Died on 22 February 1875: Jean-Baptiste-Camille
Corot, French Realist
painter born on 16 July 1796. Corot's students included Alfred
Appian and Dagnan-Bouveret
Landscape painter. Father was a draper. Mother was a very successful milliner of Swiss origin. After apprenticing with a draper, he was allowed by his parents to pursue his ambitions in art, and from 1822 to 1824 he studied landscape painting with Achille-Etna Michallon and Jean-Victor Bertin. In the classical tradition, he went to Italy to study in 1825 where he remained for three years, painting together with Theodore Caruelle d'Aligny and working mostly out-of-doors on oil sketches. Here he developed the serene, fresh landscape style that became his hallmark, although he continued throughout his life to produce paintings for the Salons in a more traditional and classical vein. Corot returned to Italy in 1834 and 1843 and also traveled to Switzerland, Holland, and England. Although he exhibited regularly at the Salon from 1827, he achieved critical success and official patronage only in the later 1840s and 1850s. He was awarded the Legion of Honor in 1846. In the early 1850s, Corot's work underwent a transformation from sharply observed studies of nature and light to a more diffused, Iyrical, loosely brushed mode. He spent his later years mostly at the family's country estate in Ville-d'Avray.
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot was a renowned French painter- especially of landscapes, who worked in romantic and realistic styles and was a forerunner of impressionistic style. Corot was born in Paris on July 16, 1796, the son of a draper, who reluctantly allowed him to study painting. From the academic landscape painter Victor Bertin he learned classical principles of composition, which shaped the calm, well-structured landscapes he painted from 1825 to 1828 in Italy. Examples are The Forum Seen from the Farnese Gardens (1826) and the Bridge at Nantes (1827). From 1828 until his death, Corot lived in Paris. During the warm months he traveled throughout Europe, painting small oil sketches that, like those of his friends in the Barbizon School of artists, are among the first French landscapes to be painted outdoors. The sketches are marked by careful structure and the sense of natural light. He worked during winter months in his studio, producing large salon pieces with biblical or historical subjects. By 1845, after receiving critical acclaim, Corot began to sell his work. His landscapes thereafter became imaginary creations bathed in a filmy romantic atmosphere achieved by silvery tones and soft brushstrokes. Examples of this protoimpressionistic style, for which he became famous, are versions of Ville d'Avray and Souvenir de Mortefontaine (1864). Although he tended to repeat his success in this vein to meet popular demand, he also painted such outstanding works as The Belfry at Douai (1871) in his earlier classical style; he also painted a number of portraits and figure studies. He was generous to his friends and pupils with both time and money, earning the title père (“father”) Corot. He died in Paris on February 22, 1875.
View of Rome: The Bridge and Castel Sant'Angelo with the Cupola of St. Peters (1827, 27x43cm)
Banks of the Somme at Picguigny (1869, 38x60cm)
Landscape with girl in boat (33x46cm) Children at the Edge of a Stream in the Countryside near Lormes c.1840-43
Venise - Vue du Campo della Carita en Regardant le Dome de la Salute 1834; View of Genoa, 1834, Ville d'Avray- The Pond and the Cabassud House, 1835-40, Ville d'Avray, 1867-70, Ville d'Avray, detail, exhibited 1870, The Augustan Bridge at Narni 1826 Oil on paper mounted on canvas 13.39 x 18.90 inches / 34 x 48 cm _ detail
Rebecca 1839; Hagar in the Wilderness, detail, 1835, The Letter, approx. 1865, Interrupted Reading, 1870, Gypsy with a Mandolin, 1874, Laura Sennegon, Carot's Neice, Later Madame Baudot 1831 Jeune Fille Avec une Grande Coiffe (1835) Orpheus Leading Eurydice from the Underworld 1861 Oil on canvas 44 1/4 x 54 in. (112.3 x 137.1 cm)
32 prints at FAMSF
Born on 22 or 23 February 1883: Guy
Carleton Wiggins, US Impressionist
painter who died in 1962.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Guy Carleton Wiggins was the son of Carleton Wiggins, a painter of landscapes and animal subjects. Wiggins first studied with his father and later enrolled in the National Academy of Design after briefly studying architecture at the Polytechnic Institute in Brooklyn. His annual routine included winters in New York and summers in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Wiggins' paintings reflect the influence of US Impressionism, a style of painting he would have encountered during his summers in Old Lyme. He is known for snowy scenes of his native New York.
Wall Street Winter Winter at the Library Washington Square Winter NY Public Library Winter Midtown Fifth Avenue Winter Entrance to Central Park Winter
Died on 22 February 1827: Charles
Willson Peale, US painter born on 15 April 1741.
Charles Willson Peale had 17 children, 11 of which lived to adulthood and named sons after famous painters and succeeded in having them become competent painters in the cases of the still-life artist Raphaelle Peale (17 Feb 1774 25 Mar 1825), the portraitist Rembrandt Peale (22 February 1778 03 Oct 1860), and Titian Peale, but no so much with Rubens Peale (1784-1864) who had poor eyesight and was taught to paint by his daughter the painter Mary Jane Peale. He may also have influenced his brother James Peale (1749 24 May 1831) and his nephew Charles Peale Polk (1767-1822) to become painters. [Is the appeal of a Peale only skin deep?]
