More Contemporary Painting: The Body and Identity

Kent Monkman

Winnepeg born, Cree ancestry – his grandmother was a student at residential schools in Canada growing up.

He works with traditions of European historical painting styles – and creates new alternative narratives, and subverts nationalistic mythologies

Ibrim X Kendy: On Racism in Canada:

“From my reading of Canada, it has always had racial inequities. Thereby, it has always had racist policies. I don’t have a ranking of who is more or less racist. The only way in which I assess who is more racist is who is more in denial. So those countries that have a persistence and pervasiveness of racial inequity and imagine themselves as “post-racial” are, to me, more racist than the country that has more racial inequities but is less in denial. Because denial fundamentally is the heartbeat of racism”.

“Denial fundamentally is the heartbeat of racism”

The Fathers of Confederation:

 

Kent Monkman, The Daddies, 2016.

“It was a pretty deliberate effort to have people reflect on the last 150 years in terms of the Indigenous experience,” said Monkman of the show. “Canada’s 150 years old—what does that mean for the First People? When I thought about it, I thought it includes the worst period, because it goes all the way back to the signing of the treaties, the beginning of the reserve system, this legacy of incarceration, residential schools, sickness, the removal of children in the ’60s, missing and murdered women.

“So there’s a lot of material in the show that tries to encompass and stitch together this narrative that reflects back on 150 years.”

Amid the dark vestiges of history, though, there are moments of humour, too—as in much of Monkman’s work. Here, Monkman has arranged the exhibition as if it’s a memoir of Miss Chief, his time-travelling, trickster alter ego.

“I decided to stitch the narrative together as though it was her point of view, and to talk about each one of these themes and each one of these chapters as though it was in her voice.

“I think that it’s an effective way to deal with the subject matter, because she can be present in all of the different time periods… She could be present at the signing of the treaties, she could be there when the fathers of Confederation had their meeting to shape the country. That she’s always there and experiencing these things, or relating these experiences to her own community and her own family, makes it real.” (Canadian Art)http://canadianart.ca/features/kent-monkman-critiques-canada-150/

Kent Monkman, The Scream, 2016.

 

KEHINDE WILEY: American artist, works in Brooklyn, NY

Wiley’s signature portraits of everyday men and women riff on specific paintings by Old Masters, replacing the European aristocrats depicted in those paintings with contemporary black subjects, drawing attention to the absence of African Americans from historical and cultural narratives.

The subjects in Wiley’s paintings often wear sneakers, hoodies, and baseball caps, gear associated with hip-hop culture, and are set against contrasting ornate decorative backgrounds that evoke earlier eras and a range of cultures.

Through the process of “street casting,” Wiley invites individuals, often strangers he encounters on the street, to sit for portraits. In this collaborative process, the model chooses a reproduction of a painting from a book and reenacts the pose of the painting’s figure. By inviting the subjects to select a work of art, Wiley gives them a measure of control over the way they’re portrayed.- https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/kehinde_wiley_new_republic/

Kehinde Wiley, Naomi and her Daughters, 2013, oil on canvas, 108x90 inches https://artotterblog.blogspot.ca/2015/02/black-history-month-kehinde-wiley.html

KEHINDE WILEY, “Two Heroic Sisters of the Grassland,” 2011 (oil on canvas). http://www.culturetype.com/2015/02/15/new-york-times-paints-portrait-of-kehinde-wiley/
KEHINDE WILEY, “Two Heroic Sisters of the Grassland,” 2011 (oil on canvas). http://www.culturetype.com/2015/02/15/new-york-times-paints-portrait-of-kehinde-wiley/

Pulitzer Prize-winning, Dominican-American author: Junot Díaz:

 

“I don’t trust our politicians. I don’t trust our mainstream religious figures. I don’t trust our business leaders. I don’t trust any of the sort of folks who already have power and have already shown us how little they can do for us, and they’re showing us their cowardice and their avarice — I don’t trust any of those people. But I do trust in the collective genius of all the people who have survived these wicked systems. I trust in that. I think from the bottom will the genius come that makes our ability to live with each other possible. I believe that with all my heart.”

