jueves, 24 de noviembre de 2016

The Leaders of Art Nouveau

If you’ve been to Paris or seen it in photos, you’ll recognize the swirling, plant-like gates, with their distinctive lettering, that serve as entryways to the city’s subway system, or metro, as it’s known there. Of the many terms for Art Nouveau in France, Style Metro remains one of the most persistent, thanks to Hector Guimard’s enduring design for the entrances. Unveiled during the Paris World’s Fair in 1900, the design would become a symbol of the Art Nouveau movement.
But it had begun years earlier. From the 1880s until World War I, artworks, design objects, and architecture in Western Europe and the United States sprouted with sinuous, unruly lines. Taking cues from Rococo curves, Celtic graphic motifs, Japanese masters Andō Hiroshige and Katsushika Hokusai, and William Blake’s Songs of Innocence(1789), Art Nouveau artists took the plant forms they saw in nature and then flattened and abstracted them into elegant, organic motifs.

The Movement’s Origins

The term Art Nouveau first appeared in the Belgian art journal L’Art Moderne in 1884 to describe the work of Les Vingt, a society of 20 progressive artists that included James Ensor. These painters responded to leading theories by French architect Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc and British critic John Ruskin, who advocated for the unity of all arts. In December 1895, the German-born art dealer Siegfried Bing opened a gallery in Paris named “Maison l’Art Nouveau.” Branching out from the Japanese ceramics and ukiyo-e prints for which he had become known, Bing promoted this “new art” in the gallery, selling a selection of furniture, fabrics, wallpaper, and objets d’art.
Encouraging the organic forms and patterns of Art Nouveau to flow from one object to another, the movement’s theorists championed a greater coordination of art and design. A continuation of democratic ideas from Britain’s Arts and Crafts movement, this impulse was as political as it was aesthetic. The movement’s philosophical father, the English designer and businessman William Morris, defined its main goals: “To give people pleasure in the things they must perforce use, that is one great office of decoration; to give people pleasure in the things they must perforce make, that is the other use of it.” Morris disdained the working conditions bred by the industrial revolution and abhorred the low-quality bric-a-brac created by factories and amassed in homes of the era.
He insisted that functional design be incorporated into the objects of everyday life, and his mix of aesthetics and ethics rejected the heavy ornamental qualities of the 19th century, specifically the cumbersome, almost suffocating excesses of the Victorian period. His ideas manifested as many distinct national flavors. In Scotland, there was the rectilinear Glasgow Style; in Italy, Arte Nuova or Stile Liberty, after the London firm Liberty & Co.; Style nouille (“noodle”) or coup de fouet (“whiplash”) in Belgium; Jugendstil (“young style”) in Germany and Austria; Tiffany Style in the United States; and in France, Style Metro, fin-de-siècle, and Belle Époque. For some, Art Nouveau was the last unified style; for others, it was not one style, but many. As with all art movements up until the late 20th century, it was dominated by men. 

