Art & Architecture
Fine Art Connoisseur

Fine Art Connoisseur September/October 2019

art magazine for collectors of fine art

United States
Streamline Publishing
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6 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
carrying a new flag for realism

Years ago, while I was visiting Schiller & Bodo, a wonderful gallery of historical art on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, the proprietors (Lisa and Susan) told me, “Fine Art Connoisseur is the standard-bearer for realism in America today.” Of course, I was thrilled that they recognized our efforts. In fact, since the foundation of this magazine, we have worked to familiarize our readers with the new breed of realists, encouraging collectors to acquire their artworks and galleries to represent them. As I have written on this page many times, younger realist artists today, and those who trained them yesterday, will reap massive rewards when they are older because the world will have recognized the value not only of their technical skills, but also of their distinctive takes on contemporary life that are…

3 min.
in with the new — but on our terms

In August I visited Cooper Hewitt, the National Design Museum operated by the Smithsonian Institution in New York City. For four months in 1991, I volunteered there as an intern, and although I have returned regularly ever since, I was delighted to find it hopping with visitors on a sultry Tuesday afternoon. On view was the latest edition of the Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial, held — as its name suggests — every three years in order to show us what’s happening in every corner of the design world. On view until January 20, the current edition was co-organized with Cube, a design museum in the Netherlands, and its overall theme is nature. Nature is, of course, the greatest designer ever: our own bodies are nothing short of miraculous, and trees are pretty…

3 min.

When children pose for their portraits, they often require distractions. When Jamie Bernstein and her siblings, Nina and Alexander, sat for a group portrait in the summer of 1967, the painter Jane Wilson (1924–2015) found ways to keep them patient as they posed on her apartment terrace in Italy. “She gave us a deck of cards that we could play with,” recalls Bernstein, the eldest daughter, then 14, of the conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein. “I remember, too, that some records were playing on the stereo, though I have to say it was rather boring to sit there and sit there.” What resulted, though, is something that the three siblings now cherish so much that they refer to the painting as, Jamie explains with affection, “the portrait of the three-headed monster.” Today she…

5 min.
three to watch

CARLOS SAGRERA (b. 1987) is a Spanish painter currently residing in Leipzig, Germany — the birthplace of an art movement that became an international phenomenon in the early 2000s. Having earned a B.F.A. from the European University of Madrid in 2011, Sagrera moved to Leipzig three years later, following his admiration of that famous group of German painters, “The New Leipzig School.” Known for figuration that incorporated abstract elements, its members shared a respect for technical skill (mostly derived from the painterly traditions of the centuries-old Leipzig Academy), stylistic experimentation, and exploration of topical subject matter. Sagrera now shares studio space in a converted cotton factory with a new generation of like-minded artists influenced by the New Leipzig School, each with his or her own style and subject matter. For his…

7 min.
gabriela gonzalez dellosso interpreting “herstory”

For the artist Gabriela Gonzalez Dellosso (b. 1968), a career-defining inspiration struck during a casual visit to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art with her mother in 2008. There she came upon the 1785 Self-Portrait with Two Pupils painted by Adélaïde Labille-Guiard (1749–1803). Dellosso recalls, “The painting haunted me for months. I was so surprised I had never heard of Adélaïde or anything about her.” She began researching, and the more she learned, the more she felt a kinship with — and admiration for — the French artist. A student of Maurice Quentin de la Tour, Labille-Guiard was an outstanding portraitist admitted to Paris’s Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in 1783. (Now more famous, Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun [1755–1842] was admitted at the same time.) While the acceptance…

12 min.
living history david kassan’s portraits of holocaust survivors

When Elsa Ross posed for her portrait, she had to remember not to smile. In 2015, she arrived at the Albuquerque studio of the painter David Kassan (b. 1977), wearing the simple black outfit he had requested and clutching a black-and-white photograph that showed her as a little girl with her parents, at their apartment on Panska Street in Warsaw. Now living in Houston, the innately elegant and poised Ross insists that she was not adept at posing — unsure of where to place her hands or how to hold her cherished photograph outward so that viewers could see what it depicts. “It was my decision to hold that photograph close to my heart,” she says. She had come to Kassan’s studio so that he could take photographs of Ross that…