Artist of the week: David Hockney

David Hockney (British, b.1937) is a painter, photographer, and set designer, first associated with the Pop Art movement, and later renowned for his intimate portraits and naturalistic scenes of both the everyday and the artificial of California life. Hockney was born in Bradford, England, and studied at the Bradford School of Art, exhibiting an extraordinary aptitude for draftsmanship. He later attended the London Royal College of Art, where he met fellow student R.B. Kitaj (1932–2007), who strongly influenced him and inspired Hockney to infuse the personally expressive into his works.

Hockney’s first works included common and commercial images, such as boxes of tea, which caused his early inclusion with the Pop Art movement. Hockney also favored a mix of literature and scandalous subject matter in his early work, including pieces on homosexuality inspired by Walt Whitman poems created in the Art Brut style of Jean Dubuffet. His mature work often draws on photographs, particularly after visiting California regularly in the 1960s, where he created naturalistic paintings with a flat, serene appearance, including his famous Swimming Pools series. He works in many mediums, including set design and photography. Hockney has held major retrospectives at the Royal College of Art in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He currently lives and works in California.



Celia Observing (not in Scottish Arts Coucil or Tokyo), 1976, etching (ed. of 60), 90.2 x 74.9 cm.




Table Flowable, 1991, colour lithograph (ed.44/500), 111.8 x 144.8 cm.


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Artist of the week: Ellsworth Kelly

Ellsworth Kelly (American, b.1923) is a painter and sculptor who established his own style amidst the pervasive influence of the Abstract Expressionist and Pop Art movements. Born in New York City, Kelly admired the works of Naturalist John James Audubon (American, 1785–1851) as a child and loved to draw, even though his parents only reluctantly permitted him to study at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. After serving during World War II for two years as a camouflage artist, Kelly was able to study on the GI Bill at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, in Boston, MA, and then at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France.

Separated from the American art world while in Europe, Kelly developed his distinctive method of painting, which features canvases painted in a single color, at times in isolation and other times grouped with differently colored canvases. These works echo Kelly’s desire to separate himself from the traditional roles of composition and the artist’s hand. Kelly only returned to the US when he believed that the enthusiasm for Abstract Expressionism had died down enough to allow his work to get some visibility. By the end of the 1950s, he was internationally recognized for his monochromatic canvases, which began to take the shape of non-rectangular forms such as ovals and curves. Kelly also began to create sculptures similar to his paintings, featuring simple two-dimensional forms. In 1970, the artist moved to upstate New York, where he shifted his focus to create large outdoor sculptures concerned more with color than form. Many of his public works are now on display around the world. Kelly now lives and works in Spencertown, NY.



Sunflower II, 2004, lithograph, 37 x 29 inches.



Black Curve, 1973, lithograph, 26 x w: 26 in.


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Artist of the week: Richard Diebenkorn.

Richard Diebenkorn (American, 1922–1993) was a versatile 20th century American painter. Born in Portland, Oregon, Diebenkorn grew up in San Francisco, where he attended Stanford University. Diebenkorn lived in several other locations around the United States before he returned to California, where he continued to produce his mature paintings. After two years of service in the United States Marine Corps, Diebenkorn studied at the University of New Mexico under the G.I. Bill and was immersed in the Abstract Expressionism, inspired by New York School Artists. Diebenkorn’s focus shifted, however, in the 1950s, when he began to produce Figurative paintings associated with the Bay Area Figurative Movement. Inspired by the work of Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954), Diebenkorn drew on his bright Californian surroundings to create images defined by planes of carefully chosen color. After a decade and a half of painting figuratively, in 1967 Diebenkorn returned to abstraction, with a new geometric style different from his early Abstract Expressionist-inspired efforts. This is evident in his famous Ocean Park cycle, which he developed into 140 paintings from 1967, until his death in 1993.


Blue Loop, 1980, Aquatint printed in colors, 37.8 x30.2 cm.


Green, 1986, Etching, aquatint and drypoint in colors, 134.6 x 103.4 cm.