Charles Willson Peale, painter, naturalist and museum visionary. (Thrice widowed, Peale fathered 17 children, eleven of whom survived to adulthood.) With his surviving sons and daughters, among them Raphaelle, Angelica Kauffman, Rembrandt, Titian Ramsay, Rubens (father of Mary Jane Peale), Sophonisba Angusciola, Charles Linnaeus, Benjamin Franklin, Sybilla Miriam, ". . . [he] reflected and promoted a contemporary outlook which emphasized the importance of educating citizens and exploring the topography of the new nation."
Charles Willson Peale was the most prominent portraitist of the Federal period. He studied in London with the US-born historical painter Benjamin West in 1767 and settled permanently in Philadelphia in 1776. Peale painted notable portraits of many military leaders, including 14 of George Washington. He was also an enthusiastic naturalist and established (1786) a museum of specimens in Independence Hall, Philadelphia. In 1805 he helped found Philadelphia's Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. One of Peale's best-known works is his life-size trompe l'oeil portrait of two of his sons, The Staircase Group (1795) an affectionate work showing them mounting a spiral staircase.
Self-Portrait (1822, 74x61cm) The Peale Family (1809) Raphaelle Peale (1822) The Staircase Group (Raphaelle Peale and Titian Ramsey Peale) (1795) The Artist in His Museum (1822) Washington at the Battle of Princeton January 3, 1777 (1784) Washington and His Generals at Yorktown (1781) Mordecai Gist (1774) Disinterment of the Mastodon (1808)
Born on 22 February
1778: Rembrandt Peale, US painter and writer.
Rembrandt Peale painted hundreds of portraits, member of the famous Peale family of artists, painted hundreds of portraits. [portrait of George Washington >]
Rembrandt Peale, born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, was the son of Philadelphia artist and museum proprietor Charles Willson Peale, and his first wife Rachel Brewer, and the nephew of James Peale. He and his siblings, Rubens, Raphaelle (A Dessert), Titian Ramsay (Buffalo Hunt on the Platte), Sophonisba Angusciola, and Angelica Kauffmann (named after Swiss Neoclassical Painter Angelica Kauffmann [1741-1807] ), were born during the most productive years of their father's painting career and were named after European artists.
Rembrandt Peale was a precocious artist, painting his first work, a self-portrait, at the age of thirteen. He continued to work as a portrait and history painter for almost seventy years, producing more than a thousand works. His most original works date from the first three decades of the nineteenth century. Although Philadelphia was his home town, Rembrandt worked at various times in most of the other major eastern United States cities, including Boston, New York, Baltimore, Washington and Charleston. As a young artist he benefited from his father's friendships and patronage in Federal America. He studied the work of contemporary painters, including Gilbert Stuart and Robert Edge Pine, as well as paintings by European artists that could be found in private collections.
His father made it possible for him to paint life portraits of George Washington (1795) and Thomas Jefferson (1800, 1805). Charles Willson's ambitions also made him a museum director at times. In 1795-1798, for example, he went to Charleston, Baltimore, and New York City to paint portraits and exhibit sixty copies of his father's museum portraits, painted by himself and Raphaelle. In Baltimore in 1796-98 he managed the first Peale family museum outside of Philadelphia.
In 1798-99 he worked as an itinerant artist in Maryland. In 1801 he assisted his father in unearthing the bones of prehistoric mammals in Newburgh, New York, and the following year he and Rubens took the skeleton assembled from these remains to England for exhibition. From 1813 to 1822 he established and managed the Peale Museum in Baltimore.
More than was true for his father, Rembrandt benefitted as an artist from extended periods spent in European capitals. He studied briefly at the Royal Academy while in London in 1802-1803. He traveled to France in 1808, and again in 1809-1810, painting portraits of French scientists, artists and writers in Paris for his father's collection of portraits. His third European stay was in Italy, in 1828-1830, where he copied old master paintings for American collectors. On his last European trip, in 1832-1833, he returned to England.
As a result, especially of the early trips, Rembrandt's style of painting changed, when he was still a young artist, from the tight, closely observed eighteenth century manner of his father, to a style strongly influenced by French neoclassicism and the work of Jacques-Louis David. His first attempt at a grand manner history painting was The Roman Daughter (1811). Even more ambitious was his enormous, multifigured painting of Court of Death (1820), whose theme of individual choice in creating a happy and rational life expressed the tenets of the new, controversial religion of Unitarianism. Next he turned his attention to creating a heroic portrait of Washington. His result was the painting known from its inscription as the "Patriae Pater" portrait Washington as Father of his Country (1824). Later, in the 1840s, Peale returned to painting replicas of his portrait of Washington, capitalizing on the fact that he was the only living artist who had painted the first President's portrait at life sittings.
While Rembrandt's ambitions and opportunities were very much derived from his father's energy and drive, the results and the context of his work was of his own generation. After his trips to England and Paris, Charles Willson Peale turned to him to learn new techniques for painting. His creation of an idealized portrait of Washington was a response to the nationalistic demands of the 1820s, marking the end of the Revolutionary era. His subject pictures of the 1830s and 1840s reflected the sentiments of the Victorian era.
Rembrandt Peale was the husband of Harriet Cany Peale.
Peale also promoted his theories of art and its role in a democracy by publishing brochures, articles and books. Some, like Description of the Court of Death; an Original Painting by Rembrandt Peale (1820), were written to accompany exhibitions of his work, held in several American cities. Others, including Graphics; A Manual of Drawing and Writing for the Use of Schools and Families (1835) and Introduction to Notes of the Painting Room (1852), were intended as drawing and painting manuals for mechanics and art students. He also wrote reminiscences of his life and family, poems, and accounts of his travels. From 1855 to 1857 he offered a personal history of US art in his Reminiscences and Notes and Queries published in The Crayon, a popular art periodical. He died in Philadelphia on 03 October 1860, the day before the 191th anniversary of the death of Rembrandt van Rijn, after whom he was named.
