Fine Art Connoisseur March/April 2019

art magazine for collectors of fine art

United States
Streamline Publishing
$9.04(Incl. tax)
$42.90(Incl. tax)
6 Issues

in this issue

4 min
a mission bigger than all of us

You and I are art people. We love and respect art. We read about it, we have collections of art books and magazines, we visit exhibitions, and we buy an artwork from time to time, sometimes frequently. If we’re fortunate, we have a collection, perhaps just a few pieces, or many pieces covering many walls. We have the art flu. Though some of us possess art-making skills, most of us are simply amazed at what another person can produce with a brush or chisel. When we glimpse real quality, we want to own it, or at least to admire it in person. We may or may not understand the toil, the endless process of learning, or the frustration that artists go through, nor the depressions that accompany their dry spells, be…

2 min
celebrating collectors

What an inspiring experience! For the past few months, our editorial team has been engrossed in learning about real-life individuals who are collecting superb contemporary realist art. Our conversations with these enthusiastic patrons — conducted via telephone, e-mail, and in person — have confirmed our belief that much energy, and considerable cash, are being expended in support of the ever-growing number of talented realist artists working among us. We are particularly delighted that these visionaries live all over the country, and that each fell in love with this field in a different way. In preparing the profiles here, we learned that many of these collectors — sophisticated and well-connected as they are — are not accustomed to being in the spotlight. Knowing how much they value their privacy, we appreciate even…

2 min

Albert Bierstadt (1830–1902) saw nature as a big theatrical performance. He attended its shows throughout his life and was one of its most enthusiastic patrons. For his depictions of the Hudson River Valley, the Rockies, and California’s Sierra Nevada, he studied their terrain and added a bit of drama for painterly effect. Suddenly storms, clouds, broad rays of sunshine, or the approach of twilight assumed greater power, assuming it’s even possible to enhance the forces of nature. After he was born in what was then Prussia, Bierstadt’s family settled in Massachusetts. As a young man, he went back to Germany to study art, but upon returning to America he quickly embraced its landscapes as his subject and began to travel widely. In 1863, when Bierstadt began the sketches of Utah’s Great Salt…

3 min

ROBIN KARSON Founder and director, Library of American Landscape History Photo: Carol Betsch In a quiet French village painted by Paul Cézanne, no people are visible in the houses’ windows and no wind stirs the trees. Nonetheless, Robin Karson, founder and director of the Library of American Landscape History (LALH), senses a pronounced animation here. “I’m a dancer by training and a choreographer, as well as a landscape historian. For me, there is something about the shape and curve of the road that implies movement,” Karson says of the sinuous detail that gives the painting its name, Turn in the Road. “The disappearing road is an intensely vital shape — and then there is the sense of possibility it suggests. What lies beyond? It adds to the excitement of the painting.” In a…

6 min
three to watch

The irony in the art of MORGAN IRONS (b. 1991) is that she paints with the sensitivity and skill of someone twice her age. While her timeless subjects might convey the impression that she is an old soul, or that they were painted long ago, Irons is very much a young woman of her time, benefit-ting from all of her generation’s technological advantages while increasing her visibility before an expanding audience. Primarily self-taught, Irons began painting in 2015 after moving from Alaska to the Montana countryside. By studying past masters and participating in workshops with Jeremy Lipking and Joshua LaRock, she learned to create nuanced portraits and figures in a naturalistic style. The art of storytelling, however, she taught herself: several of her paintings speak of the history of her current…

9 min
vincent desiderio painting and the bigger picture

After graduating from Haverford College and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Vincent Desiderio (b. 1955) emerged on New York City’s painting scene in the mid-1980s. By the early ’90s he was picked up by the blue-chip global gallery Marlborough, which presented his latest solo show in New York last winter, and his pictures continue to enter important public and private collections. Desiderio has a unique perspective on art, not only because he is exceptionally well-read, but also because he worked primarily in abstraction before becoming a figurative painter. Recently I visited his studio in Sleepy Hollow, New York, to hear his thoughts on painting in relation to history, literature, and contemporary society. David Molesky: What kinds of things do you think about when beginning a painting? Vincent Desiderio: I approach a…