Gris who began using bright colors in his compositions, which had a huge influence on what came after. Gris was fairly young when he died of kidney and cardiac problems, only 40 years old. What he left behind, to my eye at least, is perfect.


Soft Punch

I stumbled across the work of Inger Carina in the pages of Juxtapoz. The Swedish  artist doesn’t just crochet, but she went through a period of filet crochet obsession. I can’t do justice to all of her work, though I must share her guns (above), but check out her blog at hellocraftlovers.com/category/textile-stuff-that-normally-are-not-textile. I wish she had a lengthier bio on her website.

Hair Stylist to the Canine Stars

I have a little fantasy that someday I’m going to go to hair school. I think I have some apptitude for that kind of work. My favorite “person” to practice my hair cuts on is my dog, Scout. The inspiration for this look is a haircut Denise Huxtable (played by Lisa Bonet) had on The Cosby Show at some point in the 1980s. What do you think? Not bad for someone with zero training, right?

Leonora Carrington

I mentioned Leonora Carrington in my post last week, and now her work is on my mind. She is another artist whose work I have always been interested in, but it was exceptionally hard to find at one point… but not so much anymore I guess. Still, I want to see her work here on ArtDuh, and post a few of her paintings.

I am a bit more familiar with her background, probably because she and another favorite artist, Max Ernst, were a couple for a number of years. Carrington was a young artist living in London when the two met, already very interested and involved in Surrealism. The two met at one of Ernst’s shows in London, and almost immediately moved to France, finally settling in the south. Then World War II got going…

Ernst was arrested by French authorities because of his German heritage. He was eventually released, but after the occupation he was arrested again, only this time by the Nazi. Carrington fled to Spain. Ernst was eventually able to escape with the help of Peggy Guggenheim, and he fled from Europe to America. In the mean time, Carrington had a full mental breakdown in the British embassy and was institutionalized. She spent three years in an asylum, and once released, she began creating artwork and wrote a book about her experience. She was also able to leave Europe, and moved to Mexico, where she lived until her recent death on May 25, 2011.


Utah Arts Alliance Celebrates 33,000 Square-Foot Arts Hub With Grand Opening Event

Salt Lake City’s newest Arts Hub will celebrate its grand opening this weekend. The new, huge facility is made up of art galleries, event centers, dance rehearsal space, individual arts studios, performance space, photography studios, offices for non-profit arts groups and an outdoor venue for festivals. The SLC Arts Hub is the brainchild of Derek Dyer, executive director of the Utah Arts Alliance, who has renovated the large facility on the west side of downtown to create what is arguably the most comprehensive art space in Utah.

The public is invited to join in the grand opening on May 19 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Hub, 663 West 100 South in Salt Lake City. All artist and nonprofit studios will be open for tours to offer a behind-the-scenes peek at the arts as they are created in Salt Lake City. Entertainment will include dance demonstrations and The Gray Wall Gallery’s first exhibit in their new location, consisting of work from artists who share the Hub as well as artists who will be featured in the upcoming Urban Arts Festival, slated for June 9. Refreshments will also be provided.

“The Arts Hub is a bustling center of creativity for the resident artists, professional performance groups and nonprofits that work in the space as well as classes and events for everyone interested, concerts, performances, exhibits and more,” said Dyer. “The great thing about the SLC Arts Hub is that it offers local artists an affordable home base from which they may earn an income in a difficult economy.”

With affordable studios for artists, offices for nonprofit groups and rehearsal space for performers, the Hub will contribute greatly to financial sustainability for local artists. Simply having a place to work, perform, teach and show helps many overcome some of the most difficult barriers to making it as an artist. Frequent festivals, open houses and gallery stroll nights will offer the artists an opportunity to sell their work.

“The Arts Hub is helping my business immensely by providing me a studio I can use for photography, conference room and office space at a price I can afford,” said Cat Palmer, a local photographer and Hub tenant. “It’s helping me make it as an artist and a business woman.”

“Our hope is that the Arts Hub will change the landscape of Salt Lake’s art scene by providing a home for artistic growth that hasn’t been seen before in our state,” continued Dyer.

Resident groups housed in the Hub include Salt Lake Capoeira, Samba Fogo, B-Boy Federation, People Productions, the Human Rights Education Center, Rhythms of Life, the Spanish Actors Workshop, Concept Creations Art, Glitch Wear and the Incendiary Circus’ fire performance group. The Hub also houses UAA programs like the Youth Arts in Utah program classes, Gray Wall Gallery, the Hub Boutique as the Utah Arts Alliance permanent collections gallery. Resident artists include Derek Dyer, Cat Palmer, Blake Palmer, Benjamin Altenes, Keith Eccles,  Jenn Cook, Chris Madsen, Terrance Hansen, John Madsen, Jason Stewart, P.J. Hair, Tamara Fox, Alex Pysher and Michael Christensen. The Hub property also includes a community and sculpture garden space, as well as a circus tent for events.


About the Utah Arts Alliance

The Utah Arts Alliance is a nonprofit arts and educational organization committed to furthering the arts in all forms. In addition to the SLC Arts Hub, the UAA has a gallery at 127 South Main Street in Salt Lake City. For more information, visit www.utaharts.org.

Matteo Pugliese

I stumbled across these awesome bronze sculptures on Pinterest and wanted to share them. Matteo Pugliese is a Spanish sculptor who works in bronze. See more of his great stuff at http://www.matteopugliese.com/

Remedios Varo

Astro Errante

I remember back in the pre-internet days, there were a number of artists who I wanted to reasearch and whose work I wanted to see more of, but there was just very little information out there. Remedios Varo was one of those artists, and I’ve decided to post some of her work here on ArtDuh so I can easily look at it any old time I want. I really do like her sort of surrealist-fantasy style.

Música Solar

Varo was born in Spain in 1908, but fled to Paris at the start of the Spanish Civil War. Even now, I still don’t know a lot about her life. I know she also fled from Paris during the Nazi occupation and settled in Mexico. She knew Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. And she was also a friend of Leorna Carrington’s, and together those two helped develop a very strong Mexican Surrealist movement.

Varo’s work is very interesting to look at, and the symbolism is interesting to explore.


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