Rubens Peale with a Geranium _ Rubens Peale with Geranium, (1801) Portrait of Rosalba Peale (1820) Michael Angelo and Emma Clara Peale (1826) Falls of Niagara Viewed from the American Side (1831) George Washington (1814)
Porthole Portrait of George Washington (1795, 90x74cm) _ In 1823 (1853?) Rembrandt Peale announced that he, one of the few living artists who had painted Washington from life, would create a portrait of the subject that would surpass all others in its authenticity and expression. The result was what has become known as the "porthole" Washington, from the trompe-l'oeil stone frame that surrounds the bust. Peale launched a publicity campaign that evidently worked, for it is estimated that between seventy-five and eighty replicas were produced.
_ Although known as a member of one of the US's most famous artistic families, only recently has Rembrandt Peale emerged from the group as an individual who virtually embodied the industrious, experimental, yet above all fickle age of capitalism in which he lived. Ever seeking imaginative means by which to weave the production and appreciation of art into the fabric of the US's democratic enterprise-working in many of America's growing cities and founding a museum to foster national taste-Rembrandt Peale forged a career for himself characterized as much by failure as success. But, whereas such fits and starts were once considered reason to overlook him, the persistence with which he met them can be considered as the quality that makes him a quintessentially US painter. Raised in the long shadows of his accomplished artist-father, Charles Willson Peale, and the heroes and statesmen whose portraits lined the walls of his father's gallery, Rembrandt was, in a sense, surrounded by the achievements of past masters. The challenge to distinguish himself as an artist was compounded by a lack of public interest in the arts, his poor business skills, and his desire to depart from the well-trodden path of portrait painting.
However, it was as a portraitist that Peale was able to support his large family and combine his high-minded, nationalist ideals with an art that appealed to a large audience. Having first painted George Washington in 1795, and having won acclaim for his Patriae Pater (1824), Rembrandt stated in the 1850s that his true calling was "to multiply the Countenance of Washington.113 By his death in 1860 he had done so no less than seventy-nine times, systematically producing simplified versions of the Patriae Pater that became known as the porthole portraits, of which the Butler Institute's is one. Possibly seeking to surpass his father in painting the US's great figures, Rembrandt sought to capture the visage of the founding father both for the edification of the public and as the crowning achievement of his career. He perceived himself singularly qualified to paint what he called the "standard likeness" of Washington, writing that, 'Among the few persons now living, who can speak of their own impressions . . . concerning the personal appearance of Washington, I may be supposed to have some claim on the confidence of the rising generation-educated to venerate the memory of him, who will always be 'first in the hearts of his countrymen!" Emphasizing the fact that he had painted Washington from life, Rembrandt supported his claim by soliciting testimonials from other men who knew Washington personally and could confirm the accuracy of his portrait. He sought to distinguish himself from other artists who had painted the first president from life, and at last to match the accomplishments of his father, whom he acknowledged as having painted "the first portrait of Washington in 1772. Rembrandt's insistence on the importance of his direct contact with Washington is ironic. With his subject long dead, his Patriae Pater and the subsequent porthole portraits were actually composites of his 1795 portrait and others he had admired, such as the famous bust by the French sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon. Nevertheless, his enterprise was a success, coming at a time of renewed interest in Washington as a national hero. The importance of Rembrandt Peale's icon-making to the evolution of American culture has been confirmed most recently in the potency of 1960s Pop Art images, and by that movement's revelation of our society's ongoing interest in icon creation.
Gilbert Stuart (1805, 60x50cm) _ Charles Willson Peale accompanied his son and protégé, Rembrandt Peale, to Washington, DC, in 1805 to assist him in obtaining important portrait commissions that would establish him as a painter. It was at this time, for example, that the younger Peale painted the Society's portrait of Thomas Jefferson. This portrait of fellow-artist Gilbert Stuart was also painted in Washington at this time.
Thomas Jefferson (1805, 71x60cm) _ Rembrandt Peale first painted Jefferson in 1800 (oil at Peabody Insitute, Baltimore). In 1805 he and his father, Charles Willson Peale, went ot Washington where Rembrandt painted portraits of national celebrities to hang in their Philadelphia museum. When the Peale Museum was dispersed in 1854 this portrait was purchased by the subject's namesake, Thomas Jefferson Bryan, and subsequently given by him to The New-York Historical Society.
Died on 22 February 1980: Oskar
Kokoschka, Austrian Expressionist
painter born on 01 March 1886.
Kokoschka was born at Pöchlarn an der Donau, Lower Austria. His mother came from a family of foresters in Lower Austria. His father came from a celebrated line of goldsmiths in Prague, but when Oskar was born his father worked as a commercial traveler for a jewelry firm. Oskar was the second of four children. A few months after he was born the family moved to Vienna, where he spend the early part of his life. In 1904 Kokoschka was awarded a state scholarship to attend the Kunstgewerbeschule (School of the Arts and Crafts). His intention was to become a art teacher. In 1908 he had his first exhibition or, more truly, he got the chance to show some of his work to the public, because The Klimt group came on a visit to Vienna. In 1909, he had his first exhibition at the "Internationale Kunstschau" and the same year he left the school.