The Leaders of Art Nouveau

Perhaps the person who best expressed Art Nouveau’s steep historical arc, like a flame that burned brightly but briefly, was the young Englishman Aubrey Vincent Beardsley, whose perverse sensibilities made him the most controversial figure of Art Nouveau. Finding inspiration in the truculent manner of American expat James Abbott McNeill Whistler and in Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s Japoniste posters, Beardsley began his formal artistic career at just 19 years old. The celebrated Pre-Raphaelite painter Sir Edward Burne-Jones would come to shower praise on the untrained Beardsley’s drawings when he saw them in 1891.
Beardsley’s India ink illustrations for Oscar Wilde’s play Salomé established many essential Art Nouveau ideals. Their shadowy imagery, flat decorative patterns, stark contrast, and controlled but swooping lines quickly earned the artist international recognition. Depicting the biblical story of Herod beheading St. John the Baptist at Salomé’s request, the drawing for “J’ai baisé ta bouche, Iokanaan” drips with erotic imagery: folds of fabric, streams of blood, and tendrils of hair. At lower right, a flower evocatively blooms in the darkness, while a black passage at upper left seems to reverberate with the dark thoughts of a scowling Salomé. Thanks to his formal talents—not to mention his propensity for erotic and sometimes pornographic subject matter—Beardsley became a touchstone for some of Art Nouveau’s most recognizable artists, despite his early death from tuberculosis in 1898.
Left: Aubrey Beardsley, The Climax, 1894. Image via Wikimedia Commons; Right: Photo of the painting Medicine by Gustav Klimt, via Wikimedia Commons.
While Beardsley was an untrained prodigy, Gustav Klimt attended the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts (Kunstgewerbeschule) and began his career as the establishment wunderkind. Klimt’s early works, such as his murals for the new Burgtheater in Vienna’s Ringstrasse, fulfilled academic and bourgeois expectations for art with their naturalistic depictions of historical scenes.
But not all of Klimt’s work fit such orthodox constraints. The atmosphere of erotic love and sexuality that pervaded Vienna around 1900 exerted a powerful influence on the artist. Like the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, Klimt saw the artist as a messenger of truth, not fantasy. In 1894, he undertook a commission for murals in the assembly hall of the University of Vienna. Rather than representing the field of Medicine in a logical or sanitized way, as he was expected to do, Klimt portrayed confusion and darkness, knotting together naked bodies and juxtaposing pregnant stomachs with veiled skeletons.
The scandal that ensued ultimately ended Klimt’s academic career, prompting him to found and serve as the first president of the Sezession, the radical Art Nouveau group in Vienna that brought together artists, designers, and architects. They collaborated in the principle of a Gesamtkunstwerk, or “total work of art,” which aimed to be spiritually uplifting through a combination of beauty and utility. Josef Hoffmann’s design for the dining room of Brussels’s Palais Stoclet, which included Klimt’s spiral-filled arboreal murals, exemplified this goal.
It was his iconic portraiture style, however, that earned him a place in art’s historic pantheon. The Kiss (1907), perhaps his most famous work, displays the basic but revolutionary elements of his distinctive idiom: a flattening of form and rich design flourishes within patches of gold leaf applied to the canvas. Representing love as an alignment of surfaces, The Kiss locks the central figures in concentric shapes, entwining lovers’ bodies like jewels in a gold ring. They embrace, a shimmering cloak surrounding them like a membrane, and a wall of flowers falls away. This anxious eroticism for which Klimt is known infused the work of subsequent artists, including his protégé Egon Schiele.
The decorative arts formed another cornerstone of Art Nouveau’s legacy. While France was home to many notable figures—Georges de Feure, Édouard Colonna, and Eugène Gaillard, among others—on the other side of the Atlantic, Louis Comfort Tiffany became the name most associated with the Art Nouveau movement in the United States.
Heir to the silver empire of Tiffany & Co., a company founded by his father, Charles Lewis Tiffany, in 1837, Tiffany started his career as a painter. After studying under George Inness, he began working with decorative art in the 1870s. Supported by enthusiastic patrons in New York, he produced elaborate interiors and complementary metalwork, enamels, lighting, and jewelry.
But Tiffany (as well as his leading competitor, John LaFarge) was best known for an innovative fabrication of leaded glass that became a distinctly American phenomenon. By 1881, his experiments in chemistry had led to the development of glass with an opalescent finish that produced a dreamy, milky quality of light. Surviving features from Tiffany’s elaborate estate on Long Island, Laurelton Hall, reveal his work in full bloom, with windows, ceramic tile, and architectural features coalescing into a garden-like alcove. Staining his glass in an array of colors and adding finely painted details to it prior to firing, Tiffany created a revolutionary look that was hugely successful and allowed the company to expand into the empire of decorative art and jewelry that continues today.

Why Does Art Nouveau Matter?

The success of Tiffany and other decorative artists testifies to Art Nouveau’s goal of tearing down hierarchies between the arts. The rise of print and graphic arts similarly advanced this cause and, unlike Tiffany’s more rarified creations, they could be reproduced to enrich the lives of a broader public. Czech artist Alphonse Mucha’s representations of la femme nouvelle (the bold new woman) are illustrative of the emerging medium of graphic advertisements, as are those of Jules Cheret, whose distinctive Belle Époque designs led to his being considered the father of the modern poster. Even talented painters like Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Jan Toorop became as renowned for their graphic art as for their canvases.
Following the vision of Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc, architects used steel and other modern materials to create new vocabularies featuring arched and cantilevered forms. The breathtaking Tassel House by Henry van de Velde and Victor Horta, the latter a gifted Belgian disciple of both Morris and Viollet-le-Duc, remains a highpoint of this fluid architectural design. Other outstanding examples came from Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Margaret Macdonald in Scotland; Otto Wagner in Austria; Louis Sullivan in the United States; and the inimitable Antoni Gaudí, known for Casa Mila and Sagrada Familia, in Spanish Catalonia.
Left: Antoni Gaudí, Casa Mila. Photo by deming131, via Flickr; Right: Hector Guimard, Style Metro. Photo by zoetnet, via Flickr.
Art Nouveau bridged an essential gap between 19th-century aestheticism and 20th-century design. Wassily Kandinsky and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, for example, two iconic modern painters, worked in Jugendstil before moving toward their own personal styles. But, just as quickly as it had blossomed across the Western aesthetic landscape, Art Nouveau began to wither in the early 20th century. Ultimately, the movement’s reputation for decadence drove an unintended wedge between wealthy patrons and skilled workers. The flowing, floral character that had once been praised became its liability, leading the English illustrator Walter Crane to condemn it as a “strange decorative disease” as early as 1903. By 1920, the style coup de fouet, or whiplash, had been limply renamed style branche de persil, or sprig of parsley.

