Gavril Pavlovich Kondratenko 1854 – 1924

The fifth of a series of snow themed posts, for this season of the year.

Winter Morning
Winter Morning 1901 (Click all these images to enlarge them please.)

Landscape with pagoda
Landscape With Pagoda

Gavriil Kondratenko was born in 1854.

Studied at The Saint Petersburg Imperial Academy of Fine Arts from K.Gun and M. (Mikhail Konstantinovich) Klodt.

Author of the numerous Russian landscapes of the Caucasus, the Crimea and the other Russian governments.

Took part at the exhibitions of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts. Was the member of the Society after A.Kuinji and took part at the numerous exhibitions of this group. Was also the member of the Saint Petersburg Society of Painters and the Fellowship of Russian Illustrators.

The paintings of Gavriil Kondratenko are contained in The State Tretyakov Gallery and The State Russian Museum as well as in numerous museums and private collections.

It’s difficult to find many links to Kondratenko’s work, other than dozens of replica painting workshops that sell knock-off versions of his paintings.

I found a link to the Sphinx Fine Art gallery that has a little article about him, and a picture (Landscape at Dusk) that is painted from almost the same angle as the snow scene at the top of this post, but painted in Summer. Here’s the link.


John Young-Hunter

A couple of years back I posted a series of winter themed paintings in the run-up to Christmas. ( Go back to the post about Arkhip Kuinji, on the 17th December 2007 ).

Those posts were short and sweet, and featured painters whose work I had recently stumbled upon. The only thing that united them was that they all painted snow scenes at one time or another in their careers.

I have to admire anyone who paints in sub-zero temperatures. I find it hard enough to take photos in the snow, especially if I’m trying to fiddle with the camera controls. My own efforts at painting watercolours in sub zero (substitute petroleum for water) made me feel a bit sick.

So I take my hat off to the artists who will be showing their works here over the next ten days. I hope you enjoy them, and that you are inspired to go and look for more work by these doughty draftsmen. And women.

thumbnail of Kitzbuhl in the snow

(Click to enlarge, please.)

Shortly after John Young-Hunter’s visit, this Austrian village was almost completely destroyed by an avalanche. One of the more unusual hazards of painting in the snow.

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(Click to enlarge, please.)

John Young-Hunter (American, 1875 – 1955)

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, John Young-Hunter was a portrait, figure, and landscape painter with a highly aristocratic upbringing in England and a career that reached to the American East and Southwest.

He was raised with privilege and extravagance among the cultural elite of London, and close family friends included John Singer-Sargent and Lawrence Alma-Tadema.

John received much recognition for his portrait painting in England, and his paintings were exhibited in the National Tate Gallery in London and the Luxembourg Museum in Paris. From 1900 to 1913, he exhibited at the Royal Academy.

In 1913, he traveled to the United States, pursuing his fascination with American Indians whom he had seen in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show performances in London.

In 1917, he first visited Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico. Cutting his connections to the European art world, he settled in Taos in 1942 and became a part of the colony of artists around Mabel Dodge Luhan.

He had a home and studio on the eastern edge of town and replaced his painting of society portraits with Indian subjects, landscape, and still life. (Courtesy: AskART).


William Wray’s Work for Nickelodeon’s “Mighty B!”

William Wray (Ren & Stimpy, etc.,) is showing some of the colour keys he’s painted for The Mighty B!.
(Click to enlarge, please)

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Ten episodes will air over five days, starting on the 8th of September.

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The backgrounds work is shared with Seonna Hong and Richard Daskas.

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I like this artwork, but it’s a shame that the stories are so lame. The clips I found on YouTube made me wince.
Here’s a link to the broadcast schedule and more artwork on William Wray’s blog.
William Wray’s plein-air painting blog is here.

£25,000 Prize Waiting – Only Figurative Painters Need Apply

The Mall Galleries, London, are waiting for the public’s vote in order to decide the winner of The Threadneedle Figurative Painting Prize.

From an initial pool of 2,700 entries, 71 pictures have now been selected for final judging, with 7 works shortlisted for the prize. The final decision rests with the public, though, who can vote for their favourite until 12:00 noon on the 3rd of September, 2008.

As a bonus, all the works chosen for the exhibition are eligible to win the £10,000 Federation of British Artists Selectors´ Choice, which means a possible pot of thirty five grand to the winner, because there’s no bar to winning both prizes.

I’ve picked a few pictures that caught my eye (below), but why not click over to the exhibition and get voting for your own favourite?

Please click these thumbnail images to enlarge them.
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Paul Brason: “Eighteen”

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Nick Pace: “Off Road SUV”

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Tai Shan Schierenberg: “Self Portrait”

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Nina Murdoch: “Untitled”

The winner of the 2008 Threadneedle Figurative Prize will be announced at an Awards ceremony on the evening of Wednesday 3 September and will be posted on their website.

