Happy birthday Imogen Cunningham! The artist was born on this day in 1883, in Portland, OR.
Cunningham was the quintessential American female photographer of the 20th century, and an artist whose expansive vision created many great icons of photographic history. In addition to her artistic achievements, Cunningham was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and an honorary doctorate degree by the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland.
During WWII, Prouvé was active with the French Resistance, earning him a position as the Mayor of Nancy after the war. His building and furniture business was also contracted to manufacture frame houses for refugees.
Vincent Van Gogh
"For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream." -Vincent van Gogh
Born on this day in 1853, Vincent van Gogh was associated with the Post-Impressionist movement, and best known for his portraits and depictions of cypresses and wheat fields. One of Van Gogh’s most famous works, Starry Night (1889), exemplifies his unique Expressionistic style.
Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe
One of the pioneers of modern architecture, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was born on this day in 1886 in Aachen, Germany.
Famous for his dictum Less is More, Mies attempted to create contemplative, neutral spaces dedicated to the idea of a universal, simplified architecture.
Happy Birthday Yayoi
"…a polka-dot has the form of the sun, which is a symbol of the energy of the whole world and our living life, and also the form of the moon, which is calm. Round, soft, colorful, senseless and unknowing. Polka-dots become movement… Polka dots are a way to infinity." -Yayoi Kusama
Painter, sculptor, and filmmaker Yayoi Kusama celebrates her 84th birthday today! Born in Matsumoto City, the famously provocative avant-garde artist is best known for her works featuring psychedelic imagery that evoke themes of psychology, feminism, obsession, sex, and intense self-reflection.
German/American artist Josef Albers was born on this day in 1888 in Bottrop, Germany. A painter, sculptor, and architect, Albers taught at the Bauhaus, one of the most prestigious and progressive art schools in Europe; he is considered to be one of the most influential art teachers of the 20th century.
Following the forced closure of the Bauhaus in 1933, due to the rise of Nazism, Albers immigrated to the United States, and became an American citizen in 1939.
Happy birthday Sam Taylor-Wood! The British artist celebrates her 46th birthday today. A photographer and filmmaker, she is considered a member of the infamous group known as the Young British Artists.
Taylor-Wood’s films and photographs frequently grapple with issues of identity, the division between public and private life, the external and the internal, and the tension created by those two realms of existence.
“Why shouldn’t art be pretty? There are enough unpleasant things in the world.” -Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Happy birthday Pierre-Auguste Renoir! The famed artist was born on this day in 1841 in in Limoges, France. He is celebrated as a prominent leader of the Impressionist circle, best known for his radiant paintings of French leisure scenes. Renoir’s work always seems to be about pleasurable occasions, and reveals no great seriousness in his subjects.
Remembering Ansel Adams
Happy birthday Ansel Easton Adams! The artist was born on this day in 1902 in San Francisco, CA.
Adams began to take pictures at the young age of 14, but made a living teaching piano lessons until 1930. It was his position as a custodian in Yosemite National Park from 1920 until 1927 that enabled Adams to photograph the striking landscape for which he is primarily known. When describing the place, he said “Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space.”
Raised in Milan, Argentinean/Italian artist Lucio Fontana was actually born in Argentina on February 19, 1899.
During World War II, Fontana returned to Argentina, where he began to formulate his theory on the concept of space. In 1947, he founded Spazialismo, or “Spatialism,” which he defined in several manifestos as the idea that art should include an element of energy, so that space can be seen in a dynamic way by the viewer, in a constant state of transition and tension.
Upon his return to Italy in 1948, Fontana created his infamous set of Spatial Concept paintings, which were novel in his violent attack of the paint surface.
In 1966, he was awarded the Grand Prize for Painting at the Venice Biennale, a remarkable achievement occurring just two years before his death in 1968.
Happy birthday Fernand Léger! The famed French artist was born on this day in 1881.
With a career spanning over 50 years, Léger worked with a multitude of media, such as paint, ceramic, print, large-scale murals, film, theater and dance sets, glass, and book arts.
Early in his career, after viewing works by Paul Cézanne (French, 1839–1906), he abandoned his impressionistic style and began working in a style that eventually came to be known as Cubism. At the 1911 Salon des Independents, Léger exhibited paintings that solidified his role as a major Cubist painter.
Happy Birthday Murakami
Happy birthday Takashi Murakami! The Japanese artist celebrates his 51st birthday today.
Born in Tokyo, the painter and sculptor is famous for his integration of Fine Art, commercialism, Japanese aesthetics, and cultural criticism into his work.
His embrace of the commercial side of art reached a high point in 2003, when the artist began collaborating with Marc Jacobs in the redesign of the Louis Vuitton logo and handbags. Murakami currently lives and works in Tokyo and New York.
Happy Birthday Oldenburg
Born in Sweden in 1929, artist Claes Oldenburg celebrates his 84th birthday today!
Oldenburg’s family moved to the United States when he was a child, first settling down in New York, and then moving to Chicago in 1936. The artist lived in Chicago until he attended Yale University. In 1956, Oldenburg moved back to New York, where he met artists Jim Dine and Allan Kaprow, who were working to break the mold of the prior generation of Abstract Expressionists.
In 1961, Oldenburg staged his famous The Store, in which he rented space amidst actual shops on the East Side to sell traditional store goods recast as plaster sculptures, exposing the relationship between art and commodities.
From the 1970s onward, Claes Oldenburg focused his attention on large-scale outdoor public sculpture, for which he often collaborated with his wife, artist Coosje van Bruggen (1942–2009).
Celebrating Jackson Pollock
"Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is."
Happy birthday Jackson Pollock! The pioneering Abstract Expressionist painter was born on this day in 1912, in Wyoming.
After moving to New York City in 1930, he spent the next two decades creating Figural, Landscape, and Abstract paintings.
In 1947, Pollock began to experiment with pouring paint directly from the can onto canvases placed on the floor. Sometimes, he used the assistance of sticks and other non-traditional materials, a technique with which he would become permanently identified.
Celebrating Barbara Kruger
Happy birthday Barbara Kruger! The celebrated Conceptual artist was born on this day in 1945. Born in Newark, NJ, Kruger is best known for her layered photographs, featuring provocative statements on issues surrounding commercial culture, feminism, and identity politics.