Archive for October, 2007

Interview with Michael Goro: Master Printmaker

Voyage de Nuit
Voyage de Nuit, Etching, Engraving, Photogravure, 24″ x 13″
Courtesy of the artist

Michael Goro, a prominent intaglio printmaker, has lived and worked in Russia, Europe, Israel, and the U.S. His work has received a number of prestigious international awards including Special Prize at the 1998 International Print Triennial in Kanagawa, Japan and Excellent Prize at the 2006 14th Seoul Space International Print Biennial at the Seoul Museum of Art (Korea). He describes his art as a “continuous creative search for raw authenticity in urban environments and human forms that are constantly changing.” Utilizing the full spectrum of printmaking techniques, ranging from Renaissance engraving to digital photogravure, he shares his unique personal experiences through imaginative imagery.
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Smart Museum of Art: Master Drawings

Master Drawings

The Master Drawings show at the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago presents a spectacular “survey of European draftsmanship with masterworks by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Edgar Degas, Guercino, Jacob Jordeans, and Jean-Antoine Watteau, among many others.” Included are “examples of nearly every artistic movement and drawing technique used by European artists from the Renaissance to the mid-19th century.” The 84 works are organized chronologically and include all types of drawings — sketches, studies, and preparatory work — for paintings, prints, textiles, stained glass, and other uses, as well as finished works. The drawings are part of a collection from the Yale University Art Gallery and limited to “pre-Impressionist” European drawings. From A Lion (ca. 1480) by an unknown artist, using pen and brown ink over lead point or black chalk, through nearly 5 centuries, to Notre Dame of Paris Seen from the Quai de la Tournelle (6 June 1863) by Johan Barthold Jongkind, working in watercolor, we are witnesses to the first moments of artistic creation, compositional studies, and experiments in style and technique. With short descriptions accompanying each drawing and a catalogue available with more detailed information, the show (a quick artistic travelogue through time) emphasizes the importance of drawing as a fundamental part of the creative process and provides a glimpse into the minds and personalities of these talented artists.

Master Drawings continues through January 6, 2008 at the Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago, 5550 South Greenwood Avenue.

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Balzac’s Unknown Masterpiece: Intellect versus Emotion

Honore de Balzac

Honore de Balzac (1799-1850) wrote a short story The Unknown Masterpiece about an aging master artist who toils ten years on the “perfect” painting of an idealized figure of a woman he falls in love with. However, no one can see the true beauty of his beloved except him, and so he destroys all of his paintings and is found dead the next day. What is Balzac trying to convey in this allegory about the nature of true artistic genius as well as the quest for immortality?
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Interview with Reginald Robinson: Man Out of Time

Reginald Robinson
Reginald Robinson, Ragtime Musician and Composer.
Courtesy of the artist.

Ragtime pianist and composer Reginald Robinson spent the last 10 years working on his latest CD, Man Out of Time, which includes 20 new piano solos. At age 13, after hearing Scott Joplin's The Entertainer at a school concert, Robinson began teaching himself ragtime on a portable keyboard, and he was determined to compose his own songs. In 1992 with the help of school teachers and a fellow musician, he later went on to record his first demo and was immediately signed by Delmark Records. His recordings include The Strongman (1993), Sounds in Silhouette (1994), and Euphonic Sounds (1998). In September 2004, Robinson received the MacArthur Fellowship Grant (popularly known as the “genius grant”). Robinson has performed in Europe and across the U.S., including such venues as the Chicago Jazz Festival, Ravinia, Gilmore Keyboard Festival, Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation Concert Series, and The American Perspectives Program, sponsored by the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Symphony, and Poetry Foundation.

Lady of Honor Excerpt from Man Out of Time. Courtesy of Reginald Robinson.
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The Chakra System: An Introduction


The word chakra (pronounced shock-rah) is derived from the Sanskrit word cakram, meaning wheel, sphere, or vortex of light. For thousands of years, people on many different spiritual paths, especially the Indian Hindus and Tibetans, have believed that the body contains different chakras or energy points, and that these chakras can be balanced for overall well being. Often associated with yogic practices, the chakra system found its way to Western culture in the 20th century.
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