In 1910 Kokoschka went to Berlin for the first time to work with Walden. In 1912 his name became know in the art world around Europe, and he was normally on every important exhibition on the continent. In 1913 he married Alma Mahler [so der Maler married die Mahler] who built a house for him where he could work and where they lived for a year. After Alma had an abortion in 1914 their life together ended.
On 01 August 1914, the First World War broke out. Oscar enlisted in one of the most prestigious regiments in the Austro-Hungarian army, the 15th Imperial-Royal Dragoons. He was send to the Eastern Front, where he got wounded. He was discharged from the army as unfit for active service.
In 1918 Gustav Klimt died. Oscar wrote to his mother: "I cried for poor Klimt, the only Viennese artist who had any talent and character. Now I am his successor, as I once asked of him at the "Kunstschau", and I do not yet feel ready to take charge of that flock of lost sheep."
Three years later he moved to Dresden as a professor at the academy. At this time in Germany there were fights between different political parties. In March 1920, a Rubens painting was damaged in crossfire. Oscar addressed an open letter to the population of Dresden: "I request all those who intend to use firearms in order to promote their political beliefs, …, to be kind enough to hold their military exercises elsewhere than in front of the art gallery in the Zwinger; for instance, on the shooting-ranges on the heath, where human civilization is in no danger… It is certain that in the future the German people will find more happiness and meaning in looking at the paintings that have been saved than in the totality of contemporary German political ideas."
Later the same year he wrote to his family: "Since leaving Vienna I have been in love about nineteen times, all serious, single-minded ladies with plenty of heart…. Then I get love letters regularly, and they are like sunshine when the sun goes in; and so I can paint wonderful colors that glow".
In 1922 he wrote to his father: "I believe, in all seriousness, that I am now the best painter on earth." [which only goes to show that he was not the best art critic]
In 1923 he started the life of a traveling restless soul. He painted as we today use a camera. He traveled around and painted and traveled and painted. Later he moved to Paris and after he broke with his art-dealer he moved to Prague.
During the Second World War, he was banned by the Nazi regime, but after the war he again was represented at every large exhibition. It was also then that he had his first exhibition in the US. Often his works where exhibited were jointly with those of artists such as Klimt or Schiele. Kokoschka was the founder of The Free German League of Culture, set up in London in 1939 just before the second world war started. Oscar died in a hospital in Montreux.
Self-Portrait (1921) Ezra Pound (1964) Bride of the Wind (1914)
Born on 22 February 1850: Fyodor
Aleksandrovich Vasil'yev, in Gatchina, near St. Petersburg,
Russia, landscape painter who died on 06 October 1873 in Yalta.
The son of a post-office employee, he did not receive any regular training in art, but in 1863 attended the school of drawing of the Society for the Encouragement of Artists in St Petersburg. He worked with the landscape painter Ivan Shishkin [1832-1898] on the island of Valaam in Lake Ladoga in 1867, and his friendship with Ivan Kramskoy greatly influenced the formation of his creative identity, as did his private study of the techniques of masters of Russian and foreign art, notably from the Düsseldorf and the Barbizon schools. Vasil’yev’s first original works date from 1866. By 1870 he was already widely known in the artistic circles of St Petersburg and Moscow as a highly poetic, unusually gifted landscape painter, and he gradually became noted for his naturalism. His paintings The Return of the Herd (1868) and the more mature The Thaw (1871), among others, received the highest awards in competitions held by the Society for the Encouragement of Artists.
The works of the wonderfully gifted landscape painter Feodor Alexandrovich Vasilyev, who died very young, are of great importance for Russian culture.
Born into a poor family in 1850 he had to earn his living from the age of 12 years – he worked as a mailman, scriber, assistant to a restorer of pictures. After his father’s untimely death, he became the sole supporter of the family. In 1865, he managed to enter the evening classes of the School of Painting, sponsored by the Society for Promotion of Artists. Vasilyev’s exceptional talent required perfection, but the artist’s hard life barred its progress denying him the opportunity of a necessary technical training. While at School, Vasilyev got acquainted with many painters, who took care of him. He was especially friendly and close with Kramskoy and Shishkin, who took Vasilyev to work with them en plein-air and in travels throughout Russia.
In Vasilyev’s early works, such as After a Thunderstorm (1868), Near a Watering Place (1868) and others, one can feel the influence of the Barbizon School; it affected his art but never resulted in a non-creative borrowing of the motifs. Though, at first, Vasilyev was somewhat inferior technically to the Barbizon painters, he eventually found his own way of handling the subject and After a Rain (1869) and After a Rain. Country Road. exceed in many respects, the Barbizon stormy scenes in their expressiveness and deeply national sound.
In 1870, Vasilyev traveled on the Volga, the picture Volga View: Barges (1870) made him popular. In 1871, Vasilyev painted Thaw (1871), which made him famous immediately, even the tzar's family ordered a copy, the Society for Promotion of Artists awarded him first prize, he was admitted, as an intern, to the Academy of Arts. Vasilyev had not time to enjoy his popularity — he got seriously ill and had to leave St. Petersburg forever. He moved to Crimea. The Society for Promotion of Artists sponsored his stay there, but he was obliged to pay with his paintings.
First Vasilyev could not get used to new scenery. He goes on to paint Russian plains; his works, such as his masterpiece Wet Meadow (1872), were done from memory, old sketches and imagination. After some time Vasilyev started to draw Crimean scenes, gradually beginning to feel an attraction to its mountain views. In the Mountains of Crimea (1873) is an outstanding work, the last one of Vasiyev.
At the posthumous exhibition in St. Petersburg all his works had been sold even before the exhibition opened. What he did is enough to put Vasilyev among the best masters of Russian landscape painting.
