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Arts & Culture Summit in Essex, MA

ECFA had the pleasure of attending the 2019 Essex County Arts & Culture Summit at The Cabot theatre in Beverly, Massachusetts. Close to four hundred attended this powerful gathering launched by the Essex County Community Foundation (ECCF) as a step in their overarching Creative County Initiative (CCI). ECCF has put the advocacy, support, and elevation of arts and culture at the forefront of their mission. From 2017 to 2022, over $2 million will be invested in arts, culture and the creative sector in Essex County. An incredible range of advocates presented at the 2019 summit including inter-tribal dancers, an award winning spoken word poet, and the Vice President of Emerson College. All served to inspire change and provide hope in creating a community where art can flourish.

To read more about the ECCF and their mission, click here.

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Select Acquisitions 2019

ECFA is excited to share a number of new works we’ve added to our roster! Featured above are pieces by James Leonard, Ned Evans, and Beatrice Findlay. Though stylistically diverse, these artists each exemplify a dedication to vibrant color and an expressionist spirit. Continue below for some brief introductions to the artists and works:

 

James Leonard is an abstract expressionist painter based in San Francisco, CA. Taking cues from Gerhard Richter's iconic squeegee paintings, Leonard uses an extended palette knife to apply layers of paint across the canvas. Between the Clouds displays Leonard's characteristic expressive approach in swaths of white and deep blue with vivid yellow and orange peeking through the cracks.

Beatrice Findlay is a Canadian-American artist based in Los Angeles and New York. Sourced from the natural world, Findlay’s work closes the gap between figuration and abstraction. In Blue and Yellow Runners, Findlay's lush and vivid palette gathers in an ethereal, abstracted landscape. Expressive marks in bright red, yellow and black in the lower center of the piece create a dynamic sense of movement overtop a soft, cloud-like backdrop.

Ned Evans is a painter and multidisciplinary artist based in Venice, CA. Since the 1990s, Evans has been prolific in expanding his practice to include painting, sculpture, resin, and graphite drawing. Miajades showcases Evans's subtly dynamic compositions, clever pops of color, and softly-rendered hard-edge geometries. An early example of his experimentation with abstraction and the interplay of light and shadow, Miajades forecasts themes Evans develops throughout his oeuvre.

 

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Basquiat, Haring & Condo at the Guggenheim, NYC

 
Jean-Michel Basquiat,  The Death of Michael Stewart  ( Defacement),  1983.

Jean-Michel Basquiat, The Death of Michael Stewart (Defacement), 1983.

 
 

ECFA’s recent visit to New York led to a poignant and topical exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum entitled Basquiat’s “Defacement”: The Untold Story. Guest curator Chaédria LaBouvier has organized the show around The Death of Michael Stewart, a 1983 painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat also known as Defacement. The painting, pictured above, documents the brutal death of fellow street artist, Michael Stewart at the hands of New York City police officers. Basquiat’s point-blank delivery and emotional storytelling is supported by his peers’ responses to Stewart’s death: George Condo’s Portrait of Michael Stewart, also from 1983, appears in the exhibition along with Keith Haring’s nightmarish Michael Stewart – USA for Africa.

Basquiat’s “Defacement”: The Untold Story will be on view through November 6th.

 

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Highlights from Venice: Arp at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection

More than seventy works from the diverse oeuvre of Jean (Hans) Arp comprise The Nature of Arp exhibition at Palazzo Venier dei Leoni. The exhibition elaborates on the seven permanent Arp pieces in the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Of Guggenheim’s illustrious collection, a bronze sculpture by Jean Arp was the very first piece she purchased. The Nature of Arp showcases the scope of Arp’s achievements with pieces ranging from wood, bronze, and marble sculptures to painted reliefs and collages to tapestries. Blending organic and abstract forms, Arp’s distinctive style continues to challenge and reinvent the terms of abstract art.  

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Highlights from Venice: The Peggy Guggenheim Collection

Housed in the lavishly fabled Palazzo Venier dei Leoni (locally known as palazzo non finito or “the unfinished palace”) on Venice’s Grand Canal, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection holds an impressive array of modern art from the 20th century. From the late 1930s until the late 1970s, Peggy Guggenheim acquired works from artists at the forefront of the major art movements of the day including Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Cubism, and Futurism. The result is awe-inspiring: an entire room of Jackson Pollock, works by Kandinsky and Miró, a dining room decked out in Picasso, Brancusi, and Braque. The property also boasts an outdoor sculpture garden with work by Alexander Calder and Arnaldo Pomodoro. Our image gallery above highlights just a few of ECFA’s favorite pieces on display!

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Highlights from Venice: Dubuffet at Palazzo Franchetti

 

Palazzo Franchetti is currently exhibiting works from three major series by the prolific French painter and father of Art Brut, Jean Dubuffet. The show, simply titled Jean Dubuffet & Venezia, honors Dubuffet’s affection for the city of Venice where he debuted two major series during his career: Hourloupe at the Palazzo Grassi in 1974 and Mires (‘Sights’) in the French pavilion at the 1984 Biennale. The exhibition includes numerous works from both Hourloupe and Mires as well as Célébration du sol. The paintings from Mires, as seen in our image gallery, exemplify Dubuffet’s Art Brut or “raw art” style with vibrant hues and charged networks of expressive marks.

 

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Highlights from Venice: The Biennale

 
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ECFA recently traveled to Venice, Italy to explore the fantastic collections and exhibitions surrounding the 2019 Biennale Arte. This year’s title for the 58th International Art Exhibition at the Biennale is aptly named May You Live In Interesting Times. Not so much a theme as an invitation, the title comes from an English expression that is falsely cited as a Chinese proverb. It simultaneously addresses today’s teetering socio-political climate while acting as entry point to engage with our world’s cultural complexities through art. Seventy-nine artists from around the world are featured in the exhibition including U.S. artists George Condo, Alex da Corte, Martine Gutierrez, Jimmie Durham, Darren Bader, and Ian Cheng.

 

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