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Artist of the week: Joan Miró

After spending a few of his teenage years in a technical school, Joan Miró (Spanish, April 20, 1893–December 25, 1983) began in earnest his artistic career. He trained at Francesc Galí’s Escola d’Art in Barcelona from 1912 to 1915, after which he had his first solo show in Barcelona at the gallery of José Dalmau in 1918. Starting in 1920, Miró divided his time between Montroig, Spain, and Paris, where he commingled with poets such as Max Jacob, and took part in Dada activities. Dalmau organized a solo show for Miró in Paris at the Galerie la Licorne in 1921, and in 1924, Miró joined the Surrealist group. The consistently Abstract nature of his works, such as The Birth of the World (1925) lended well to the dream-like ambiance of Surrealism.

After a trip to the Netherlands in 1928, Miró created the series Dutch Interiors, in which amorphous forms entered into his work. On October 12th, 1929, he married Pilar Juncosa in Palma de Mallorca, and then moved to Paris. During this period, he rebelled against painting, and produced wood reliefs, assemblages, and collages. Although he was living in France, the influence of the Spanish Civil War can be observed in the intense color and strong imagery of Still-life with an Old Shoe (1937). Experimentation continued in Miró”s work until his death in 1983. His wide body of work included ceramics, various prints, drawing, and sculpture. Major projects include the 1958 ceramic murals The Sun and The Moon for the UNESCO building in Paris. He collaborated with Josep Llorens Artigas (Spanish, 1892–1980), and was awarded the Guggenheim Foundation’s Grand Prize. This collaboration can been seen in the artwork called Miró Artigas. Numerous retrospectives of his works have taken place during his lifetime and after.



Personnage, oiseaux, 1976, oil and pencil on wood, 37.1 x 31.5 cm.



Libre Del Sis Sentits II, 1981, Aquatint, (ed. 40/50), 72.4 x 54.6 cm.


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Artist of the week: John Currin.

Painter John Currin (American, b.1962) is known for his Figurative works, which draw on sources ranging from Renaissance painting traditions to 1950s advertisements. Currin was born in Boulder, Colorado, and received a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University, and an MFA from Yale University. Currin first received critical attention for his sensual paintings of female nudes, noted for his combination of Old Master painting techniques with 1950s commercial sources.

He frequently portrayed his nude figures as examinations of the various female archetypes found in visual culture, with a caricatured sexuality and studied emotions. His later works include portraits and scenes painted with Mannerist aesthetics, featuring subjects with elongated, disproportionate limbs and in styles drawn from fashion magazines, pornography, and other commercial sources. Currin’s work has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, at the Tate Gallery in London, and at the Venice Biennale. He currently lives and works in New York.



Girl In Bed, 1993. Oil on linen, 61.5 x 77 cm.



The Beggar’s Alm, 2002. Etching with aquatint on Somerset paper (edition of 70), 26.7 x 21 cm


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What you have to do…artists and non-artists alike!

The main thing is to keep in the loop, exhibit regularly, enter prizes, scholarships and apply for grants, get involved in community projects. Well that’s what i’ve been doing anyway. It’s a slow road. But one the main factors is supporting an artist by buying their work. Buying it when they exhibit, buying it inbetween shows. Pats on the back and kind words don’t put food in my belly. So if you’re not an artist then you should be buying art. Remember this, today’s emerging artist is tomorrow’s star, I bet Pablo Picasso’s earliest collectors were happy they bought his work while he was relatively unknown. Even if you’re an artist, support your peers by buying and trading works.

So, if you are an artist, exhibit, buy your fellow artists work, enter prizes, intern and volunteer etc. And as for the future collectors, BUY ART!

Artist of the Week: Bernard Buffet

Bernard Buffet (French, 1928–1999) was a painter well-known for his Expressionist works. Buffet was a member of L’homme Témoin [the Witness-Man], an Anti-Abstract Art Group. Buffet was born in Paris, France, and he attended the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts to study Art. Around the same time, Buffet also worked at the studio of Eugène Narbonne (French, 1885–1966). As a struggling young artist, Buffet was supported by a French picture and art dealer while he was working on different works, including portraits, still-lifes, religious pieces, and landscapes.