Died on 22 February 1890: Carl
Heinrich Bloch, Danish painter born on 23 May 1834.
Carl Heinrich Bloch was born in Copenhagen. He studied under Wilhelm Marstrand at the Kunstakademi in Copenhagen. He created his work during the final years of the Golden Age of Danish painting (mid-19th century to the late 1870's). His early work includes genre scenes representing the everyday life of the people. Bloch depicted farm life, as in Boy Waking a Girl with a Feather (1856), and the life of the fishermen, as in Fisher Families Awaiting the Return of the Men in an Impending Storm (1858). From 1859 to 1866 Bloch lived in Italy, and this stay provided him with a rich source on his return, as in such humorous scenes of daily life as Monk with Toothache (1871).
Bloch's stay in Italy was particularly important for his history painting. He was influenced by contemporary examples of the genre, and he produced large-scale historical works there. He achieved his greatest success when Prometheus Unbound (1864) was exhibited in Copenhagen in 1865. The painting shows Hercules freeing Prometheus; and in the political context of Denmark's recent defeat by Prussia, the Danish public did not fail to see the stirring implications of Danish resistance to tyranny and the hope for national reconstruction.
After the death of Wilhelm Marstrand, Bloch finished the decoration of the ceremonial hall at the University of Copenhagen. His largest public commission was for 23 paintings for the Frederiksborg Palace Chapel (1865-1879). His figures are realistic, full of motion, color (look for the reds) and expression. His classic depictions of the Savior's life are familiar throughout the Christian world.
Born on 22 February 1806: Antoine
Joseph Wiertz, Belgian painter who died on 18 June 1865.
He specialized in Historical
Wiertz was born in Dinant. A precocious draughtsman, he was an admirer of Géricault. Wiertz was the son of a Dinan tailor who forced him to learn music, drawing and grammar from early youth. In 1820, studied at the Antwerp Academy. He spent 1829-1832 in France, won the Prix de Rome in 1832, stayed in Italy from 1834 to 1836 at the Académie de France in Rome, where, under the direction of Horace Vernet, he copied the great Italian masters. In 1838, exhibited his Patrocles in Paris. The unfavorable critical reaction determined him not to seek French citizenship.
In 1850, the Belgian government financed the construction of a studio modelled on one of the Greek temples of Paestum. The style of Wiertz shows the inspiration of Rubens along with reminiscences of medieval painters, but expresses humanitarian and even revolutionary overtones. This is combined with wild invention and a frequently erotic Symbolism. His masterpiece is The Beautiful Rosine, in which a beautiful woman is placed before a skeleton. The work is halfway between traditional vanitas and Baudelairian meditation.
Triptych Christ in the Tomb (1839, each section 134x67cm): left section: Eve experiencing her first guilt after sinning _ right section: The Angel of Evil
The Beautiful Rosine (1847, 140x100cm).
Died on 22 February 1987: Andy
Warhol, US Pop
artist born on 06 August 1928.
Author of The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (1975), Portraits of the Seventies (1979), Andy Warhol's Exposures (1979).
Andy Warhol, artista estadounidense del pop-art.
Out of the tumultuous atmosphere of the 1960s came an artist who became the icon of the free spirit. Andy Warhol introduced the world, and particularly an artistically fertile America, to the idea of life as an art. Gone were the days of portraiture and classical sculpture -- this was the era of the movie star, the celebrity, and consumerism. Warhol looked at the life surrounding him and portrayed it on his canvases and in his films, stating that "if you want to know all about Andy Warhol, just look at the surface of my paintings and films and me, and there I am. There's nothing behind it." Yet, to critics, the most intriguing aspect of Warhol was his private life, an indefinable mixture of artistic creativity, mystery, and sexual scandal. It is this very inexpressibility that comes through in the artist's work, giving Warhol an aura of cool acceptability and ambiguity. Born Andrew Warhola on August 6, 1928, Warhol was one of three boys in a Czechoslovakian immigrant working-class family. Growing up during the Great Depression in Forest City, Pennsylvania, Warhol faced an unstable household, further complicated by the death of his father in 1942. Three years later, Warhol dropped out of high school and enrolled at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, where he received his BA in pictorial design in 1949.
After graduation, Warhol moved to New York, living in a coed basement apartment. He was a strange one to the others, being very quiet, young, and having an unusually white pallor. Angry with Warhol for not speaking to her, one of the female occupants of the apartment once threw an egg at him, which hit him in the head. The quiet young artist spent most of his time drawing and taking his work around to agencies in a brown paper bag, as he did not have enough funds for a portfolio. Intrigued by the odd character who walked into her office holding a brown paper bag, Glamor art director Tina Fredericks commissioned Warhol to design shoes, inadvertently launching him into the world of commercial arts. Gaining the attention of exclusive shoe store I. Miller, Warhol was soon offered an appointment in their art department. In 1949, Warhol changed the spelling of his name because of a credit that mistakenly read "Drawings by Warhol" for the article "Success is a Job in New York". Around this time, his eyes began to bother him, and Tina Fredericks urged him to go to an oculist. Having been told he had "lazy eyes," Warhol wore opaque glasses that had a tiny pinhole for him to see through -- these became his signature accessory, even though they were hideous. Warhol dyed his hair a distinct silver, showing a flair for the dramatic that set him apart from other artists.
