Hisao Domoto

Hisao Domoto was born in Kyoto to a family of artists. His uncle, Insho Domoto, was a well-respected member of the Japanese art scene, known for his works in the traditional Japanese Nihonga style, particularly his temple screens. Domoto began his art education by studying Nihonga painting at the Kyoto Municipal School of Arts and Crafts. He achieved early critical success while still in school there, exhibiting at the Japan Fine Arts Exhibition, where his work was met with high acclaim. In 1952, he traveled to Paris to study oil painting. He soon became associated with the Art Informel movement, which was flourishing in Europe at the time with its spontaneous abstractions and focus on breaking artistic tradition. He achieved great success in this style, staging his first solo exhibition in 1957 and winning prestigious awards such as the Lissone International Art Exhibition Award.

In the early 1960s, however, Domoto grew disillusioned with the Art Informel movement, and began to develop a style uniquely his own. He continued to create abstract works, but instead of rejecting tradition the way his Art Informel peers did, he looked to his traditional Japanese training for inspiration, creating careful, clean compositions. His Solutions of Continuities series marks this turning point in in his artistic mindset. In this series, which Domoto began in 1963, he broke new ground for abstract art with his technicality and intentional composition as well as his usage of traditional Japanese techniques and aesthetics.

This piece, Solution de Continuité II, painted in 1970, is a stunning example of the innovations of this series. Domoto’s masterful skill is evident in the subtlety of the painting, particularly the creation of depth by using varying transparencies of paint. The clean, matte finish of the painting is reminiscent of his early Nihonga training, while the subject matter remains abstract. These elements, combined with Domoto’s own style of neat yet highly dimensional composition, make this piece a fine and unique example of Domoto’s work.

Gustave Baumann

Gustave Baumann was born in Germany in 1881. He immigrated to the United States with his family at the age of ten, ending up in Chicago. In Chicago, he apprenticed at an engraving company while studying at the Art Institute of Chicago by night. Following his studies, he began to work in advertising, opening his own firm in 1903. However, his true interest was always in art, so after saving enough money, he traveled to Germany to study at the  Kunstgewerbe Schule, or School of Arts and Crafts. The meticulous craftsmanship taught at this school became a defining feature of Baumann’s art throughout his career.

 

When he returned to Chicago, he immersed himself in his art, quickly gaining enough financial success that he was able to move out of the city to the countryside of Indiana, where he began creating woodblock prints based on the scenic landscapes he saw there. These works led to the beginnings of his international success, exhibiting at the Salon in Paris and winning various awards.

Beginning in 1917, Baumann traveled the United States, first visiting the East Coast and then heading west to New Mexico, where he intended to spend a summer with friends in Taos. Once there, however, Baumann fell in love with the New Mexico scenery. He spent all summer trying to capture it through sketches and prints, but felt he had not done it justice and needed more time to truly depict it well. A trip down to Santa Fe confirmed this feeling for him, and he decided to move there.

Baumann spent the next several years traveling throughout the Southwest, sketching the scenery and turning those sketches into prints, working in bright and distinctive colors to present the landscape as he saw it. As his prints gained more and more commercial and critical success, Baumann continued to stay close to his roots, working carefully and creating all of his prints unassisted. He slowed down both his traveling and his printmaking toward the end of the 1930s, but continued to create art inspired by old traditions and new landscapes until his death in 1971.

Edward Steichen

Edward Steichen was one of the fathers of American photography, both artistic and commercial. Born in Luxembourg, Steichen’s family immigrated to the United States when he was two years old. Eventually, the family ended up in Milwaukee, where the young Steichen was an apprentice with a lithographic firm. He soon turned his interests to painting and photography, deciding in 1900 to travel to Paris to study and immerse himself in art. He stopped in New York on his way to Europe, where he sought out Alfred Stieglitz, the vice-president of the Camera Club of New York and a leading figure in American art photography. Stieglitz was impressed with his work and bought several pieces. The two created the basis for what would become a long and productive working relationship before Steichen left for Europe.

