After spotting an image of Jennifer Ament’s recent show at Maison Luxe in Seattle, I was immediately hooked. The beautiful prints and paintings of artist Jennifer Ament, seem to be popping up everywhere lately, from my favorite Instagram accounts to the Art Collection of Serena & Lily. Ament’s most recent series, Underwater Plant Life, is truly stunning. I’m already picturing a gallery wall featuring row upon row of the delicate undulating plants (I especially love the artist’s choice of black matting and gold frames in displaying the series, as seen at Serena & Lily). I am also drawn to the series of paintings featured at Maison Luxe, described by Ament on the artist’s blog Art & Lair:
My wall of Watercolors, Original Ink on Paper, and Collage were a year in the making. My inspiration came from planets not yet discovered, the galaxy surrounding us, and the insides of Minerals.
Jennifer Ament, Agate Moon
Jennifer Ament, Moon Waves I
This past weekend, the husband and I braved the humid weather to visit the annual Lakefront Festival of Art at the Milwaukee Art Museum. This year, 180 artists from around the world displayed their works, from paintings and ceramic wares, to fiber and jewelry, amongst them a couple of familiar favorites, Cali Hobgood and Nick Wroblewski, as well as at least one new fave, Sarah Giannobile.
Giannobile’s gem-like forms are woven into delicate webs, each work a dream-like expression of the artist’s subconscious, explorations of childhood memories of farm-life in Missouri.
Anthology, 2006, Acrylic on canvas
Stanford Kay‘s Gutenberg Variations depict collections of books, balanced in columnar stacks and strewn across towering shelves, captured in beautifully comibined strokes of color. Kay presents the stacked volumes as kindred to paintings, both “depositories of ideas”:
The books we read and the paintings we live with, define and reveal us. Just as a book requires the reader to assemble images and ideas out of its signs and symbols, the viewer of a painting is asked to translate the strokes and drips into reason and emotion.
I am especially smitten with Kay’s compositions and palettes from the Gutenberg Variations 2003-2005, and 2006-2008.
Well Read No. 2, Acrylic on canvas
The History of Blue, 2003, Acrylic on canvas
What I Know About Her, 2003, Acrylic on canvas
Henri Matisse was one of the crucial artistic figures of the twentieth century, known for his expressive use of color and range of works in a variety of medium, from paintings and sculpture, to paper cut-out collage. Matisse’s dynamic works make for welcome inspiration—and a reminder not to shy away from allowing a bit of vibrant color, or perhaps some bold pattern, into our own surroundings.
Talisman Kilim / Livia Linen Settee / Indigo Check Tablecloth / Framed Flying Bird / Libations Bar Cart / Switchgrass Square Pillow / Emerald Vase / Natural World Dessert Plate / High Neck Vase / Filigree Hurricane, Large / Filigree Hurricane, Small
František Kupka (1871-1957) began his career as an illustrator in Paris, quickly becoming known for his satirical drawings. Kupka’s later works became increasingly abstract, exhibiting an astounding use of color and motion, leading to his becoming a founding member of Abstraction-Création, together with Jean Arp, Albert Gleizes, Jean Hélion, Auguste Herbin, Theo van Doesburg, and Georges Vantongerloo. I have always been enraptured with Mme Kupka among Verticals, and have only recently discovered some of the artist’s lesser known, yet equally lovely studies.
Pastel and charcoal on gray paper
Mme Kupka among Verticals, 1910-11
Oil on canvas
Planes by Colors, Large Nude (Plans par couleurs, grand nu), 1909–10
Oil on canvas
Study with Green, 1912
Chalk and gouache on paper
I’m fairly certain that The Phillips Collection is incapable of disappointing (if I could pick any collection in the world to have as my own, the Phillips would certainly be it). Their latest exhibit, Per Kirkeby: Paintings and Sculpture, certainly upholds this standard, presenting “the most comprehensive survey in the United States to date of works by Scandinavia’s most highly acclaimed living artist, Per Kirkeby (Danish, b. 1938)” (The Phillips Collection). A visionary painter, printmaker, sculptor, writer and filmmaker, Kirkeby’s expressive works fuse science and the visual arts, his Master’s education in geology a pronounced influence on the artist’s striated yet fluid compositions. Personally I cannot get enough of Kirkeby’s Matisse-like palette, and Klee-esque forms.
For The Phillips Collection audio tour of the exhibit, visit The Phillips Collection website.