Happy 92nd Birthday to Wayne Thiebaud!
From our website: Thiebaud is best known for his paintings of cakes, pies, and candies arranged in classic diner or cafeteria style. Thiebaud depicts these objects as commodities, their emphasis on appearance as much as taste. He achieved this effect through serial repetition, synthetic colors, and, famously, by painting with a knife, as if he were spreading the “frosting” onto his cakes. By focusing on sugary foodstuffs, Thiebaud updated the traditional still-life genre for the age of mass production and consumption.
Pictured: Blue Bottle pastry chef Caitlin Williams Freeman’s sweet interpretation of Thiebaud’s Cakes (click through to see the original painting!), shot last year for Martha Stewart. Blue Bottle will be baking cakes from this series today, so come stop by for a slice!
Posted on Thursday, November 15th 2012
Today would have been digital artist and painter Jeremy Blake’s 41st birthday.
From the NYTimes:
Mr. Blake began to make a name for himself in the late 1990’s with digital projections that combined colorful abstract geometric forms with photographic images — poolside cabanas, Modernist interiors, patio lights, skylines — that suggested scenes from movies. Some art critics described the work as Color Field paintings set in motion. He called much of his work “time-based paintings,” and wrote that he drew his subject matter from a fascination with “half-remembered and imaginary architecture” and images borrowed from “Hollywood’s psychic dustbin.”
He began to veer more toward the narrative and documentary in works like his “Winchester” video trilogy, which was shown at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 2005. The videos focused on the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, Calif., a 160-room mansion with mazes of hallways and dead-end staircases, built by Sarah Winchester, the widowed heiress to the Winchester rifle fortune, to try to protect herself from ghosts of gunshot victims whom she believed would haunt her.
Pictured: Blake’s Guccinam, 2000
Posted on Thursday, October 4th 2012
Posted on Tuesday, September 25th 2012
Celebrate Rothko’s birthday today with music from Morton Feldman’s “Rothko Chapel!”
About: Morton Feldman knew many prominent figures in the New York arts scene, including Jackson Pollock, Philip Guston, and Frank O’Hara. Morton found inspiration in the paintings of the abstract expressionists, and wrote a piece called Rothko Chapel, written for the building of the same name which houses paintings by Mark Rothko.
Posted on Tuesday, September 25th 2012
Happy 100th Birthday to John Cage!
There is no such thing as an empty space or an empty time. There is always something to see, something to hear. In fact, try as we may to make a silence, we cannot. - John Cage
Posted on Wednesday, September 5th 2012
Happy 104th birthday to the father of modern photojournalism, Henri Cartier-Bresson!
In photography, the smallest thing can be a great subject.The little, human detail can become a Leitmotiv. - Henri Cartier-Bresson
Henri Cartier-Bresson, Charles Henri Ford, Paris, 1935
Henri Cartier-Bresson, Marilyn Monroe during the filming of “The Misfits,” Nevada, 1960
Henri Cartier-Bresson, Scanno, Italy, 1951
Posted on Wednesday, August 22nd 2012
Happy Birthday Alexander Calder!
From our website:
Calder’s interest in movement appeared early in his figurative wire sculptures, which have a playful, mechanical sensibility akin to wind-up toys. Some of his subsequent abstract sculptures are operated with cranks and pulleys, but his real breakthrough came with his invention of hanging sculpture. Calder’s mobiles consist of abstract shapes connected by wires and move freely with the air currents in a room.
Pictured: Calder’s Four Big Dots (1963)
Posted on Sunday, July 22nd 2012
Today marks the 105th birthday of Frida Kahlo!
Known for her fantastical imagery and folkloric style, Kahlo earned recognition among the Surrealists, but her intriguing persona and originality propelled her beyond the confines of a specific movement to become a leading figure in modern art.
Pictured: photos taken during our 2008 Frida Kahlo retrospective, when artist Rene Yanez gathered many actresses at SFMOMA to portray the iconic and much beloved artist for a piece called “Pasion por Frida.”
See many more photos here!
Posted on Friday, July 6th 2012
Today marks Chuck Close’s 72nd birthday!
In this video, Close remembers the American art scene of the 1960s, a time when sculpture ruled and many considered it “dumb to paint,” and explains why he chose to focus on portraits.
Posted on Thursday, July 5th 2012
Today marks what would have been Philip Guston’s 99th birthday!
At first Guston was known for his vivid Abstract expressionist works. Later in his life, however, Guston shocked the art world with cartoonish figures in a lurid palette of pink, red, and black.
Learn more about Guston’s fascinating career in this interactive feature!
Video: Philip Guston discusses his approach to art making.
Posted on Wednesday, June 27th 2012
It’s hard to believe, but today would have been Marilyn Monroe’s 86th birthday. Happy birthday to a great American muse.
Pictured: Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe, 1962
Posted on Friday, June 1st 2012