The artist’s first painting was exhibited in 1946 at the Galerie Beaux-Arts in Paris, France. After that, Buffet held at least one exhibition in each of the subsequent years. The French magazine Connaissance des arts named him number one in a list of the 10 best post-war artists. The first retrospective of Buffet’s work was held in 1958 at the Galerie Charpentier in Paris. In 1973, the Bernard Buffet Museum was inaugurated in the artist’s honor in Surugadaira, Japan. Five years later, in 1978, Buffet was commissioned by the French government to design a stamp depicting the Institut et le Pont des Arts. Examples of his paintings include Tête de Veau (1954), Bouquet (1965), and Still Life (1991).

Buffet participated in numerous exhibitions in different places, including solo exhibitions at The French Institute, Berlin, Germany, in 1959, The Postal Museum, Paris, France, in 1978, and The Odakyu Museum, Tokyo, Japan, in 1995. Apart from solo exhibitions, the artist also took part in numerous group exhibitions, including those at the Salon des Independants, Paris, France, in 1947, and at the Salon d’Automne, Paris, France, in 1948. Major retrospectives of Buffet’s works have been held at institutions including Galerie Charpentier, Paris, France, in 1958, The Museum of Modem Art, Tokyo, Japan, in 1963, and Seedamm Cultural Center, Zurich, Switzerland, in 1983. Buffet received numerous awards for his works, including Member of the Salon d’Automne in 1947, co-recipient of the Prix de la Critique with Bernard Lorjou (French, 1908–1986) in 1948, and Officer of the Légion d”Honneur in 1973. Buffet’s works are held in different public collections, such as the National Gallery of Canada, in Ottawa, the National Museum of Western Art, in Tokyo, Japan, and Ca la Ghironda, in Bologna, Italy. Towards the end of his career, Buffet was unable to work because he was suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Buffet committed suicide in 1999 in Tourtour, France.



Nature morte, 1955. Water colour and pen and ink on paper, 65 x 50 cm.



Album Paris – Le Sacre Coeur, 1962, (edition of 150). Lithograph, in seven colors, on Rives paper, 55 x 73 cm.


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Artist of the Week: Keith Haring

Keith Haring (American, 1958–1990), Neo-Pop and Graffiti artist, had a short but prolific career centered on a vision to unite “high art,” urban aesthetics, and public spaces, in humorous, irreverent, and poignant works. Born in Pennsylvania, Haring attended the Ivy School of Art in Pittsburgh for two years, planning to become a commercial artist. He found this path unsatisfying, and instead chose to study at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, where he met fellow artists Jean Michel Basquiat and Kenny Scharf. Haring immersed himself in the culture of the city’s streets and clubs, and in 1980 began covering the blank billboards on subway station walls with his Subway drawings in chalk.

Haring’s bold public art attracted the attention of top galleries, and by the early 1980s he was painting Neo-Pop works and large murals for children. In an effort to make his art widely accessible, Haring opened the Pop Shop in 1986 in downtown New York, selling commercial items adorned with his art. Haring combined cartoon imagery with graffiti, hip-hop, and urban aesthetics, frequently depicting animals, figures, commercial icons, sexual imagery, and childlike motifs in pieces both playful and apprehensive. His work became increasingly anxious and angry following his 1987 diagnosis with AIDS. Haring resolved to work harder than ever in his remaining years, creating pieces with a fervent speed and devoting his art to social action in addition to personal expression. In 1989 he established the Keith Haring Foundation, meant to promote art programs and public spaces for children and to raise consciousness about AIDs. He died in February 1990. In addition to hundreds of exhibitions held during his lifetime, Haring has had numerous retrospectives in New York, San Francisco, Paris, Tokyo, and Berlin since he passed away.



Growing, 1988. Screen print, 101.6 x 76.2 cm


Poster, Keith Haring, Fun Gallery, 1983. Poster, 61 x 44.4 cm

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Artist of the week: Alexander Calder

On my artists page on Facebook I started a series where I would find an artist whose work I enjoyed, or has inspired me or has just been a general interest to me and I have shared the artist and some examples of their work on my artists page, usually by way of sharing a link to a page like

I have recently decided to move this series over to my blog and will do my best to make it the best series possible, rather than just copying and pasting a link. So this will be the first official artist of the week feature on my blog.

