Prince Twins Seven Seven - Nigerian painter, sculptor and musician

Twins Seven Seven, born Omoba Taiwo Olaniyi Oyewale-Toyeje Oyelale Osuntoki (3 May 1944 – 16 June 2011)in Ogidi, Kogi State, Nigeria, was a Nigerian painter, sculptor and musician."Prince Twins Seven-Seven he came to the United States in the late 1980s and settled in the Philadelphia area, although he traveled abroad frequently. His life entered a turbulent period, filled with drinking and gambling, he said. Destitute, he found work as a parking-lot attendant for Material Culture, a large Philadelphia store that sells antiquities, furnishings and carpets.
When the owner learned that Prince Twins Seven-Seven was an artist, he had him decorate the store’s wrapping paper. Later, he was given a small room to use as a studio.His career rebounded. In 2000, the Indianapolis Museum of Art opened a wing devoted to contemporary African art with an exhibition featuring his work, which was also included in an exhibition that year at the National Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian.In 2005, after being nominated by President Olosegun Obaganjo of Nigeria, Prince Twins Seven-Seven was named one of Unesco’s Artists for Peace, a position that gave him new international visibility.
Prince Twins Seven-Seven, who lived in Ibadan and Oshogbo, is survived by many wives, children and grandchildren."(New York Times)













 

Denis Bowen - New Vision Group

Denis Bowen (5 April 1921 - 23 March 2006) was a South African artist, gallery director and promoter of abstract and avant-garde art in Britain. He was founder of the New Vision Group and the New Vision Centre Gallery, both of which played an important role in the post-World War II British art scene.Denis Bowen was born on 5 April 1921 in Kimberley, South Africa. His father was Welsh and his mother English. After being orphaned at a young age, Bowen moved to England where he was raised by his aunt in Huddersfield. He enrolled at the Huddersfield School of Art in 1936. After serving in the Navy in World War II, Bowen resumed his art studies at the Royal College of Art in London in 1946.Between 1940 and 1986 Bowen taught art at numerous institutions including: the Kingston Institute of Art, Hammersmith School of Art, Birmingham School of Art, the Central School of Art and Design, the Royal College of Art and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.
In 1951 Bowen founded the New Vision Group, which initially emerged from meetings and displays that he organised with his students in 1951. In 1955, Bowen worked alongside Frank Avray Wilson and Halima Nalecz to open a permanent exhibition space for the New Vision Group and associated artists. Bowen, Wilson and Nalecz were all members of the New Vision Group and also the Free Painters Group (later Free Painters and Sculptors) which had been founded a few years earlier.In the early years of his artistic career, from the early 1950s to the mid 1960s, Bowen formed part of a small group of UK-based artists who were associated with Tachisme and Art Informel. Between 1969 and 1980 he produced a series of "psychedelic works" that incorporated lighting effects (including the use of UV lights), music and live music performances. From the 1980s onward, Bowen's work developed cosmological and planetary themes.Wikipedia













 

Craig Kauffman

Craig Kauffman (March 31, 1932 – May 9, 2010) was an artist who has exhibited since 1951. Kauffman’s primarily abstract paintings and wall relief sculptures are included in over 20 museum collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Tate Modern, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Seattle Art Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
Kauffman first exhibited at the Felix Landau Gallery in Los Angeles, and was included in other Los Angeles group exhibits during the early 1950s. He was a member of the original group of artists at the Ferus Gallery (founded in 1957 by Edward Kienholz and Walter Hopps), and had a one-person show at that gallery in 1958. According to critic and historian Peter Plagens, the 1958 paintings were:
   …Abstract Expressionist but contain the first evidence of a Los Angeles sensibility: Tell Tale Heart (1958) is structured superficially along the lines of a second-generation New York painting, but it reveals the original stem-and-bulb shapes that Kauffman was later to translate into Plexiglas. The ‘clean’ Abstract Expressionist work of Craig Kauffman could be the point at which Los Angeles art decided to live on its own life-terms, instead of those handed down from Paris, New York, or even San Francisco.In several series of wall relief sculptures made between 1964 and 1970, Kauffman pioneered the use of acrylic plastic as a support for painting. Craig Kauffman’s wall relief sculptures are his most well known work. Throughout his career, Kauffman has explored the use of unorthodox materials. Art historian Susan C. Larsen notes: Kauffman’s work has maintained its radiant color and its emphasis on certain sensuous physical properties of his materials.
Through his integration of sprayed color and shape, Kauffman achieved the visual presence of his vacuum formed acrylic wall reliefs. Works from the late 1960s have been described by former Whitney museum curator Richard Armstrong as:
Glossy and symmetrical, the work’s visually wet surface engenders anatomical, sometimes overtly sexual, comparisons.Curators and historians now regard Kauffman’s works from the late 1960s in relation to the art movement known as Minimalism. Susan L. Jenkins wrote:…his works, as well as others associated with the L.A. Look, can nevertheless be thought of as possessing a relatively Minimalist sensibility. Like Judd’s ‘specific objects’, Kauffman’s vacuum-formed plastic works exist in a space between painting and sculpture.Wikipedia
