With the name change and his position in the commercial field, the intrepid artist soon created a niche for himself, becoming known for his exploration of the shoe as a reflection of the person. Warhol captured the essence of various people in his shoes, creating the likeness of celebrities and friends on paper. It did not matter if the shoe features were in the right places -- I. Miller loved his drawings. He received the Art Directors' Club Medal for his shoe designs in 1957. Earlier, in 1952, the artist had his first solo exhibition, showing pictures drawn for Truman Capote's short stories; unfortunately, the exhibit did not make much of an impact in the art world. By this time however, Warhol had an agent, Fritzie Miller, who got him contracts with big magazines such as Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. He worked with Eugene Moore to create window displays for Bonwit's, a department store. The introspective artist, who wore only old clothes, radiated a charm and mystery in both his manner and work that began to be noticed by people in the business. During this period of development in his life, Warhol came into contact with other cultures, both local and abroad, that were to have an influence on his later artwork. In the mid-1950s, he was part of a theater crowd that focused primarily on the plays of Franz Kafka and Bertolt Brecht; Warhol especially admired Brecht's idea of realism and would later apply the philosophy to his work. Influences from abroad came through his six-week tour of Europe and Asia, where he began his own collection of modern art, buying works from artists such as Joan Miró and Larry Rivers.
In the 1960s, Andy Warhol combined all of these early influences and experiences into a style that was distinctly his own and yet allowed others to be involved in the creative process. This came to be known in art history as American Pop art, a movement against the "original" as the bastion of the elite. Warhol's outlook on artwork focused not on the end result, the "original work of art," but on the creative processes that produced the work of art. Reflecting this philosophy was the artist's use of the silk-screen, a process that allowed multiple identical images to be produced by anyone: Warhol liked to have his friends create prints using his silk-screens. Most of Warhol's creative work at this time took place in his studio, which he called "the Factory". This work, done between 1962 and 1964, ranged from portraits of friends and celebrities to car crashes to electric chairs to consumer products. Perhaps the most famous of his Factory work -- consumer product images of Campbell's Soup, Brillo boxes, green stamps, and Coca-Cola -- distinctly point to Warhol's fascination with the US's growing identification with brand-name labels. In 1962 Warhol had his first show in the Stable Gallery. It was a huge success, widely reported in the press and fully sold out. His paintings, manufactured in the Factory, were bought almost as soon as they were shown. People stood in lines at exhibit openings to look at his work. A trendsetter, Warhol and his work were definitely a hot commodity. But in 1965, Warhol declared Pop art "dead" and decided to retire from painting; his last gallery exhibition at Leo Castelli in 1966 consisted of Cow Wallpaper and Silver Clouds.
From 1966 onward, Andy Warhol concentrated on making films, initially intent on studying the lives of the people surrounding him. The first films for which he gained recognition were shot between 1963 and 1964, a total of eight hours, with the titles of Sleep, Kiss, Haircut, Eat, Blow Job, and Empire. Awarded the Independent Film Award by Film Culture, this series of films translated Warhol's philosophy on painting to the screen: the focus was not on the finished product (indeed, most of these films could never be mass-marketed), but on the creative processes that went into the work. Just as Warhol emphasized the fact that others could use his silk-screens. and create paintings, so his films underscore the truth that anybody could take subjects and film them. Not only could the subjects be ordinary people, but Warhol also made this often-quoted prediction: "In the future everybody will be world-famous for fifteen minutes." Those made famous in Warhol's pictures included Baby Jane Holzer, Edie Sedgwick, Nico, Ingrid Superstar, Ultra Violet, and Viva. Warhol began working with a rock band called The Velvet Underground in 1965, introducing them to the chanteuse Nico; to the music of the band he orchestrated an interactive show consisting of images and lights and called it The Exploding Plastic Inevitable. The mixed media showcase created an international sensation when it opened at the DOM nightclub in New York City. It was an onslaught on the senses, and it described in music and art the feeling of young America. Much has been speculated about Andy Warhol's sex life. He featured both men and women in his artistic endeavors, and his entourage was a mingling of the two sexes. Most people tend to think Warhol was gay, and he did have boyfriends. However, it is a mystery as to whether or not he actually was intimate with these men; Warhol's attitude was more asexual than homosexual.
On 03 June 1968, Valerie Solanas, the mentally unstable founding member of SCUM (Society for Cutting Up Men), shot Andy Warhol two times in the stomach; she had mistaken him for a kind of god, telling police that "he had too much control over my life." Warhol spent two months in the hospital recovering from the wounds. This shooting was the inspiration for the 1996 film entitled I Shot Andy Warhol. In 1968, Warhol tackled the next level in the artistic medium and wrote a novel called a. a demonstrated the philosophy Warhol had expressed previously on canvas and reel -- it did not take an accomplished author to write a paper. In order to prove his idea, Warhol recorded twenty-four hours of conversation that occurred within the Factory and entitled it a. In 1969, he founded the magazine inter/View, and in 1975 he published The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again. Warhol died in February of 1987 from gall bladder surgery complications. For almost two decades, Andy Warhol had maintained the position of an infamous media icon, notorious for his parties and respected for his artistic taste; he backed young and upcoming artists, lending his support to the development of modern art in America. He had lived for 58 years, helping to develop a new scene for American art and a new ideology in the artist's lexicon. Andy Warhol's impact on the art world cannot be overlooked, and his influence lingers to this day,
"I'd prefer to remain a mystery. I never like to give my background and, anyway, I make it all up different every time I'm asked." He was one of the most enigmatic figures in American art. His work became the definitive expression of a culture obsessed with images. He was surrounded by a coterie of beautiful bohemians with names like Viva, Candy Darling, and Ultra Violet. He held endless drug- and sex-filled parties, through which he never stopped working. He single-handedly confounded the distinctions between high and low art. His films are pivotal in the formation of contemporary experimental art and pornography. He spent the final years of his life walking around the posh neighborhoods of New York with a plastic bag full of hundred dollar bills, buying jewelry and knicknacks . His name was Andy Warhol, and he changed the nature of art forever. Andy Warhol's exact birth date is unknown, though one can assume it is between 1927 and 1930. What is known is that he was born to Czechoslovakian immigrant parents in Forest City, Pennsylvania. He was a shy quiet boy, leaving high school to attend the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh. He received his bachelors of fine arts degree from there in 1949, and headed immediately to New York. In New York, Warhol found design jobs in advertising. Before long he had begun specializing in illustrations of shoes. His work appeared in Glamour, Vogue, and Harper's Bazaar. In the mid-'50s he became the chief illustrator for I. Miller Shoes, and in 1957 a shoe advertisement won him the Art Director's Club Medal.