This week’s artist is Alexander Calder: (Text and images from

Alexander Calder (American, 1898–1976) is one of the most celebrated sculptors of the 20th century. Born in Pennsylvania, Calder was interested in creating movable objects from a young age, and graduated from the Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ, in 1919, with an engineering degree. He later decided to pursue a career as an artist, and moved to New York City to study painting at the Art Students League. While in New York City, he worked for the National Police Gazette and was sent on assignment to sketch circuses, a festive motif that would become a famous and enduring subject in his work. Upon moving to Paris in 1926, Calder began creating large-scale mechanical installations of intricate circus scenes, featuring wire sculptures with moving parts that he would operate over a two-hour performance session. Building off of his Cirque Calder, he began sculpting portraits and figures out of wire, and received critical attention exhibiting these works in subsequent gallery shows in New York City, Paris, and Berlin.He befriended several important Abstract artists in Paris at this time, including Joan Miró (Spanish, 1896-1983) and Piet Mondrian (Dutch, 1872-1944), and was invited to join the group Abstraction-Création in 1931. Inspired by the work of his fellow artists, he incorporated Abstract Kinetic elements into his sculptures, creating the Mobiles he is best known for today, in addition to his static works, Stabiles. Calder constructed his unique sculptures out of wire, metal, and wood, combining Abstract and Surrealist forms with biomorphic imagery in a distinctive style. His structures were carefully weighted and balanced, remaining sensitive to the movement of the wind or the motions of the viewer. Internationally celebrated for his wholly unique, whimsical pieces, Calder produced a wide-ranging body of work during his lifetime, including sculptures, drawings, paintings, jewelry, and set designs. He has had several retrospectives, and, among many other awards, was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Bicentennial Artist Award from the Whitney Museum of American Art, from New York City, in 1976. He died that same year, at 78 years old

Coral and Shells, 1970. Colour Lithograph, 69.7 x  99.5 cm.
La memoire elementare (edition 48/100), 1978. Lithograph, 51.4 x 72.1 cm.

Abund-Art 2012

As apart of our up and coming Graduation show, the students of the Faculty of Creative Arts at the University of Wollongong have organised Abund-Art. This exhibition/art auction will be a means of raising funds to go towards our graduating show. Each student has submitted several works, we also have work that has been donated by our teachers and a number of established artists that have donated there works for sale. This show, much like the nude auction, allows students to not only exhibit their work and have it seen, but it also provides those students who have little or no exhibition experience with the experience they need to hang shows of their own and pursue careers in the Creative Arts Industries. The idea for Abund-Art came about as an idea to have a show, a show of abundance, hence Abund-Art. A packed out show with dozens of work up for grabs for the right bid. The auction will take place on 14th October at Gallery 5: Crown Lane in Wollongong, NSW from 1pm onwards. For those who cannot make the actual auction, do not despair, we will have a silent bidding box available in the gallery space for the duration of the exhibition. The idea of the silent bid box is for people who cannot be present at the auction to bid on any work that they are interested in, while also allowing those people who don’t feel up to competing openly for works of art to place a bid, well over the reserve price, to give them a fighting chance to get they work they so desire. All you have to do is place your name, phone number and email on the slip provided, along with the number and title of the work and the name of artist as well as your bid price and put the paper into the box provided.

One of the best features of this exhibition is that there was no set theme, the works up for auction are created by different artists, based on different themes and motifs and they are created through different media. We have a variety of drawings, water colours, oil on board and canvas, photography, print making and even sculpture. This appeals to a wider audience. So I recommend that you get down to Gallery 5 on the auction day and start bidding, alternatively you can  make a silent bid prior to the auction for your chance to own a unique work of art. I hope that you enjoy the install pics below and take notice of the event poster that I have added; thanks to our design students, and standby for some additional images of the auction itself.