Fine Art Connoisseur May/Jun 2015

art magazine for collectors of fine art

United States
Streamline Publishing
$9.32(Incl. tax)
$44.25(Incl. tax)
6 Issues

in this issue

1 min
frontispiece: leonardo da vinci

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), A Bust of a Warrior, c. 1475-80, Silverpoint on paper, 11 5/16 x 8 5/16 in., © The Trustees of the British Museum, London; on view this season in the exhibition Drawing with Silver and Gold: Leonardo to Jasper Johns. For details, see p. XX. The painter who has no doubt about his own ability will attain very little. When his work succeeds beyond his judgment, the artist acquires nothing. But when his judgment is superior to his work, he will never cease to improve, unless his love of gain interferes and retards his progress.—Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)…

3 min
unstoppable change To everything there is a season. Noted in the Bible, even in a folk song, this fact still has much to teach us. All things, all people, all trends have seasons, and now you and I have entered an especially exciting one. As I write this, flowers are blooming outside my window, and tree leaves are glistening with the verdure of new growth. American art has moved through its seasons, too — a fruitful summer, a vibrant fall, then falling leaves, hibernation, and now rejuvenation. While launching this magazine 11 years ago, I observed that art reflects society. As William Strauss and Neil Howe have argued in such books as Generations: The History of America’s Future, 1584 to 2069, societal shifts occur every 80 to 100 years. I went on to compare…

3 min
much to say

As our publisher, Eric Rhoads, explained in his message, now is an ideal time to celebrate the burgeoning of contemporary realism — some call it post-contemporary art — with a redesign of Fine Art Connoisseur’ graphic identity. In this issue, you will also find four — yes, four — articles written by yours truly, which may make you wonder if I ever sleep. In fact, several of these pieces were percolating for a while, and have only now made it into our pages for various reasons. I am delighted to highlight these topics — from individual artists like Steven Assael, Alan Lawson, and Nigel Van Wieck to the Plein Air Easton festival in Maryland — partly because they remind me of just how many good things are occurring in our…

2 min

So entranced was Morton Livingston Schamberg (1881-1918) with the precision of modern-day machinery that, even in his paintings of flowers and, notably, this Still Life (1913), nature assumes a geometric dimension and order. “Schamberg’s fascination with broken-up planes and the structure of things is reflected strongly in this picture,” remarks Elizabeth Goldberg, who heads Sotheby’s American Art department, which will include the painting in its auction on May 20. “After all,” Goldberg adds, “Schamberg was trained as an architect in Philadelphia and for a while was aligned with Charles Sheeler, who was a personal friend, as well as others in the movement known as Precisionism. The moment I saw this painting, it jumped out at me — in terms of its quality, its freshness, its composition. It’s a little gem, and…

2 min

Leonard Riggio stood along Utah’s Great Salt Lake, studying a roadway that stretched far into the eerily tranquil water. He knew that the piled-up surface of black basalt rocks and earth he was about to traverse, Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, was often below the water line, but that day, it was wholly visible. “The moment I started walking on it,” he recalls, “it seemed as if I was on a surface that had always been there, that it wasn’t man-made. It started out as an ordinary walk, but the tighter the spiral got,” he says, referring to the form of this 1,500-foot-long, 15-foot-wide sculpture, “the more I became aware of its shape. Yet it felt part of the natural order of things.” Although Riggio lives in a Park Avenue apartment filled with…

5 min
three to watch

RICHARD CHRISTIAN NELSON (B. 1961) is best known for his luminous commissioned portraits in oil and charcoal, most of them life-size. He is by no means limited to this genre, however, so also paints unnamed figures, still lifes, and the rural landscapes he admires in the Lowcountry of South Carolina and Georgia, or in the foothills of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, where he resides. Nelson grew up far from such Southern tranquility — in Detroit, actually. There he earned his B.F.A. from the College of Creative Studies (CCS), where he was inspired by his teacher William Truman Hosner (b. 1950) with these stirring words: “If you can paint the figure, you can paint anything, but you won’t want to paint anything else.” Nelson thrived at CCS, so much so that…