Monday, September 26, 2011



Damp, early fall afternoons on the shore call to mind the abstract work of American artist Arthur Dove.

Dove (1880-1946) is frequently considered to be the first American abstract painter, who began his artistic career as an illustrator for Harper's Magazine and The Saturday Evening Post.


Dove believed that his artwork's main component should be spiritual, and was inspired by landscape and life as a farmer and fisherman. Dove referred to his artistic style as extraction; that is, he aimed to isolate the essential aspects from a scene.


Upon returning from a period of living abroad in Europe, Dove became acquainted with photographer and art gallerist extraordinaire, Alfred Stieglitz, who is credited with commercializing Dove's art career.


Dove received his first one-man show at Stieglitz's legendary 291 gallery in 1912, which was the first exhibit of abstract art by an American artist.


Duncan Phillips, founder of the Phillips Collection, became acquainted with Dove's work through his exhibitions at 291 and later, Intimate Gallery and An American Place. Dove's work helped Phillips to realize the process behind abstraction, and he became Dove's most prominent collector. The majority of Dove's oeuvre is now housed by the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.


"We cannot express the light in nature because we have not the sun. We can only express the light we have in ourselves." --Arthur Dove


I'm wearing an Elizabeth & James caftan and French Connection necklace.

[Dove images from,,,, and, respectively.]DSC_0054

Thursday, September 22, 2011

ART TO WEAR: Kippenberger.

Martin Kippenberger, Ohne Titel (Untitled), 1996

I had to laugh at the similarity between this tongue-in-cheek self-portrait by Martin Kippenberger and this lovely abstract dress from ASOS.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Garçon à la pipe

Boy with a Pipe [1905]

Pablo Picasso, Garçon à la pipe (Boy with a pipe), 1905

Garçon à la pipe is one of Picasso's most well-known Rose Period paintings, both due to its art historical importance as well as its art market presence. (See my previous Rose Period post here.)


The subject of the painting is intriguing for its relatively obscure subject matter and unknown model. The interplay of masculine and feminine elements suggests a mythological character and it was proposed* that Picasso was inspired by Paul Verlaine's Crimen Amoris.


Now, the most gorgeous of all these angels
Was sixteen under his crown of flowers.
Arms folded on necklaces and fringes,
He's dreaming, eye filled with flames and cries.


The painting originally sold in 1950 for $30,000. When it appeared at auction again in 2005, it set the record for the most expensive painting ever sold, reaching $104,168,000. This record has since been replaced by Jackson Pollock's No. 5 from 1948, but Garçon à la pipe remains a cultural and commercial icon.


I'm wearing PRPS jeans, a Ralph Lauren chambray shirt, vintage jewelry, and a self-made flower crown. My dad made the wooden pipe.

[Picasso image from and Verlaine translation from

*by Picasso biographer John Richardson.]

Monday, September 12, 2011



Aboriginal art is a category that is often overlooked in Art History Survey courses. However, it is interesting to note the way contemporary Aboriginal art interacts with the Western art market.


Emily Kame Kngwarreye was an Australian Aboriginal artist (1910-1996) whose work transcended its indigenous tradition.


Kngwarreye began her art career around the age of 80, beginning with hand-dyed batiks, intended as garments and ephemera for traditional women's ceremonies.


Kngwarreye eventually began working with paint and canvas, creating works inspired by the physical landscape of her home in the Northern Territory.


A key subject of Kngwarreye's work is the yam, the primary food source of her tribe.


Kngwarreye's work gained critical attention after a number of international exhibitions of Australian Aboriginal art, and it wasn't long before her home was flooded with prospective art dealers.


In May of 2007, Kngwarreye's painting Earth's Creation set a record for the highest amount ever paid at auction for an Aboriginal work, selling for over $1 million. Unfortunately, Kngwarreye did not live to experience her international art world fame, but she set a new precedent for the commercial value of Australian Aboriginal art.


Inspired by Kngwarreye's paintings, I wore a 1960's Bill Blass dress and jacket, vintage necklace, vintage snakeskin clutch, and Theory sandals. For the record, this Bill Blass set is my all-time favorite Goodwill find, and no alterations were needed! Meant for each other.


[Kngwarreye images from and]


Friday, September 9, 2011

ART TO WEAR: Untitled.

Not only is this purse the perfect multi-season color combination, but I also love its similarity to this stunning Untitled piece by Mark Rothko.

See my Rothko post here!

Monday, September 5, 2011



This vintage skirt has been hanging in my closet for some time, and only recently did I note its resemblance to the work of English painter Gillian Ayres.


Ayres (b. 1930) is well known for her large scale nonrepresentational paintings utilizing thick impasto.


Central to Ayres's work is the use of bold, uplifiting color and texture built up with her hands.

Gillian Ayres 16 x 16in Cromanty-lg

Although she figures prominently in the British art scene, Ayres has very little interest in art theory, and instead champions the visual impact of her pieces.


In 1960, Ayres was the only female artist included in the seminal Situation exhibition at the Royal Society of British Artists Galleries in London. Works included in the show were required to be no less than 30 square feet in size and nonrepresentational.


She was honored in 2011 with the title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).


Ayres is represented by the Alan Cristea Gallery in London.


I'm wearing a vintage skirt and necklace, Rebecca Beeson tee, and thrifted espadrilles.


[Ayres images from,,, and, respectively.]