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Fine Art Connoisseur

Fine Art Connoisseur May/June 2020

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art magazine for collectors of fine art

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United States
Streamline Publishing
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6 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
what good can come of this?

I have been counting my blessings, aware that being cooped up with a wooded backyard and a neighbor with 40 acres is a small price to pay to keep from infecting someone, or being infected. My fear, my concern for others, and my sadness in watching Facebook friends post tragic news of family members who are ill, or worse, have made me want to default to depression. But I refuse to give in. None of us ever wanted this, but I’m embracing it for what it is. I don’t think life will ever be the same. Yes, we will return to a new normal, but we have each grown from this experience and taken hold of something that has enriched our lives. We are discovering things about ourselves we did not know.…

2 min.
pleasant reminders

A few weeks ago, I was happily reminded of two special places we visited last October during Fine Art Connoisseur’s tour of Provence and the French Riviera. I was glad to learn that Van Gogh and the Olive Groves is being organized by the Dallas Museum of Art and Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum. This will be the first exhibition dedicated to the series of 15 paintings of olive trees that Vincent Van Gogh created in 1889 while he was a patient at the asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. Our jolly group of art lovers visited that still-functioning facility, Saint-Paul de Mausole (saintpauldemausole.fr), and we found it quite touching to see where this troubled genius sought refuge after an especially severe psychotic episode. We were especially moved to walk through the lush olive grove…

3 min.

KT Sullivan describes her favorite work of art by singing. She is, after all, the woman many consider the “Grande Dame of American Cabaret,” as well as artistic director of the Mabel Mercer Foundation, a nonprofit that honors and promotes the legacy of its namesake cabaret star. When Sullivan begins to assess a painting by Harry Willson Watrous that hangs opposite the bar at New York City’s National Arts Club, she intones the lyrics to a song, Old Friends, by Nancy Ford and Gretchen Cryer. “I look at the two women in the painting and it reminds me of that song,” says Sullivan, whereupon she hits the notes perfectly, singing, “Every time I’ve lost another lover/I call up my old friend/ And I say let’s get together/I’m under the weather/Another love…

6 min.
three to watch

SHANA LEVENSON (b. 1981) has been painting portraits and figures professionally for only five years, but in that short time she has moved quickly to the forefront of the contemporary realist scene. After starting in fashion design — she received her B.F.A. in fashion merchandising from the University of Texas (Austin) — and the birth of her daughter and son in 2009 and 2010, she went on to earn her M.F.A. from Academy of Art University (San Francisco) in 2015. Several workshops (including those with her now-husband, the artist David Jon Kassan) and miles of canvas later, Levenson began showing her paintings in respected galleries, winning awards at prestigious events, taking on commissions, and offering workshops through her Albuquerque studio. As a mother, wife, painter, teacher, and businesswoman, Levenson has a…

9 min.
sean cheetham an honest edge

Sean Cheetham (b. 1977) first appeared on my radar 15 years ago when his portrait of Chantal Menard, an artist friend with braids and tattooed arms, was circulated widely to promote the prestigious BP Portrait Award competition organized annually by London’s National Portrait Gallery. Many people (including me) mistakenly assumed that Cheetham’s painting had won the top prize. Even though it had not, the omnipresence of that advertisement powerfully announced the 28-year-old artist’s arrival in the art world. Two years later, in 2007, I fell in love with Cheetham’s painting Turtle Hill when I spotted it in the catalogue accompanying the Long Beach Museum of Art’s About Face portraiture exhibition. This Romantic scene, reminiscent of Caspar David Friedrich’s famous Wanderer above the Sea of Fog, depicts Cheetham and his now-deceased dog,…

5 min.
parks to be proud of

With summer just around the corner, the editorial team at Fine Art Connoisseur opted to focus on the remarkable parks and historic sites that grace every region of the United States. Since 1872, our National Park System has grown from a single site (Yellowstone National Park) to include more than 415 natural, historical, recreational, and cultural areas throughout the U.S. and its territories. They now encompass not only national parks, but also national monuments, memorials, military parks, historic sites, parkways, recreation areas, seashores, scenic river-ways, and scenic trails. The U.S. was the first country to develop such a program, and it has subsequently been complemented by thousands of sites designated and operated by states, counties, cities, and other jurisdictions. The attendance figures at America’s national parks are nothing less than staggering. Last…