Steichen spent two years in Paris, during which he shifted his interests almost entirely to photography, learning new cutting-edge methods for taking and developing photographs. During this time, Steichen made his mark as a portrait photographer, but he was also exposed to the French art scene. When Steichen returned to the US, he immediately rose to the top of the art photography scene. He joined Stieglitz’s new group, the Photo-Secession, through which many of his photographs were published and his work was displayed in many exhibitions. His photography style at this time was painterly, fitting perfectly the Photo-Secession’s goal of establishing photography as a fine art. He returned to Paris in 1907, where he continued to learn new photographic techniques, but also was active in the art scene, fostering friendships with artists such as Auguste Rodin.

When World War I began, Steichen was quick to volunteer. During the war, Steichen worked taking photographs from planes, furthering his already developing interest in the technical side of photography. In his early art photographs, he had striven towards a soft and foggy style, sometimes even kicking his camera stand while taking photographs to achieve a blurred effect. During the war, however, he had to learn to do the opposite, trying to take the clearest photographs possible from the unsteady surface of an airplane. He had to add a new level of technicality to his photography, and this technicality is something that stuck with him after the war, shifting his style to be much clearer and more realistic. The war had another major effect on Steichen’s life: it effectively ended his friendship with Stieglitz, who did not share Steichen’s fervent patriotism and retained some loyalty to Germany, his home country. This was the last nail in the coffin for their already strained relationship: Stieglitz resented Steichen’s growing interest in commercial photography, which Stieglitz saw as a betrayal of the artistic ideals they had shared in the Photo-Secession, a group which Steichen, in turn, felt that was increasingly a self-centered project for Stieglitz.

After the war, Steichen turned his interests almost entirely to commercial photography. He did advertising photography and magazine spreads, taking portraits of the most famous and important people at the time for publications such as Vogue and Vanity Fair. He became hugely successful, defining the stars of the generation through his characteristic portraiture and innovating fields such as fashion and advertising photography. While he claimed to be past his former artistic aspirations, his artistic background clearly helped him to look at things differently and create new standards for photography. His studio drew important and famous clients until he closed it in 1938. After the closing of his studio, he went on to be a lieutenant commander for the U.S. Navy during World War II, documenting the war in the Pacific theater. He then went on to be a curator of photography for the Museum of Modern Art in New York, eventually becoming the head of that department, making a triumphant return to the art world to round out his career.

Édouard Detaille

Édouard Detaille is known as one of the greatest French military painters. His paintings possess the heroic, romantic spirit favored by his contemporaries, but are also known for their accuracy and detail, aided by both his artistic training and his actual military experience.

Born in Paris in 1848, Detaille showed an early talent for art. After completing a standard education, he went to work with Ernest Meissonier. Meissonier (1815-1891) was a well-respected French military painter, known particularly for his detailed approach to painting, a method he had learned from studying the work of the 17th century Dutch masters. Detaille learned this detail-oriented approach to painting from Meissonier, a characteristic that would define his paintings throughout his career. Detaille first displayed his work at the 1867 Salon, showing a painting titled The Corner of Meissonier’s Studio. Meissonier touted his student’s work, and Detaille quickly become known in his own right. As The Art Journal put it in 1888, “the student surpassed the master.”   

In 1870, Detaille joined the French military, serving in the Fourth Corps d’Armée during the Franco-Prussian war. He was stationed at St. Maur, and sketched all of the battles he participated in directly after the fact. Later during the war, he became personal secretary to General Félix Antoine Appert (1817-1891), which allowed him to fully witness many of the major events of the war, such as the siege of Paris. The scenes he observed during the war–and his sketches of them–later formed the basis for many of his paintings, as well as providing him with the basis of realism he used to create paintings which depicted war in a much more accurate way than many of his contemporaries, including the horrors alongside the heroism.

After his brief military career, Detaille focused exclusively on painting, creating many works based on his own experiences as well as from other wars. Along with individual paintings, he provided illustrations for several books about the military, and was the driving force behind a heavily illustrated two-volume encyclopedia of French Military uniforms. He even traveled to other countries to study their military uniforms, and became quite a collector of uniforms and military paraphernalia. In keeping with this interest in history, he completed many paintings of historical battles and military activity. While he obviously did not observe these battles firsthand, he retained his dedication to accuracy in these historical paintings, often visiting the battle sites for research.