—George Philip LeBourdais

martes, 22 de noviembre de 2016

‘Abstract 50’s Masters (Where Were the Mistresses?)’ at Anita Shapolsky Gallery

‘Abstract 50’s Masters (Where Were the Mistresses?)’ at Anita Shapolsky Gallery

This exhibition emphasizes the pluralistic nature of abstraction art. Featured artists include: Ernest Briggs, Peter Agostini, Seymour Boardman, Ilya Bolotowsky, James Brooks, Lawrence Calcagno, Nassos Daphnis, Beauford Delaney, Friedel Dzubas, Jimmy Ernst, and many more.
Ernest Briggs, Untitled, 1-15-53, diptych, oil on canvas, 69 1/4″ x 53 1/4″ (photo courtesy Anita Shapolsky Gallery)
Abstract 50’s Masters (Where Were the Mistresses?)
Saturday, November 19–Saturday, February 25
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 19th, 4-6pm
Panel Discussion: Lives of the Artists Spouses, Children & Friends Saturday, December 10th, 3-5pm
Abstract art has roots in the late 19th century and reached ascendance in the late 40’s – 50’s. Philip Pavia (sculptor), one of the leaders of “the Club” and his publication It is was seminal in the championing of abstract art.
Our exhibition emphasizes the pluralistic nature of abstraction: gesture, geometric, and introspection. Abstract expressionism uses gesture and was an important development in abstract art (Action painting). Most of the artists began traditionally using grids and sketches, as they were taught. They went on to their individual development where the act and thought was important rather than the space that was there. Our artists are considered mainly 2nd generation abstract expressionists. They were lucky to have the guidance of the stars of the first generation. Some of our artists went to the Art Students League and others took classes with the master artists. Many of them belonged to “the Club” and led to the organizing of the Ninth Street show in 1951 which unified the downtown artists and connected them to the public. The annual exhibits continued uptown at the Stable Gallery from 1951-1957.
Featured artists include: Peter Agostini, Seymour Boardman, Ilya Bolotowsky, James Brooks, Lawrence Calcagno, Nassos Daphnis, Beauford Delaney, Friedel Dzubas, Jimmy Ernst, Joseph Fiore, John Hultberg, Ibram Lassaw, Michael Loew, Leonard Nelson, Joe Overstreet, Phillip Pavia, Misha Reznikoff, Richards Rubens, Thomas Sills & Wilfrid Zogbaum.
The show also includes Ernest Briggs, whose volcanic abstract paintings from the 1950’s place him firmly in the ranks of the New York avant-garde. He sought inspiration in nature. The changing qualities of the natural world are conveyed through his ragged and expressive brushwork. A second generation Abstract Expressionist, Briggs represents “action painting.” His paintings are alive; they offer viewers an experience that is both mysterious and known. He participated in several Whitney Museum Annuals and in 1956 was included in the Museum of Modern Art’s exhibition “12 Americans” curated by Dorothy Miller.

Human beings are guided by internal systems and organic clocks that help to govern and control our bodily functions. These systems also directly affect our spiritual well being and our physical fitness and health.

Human beings are guided by internal systems and organic clocks that help to govern and control our bodily functions. These systems also directly affect our spiritual well being and our physical fitness and health.

Ancient traditional medicine practitioners carefully observe the placement and movement of energy through our bodies in a 24 hour cycle. Within this cycle, the clocks and programming in our bodies devote certain amounts of energy to certain areas.
If you have a habit of waking around the same time every night while trying to sleep, it could be an indicator that some of your energy is being blocked or diverted to the wrong place. This disrupts our body’s rest and hurts our ability to recuperate. Organs need energy to heal and work properly.
Below is a list of times and organs they are associated with. Many of these blockages can cause visible outward changes, both emotional and physical. You should pay attention to your diet, what is going into your body in general can be cause for dysfunctional energy placement.
image credits

9 to 11 P.M.
This is probably the most common time for people to go to sleep for the night. This is when our enzymes replenish and our endocrine system, which manages hormones and metabolism, rebalances itself. If you repeatedly wake at this time, you may be caught in a “fight or flight” cycle.
Not only are you still reliving the events of the previous day but you are already preparing your stratagem for the day ahead as well. You need to use this time to meditate on and repeat positive mantras. Be sure not to eat too late in the evening as it may also be causing these blockages.