During this time, Warhol had also been working on a series of pictures separate from the advertisements and illustrations. It was this work that he considered his serious artistic endeavor. Though the paintings retained much of the style of popular advertising, their motivation was just the opposite. The most famous of the paintings of this time are the thirty-two paintings of Campbell soup cans. With these paintings, and other work that reproduced Coca-Cola bottles, Superman comics, and other immediately recognizable popular images, Warhol was mirroring society's obsessions. Where the main concern of advertising was to slip into the unconscious and unrecognizably evoke a feeling of desire, Warhol's work was meant to make the viewer actually stop and look at the images that had become invisible in their familiarity. These ideas were similarly being dealt with by artists such as Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, and Robert Rauschenberg -- and came to be known as Pop Art.
Throughout the late 1950s and 1960s, Warhol produced work at an amazing rate. He embraced a mode of production similar to that taken on by the industries he was mimicking, and referred to his studio as "The Factory." The Factory was not only a production center for Warhol's paintings, silk-screens, and sculptures, but also a central point for the fast-paced high life of New York in the '60s. Warhol's obsession with fame, youth, and personality drew the most wild and interesting people to The Factory throughout the years. Among the regulars were Mick Jagger, Martha Graham, Lou Reed, and Truman Capote. For many, Warhol was a work of art in himself, reflecting back the basic desires of an consumerist American culture. He saw fame as the pinnacle of modern consumerism and reveled in it the way artists a hundred years before reveled in the western landscape. His oft-repeated statement that "every person will be world-famous for fifteen minutes" was an incredible insight into the growing commodification of everyday life.
By the mid-'60s Warhol had become one of the most famous artists in the world. He continued, however, to baffle the critics with his aggressively groundbreaking work. Putting aside much of the "pop" imagery, he concentrated on making films. His films, as his paintings had been, were primarily concerned with getting the viewer to look at something for longer than they otherwise would. Using film, Warhol could control the viewer's attention. One of his most famous films, SLEEP (1963), was eight hours of the poet John Giorno asleep in his bed. Warhol's movement into film directing and production brought him into contact with dozens of artists and actors interested in working in The Factory. One of these was actress and writer Valerie Solanas, who had for some time been trying to get Warhol to produce one of her scripts. In 1968, in anger at Warhol's disinterest, Solanas (the founder and only member of S.C.U.M., the Society for Cutting Up Men), shot and nearly killed Warhol.
During Warhol's extended convalescence he began to work on a new mode of art. Considered his "Post-Pop" period, the images were primarily portraits of living superstars. Throughout the '70s and '80s, Warhol produced hundreds of portraits, mostly in silk screen. His images of Liza Minnelli, Jimmy Carter, Albert Einstein, Elizabeth Taylor, and Philip Johnson express a more subtle and expressionistic side of his work. During the final years of his life, Warhol became the hero of another generation of artists, including Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Francesco Clemente. Their work represents a continuation of an artistic revolution begun by Andy Warhol. On February 22, 1987, Warhol died of heart failure at his home in New York. Many suggested it was a poorly performed minor surgery he had had earlier that day, while others believed it was due to the general weakening of his body after the shooting. What remains certain is that during the sixty years of whirlwind and mystery that was Andy Warhol's life, the art world (and the world at large) became a more fun and interesting place.
Born in 1928 at Pittsburgh of Czechoslovak immigrant parents. In 1954 he left school with a high school diploma. Between 1945 and 1949 he studied pictorial design and art history, sociology and psychology at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh. Met Philip Pearlstein and moved to New York with him in 1949. He worked for "Vogue" and "Harper's Bazaar", did window displays for Bonwit Teller and his first advertisements for I. Miller shoe company. In 1952 he had his first one-man exhibition at the Hugo Gallery, New York. He designed stage sets, dyed his hair straw-blond and moved into a house in Lexington Avenue with his mother and several cats. In 1954 he was in a collective exhibition at the Loft Gallery, New York. In 1956 he had an individual exhibition of his drawings for Boy Book at the Bodley Gallery, and his Golden Shoes were exhibited in Madison Avenue. He traveled in Europe and Asia. In 1960 he made his first pictures based on comic-strips and company trade names. In 1962 he produced his silk-screen prints on canvas of dollar notes, Campbell's Soup cans, Marilyn Monroe, etc. He was also included in the exhibition The New Realists at the Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, and started his series of disaster pictures: Car Crash, Plane Crash, Suicide, Tunafish Disaster and Electric Chair.