The winner of the competition was Nina Murdoch, with this last image.
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The Adam and Ron Show

Artists Ron English and Adam Neate will share more than their ideology in an upcoming two man show at the Elms Lesters Painting Rooms (London) in May.

(Please click the small images to enlarge them)
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Press it. You know you want to….

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(Thanks Damien, Thanks Edward.)

The two images above are the work of the American Ron English, and they neatly encapsulate his intellectual approach to his art, wherein every cultural icon is up for grabs and ripe for reinterpretation.

Have a look at this excerpt from “POPaganda: The Art and Subversion of Ron English”. He’s working in a thoroughly post modern arena whose early pioneers were Hippies, Yippies and Adbusters.

Adam Neate’s label is “Street artist” which might help to justify the alignment of these two artists in the same exhibition, and they found they shared common ground when Neate wrote a gushing fan letter to English.

Neate first came to public attention by leaving thousand(s?) of his paintings on the streets (and the pavements too, presumably) of London, for people to take, or leave, at will.

These links will give you a flavour of his work.

Snow Scenes #9 – Christmas Edition

After looking at paintings of snow scenes created by artists who lived many years ago, it’s time to look at some pictures that have been painted by contemporary artists. What these people have in common is that, apart from being superb concept artists, they are also all featured in the blogroll (see left), and in most cases they are colleagues or ex-workmates.

As an introduction, (and a continuation of the Russian theme established in the last post) we kick off with an amazing photographic image of a snowbound church on the island of Kizhi. If you look very carefully you will see that despite the church being a world class architectural treasure, the place is in a lamentable state of repair. The photo is old, however, so let’s hope that someone has splashed a bit of cash on restoration since it was taken.
On with the pictures…. Or as my partner says: “Here you go”

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Kizhi Island Orthodox Church In The Snow
(Click the thumbnail to enlarge, as usual)

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Painted by the very talented Andrei Riabovitchev

Another one by Andrei, featuring complementary colour contrasts.

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Frozen Lake

Here’s Daniel Cacouault‘s contribution to this collection of snow scenes. It’s a concept design from a commercail for Coca Bears. –
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Coca Bears
I love those slick, glowing ice reflections in the foreground.

Here’s a couple from the boss, Hans Bacher, who can really lay it down fast and simple. And it stays down….
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Low Sun

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Distant Ridge
This picture perfectly illustrates Hans’s planar approach to composition.

Now for a couple of Neil Ross‘s snow themed pictures –
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Two Wolves

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And finally, Clive Powsey socks it to us with this beautiful study of positive and negative shapes. So simple and yet ….
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I hope there’s no one in the blogroll who will take offence at being left out of this little review.
It’s late, and have to get up early to roast a turkey to feed 14 people!

Happy Christmas one and all!

Richard Müller

The symbolist painter and etcher, Richard Müller, has provided the 8th in this series of snow scenes.
It’s a painting of his from the end of the Second World War.

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The Dead Hare
The Hare represents Europe, the Jackdaw: Germany and the Magpie is Russia.

The symbolism in the image depends on the audience having knowledge of the contextual background in order to make sense of the painting. When I first saw this picture, I had no way of decoding it. I simply reacted to the quality of the drawing and the composition.

This second image shows Muller’s symbolist work in a more strident mode. It dates from 1942, and presages the imminent threat from Russia in the east.

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Drying The Sheets 1942
(Click on the thumbnail to make this picture bigger, please.)

I haven’t succeeded in finding out much more about Herr Muller, but there’s a link to a small gallery here, and a potted biography after the fold. >> Continue reading Richard Müller

Ivan F. Choultsé

This is number seven in the seasonal series of snow scene themed posts. (Don’t try to say that with a mouthful of crackers.)

The first time I came across the work of Ivan Fedorovitch Choultsé, (1877 – 1932) I couldn’t make up my mind whether he was a colourist genius or an early incarnation of the sublimely vulgar Thomas Kinkade.

On reflection, I have to give Choultsé the benefit of the doubt, because he steers well clear of the mawkish saccharine* sentimentality of America’s “Painter of Light”, and he also seems to have been able to get out of the house (or bank, in Kinkade’s case) a bit more, and do some painting from life. I would not be at all surprised to learn that Kinkade was “influenced” by Choultsé, however.

The picture of his that genuinely stopped me in my tracks was this one:
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Landscape in Winter
(Click the thumbnail to make it much bigger)

Choultsé liked snow –
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Winter morning, Engadine
You have to admit that those colours are being stretched just a tad beyond the bounds of credibility. Perhaps it was an effect of the altitude…

Here he is with a non-winter subject –
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The Parthenon After a Storm

Gooogle his name to find out about his German origins, his upbringing in Russia, and his travels as an emigré in many lands, and learn how even though he was once almost completely forgotten about, the value of his work is rising rapidly, especially with the nouveau riche oligarchy in the Russian Federation.

*=Aspartame, nowadays, but it doesn’t make such a good alliteration.

There are some potted biographies below the fold…>>> Continue reading Ivan F. Choultsé