Kehinde Wiley, Naomi and her Daughters, 2013, oil on canvas, 108×90 inches https://artotterblog.blogspot.ca/2015/02/black-history-month-kehinde-wiley.html

Terence Nance III, 2011, Oil on canvas 28" x 21.5" http://kehindewiley.com/works/selected-work-2011/
Terence Nance III, 2011, Oil on canvas 28″ x 21.5″ http://kehindewiley.com/works/selected-work-2011/

Saint George and the Dragon, 2015, Kehinde Wiley, American, b. 1977, oil on canvas, 114 x 108 in. http://knkx.org/post/now-showing-seattle-art-museum-kehinde-wiley-s-personal-history-color

“He often references Old Masters paintings for the pose of the figure.[5] Wiley’s paintings often blur the boundaries between traditional and contemporary modes of representation. Rendered in a realistic mode—while making references to specific Old Master paintings—Wiley creates a fusion of period styles, ranging from French Rococo, Islamic architecture and West African textile design to urban hip hop and the “Sea Foam Green” of a Martha Stewart Interiors color swatch. Wiley’s slightly larger than life size figures are depicted in a heroic manner, as their poses connote power and spiritual awakening. Wiley’s portrayal of masculinity is filtered through these poses of power and spirituality.”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kehinde_Wiley

“I’m a child of blackness. Blackness was not meant to survive, and we have survived. And we have thrived. And we’ve given this world more genius than we have ever received.”

Junot Diaz

 

Hernan Bas (American painter) “His work indulges in the production of romantic, melancholic and old world imagery, and makes reference to Wilde, Huysmans and other writers of the Aesthetic and Decadent period in literature.” From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hernan_Bas

 Hernan Bas Gregory grinning (The Smiths, 1983) Acrylic and metal foil on linen 40 x 30 in (101.6 x 76.2 cm) 2014 https://paddle8.com/artists/hernan-bas/
Hernan Bas
Gregory grinning (The Smiths, 1983)
Acrylic and metal foil on linen
40 x 30 in (101.6 x 76.2 cm)
2014
https://paddle8.com/artists/hernan-bas/

 

Captured at various thresholds – between youth and adulthood, innocence and experience, public and private realms – and situated within a shifting terrain of interior and exterior spaces, the figures in Hernan Bas’ paintings are charged with potential. Bringing to mind poles of intellect and physicality, the androgynous young men in these paintings engage in rituals of courtship, love and death that seem to be based on a theatrical exaggeration of emotion.- Victoria Miro

 Hernan Bas Unknown poet in a bramble (he hated nature themes), Acrylic, silk screen and genuine gold leaf on linen 14 x 11 x 2 in (35.56 x 27.94 x 5.08 cm) 2012
Hernan Bas
Unknown poet in a bramble (he hated nature themes),
Acrylic, silk screen and genuine gold leaf on linen
14 x 11 x 2 in (35.56 x 27.94 x 5.08 cm)
2012
Hernan Bas The Sunday Snail Race Acrylic on linen 213,4 x 182,9 cm 84 x 72 inches 2015
Hernan Bas
The Sunday Snail Race
Acrylic on linen
213,4 x 182,9 cm
84 x 72 inches
2015
http://www.actuart.org/2015/11/expo-peinture-contemporaine-hernan-bas-fruits-and-flowers.html

 

See the Paitings of Mickalene Thomas

“Mickalene Thomas explores notions of beauty particularly in relation to African American women with her photographs, collages, and paintings. Her portraits are informed by the long tradition of portraiture in western art history, the more recent pin-up images of the 1960’s and 70’s, and by her own mother, a former model, who often models for Thomas. They address questions of artifice, femininity, strength, and glamour. In this work for PS1’s lobby, Thomas presents three women in an ornate setting, composed in a direct homage to Manet’s Le Déjeuner Sur L’herbe, 1863. The sitters exude intense confidence and sensuality amplified by Thomas’ patterned and collaged treatment. ” MOMA PS1

https://www.mickalenethomas.com/works/paintings/VpWEvh8AAC8VIrT-

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Mickalene Thomas, Le Dejeuner sur l’herbe: Les trois femmes noires (detail), 2010. Rhinestones, acrylic, and enamel on wood panel, 304.8 x 731.5 cm. The Rachel and Jean-Pierre Lehmann Collection © Mickalene Thomas
 
 
 
 

Click on ABOUT for a video:https://www.mickalenethomas.com/about

Paintings of black women – “Glamorous, assured, sexy subjects”

Claiming a space for black women in iconic images.

Liu Xiaodong

In 2008 there was an enourmous earthquake in Sichuan, Beichuan was badly damaged, killing an estimated more than 70,000-90,000 people, see https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2013/05/sichuan-earthquake-five-years-later/100513/

“Liu Xiaodong (lives and works in Bejing)  is a painter of modern life, whose large-scale works serve as a kind of history painting for the emerging world. Liu locates the human dimension to such global issues as population displacement, environmental crisis and economic upheaval, but through carefully orchestrated compositions, he walks the line between artifice and reality.