Between 1962 and 1964 he produced over 2000 pictures in his "Factory". In 1963 he made the movies Sleep (6 hours long) and Empire (8 hours long). In 1964 his Flower Pictures were exhibited at the Galerie Sonnabend, Paris. He was also forced for political reasons to paint over his Thirteen Most Wanted Men which he had attached to the wall of the New York State Pavilion for the World's Fair in New York. He made his first sculptures with affixed silk-screen prints of company cartoons. In 1965 he had an exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia. In 1967 he produced the first record of the rock band "the Velvet Underground" and between 1966 and 1968 made several films with them. His Cow Wallpaper and Silver Pillows were shown at the Leo Castelli Gallery.
In 1968 he had an exhibition at the Moderna Museet, Stockholm. In July of the same year he was shot down, and dangerously wounded, by Valerie Solanis, the only member of S.C.U.M. (The Society for Cutting Up Men). In 1968 he brought out his novel "a", which consisted of telephone calls recorded in his Factory. He made the first movie for the cinema, Flash, with Paul Morissey, followed by Trash in 1970. In 1969 the first number of the magazine "Interview" appeared, which Warhol helped bring out. Between 1969 and 1972 he was commissioned to do a number of portraits. In 1972 he showed at the the Kunstmuseum, Basle. The first edition of his book THE Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again) was published in 1975. In 1976 the Württembergischer Kunstverein showed The Graphic Work - 1942-1975, also shown in Düsseldorf, Bremen, Munich, Berlin and Vienna. In 1978 he showed at the Kunsthaus, Zurich, and at the Louisiana Museum, Humblebaek. The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, showed The Portraits of the 70s in 1979. In 1980 he became production manager of the cable TV station "Andy Warhol's TV". In the same year Joseph Beuys by Andy Warhol was shown at the Centre d'Art Contemporain, Geneva, he showed Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century at the Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, and at the Jewish Museum, New York, and POPism, The Warhol '60s was published.
In 1981 the exhibition Andy Warhol - Paintings 1961-1968 was shown at the Kestner-Gesselschaft, Hanover, and at the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich. The Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts, Vienna, showed Warhol '80. From 1982 to 1986 he made pictures of disasters. In 1982 he exhibited a series of oxidations and pictures of Nazi architecture at the documenta "4" exhibition, Kassel. He exhibited Guns, Knives, Crosses at the Leo Castelli Gallery, and at the Galeria Fernando Vijande, Madrid. He exhibited Warhol's Animals: Species at Risk at the American Museum of Natural History, New York, and at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland. In 1986 he made portraits of Lenin and self-portraits. In 1987 he died as a result of an operation. In 1988 the Hamburger Kunstverein showed Death Pictures. In 1989 the Museum of Modern Art, New York, organized the hitherto largest retrospective exhibition of his work. His estate was auctioned at Sotheby's. His will provided for an endowment fund for the patronage of art.
Andy Warhol's media fame has often disguised the fact that he is one of the most serious and important artists of the twentieth century. He quite simply changed how we see the world around us and how we see art. His work presents images of twentieth-century mass culture in a flat graphic style that mimics deliberately common source material. He was one of the first artists to recognize that art was being usurped by television, fashion and film, and he began to deal with art in those terms. He fused image and techniques of illustration and mechanical reproduction from his commercial art background into his work. The first artist to have done so, he opened the door for other artists to follow in his footsteps, among US Pop artists, Warhol was the first and foremost.
In 1962, Warhol created the first of a series of oversized Campbell's Soup cans. These paintings captured the imagination of the media and the public in a way that no work by any of Warhol's contemporaries had, and created worldwide recognition for this new US art, quickly labeled Pop Art. It was condemned by many critics as consumerism, but was enthusiastically received by the art public, particularly in Europe and Japan and other places fascinated by Hollywood and all things from the US. Throughout his career, Warhol remained true to the Pop technique and iconography which he defined for himself. In the 1970s, while maintaining his own enviable celebrity status, Warhol began exploring the dimensions of stardom. He created portraits of hundreds of international celebrities: political figures, royalty, musicians, and movie stars. He partied almost nightly with a glittering set of "beautiful people" and found that he had the power to create "superstars" through his art, films, interviews, or through mere association with the artist himself. From the beginning, Warhol insisted on the power of the familiar, indeed one of the main qualities of Warhol's images is their extreme obviousness: the most famous brand names (Campbell's Soup, Coca-Cola), the most famous people (Elvis, Marilyn Monroe), the most famous paintings (the Mona Lisa), and the most famous objects (money, newspapers). Warhol's art teaches us to accept our own present society, the late twentieth century, in all its richness and triviality. Marcel Duchamp defined Dadaist "Ready-made" art in 1913 when he displayed a sculpture consisting of a bicycle wheel upended on a stool. Warhol understood the Dadaist's contempt for the traditional notions of what constitutes a work of art, and their suggestion that the essential factor in the creation of art is not necessarily skill but choice. Duchamp was, not surprisingly, an admirer of Warhol's work as well. He summed up our fascination and perplexity with Warhol by making the observation, "What interests us is the concept that he wants to put fifty Campbell's Soup cans on a canvas." It s, indeed, a concept that changed the way we see art and how we see ourselves.
Self-Portrait Liz, 1964 Campbell's Tomato Soup Campbell's Tomato Soup (from a banner) (1968) The Velvet Underground and Nico, 1967 4 (a banana) Kimiko Powers 1971-1972 (1981) Flowers (1964) Sandro-Bottic Beethoven