--Dan Cummins (Board President)
Art in the Afternoon is the cure for the winter doldrums! Join us as local printmaker Amy Dobrian shares her fascinating story. Learn how she develops unique works that combine printmaking with collage and hand work. February 21 at 1 pm via Zoom.  Register here.


Amy Dobrian

August Heat
“August Heat,” monotype, 2017.  15”x22”
Eastern Bluebird #5
“Eastern Bluebird #5,” monotype, 2020.  5”x7"
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Please Tell Us Your Views
--Beppie Weiss

Hello Art Friends

It has been a long snowy period and I am getting very tired of it. Snow has however provided subjects for many artists worldwide for many centuries so I decided to try my hand on one. It’s a view of the 5 white barns and water tower in Middle Amana. I‘ll share an image if I can figure out how to do the snow part.

Frits Thaulow, Skiers at the Top of a Snow-Covered Hill, 1894
Gift of Aimée and Rosamond Lamb/Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

There is a show hanging now through February at The Gilded Pear. It is a show of wall sculpture by Kimberly Rocco, “Picking up the Pieces”. The work is mixed media applied to shaped wood. You might enjoy taking a virtual tour. I think it is very good.
Mixed media on wood      Art dimensions: 85" x 112"      $4,500
I have discovered a “new” artist! Hilma af Klimt. She is a Swedish woman who studied art and showed and painted realistic landscapes, but her other art remained hidden for many years. Besides her traditional art she was a mystic and in the early 1900’s she painted enormous abstract paintings that were full of color and strange imagery. These were hidden away until quite recently. She was well ahead of the abstract art movement, and has been recently shown, 2018 in NewYork and Now in Australia. Look her up.
Installation view: 'Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future' October 12, 2018 - April 23, 2019, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Photo: David Heald
So this is all from me this month.
Just a reminder to you artist readers, the Dubuque Museum of Art deadline for its biennial is March 29th and John Preston’s Watercolor demos are on Wednesdays at 1:00. Check him out on Facebook.

Make something, cook something new each week, and stay warm. This too shall pass.

Note to Artists:
PLEASE send me any news you would like to share about your art or work you are doing. Otherwise, I won't have a single thing to write about next month! Click here to contact Beppie Weiss with your event suggestions.
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--John McGlinn

In the Studio

Rembrandt Painting
Rembrandt painting sales pitch from the experts at Sotheby’s Auction. Worthy of our watching for its unique small size, commentator’s analysis, and only recent availability after 150 years or so. Under 4 minutes duration, because it does not need more! Have your debit card at the ready.

Rembrandt analysis and auction pitch
Second analysis opportunity, but very different: subject matter, length, history. An American painting this time with a strong historical story well told by the author for The New York Times. This writer viewed the whole thing.

It’s not a video, but a presentation with imagery and captions to the side, self-paced. Linger or speed through, either way a fascinating view of what goes into a historical painting. Opened my eyes!

The Myth of North America, in One Painting
War and Peace
Following on successful community reading projects in 2020, the City of Literature once again offers the chance join with others from around the world to read a classic novel. This time we will gather to read Leo Tolstoy’s classic, War and Peace. Over 100 days, from Feb. 1-May 10, participants will read a section every day and discuss it here with the host, Anna Barker.

Anna is an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Iowa who this writer joined for a local lecture/discussion on another Tolstoy piece. Recommended viewing of the info online per the link, and even joining a little late.

Iowa City Unesco "100 Days of War and Peace"
Warhol $
Now for a starling video on what big-time artists are worth. Shocking in the huge valuations of several that I have never heard of and whose artwork causes me to say: “Really?”

Possibly a little crass to view and consider, but such a contrast with our lives as artists and art fans that I had to include it as adult entertainment.

Richest Artists Today
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--Phil Beck

Pierre-August Renoir | Grant Wood | Hilma af Klint

Probably the most acclaimed father-and-son duo in art history is French painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), a leader in the development of Impressionism, and his filmmaker son Jean (1894-1979), whose luminous work in the 1930s—most famously Grand Illusion (1937) and The Rules of the Game (1939)—have assured his place in the pantheon of cinema’s greatest directors. This month we celebrate the birthday of Renoir pere, born February 25, whose final years are sensitively depicted in a French film from 2012 titled simply Renoir.  It’s actually a dual biography since the film also chronicles Jean’s young adulthood.

The plot revolves around a woman named Catherine Hessling, who modelled for several of the aging painter’s last portraits. At the same time, young Jean, home from combat in World War I, begins a relationship with her that will culminate in their marriage after the elder Renoir’s death. Hessling starred in several of Jean’s earliest films, all silent, such as Nana (1924) and The Little Match Girl (1926). From last model to first actress, the unfortunately forgotten Hessling provided a key link from one generation to the next—father to son, painting to cinema, and 19th to 20th century and the early modern era. Renoir brings this fascinating trio to life in a film that achieved worldwide critical and commercial success and was nominated for numerous awards. To recreate Pierre Renoir’s paintings on screen, director Gilles Bourdos employed a convicted art forger by the name of Guy Ribes. Look carefully at the Renoirs on your walls!

Also born in February was Iowa’s own Grant Wood (1891-1942). He’s not been granted Major Motion Picture treatment as yet--despite painting perhaps the second most iconic picture in history, American Gothic--but the former UI faculty member was thoughtfully remembered by the university’s Audiovisual Center Motion Picture Unit in 1981 with a half-hour documentary, Door in Turner Alley, a short but incisive look at his life and the roots of his Regionalist style. A voice actor reads from Wood’s own writings about his art. It can be found on YouTube.

Finally, you can learn more about Hilma af Klint (1862-1944), the Swedish artist Beppie mentions in “Art Musings” above, in Beyond the Visible: Hilma af Klint, a 2019 documentary (released in the U.S. last year). Although she painted abstract canvases years before anyone else, she went unacknowledged by art historians for decades. Now she’s coming into her own with tributes, exhibitions, and this highly praised film. It’s a real eye-opener and can be viewed online.
Seen any of these films?  Tell us what you think of them, or suggest others not covered in the newsletter. Click here to contact Phil Beck with your movie comments or suggestions.
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A native of Iowa City, Amy Dobrian graduated from Dartmouth College in 1987 with a dual major in French and Visual Arts, after which she studied drawing, painting, and printmaking at the Lacoste School of the Arts in Lacoste, France. She received an MA in printmaking in 1990 and an MFA in printmaking and drawing in 1992, both from the University of Iowa.

Afterwards, she continued her study of lithography at the Tamarind Lithography Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Versed in intaglio, lithography, and relief printmaking, Dobrian now focuses on unique, uneditioned works which combine printmaking vocabulary and technique with collage and hand work. She has exhibited nationally and internationally in over one hundred group and solo exhibitions. She lives in Iowa City with her husband and daughter.

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Art in the Afternoon on YouTube

Recordings of the the recent Art in the Afternoon programs on Zoom are now available on the ArtiFactory YouTube channel.

Watch on YouTube

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