Leo Kenney - Surrealism and Abstraction

Leo Kenney (1925–2001) was an American abstract painter, described by critics as a leading figure in the second generation of the 'Northwest School' of artists.
At a young age Kenney had read Salvador Dalí's autobiography and the works of poet André Breton, and had become fascinated with surrealism. The influence is plain in his dark, figurative works of the 1940s and '50s. Taking Breton's proclamation that "only the marvelous is beautiful" to heart, he painted "automatically", without conscious planning. Except for a few portraits done for friends, he never tried to reproduce reality in his paintings, always searching instead for deeper meaning.
"He never saw the world as others see it," said a longtime friend and patron, Merch Pease. "His work is highly personal. It's pure invention."
After briefly returning to Douglas Aircraft, he stumbled onto a job, in 1952, as a display artist at Gump's, a major seller of Asian art in San Francisco. He spent the next six years there, becoming the company's director of display, then moved to a different art dealership, W. & J. Sloane. He painted only sporadically during this time, but learned a great deal about Asian art. His fascination with an Eastern symbol, the mandala, led to a shift in his work away from the figure and into a pure abstraction of glowing colors and simple, geometric forms, detailed with obsessive intricacy. In 1960 he quit his job in order to refocus on painting....Figures and representational images disappeared. In their place appeared a long series of paintings that were variations on an inner circle radiating misty echoes like the reverberations of a gong. They are elemental forms, drenched with archetypal resonance; symbols of source as well as pure studies of light and form...Despite his success, Kenney was growing tired of the symmetric shapes of his most popular work, and began loosening up his composition and breaking his shapes into pieces. As he explored these new directions he became increasingly uncomfortable with the pressure to churn out new paintings. His meticulous attention to detail had always necessitated a slow working pace, and now, in his late forties, burdened by ill health and a drinking problem, he simply couldn't produce enough work to keep up with demand. By the late 1970s his celebrity began to recede. He painted sporadically and sold work out of his studio to help pay his expenses, but was never able to complete enough paintings for another gallery exhibition.Wikipedia














Tadeusz Kantor - Paintings

Tadeusz Kantor (6 April 1915 – 8 December 1990) was a Polish painter, assemblage artist, set designer and theatre director. Kantor is renowned for his revolutionary theatrical performances in Poland and abroad.
"Throughout the world, Tadeusz Kantor is best known as an outstanding and highly original figure of 20th century theatre, as well as the creator of his own theatre group and of productions imbued with a poetry derived from the artist's own complex private/public Galician origin. In Poland he played a number of roles, primarily within the Cracow artistic community with which Kantor was emotionally and artistically connected, if not fused. He was one of the most important figures on the Cracow art scene, acting as an integrator.Immediately after World War II, Kantor was amongst those who created the Young Visual Artists' Group (1945); later, following the "thaw" of the mid-1950s, he once again demonstrated his penchant for organisation by helping to reactivate the pre-war Group (1957). He provided the impulse for the creation of the Krzysztofory Gallery, one of the first post-war galleries in Poland to exhibit contemporary art, and was involved in organising the 1st Modern Art Exhibition (Kraków, 1948). He played a dominating and commanding role in his community until he died, just before the premiere of his last theatrical production. It was titled, both ironically and symbolically, Dziś są moje urodziny / Today Is My Birthday.Kantor studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków from 1934 to 1939, his professors included painter and set designer Karol Frycz. Kantor himself would later return to teach from time to time at his alma mater (1948-49, 1967-69). Throughout his life he strove to combine a variety of activities: he was a lively animator of artistic life, an art theoretician and practitioner, a painter (and passionate promoter of Tashism) and one of the first artists in Poland to create happenings. But above all he was a man of the theatre, a playwright, director, set designer and actor."(culture.pl)