Month: January 2014

  • January 25: framed

    Picture frames are often  merely pompous and distracting, but sometimes, as here, they expand and complete the work. This tiny piece by Geertgen tot Sint Jans (c.1465 – c.1495) sits in its frame as in a window, the repeated gold rectangles almost describing a house with its protective shutters mostly but not entirely open. Gentle, […]

  • January 18: Hockney’s variations

    More “David Hockney: a Bigger Exhibition.” This week we move from the technical to the conceptual—Hockney’s variations on the works of other artists. Variations can be a perfectly sound way of paying homage or making a joke, or, as in the self portrait here, making a point about beginnings and ends.  Velazquez’s “Las Meninas” is […]

  • January 11: the assurance of David Hockney

       David Hockney is your archetypal large-scale, pedal-to-the-metal sort of artist. His output is prodigious in quantity if irregular in quality. Either way, it shows the working of a systematic and quick-witted painter. These two qualities go together: the system enables the quickness. There were many examples of how this works in “David Hockney: A […]

  • January 4, 2014: a frozen room

    Before its reconstruction a few years ago, the de Young Museum in San Francisco had a wonderful paneled French period room with windows opening on a patio and pool in a quiet copse behind. It was used for parties and receptions. It was spacious and gracious and every good thing. I painted events there a […]