Saturday 30 June 2012

Frederick Kann

I couldn't find many examples of Frederick Kann's work, but as an early 'American' abstractionist, I thought he would be an interesting artist to take a look at.

Frederick Kann (1884 – 1965) was born in Gablonz, Czechoslovakia in 1884. He studied architecture, painting, sculpture, and the applied arts at the Technical College of Prague and the Academy of Fine Arts in both Prague and Munich. Kann became involved with the German Expressionist group Die Brücke, exhibiting with them in 1905. By 1910 he moved to New York, supporting himself as a freelance and commercial artist. By 1928 he moved to Paris, where he taught studio art. It was during that period that Kann began painting abstractions.

In Paris, Kann joined the Abstraction-Creation group, an informal group of abstractionists formed to counter André Breton and the dominance of Surrealism. The founders were Theo van Doesburg, Auguste Herbin, Jean Hélion and Georges Vantongerloo. Members included Hans Arp, Francis Picabia, Wassily Kandinsky, Robert Delaunay, Joan Miró, Lazló Moholy-Nagy, and Alexander Calder. Kann exhibited his work with the group in 1934 in a show that also included work by Delaunay, Gorky, Kandinsky, Moholy-Nagy, and Mondrian, among many others.

In 1936 Kann was offered a position teaching painting at the Kansas City Art Institute. In Kansas City he exhibited at the Midwestern Artists exhibition, taking first prize in 1937. Kann continued his connections to New York as well. He was a founding member of the American Abstract Artists and exhibited with the group from 1937 to 1947. He helped organize the AAA's travelling exhibitions outside of New York. He also exhibited with the Council of Allied Artists and the American Artist Professional League. In 1940 Kann shared an exhibition with Piet Mondrian at Rose Fried's Pinacotheca Gallery in New York. He had a solo exhibition at the Pinacotheca Gallery in 1942 and at the Mortimer Brant Gallery in 1943.

In 1943, Kann left his teaching position in Kansas to accept a teaching position at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. In California he opened the Frederick Kann-Frank Martin Gallery, also called the Circle Gallery, exhibiting his own work and other abstract artists. The gallery was one of the few to exhibit abstract art at the time. In 1953 Kann retired from the Chouinard Art Institute and established the Kann Institute of Art in West Hollywood. Kann died in Los Angeles in 1965.

1930 Cubist Still Life
oil on canvas 50.8 x 60.9 cm

late 1930s Sympatica 
oil on masonite 45.7 x 61 cm

1931 Untitled 
oil on canvas 38.1 x 55.9 cm

1931 Untitled 
oil on canvas 59.9 x 73.2 cm

1931 Untitled 
oil on canvas 73.4 x 91.9 cm

c1931 Untitled 
oil on canvas 72.2 x 60 cm

c1935-36 Untitled  
oil on canvas 73 x 60 cm

c1935-36 Untitled 
oil on canvas 61 x 45.7 cm

c1936 Untitled 
gouache on sandpaper 22.9 x 27.9 cm

1937 Abstract 
oil on board 32.4 x 24.8 cm

c1938 Untitled 
oil and cork on canvas-board 45.7 x 61 cm

c1940 Untitled 
watercolour on paper 18.8 x 19.7 cm

1941 Untitled

1944 Untitled 
oil on canvasboard 45.7 x 61 cm

1956 Untitled
oil on board 41.9 x 29.2 cm

Aerial Grid 
watercolour on paper 21.6 x 17.8 cm

n.d. Sympatica
n.d. Abstract
oil on board 26.7 x 33.7 cm
n.d. Untitled
n.d. Untitled
oil on canvas 15.2 x 30.5 cm

n.d. Untitled 
91.4 x 61 cm

Thursday 28 June 2012

Thomas Pollock Anshutz - part 2

Self-Portrait c 1909

Thomas Pollock Anshutz (1851 – 1912) was an American painter and teacher. He was the co-founder of The Darby School and leader at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Anshutz was known for his award winning portraiture work and for his working friendship with Thomas Eakins.

This is part 2 of a 2-part post on Anshutz. For biographical notes and for more works, see part 1. Unfortunately the majority of works in part 2 (mainly studies) are not dated:

c1908 Portrait of Margaret Perot 
oil on canvas 162.7 x 101.5 cm

1909 Figure Piece

1910 Portrait of Helen Thurlow 
pastel on linen 85.9 x 76.2 cm

1910c Portrait of Rebecca H. Whelan 
oil on canvas 100.3 x 151.1 cm

n.d Untitled ( Cast Drawing, Ghost Dance ) 
charcoal on paper 62.5 x 47.6 cm

n.d. Cast Study with Students 
charcoal on paper 61.9 x 47.3 cm

n.d. Garden

n.d. Landscape With Grey Sky

n.d. Landscape 
oil on academy board 19.1 x 24.9 cm

n.d. Landscape 
oil on academy board 19.2 x 25.4 cm

n.d. Landscape with Buildings 
oil on academy board 19.2 x 25.2 cm

n.d. Landscape with Trees and House 
oil on academy board 19.2 x 25.2 cm

n.d. New Jersey Shore

n.d. Seated Nude Hands Behind Neck 
charcoal on paper 62.5 x 48.3 cm

n.d. Seated Nude Hands on Head 
charcoal on paper 62.9 x 47.8 cm

n.d. Shore Scene 
oil on academy board 19.1 x 24.9 cm

n.d. Standing Nude 
charcoal on paper 62.5 x 48 cm

n.d. Sunset Glow 
watercolour 25.4 x 34.3 cm

n.d. Two Male Figures Wrestling 
charcoal on paper 61.6 x 47.6 cm

n.d. Two Musicians 
charcoal and pastel on paper 62.7 x 47.6 cm

n.d. Two Studies of Nude Model 
charcoal on paper 62.2 x 48.3 cm

n.d. Untitled ( Cast Drawing, Wrestlers from the side ) 
charcoal and stump work on paper 62.2 x 47.9 cm

