Month: December 2013

  • December 28: Ronald Searle war drawings

    Ronald Searle (1920 – 2011), famous for his St. Trinian’s girls and New Yorker cover cats, was a young enlistee in the Royal Engineers who had just arrived in Singapore when it fell to the Japanese in 1942. He would be a prisoner until the end of the war in 1945. During that time he […]

  • December 21: a favorite van de Velde

    Willem van de Velde the Younger (1633 – 1707) excelled in a tradition of seascapes that remained almost unchanged far into the 19th Century and the American Luminists, notably Fitz Hugh Lane. But I especially admire his drawings, of which “Warships and Galleys” is a favorite. On the one hand it’s firmly under control, executed […]

  • December 14: Norman Rockwell’s “walking to church”

      I wasn’t aware of this piece by Norman Rockwell before it sold the other day for $3.2 million. That’s a sum glamorous enough to catch one’s attention. What jumped out at me are the threatening, if absurd, faces in the two principal buildings. Their oddness doesn’t seem like the sort of thing Rockwell does, […]

  • December 7: the redemptive suavity of Lucian Freud

    Lucian Freud (1922 – 2011) built his later reputation on the grossness of his images—unideal bodies flopping around in poses that most models, amateur or pro, wouldn’t take without being coaxed. Which they wouldn’t be, by most artists. But Freud’s in-you-faceness tends to blind us to the suave design and execution that tames his subjects, […]