11 P.M. to 1 A.M.

If you often wake during these hours of the night, it may be due to grudges you’re holding onto or resentments you carry. At this time in the cycle, your Yin energy is being converted into Yang energy. Yang energy is vigorous and lively and it is meant to be stored for the coming day. Work on reinforcing your self love and appreciation, try to stay calm and release feelings of frustration and anger.
During this time the gallbladder is working hard to break down fats. You may be ingesting too many high fat or high oil foods.

1 to 3 A.M.

These hours are a crucial part of the body’s renewal process. This is when your organs are detoxifying and cleansing themselves. Your liver does the most detox work of all the organs, while restoring you with new blood. Waking during this time is a sign of anger and pent up negative formations.
If you are not properly and healthily addressing these formations, your spirit is trying to call attention to the need for detoxification. Try to release the negativity in your life so you can make room for better things.

3 to 5 A.M.

This is when your lungs are repairing themselves and bathing your body and organs in life-giving oxygen. It is important that you are warm enough to facilitate the healing. Problems with the lungs are usually related to grief, loneliness and sadness.
If you wake during this time, try slow and steady breath techniques while meditating on warmth and light. Let the positivity wash over you.

5 to 7 A.M.

Any rogue toxins still wandering the bloodstream will be cleared out of the system at this time. The large intestine is the closer of the organs, restoring itself in the early morning. If you find yourself waking consistently at this time, your diet is the likely culprit.
Cleanse your diet of artificial products and replace them with real, nutritious, fresh foods and form a healthy meal routine to stick to. Hydrate yourself regularly with mineral rich water.

Innovative technique to curtail illegal copying of digital media

Innovative technique to curtail illegal copying of digital media

November 22, 2016
Innovative technique to curtail illegal copying of digital media
A new optical watermarking system uses single-shot ptychography encoding to create the watermark (Part 1) that is then embedded into a host image (Part 2). Credit: Yishi Shi, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences
In today's digital world it can be challenging to prevent photos, videos and books from being illegally copied and distributed. A new light-based technique is making it more practical to create secure, invisible watermarks that can be used to detect and prosecute counterfeiting.
"In our research, we use a complex pattern of light, or diffraction pattern, as a unique watermark," said Yishi Shi, from the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, China. "The invisible watermark is embedded into the content we are trying to protect. Imperceptibility is one of the most significant advantages of optical watermarking."
In The Optical Society's journal Optics Express, Shi and colleagues report a new approach that encodes the optical watermark in a single step. The new technique is faster and uses a less complex optical setup than other optical watermarking approaches previously pursued. The new technique can also be used to optically encrypt data or to hide information within images.
Practical watermarking
The new method is based on a technique called single-shot ptychography encoding (SPE) that uses multiple partially-overlapping beams of light to generate a diffraction pattern from a complex object. Unlike other methods, SPE can encode the optical watermark in a single exposure with no mechanical scanning. SPE is also less prone to error than other methods and uses a simpler optical setup.
In addition to conducting numerical simulations to test their method, the researchers carried out an optical experiment showing the usefulness of SPE. "Most methods for optical watermarking have only been demonstrated with simulations," said Shi. "Our experiment shows that our method is suitable for practical optical watermarking."
For the optical experiment, the researchers used SPE to create a complex watermark consisting of a diffraction pattern of multiple tiny spots. Prior to embedding the watermark into a host image, they used computer processing to remove any repeated data and to scramble the , making it easier to embed the watermark and further improving its security. The spot size can be reduced to smaller than 10 microns, which helps prevent degradation of the host image.
Once a watermark is embedded into digital media, there are multiple ways to detect it to check for authenticity. If someone knows an optical watermark is present, it can be detected by subtracting the host image from the watermarked image and then using a special security key and extraction algorithm. For cases where the presence of a watermark is unknown, the watermark could be extracted using existing algorithm-based detection methods.
Upping the complexity
The researchers are now working to apply SPE to dynamic watermarking, which creates watermarks from objects that change quickly. For example, the variations that occur within a biological cell could be recorded and used to create a special watermark. They also plan to use SPE for multi-image watermarking and even 3D watermarking, while also working to further enhance the imaging quality of single-shot ptychography.
More information: WenHui Xu, HongFeng Xu, Yong Luo, Tuo Li, and Yishi Shi, "Optical watermarking based on single-shot-ptychography encoding," Opt. Express 24, 27922-27936 (2016). DOI: 10.1364/OE.24.027922

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-11-technique-curtail-illegal-digital-media.html#jCp