Saturday, March 31, 2018

Round Six: Varo v. Benton

Remedios Varo
1908 - 1963
Spanish; worked in Mexico
Her paintings are carefully drawn, making the astonishing stories or mystic legends especially convincing. Rejecting the male-dominated language of Surrealist doctrine, Varo often painted magnificent heroines busy with alchemical activities. A delicate figure may spin and weave tiny threads transforming them into musical instruments or fashion them into paintings of small birds. The settings are often medieval tower rooms equipped with occult laboratory devices. Figures wearing tattered garments may emerge from a forest of withered trees.... Varo borrowed from Romanesque Catalan frescoes and medieval architecture, mixed nature and technology, and combined reality and fantasy to create worlds that elude time and space.
- National Museum of Women in the Arts
  • Finished First in Phase 1, Flight 3 of the Play-In Tournament with a voting score of .917.
  • Finished First in Phase 2, Flight 1 of the Play-In Tournament with a voting score of .500.
  • Beat André Beauneveu in Round 1.
  • Defeated Katsushika Hokusai in Round 2.
  • Thumped Dutch Master Pieter De Hooch in Round 3.
  • Crushed Andō Hiroshige in a Round 4 11-1 blowout.
  • Beat Edward Hopper in Round 5 by a two-vote swing. YOUR VOTE COUNTS!!!

Thomas Hart Benton
1889 - 1975
Throughout the 1930s and into the 1940s, Benton, who left New York in 1935 and settled in Kansas City, Missouri, became closely associated with a movement known as Regionalism, which exalted rural America and tended to disregard contemporary abstract art.
- The Met's Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Left Bracket Fifth Round: Bosch v. Balla!

This Left Bracket Fifth Round match pairs Bosch (5-1, 52-32, .619) against Balla (4-1, 39-29, .573).  Balla has been knocked into the Left Brackets by Altdorfer, while Bosch arrives via a victory over Botticelli.  

With an outstanding record of 4-2, 52-31, .627, Botticelli ranks fifth among artists who have exited the Tournament, behind only Antonella da Messina, Fabritius, Fillipino Lippi, and Boccioni.  He knocks Picabia out of the "finishers' top ten."

Hieronymus Bosch
c.1450 - 1516
It is quite a feat that a Dutchman who painted 500 years ago remains one of the most notable apocalyptic painters of the world and one of art’s first visionary geniuses. Hieronymus Bosch is most celebrated for his detail-drenched and symbolic narrative renditions of the dance between heaven and hell through biblical-themed landscapes upon which play a revolving cast of fantastical, and often macabre humans, animals, monsters, and make-believe creatures. His paintings demonstrate our age-old tales of morality and the eventual fate of all sinners who succumb to the pleasures and perversity of the ego. These timeless stories, masterfully portrayed upon canvas in Bosch’s impeccably steady hand, continue to challenge interpretation as well as position the artist as one of the canon’s first original thinkers.
- The Art Story

Note: the attribution of this quintessentially Boschian painting has recently been called into question.

Giacomo Balla
On the stage of art history, when the spotlight shines on Futurism, Giacomo Balla is always left rather in the shadows. ....[But] Balla was instinctively a modernist and a futurist long before actually signing a pile of manifestos. He was an artist animated by an omnivorous curiosity that led him to take an interest in science and technology, photography, cinema and anything else that was invented. More than anyone else, it was Balla who was the visual drafter of the principles of the movement, the alchemist who transformed them into images of such explosive iconic power.
- Italica
  • Defeated Hans Baldung in Round 1
  • Edged by Balthus in Round 2 by a single vote.  YOUR VOTE COUNTS! 
  • Got by John James Audubon in Round 3.
  • Beat Basquiat quite soundly in Round 4.
  • Fell hard to Albrecht Altdorfer in Round 5.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Round Six: Altdorfer v. Bruegel

Albrecht Altdorfer
"Albrecht Altdorfer’s Landscape with a Double Spruce marks the beginning of a long and harmonious marriage between the medium of etching and the subject of landscape." "The sheet demonstrates remarkable spontaneity and a freedom of draftsmanship that echoes that of the artist’s numerous landscape drawings. Altdorfer’s revolutionary landscapes galvanized a group of artists later known as the Danube School."
- The Met's Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
  • Defeated Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema by a single vote in Round 1.
  • Crushed American minimalist sculpter Carl Andre in Round 2.
  • Spent a year and a half subduing Switzerland's Jacques-Laurent Agasse in Round 3.
  • Edged Fra Angelico by a two-vote swing in Round 4.  YOUR VOTE COUNTS!!!
  • Beat Giacomo Balla easily in Round 5.

Pieter Bruegel (the Elder)
c.1525 - 1569
A number of Bruegel’s paintings focus on the lives of Flemish commoners.... But while these works demonstrate the artist’s attentive eye for detail and attest to his direct observation of village settings, they are far from simple re-creations of everyday life. The powerful compositions, brilliantly organized and controlled, reflect a sophisticated artistic design.... Bruegel’s use of landscape also defies easy interpretation, and demonstrates perhaps the artist’s greatest innovation.... These panoramic compositions suggest an insightful and universal vision of the world — a vision that distinguishes all the work of their remarkable creator.
- The Met's Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
  • Trounced his own son, Jan Bruegel the Elder, in Round 1.
  • Won easily against living artist Daniel Buren in Round 2.
  • Scorched respectable Victorian Ford Maddox Brown in Round 3.
  • Made it past Botticelli in Round 4.
  • Beat Gianlorenzo Bernini in Round 5 by a single vote. YOUR VOTE COUNTS!!!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Left Bracket Fifth Round: Hammershoi v. Friedrich!

This Left Bracket Fifth Round match pairs Wilhelm Hammershoi (7-1, 66-31, .680) against Caspar David Friedrich (4-1, 48-18, .727), who falls into the Left Bracket after a loss to Thomas Eakins.  Hammershoi comes off of a grudge match win over Franz Hals, who he had lost to in Round 2, way back in January 2014.  Hals finished at 4-2, 39-33, .542. 

Wilhelm Hammershoi
1864 - 1916
Hammershøi was a leading light in Denmark at the dawn of the 20th century.  Only now are we beginning to appreciate the strange beauty and individuality of his vision.  What is so remarkable about Hammershøi's work is his confidence that merely looking at a simple figure would be artistically satisfying.  He shows a daring disregard for the support of narrative, color, and contemporary relevance.
- Sister Wendy's 1000 Masterpieces

Caspar David Friedrich
1774 - 1840
Friedrich created a new kind of landscape painting; in his pictures landscape becomes a symbol of human feeling. The special trait of his approach to landscape is that the eye is pulled into the far distance, as the path here is lost in the farthest depths of the forest. This compositional peculiarity originates in the predominant sentiment of his period -- longing, aspiration toward the unknown and the illimitable. Nature for Friedrich is a mirror Held up to Man's soul, and it can become this because he himself has no doubts of the quintessential oneness of nature and man.
-- 20,000 Years of World Painting.
  • Wrecked Dame Elisabeth Frink's hopes in Round 1.
  • Unstrung Naum Gabo in Round 2.
  • Crushed Jean-Honoré Fragonard in Round 3.
  • Beat Artemisia Gentileschi in Round 4
  • Fell to Thomas Eakins in Round 5.