“A leading figure in the “Neo-Realist” movement that emerged in China during the 1990s, Xiadong paints from life — often in plein air settings — and has an eye for narrative details, mannerisms, and subtle human interactions.”

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“Part group portraiture, part near-journalistic documentary, Liu’s work might make us rethink the simple depiction of informal gatherings”

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Out of Beichuan, 2009
 
 
 
 

From: https://www.phaidon.com/agenda/art/articles/2013/july/25/chinese-neorealist-to-paint-londoners/

Play video – stop at We Humans are Very Strange Animals: 3.43sec

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Title:电脑领袖, 1996

China’s changes and the changes that globalization has brought to China has lead to very significant changes. My hometown is a very, very small town. But the changes that happened there were also quite significant, including the construction of new buildings, the bankruptcy of a factory and the resulting of many people needing to find new jobs. I wanted to go back to my hometown and see this progress so that I could depict it in a way that represented the changes in China on a larger scale. I had to face the pessimism of a lot people.” -Liu Xiaodong

“I really like going to places that are in chaos or in a not entirely functional/developed state. I think that these places can more really show people’s true attitudes, their lives and the environments in which they exist. I see it as an opportunity to break through these circumstances and in a very honestly manner explore their realities. These troubled environments also give me the power to breakthrough my own preconceptions and perspectives of painting through which I can express my own desires.”-

Liu Xiaodong, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-seed/liu-xiadong_b_4142462.html

Liu Xiaodong East, 2012 Oil on canvas 250 x 300 cm / 98 1/2 x 118 in. http://www.lissongallery.com/artists/liu-xiaodong/gallery/3911
Liu Xiaodong
East, 2012
Oil on canvas
250 x 300 cm / 98 1/2 x 118 in.
http://www.lissongallery.com/artists/liu-xiaodong/gallery/3911

He says : ‘Society and art’, he says, ‘should be like breathing – one breathes in and the other breathes out’

Above: Jincheng is a coal town, noted especially for its air pollution.

 

Kerry James Marshall

Watch the Art 21 Episode on Identity – where Marshall talks about his work and his references. Begin video from 16.minutes – 30 minutes.

Kerry James Marshall uses painting, sculptural installations, collage, video, and photography to comment on the history of black identity both in the United States and in Western art. He is well known for paintings that focus on black subjects historically excluded from the artistic canon, and has explored issues of race and history through imagery ranging from abstraction to comics. Marshall said in a 2012 interview with Art + Auctionthat “it is possible to transcend what is perceived to be the limitations of a race-conscious kind of work. It is a limitation only if you accept someone else’s foreclosure from the outside. From http://www.jackshainman.com/artists/kerryjames-marshall/

Kerry James Marshall De Style 1993 https://d32dm0rphc51dk.cloudfront.net/imeBS53GeyiGNZWtbhHnhA/larger.jpg
Kerry James Marshall
De Style
Acrylic and collage on unstretched canvas 104 × 122 in 264.2 × 309.9 cm 1993
https://d32dm0rphc51dk.cloudfront.net/imeBS53GeyiGNZWtbhHnhA/larger.jpg

Marshall, who was born in Birmingham, Alabama and grew up in the South Central area of Los Angeles, first became aware of the invisibility of black people within what he calls “the visual field” not by visiting museums but by reading comic books. “There were no black superheroes,” he recalls. “When they did introduce the Black Panther in Fantastic Four [in 1966], I became acutely aware that the black superhero was a strange phenomenon – an exception to the rule. Then I started noticing the same thing everywhere else. Black figures were never the central subjects in art-history books.”-Alastair Sooke, Kerry James Marshall: Challenging Racism in Art History http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20141023-i-show-black-is-beautiful

Kerry James Marshall, Untitled (Studio), 2014. Acrylic on PVC panel; 83 1/2 × 118 7/8 in. (211.9 × 301.8 cm). http://artistproject.metmuseum.org/2/kerry-james-marshall/
Kerry James Marshall, Untitled (Painter), 2009. Acrylic on PVC; 44 5/8 x 43 1/8 x 3 7/8 in. (113.4 x 109.5 x 9.8 cm). https://mcachicago.org/Exhibitions/2016/Kerry-James-Marshall

