figurative-painters

Boreas, the North Wind, abducts the mountain nymph Oreithyia.  Attic red-figure pelike in the Severe Style, attr. to the Painter of the Birth of Athena; ca. 460 BCE.  Now in the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany.

…In my opinion my hands have grown too delicate; but what can I do? I shall go out again, even if it cost me a good deal; for my chief concern is that I should not neglect my work any longer. Art is jealous; she will not allow illness to take precedence of her. And I give in to her.

…Men like myself really have no right to be ill. But you must understand what my attitude is to Art. In order to attain to real Art one must work both hard and long. The thing I have set my mind upon as the goal of all my efforts is devilish difficult, and yet I do not think that I am aiming too high. I will make drawings that will amaze some people.

Vincent van Gogh, from a letter to Théo (trans. Anthony M. Ludovici), The Letters of a Post-Impressionist.

The Mnêstêrophonía (Slaughter of the Suitors): Penelope’s many suitors are cut down by Odysseus, Telemachus, and the swineherd Eumaeus.  Side A of a Campanian (or Capuan) red-figure bell-krater, attributed to the Ixion Painter; ca. 330 BCE.  Now in the Louvre.

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He Duoling (何多苓) (1948, China)

‘House with Attic’ series 1: groups

He Duoling is a prominent contemporary Chinese oil painter with a broad range of influences from impressionism and Pre-Raphaelitism to Andrew Wyeth, in a style moving from realism to a more free-form and poetic manner. In my opinion, one of the most ‘complete’ figurative painters from China.

He’s House with Attic series is a set of 44 paintings to accompany Anton Chekhov’s short story usually titled An Artist’s Story or The House with the Mezzanine in English. The choice of an impressionistic style to the works is presumably a deliberate evocation of Chekhov’s period, and He explores the space and psychology between the characters with a striking ease.

Telamonian Ajax, protected by Hermes (left) and Athena (right), carries the body of the fallen Achilles off the battlefield.  Side A of an Attic black-figure neck-amphora, attributed to the Antimenes Painter; ca. 520-510 BCE.  Now in the Louvre. 

2

Red-figure Nolan neck-amphora with a woman pouring a libation (top) and a youth (bottom), attributed to the Achilles Painter

Greek (from Attica), Classical Period, c. 460-450 B.C.

terracotta

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Boniface Maina (Kenyan, born 1987), Regression Graph, 2016, mixed media on paper 

Boniface Maina is an emerging Kenyan painter whose figurative, surrealist works have been rapidly gaining critical attention.

This piece is from an ongoing body of work called Line of Inquiry in which Maina uses ink and pen to visualize a process of self-psychoanalysis. Regression Graph indicates the temporary return to infantile behaviour as a defence mechanism; a shield against confrontation with reality.

Maina graduated with a Diploma in Art and Design from the YMCA Training Institute of Nairobi in 2008. He is a founding member of Brush Tu Art Studio and Discovered Artistic Talents (DArTs). He has exhibited widely in Nairobi over the last 10 years, recently holding a solo exhibition at The Art Space, Kenya

Hannah van Bart at Marianne Boesky Gallery

Despite her assertive pose, Dutch painter Hannah van Bart’s enigmatic young lady appears to literally blend into the background as a shape-shifting wall the color of her dress manifests over her chest. (At Marianne Boesky Gallery through Feb 4th.) Hannah van Bart, Untitled, oil on linen, 39 3/8 x 25 5/8 inches, 2016.