2011 Graduates: Jo Hartley

July 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

This is the first posting of many, featuring the individual graduating senior painting students from Ohio Wesleyan University, 2011. The order in which students appear is totally random. First up is Jo Hartley, who, last we heard, is somewhere in Austria.


Jerome Witkin

July 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

Vincent Van Gogh and Death, mixed media, 84 x 48 in.

In the wake of Lucian Freud’s recent death,  another great contemporary figure painter comes to the fore, Jerome Witkin, with a 40-year retrospective promised at Syracuse University, where Witkin, in his 70s, still teaches. Witkin has always been more of a story-teller than Freud, who, it seems,  allowed the flesh itself to speak without feeling compelled to construct narrative contexts for its meanings. Witkin, on the other hand is the consummate story teller, as art historian and critic John Seed explores in the following article. Witkin is also the master draughtsman, colorist, composer, and paint manipulator, bringing all of his force to bear on the realization of his ideas. Witkin is, in this writer’s opinion, one of our greatest living figure painters, if not the greatest.

Pensione Ichino, oil on canvas, 53″ x 120,” 1997

John Seed: Jerome Witkin: Painting History, Memory, and Fantasy.

OWU’s Emerging Artists 2011

July 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

May 2011 saw the graduation of many talented students from the BFA and BA programs at Ohio Wesleyan University.  Four years of hard work and profound growth – all of the tears, joys, uncertainties, fears, and triumphs that mark the creative process – culminates in the Senior Show at the Ross Art Museum on campus. The exhibition is an annual rite of passage for these students as they make the transition from college art majors to artists in their own right.  Their presence in the studios of Edgar and Haycock Halls will be missed by peers and teachers, but their influence on OWU and those coming up behind them will remain.

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Another Giant Departs: Lucien Freud, 1922-2011

July 22, 2011 § 1 Comment

The death of painter Lucien Freud yesterday leaves a large hole in the contemporary art world. For many painters today, Freud was the perfect answer to the dogmatism of critic Clement Greenberg (1909-94), whose views on the end of “easel art” and the human figure as subject matter, dominated not only the museums and galleries of recent decades, but also the teaching of art throughout the world. According to Greenberg  the figure, as subject, was dead. In fact, any depiction of depth, or illusionism in painting, was held by him to be passe`, an historical anachronism. Lucien Freud was certainly not alone in his defiance of such absurd positions but, in his determined fidelity to the figure as subject for his art, in his insistence on the “anachronism” of direct observation, and, most importantly, in what he was able to do with paint to express the multiple layers and complexities of his subject, Freud was one of the greatest living painters of our generation.

Lucien Freud, Paintings


Cy Twombly, 1928 – 2011

July 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

Cy Twombly was born in Lexington, VA, in 1928. He died yesterday in Rome.


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