n.d. Untitled ( Cast drawing, Theseus ) 
charcoal on paper 61.8 x 47.9 cm

n.d. Untitled ( Child seated in rocking chair, writing ) 
pastel on paper 54.3 x 37.1 cm

n.d. Untitled ( Seascape, Surf and rocks ) 
watercolour on paper 22.9 x 28.9 cm

n.d. Untitled ( Steamship ) 
watercolour on paper 25.2 x 20.2 cm

n.d. Untitled Landscape

Tuesday 26 June 2012

Thomas Pollock Anshutz - part 1

Thomas Pollock Anshutz (1851 – 1912) was an American painter and teacher. He was the co-founder of The Darby School and leader at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Anshutz was known for his award winning portraiture work and for his working friendship with Thomas Eakins.

Anshutz was born in Newport, Kentucky in 1851. He grew up in Newport and Wheeling, West Virginia. His early art instruction took place at the National Academy of Design in the early 1870s, where he studied under Lemuel Wilmarth. In 1875 he moved to Philadelphia and took a class taught by Thomas Eakins at the Philadelphia Sketch Club, a class which would solidify a close relationship and influence between Eakins and Anshutz.

 In 1878 Anshutz became Eakins assistant, eventually replacing Eakins as Chief Demonstrator when Eakins became Professor of Drawing and Painting. In 1880 he completed his first major work, The Ironworker's Noontime, (1880) while still a student. Eakins was dismissed from his position in 1886 and Anshutz took over as art instruction leader at the Academy. Anshutz would briefly travel to Europe, focusing primarily on his teaching in Philadelphia. Numerous artists studied under Anshutz, including George Luks, Charles Demuth, John Sloan, Charles Sheeler, Everett Shinn, John Marin, William Glackens, and Robert Henri.

In 1892 Anshutz married Effie Shriver Russell. The two spent their honeymoon in Paris, where Anshutz attended classes at Académie Julian. In 1893 they returned to Philadelphia. The Anshutz family regularly vacationed in Holly Beach, New Jersey which served as a creative place for the painter. There he experimented with watercolours, bright colour palette, and simple compositions. He also photographed the natural environment, utilizing the images as studies for paintings, specifically Holly Beach and trips down the Delaware and Maurice rivers.

Although Anshutz experimented persistently with landscape painting, he was more well known for his portraiture, which won him numerous awards in the 1890s and 1900s. In 1898 he and Hugh Breckenridge co-founded the Darby School, a summer school outside of Philadelphia which emphasized plein air painting. At Darby Anshutz created his most abstract works, a series of bright oil landscape paintings that were never exhibited. He continued to participate at Darby until 1910. He served as a member of the National Academy of Design and president of the Philadelphia Sketch Club. He retired from teaching in the autumn of 1911 due to poor health and died in June1912.

This is part 1 of a 2-part post on Anshutz:

1879 The Farmer and His Son at Harvesting 
43.6 x 61.6 cm

1879 The Way They Live 
oil on canvas 61 x 43.2 cm

1880 Boys with a Boat, Ohio River, near Wheeling, West Virginia
 cyanotype 14.6 x 22.2 cm

The above photograph was clearly the main reference for two versions of a paintings done a little later:

1898 Steamboat on the Ohio

c1900 Steamboat on the Ohio 
oil on canvas 38 x 25 cm

1880 Factory - Study for Ironworkers ( below ), Noontime 
oil on paperboard 21.4 x 32.7 cm

1880 The Ironworker's Noontime 
oil on canvas 43.2 x 61 cm

c1885 Landscape with Tree 
oil on academy board 14.8 x 20.5 cm

1888 The Chore 
oil on canvas 25 x 35.7 cm

c1890 Lady by a Window 
watercolour 38 x 70.8 cm

c1891 A Studio Study 
oil on canvas 56 x 91.7 cm

after 1892 House and Tree ( The Artist's House ) 
oil on paperboard 20 x 26.4 cm

1893 Portrait of Mrs. Anschutz 
pastel on paper 50.8 x 66.04 cm

c1893 St. Cloud near Paris 
watercolour 21 x 26.7 cm

1894 Near Cape May 
watercolour on paper 25.4 x 36.6 cm

1894 Untitled ( Man in Boat ) 
graphite and watercolour on paper 22.4 x 32.9 cm

c1894 Untitled ( A Beach Scene ) 
watercolour on paper 17.1 x 24 cm

c1895 Checker Players 
oil on canvas 40.8 x 51 cm

c1897 On the Delaware at Tacony 
oil on canvas 58.7 x 40.96 cm

c1897 The Lumber Boat 
oil on canvas 61.3 x 41.3 cm

c1898 Boat in the Port 
oil on canvas 94 x 66 cm

c1900 Boy Reading, Ned Anshutz 
oil on canvas 96.7 x 68.8 cm

c1900 The Summer House 

c1905 The Incense Burner ( Rebecca H. Whelan ) 
oil on canvas 162.6 x 101.6 cm

c1905 Woman Writing at a Table 
oil on canvas 51.4 x 40.6 cm

1907 A Rose 
oil on canvas 147.3 x 11.4 cm

1907 Indian on the Ohio 
oil on canvas 54.6 x76.8 cm

c1908 A Study in Scarlet, Portrait of Katherine Rice 
pastel on canvas 86.4 x 76.2 cm