The 1970s were a strange time, the world was going through a dramatic shift. The onset of digital technology was rising, the military had frightening power, and people had begun to get over the horror of the two world wars. A new breed of artist emerged from the roots laid down by the previous establishment. This new art had vibrancy and abstraction, it conjured mental images we could relate to yet discovered new ways of showing them. What society had become was defined in the subjects the era's painting depicted. A bright new future where power was real and money was made seemed on the doorstep. Exciting and dangerous, those at the forefront needed to project absolute confidence. This transposed into art, as the works of Philip Guston demonstrate.
The magical use of bright and bold upon plain untouched sections brings home a sense of absoluteness and focus. Even though the subjects are not associated with these things, a mindset portrayed by the headlines will no-doubt filter into the more mundane. When painters like Guston make the big-time, it reminds us that illustration doesn't have to be realistic. The depictions can be awkward and suggestive, provided they still immediately point to the reality of what they are. Perhaps the specific difference in abstract and impressionist is in this fundamental point. The abstract-impressionist chair is still a chair.
The online exhibition of Philip Guston at Hauser and Wirth exposes work of his career from the 1970s, in which a definitive style emerged. This became a guideline for many other artists to draw upon, who went on to make their own iconic and famous images.
The world remembers in horror the devastating explosion in a Lebanon port earlier in 2020. A difficult year of disease and social re-alignment made even more challenging with tragic results, it's hard to know how to move forward. One artist has amalgamated blast rubble from the obliteration to form a beautiful unnamed woman. She stands at the seashore, arm outstretched, feeling the gust of power that still resonates in the location.
Lebanon artist Hayat Nazer accumulated the twisted metal and shattered windows with fragments of wall and roof from the left-over destruction after the ammonium-nitrate exploded in one of the warehouses. It took her just two months to build the masterpiece which now stands proudly where it belongs. The blast was felt in neighbouring countries and within the radius nearly 200 people lost their lives. Thousands received injuries and many lost their homes.
A famous song by Majida El Roumi called Beirut, Lady Of The World contains a lyric “Rise from under the rubble”. This poignant image is what inspired today's sculptor to form this one of a kind images from such a meaningful material. Hopefully the forlorn and memorable statue of this woman can serve as a reminder to those charged with keeping everyone safe.
The New York based artist Sculptor (Mel) Hantz is gathering his laurels at a phenomenal pace with his beautiful and highly desirable knot sculptures. Not only is his work appearing in collection all over the United States, Parks in New York and Florida have also acquired something from his hands for their regular and visiting walkers.
Sculptor Hantz is said to know exactly what his knot is going to look like before he creates it. Putting an idea in a vision into reality requires a huge amount of skill and ability to decipher the often abstract images created by our internal eye. The entire process makes use of casting, welding, and brute forcing before a delicate and heartfelt finish is applied.
The manipulation and formation of heavy-duty metal requires not only a lot of strength but also a desire to craft something human from such a strong and tensile material. Symbolic of the processes of life, often we have to put in huge efforts in order to get our worlds in a way we like them. Manifesting our mental reality into the physical one often takes huge strength and many tools, these man-sized knots seem to recognise this principle.
The creations use recycled materials including iron, bronze, aluminium, and copper. These materials have different uses in the world yet for Mel they work together to bring out complimentary metallic art. It's been a long way for Sculptor Hantz, learning to utilise his hands and his imagination has taken a lot of learning. Each piece culminates his years of experience and passion.
“Works by Sculptor Hantz have been exhibited at the University of Alaska, Pratt Institute, Herzl Institute, Sotheby’s Special Exhibition, Margo Feiden Gallery, R.K. Parker Gallery, Jack Alonzo Gallery, and other venues across the United States. They are in permanent collections of the Cooper Union and Vorpal Gallery and many private collections worldwide. ” PRUnderground
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