“Unapologetically self-absorbed, Freud embodied a notion that comes to us from the Renaissance, and which has been attributed to Leonardo da Vinci: “Every artist paints himself.” Freud remained aloof from his sitters, a rapport that comes through in his work, referring to the work as “purely autobiographical” and the people he painted as merely the vehicle for figurative innovations: “I use the people to invent my pictures with, and I can work more freely when they are there.”- http://www.theartstory.org/artist-freud-lucian.htm

Lucian Freud Painter Working, Reflection oil on canvas 101.2x81.7 cm 1993(1922-2011) https://badcactus.org/2016/07/13/bootless-at-the-gates-of-hell/
Lucian Freud
Painter Working, Reflection
oil on canvas
101.2×81.7 cm
1993(1922-2011)
https://badcactus.org/2016/07/13/bootless-at-the-gates-of-hell/

“Lucien Freud -(Grandson of Sigmumd Freud) British painter and draughtsman. Freud spent most of his career in Paddington, London, an inner-city area whose seediness is reflected in Freud’s often sombre and moody interiors and cityscapes. In the 1940s he was principally interested in drawing, especially the face.”

“By the late 1950s brushmarks became spatial as he began to describe the face and body in terms of shape and structure, and often in female nudes the brushstrokes help to suggest shape. Throughout his career Freud’s palette remained distinctly muted.”

“A close relationship with sitters was often important for Freud. His mother sat for an extensive series in the early 1970s after she was widowed, and his daughters Bella and Esther modelled nude, together and individually.” From http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/lucian-freud-1120

See the somewhat hilarious documentary about Lucien Freud made for the BBC by a journalist who stalked the artist for years, including details about food eaten, eg: “a glass of burgundy and half a roast partridge”

Lucian Freud Night Portrait, Face Down Oil on Canvas 1999-2000 http://pictify.saatchigallery.com/633914/night-portrait-face-down-lucian-freud-wikipaintingsorgLucian Freud
Night Portrait, Face Down
Oil on Canvas
1999-2000
http://pictify.saatchigallery.com/633914/night-portrait-face-down-lucian-freud-wikipaintingsorg

 

Jenny Saville is a contemporary British painter associated with the Young British Artists.[1] She is known for her large-scale painted depictions of nude women. Saville works and lives in Oxford, England.  From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jenny_Saville

Jenny Saville Fulcrum 1999 Oil on canvas (triptych) 261.6 x 487.7 cm 103 x 193'' http://www.standard.co.uk/goingout/exhibitions/jenny-saville-for-the-love-of-rubens-9979500.html
Jenny Saville
Fulcrum
1999
Oil on canvas (triptych)
261.6 x 487.7 cm 103 x 193”
http://www.standard.co.uk/goingout/exhibitions/jenny-saville-for-the-love-of-rubens-9979500.html

Video of Jenny Saville discussing her interest in women’s bodies as a subject in her painting:

Jenny Saville Hyphen oil on canvas, 108 × 144 inches (274.3 × 365.8 cm) 1999 http://www.artnet.com/magazineus/reviews/cronin/jenny-saville-norton-museum1-5-12_detail.asp?picnum=3
Jenny Saville
Hyphen
oil on canvas, 108 × 144 inches (274.3 × 365.8 cm)
1999
http://www.artnet.com/magazineus/reviews/cronin/jenny-saville-norton-museum1-5-12_detail.asp?picnum=3
Jenny Saville Stare oil on canvas 120 x 98 1/2 in. (304.8 x 250.19 cm) 2004-05
Jenny Saville
Stare
oil on canvas
120 x 98 1/2 in. (304.8
x 250.19 cm)
2004-05
Jenny Saville Intertwine Oil on canvas 86 7/16 x 114 3/16 x 2 9/16 inches 219.5 x 290 x 6.5 cm 2011 - 2014 https://media.timeout.com/images/101612851/image.jpg
Jenny Saville
Intertwine
Oil on canvas
86 7/16 x 114 3/16 x 2 9/16 inches
219.5 x 290 x 6.5 cm
2011 – 2014
https://media.timeout.com/images/101612851/image.jpg

Cecily Brown (UK artist)

“Presenting a world that pulses with excesses and appetites, Cecily Brown explores the breadth of human experience in tactile oil paintings. Broadly inspired by the history of painting—from Rubens and Veronese to the muscular expressionism of Willem de Kooning—Brown’s personal vision transcends classical notions of genre and narrative, freeing subject matter from its original context and positioning it within a new aesthetic reality. ” From http://www.gagosian.com/artists/cecily-brown