This painting is one of these carefully researched historical paintings. It depicts trumpeters of the 23rd Regiment of Dragoons greeting Alsatian villagers during the Napoleonic wars. It illustrates the close relationship between the soldiers and the villagers, demonstrating Detaille’s interest in Alsatian sympathies to the French cause. An excellent example of Detaille’s work, particularly due to its size and number of figures and horses, this painting brilliantly uses the dramatic sloping lines of the roof to draw the eye to various vignettes within the painting. In addition, this work is notable for the inclusion of a dog. Detaille enjoyed hiding dogs in his paintings, and this particular dog appears in several of his works.

 

Dale Chihuly

Dale Chihuly first encountered glass art as an interior design student at the University of Washington. Immediately fascinated, he went on to study glass at the University of Wisconsin, which was the first university in the United States to teach glassblowing. From there, he went on to the Rhode Island School of Design, where he continued to learn about glass and eventually ended up teaching. His education continued with a Fulbright   Fellowship to go to the famous glassblowing studios of Venice. After his time in Italy, he returned to his home state of Washington to found his own glass school, the Pilchuck Glass School, with Ann and John Hauberg, influential supporters of the arts in Seattle. At this school, his art style and process truly flourished. In particular, Chihuly first fostered the collaborative method of glassblowing he had witnessed in Italy at Pilchuck, something that would become a hallmark of his artistic process.

Involved in these early collaborations was photographer and collector Edward Claycomb. Claycomb worked with Chihuly from 1979 to 1985, photographing his art in New York City, Rhode Island, and at Pilchuck Glass School, where Claycomb was the staff photographer from 1979 to 1980.  Claycomb, a former glassblower himself, remembers his time working with Chihuly fondly, saying, “Dale was the most fun, generous and kind artist I have ever had the honor to work with. These times could easily be called the most fun and best memories of my life.”

The pieces featured here, which make up Claycomb’s entire collection, are extremely representative of Chihuly’s style from the 1970s and 1980s. They include pieces from several of  Chihuly’s series, including Baskets, Seaforms, and Macchia. In these series, Chihuly pushed the limits of what could be created with glassblowing, experimenting with his use of color and form. During this experimental process, he created innovative new glassblowing techniques, such as his usage of an opaque “cloud” layer in his Macchia pieces to keep the colors on the exterior distinct from the color used in the interior.

 

Frank Stella

Frank Stella is an American artist, print-maker and sculptor. Stella is most known for his contributions to minimalism. Stella was featured in Dayton’s Gallery in Minneapolis. To learn more about Dayton’s Gallery and its contribution to the Minnesota art scene, consult the link below.

Dayton’s Gallery 12

Enrico Baj

Enrico Baj was an Italian artist who worked with Umberto Eco, and often associated with the surrealist and dada movements. Many of Baj’s works reflect his obsession with nuclear war. Baj identified himself with the anarchist movement and is most well known for his series of satirized “Generals”. Baj was also featured in the Dayton’s Gallery of Minneapolis. To learn more about how Dayton’s Gallery 12 impacted the Minnesota art scene, consult the link below.

Dayton’s Gallery 12 

Shusaku Arakawa

Shusaku Arakawa was a Japanese artist and architect who referred to himself as an “abstractionist of the distant future.” Arakawa is known for his partnership and collaboration with American artist, Madeline Gins, The Mechanism of Meaning. 

Arakawa was also featured in Dayton’s Gallery in Minneapolis. To learn more about Dayton’s Gallery and its influence on the Minnesota art scene, consult the link below.

Dayton’s Gallery 12  

Horst Antes

Horst Antes was a German born artist and sculptor. He won several prizes and scholarships for his paintings, but is also known for his sculptures in public places. Some of these works can still be found in Hannover and Sindelfingen. Antes was featured in Minneapolis’ Dayton’s Gallery. To learn more about Dayton’s Gallery and its legacy in the Minnesota fine art scene, follow the link below.

Dayton’s Gallery 12 

Josef Albers

Josef Albers was a German-born artist and educator at the beginning of the 20th century. Like many artists, Albers emigrated to the United States during World War Two. Albers is most known for his work in the abstract, with strong attention to  composition.

Albers was featured in Dayton’s Gallery in the Twin Cities. To learn more about Dayton’s Gallery and the influence it had on the Minnesota fine art scene, follow the link below.

Dayton’s Gallery 12