Cecily Brown Untitled (The Beautiful and Damned), 2013 Oil on linen 109 × 171 in 276.9 × 434.3 cm
Cecily Brown
Untitled (The Beautiful and Damned), 2013
Oil on linen
109 × 171 in
276.9 × 434.3 cm

“London-born painter Cecily Brown creates vivid, atmospheric depictions of fragmented bodies, often in erotic positions, that are depicted among swells of color and gesture. Her energetic brushwork and sensual use of paint have earned her comparison to Willem de Kooning and Francis Bacon. Drawing on a wide-range of art historical references—from 17th-century French Classicism to Abstract Expressionism” From https://www.artsy.net/artist/cecily-brown

Cecily Brown The river's tent is broken oil on linen 67 x 65 inches (170.2 x 165.1 cm) 2014 http://www.gagosian.com/now/cecily-brown
Cecily Brown
The river’s tent is broken
oil on linen
67 x 65 inches (170.2 x 165.1 cm)
2014
http://www.gagosian.com/now/cecily-brown
Cecily Brown Fair of Face, Full of Woe, 2008. Oil on canvas each canvas: 17 × 13 1/8 in. (43.2 × 33.3 cm) http://artistproject.metmuseum.org/6/cecily-brown/
Cecily Brown
Fair of Face, Full of Woe,
2008.
Oil on canvas
each canvas: 17 × 13 1/8 in. (43.2 × 33.3 cm)
http://artistproject.metmuseum.org/6/cecily-brown/
 

 

 

SHARY BOYLE:

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Hedy Lamarr One, 2013. Ink on paper. 18 x 26 cm


 
 
 
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Self Portrait as an Artist, 2009. Ink and gouache on paper. 41 x 31 cm




 
 

Work

Ecstasy and Me, 2014. Ink on paper. 61 x 46 cm

Bloodie is Born, and Born Again, 2009. Ink and gouache on paper. 122 x 107 cm
 
Oil Spill Off Baffin, 2011. Ink and gouache on paper. 57 x 76 cm

The Comet’s Tail, 2012. Ink on paper. 61 x 46 cm

More Paintings:

Sanam Khatibi  – (Iranian artist working in Antwerp) In one fell, sensual swoop, Sanam Khatibi refutes the idea that orientalism is a monopoly of men (and, moreover, something of a bygone age). In her first solo exhibition at trampoline Gallery, the Iranian-born artist taps into a range of well known visual motifs from art history to create enigmatic, archetypal worlds in her paintings.- Grete Simkuté, http://sanamkhatibi.com/texts/

Sanam Khatibi With tenderness and longing. 2016. Oil and pencil on canvas. 160 x 200 cm http://sanamkhatibi.com/work/
Sanam Khatibi
With tenderness and longing.
2016.
Oil and pencil on canvas.
160 x 200 cm
http://sanamkhatibi.com/work/

Working across painting, sculpture, embroidery, and tapestry, Khatibi envisions scenes that emphasize primal impulses and power struggles among human beings. “I am interested in the male-female interaction, and the thin line that exists between our fears and desires,” Khatibi says. – Casey Lesser, https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-these-20-female-artists-are-pushing-figurative-painting-forward

Whenever I dance for you I get into trouble. 2015. Oil and pencil on canvas. 140 x 180 cm
Sanam Khatibi, Whenever I dance for you I get into trouble. 2015. Oil and pencil on canvas. 140 x 180 cm http://sanamkhatibi.com/work/

Sanam Khatibi’s practice deals with the cause and effect of trauma and loss. Fascinated by the traumatic events that mark a person’s life, her work explores ideas of memory and of personal and collective experience by creating a series of unsettling narratives, provoking a sensation of the uncanny that is simultaneously familiar and strange.

Khatibi’s drawings and paintings are a disquieting reminder of the afflictions that are imposed through loss. Drawing on the pervasive anxiety of natural disasters, Khatibi’s works emanate a visceral anguish, which are marked by our instinctive and primal fears.

The intricate nature of Khatibi’s works implies an intimate relationship with her subjects, representing an antithesis to the apathetic distance that is projected by the mediated image. From http://waterside-contemporary.com/artists/sanam-khatibi/

Sanam Khatibi To save her I would murder the world. 2016. Oil and pencil on canvas. 140 x 180 cm http://sanamkhatibi.com/work/
Sanam Khatibi
To save her I would murder the world. 2016.
Oil and pencil on canvas.
140 x 180 cm
http://sanamkhatibi.com/work/

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