Gunther Gerzso Paintings

Paisaje Espejismo, 2000, 28 1/2 x 23 3/4 in., Latin American Masters. photo: Francisco Kochen

Estructura en gris y rojo, 1964, oil on canvas, 18 1/2 x 15 in., Mary-Anne Martin Fine Art, New York

Mansión del Agua, 1965. oil on canvas, 31 7/8 x 39 7/16 in., Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art

Gunther Gerzso (1915-2000) was a Hungarian-Mexican painter, sculpture and designer. His initial works during the 1940's were influenced by surrealism but he later turned to abstraction.

When you try to look into one of my paintings, you'll always run into a wall that keeps you from going any further. It will stop you with the brilliance of its light, but at the back there's a black plane; it's fear.  (Gunther Gerzso to Rita Elder in El esplendor de la muralla, 1994)

Blanco-Azul, 1969, oil on  masonite, 21 5/8 x 18 1/8 in., Sotheby's (sold for $97,000 in 2008)

Azul-Verde-Amarillo, 1969, oil on masonite, 13 x 21 5/8 in., Tresart Gallery, Florida

Untitled, 1963, oil on masonite, 19 3/4 x 24 in., Christie's (sold for $100,900 in 2008)

Paisaje Verde No. 1, 1969, oil on masonite, 23 3/4 x 31 7/8 in., Sotheby's (sold for $78,000 in 2004)

Estructuras Verdes, 1964, oil on canvas, 40 1/4 x 18 1/4 in., Sotheby's (sold for $230,500 in 2010)

Legendary Landscape (Azul y Naranja), 1964, 23 3/4 x 32 in., Sotheby's (sold for $77,675 in 2002)

Paisaje, 1957, oil on masonite, 43 1/4 x 25 5/8 in., Sotheby's (sold for $620,800 in 2006)

Paredes Blancas, 1962, oil on masonite, 18 1/8 x 24 1/8 in., Christie's (sold for $40,250 in 1999)

Untitled, 1958, oil on canvas, 16 x 12 in., Christie's (sold for $79,000 in 2008)

Na-Bolom, 1993, etching printed in color, image 35 1/4 x 48 in., Mary-Anne Martin Fine Art, New York

Personaje en Rojo y Azul, 1964

Tlatoani, serigraph, 29 1/2 x 21 3/4 in., Latin Art Antique, Texas (for sale)

Estela Blanca, 1950, 26 x 19 in., oil on masonite, Museo de Arte Carillo Gil

World renowned artist, set designer and writer, Gunther Gerzso was born in Mexico City on June 17, 1915. His father was a Hungarian immigrant and his mother was German by birth. He was introduced to art as a teenager when he was sent to live in Switzerland with his uncle, who was an art collector, dealer and historian. While there he met noted set designer Nando Tamberlani, who introduced him to the theater. In 1931 Gunther returned to Mexico City to live with his mother. Having been influenced by Tamberlani, he began designing sets and in 1935 was offered a scholarship to study at the Cleveland Playhouse in the United States. During his time as a set and production designer he began painting as a hobby and didn't consider himself a "painter" by profession until his work was selected for an exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art.  In 1941 he and his wife returned to live in Mexico City. In 1944 Gunther joined a group of surrealist painters (who came to Mexico to escape the war in Europe), whose influence clearly shows in his works from this period. It wasn't until later that he began producing his famous abstracts. 

Gunther's paintings have been exhibited internationally and are in the collections of major museums throughout the world. He was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship in 1973 and  the Premio Nacional de Artes y Ciencias in 1978, the highest artistic distinction awarded by the Mexican government. He lived in Mexico City until his death on April 21, 2000.

Lionel Thomas UBC Mosaic

Lionel Thomas, untitled "Symbols of Education", 1958-1960, smalti tile, University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia's graduating class of 1958 commissioned Lionel Thomas to build the "Symbols of Education" mosaic for the new wing of the Brock Hall Annex. The piece consists of 54 separate blocks/symbols each representing a different faculty or department within the University. The symbols were created by Thomas after consulting with each department across the campus. The smalti tile mosaic was completed in 1960 with the help of Lionel's wife Patricia.

Lionel and Patricia Thomas building the "Symbols of Education" mosaic, ca. 1958. photographer unknown

The UBC has a great interactive site that explains each design on the "Symbols of Education" mosaic mural. When you get to the site just click on the "Interactive Version", next click the foward button twice to get to the roll-over version, then when you roll-over each symbol a window pops up explaining its meaning. Cool. Click here.

Lionel Thomas, March 1977. Photo: Jim Banham, UBC digital collections

Lionel Thomas (1915-2005) was a Canadian artist and teacher, born in Toronto in 1915. He studied figurative art at several schools in Toronto from 1933-1937. In 1940 Lionel and his wife Patricia hitch-hiked to Vancouver, where they became active in the local art scene. During the early part of his career he created mostly painted works and exhibited at many shows. After about 1956, he began to focus more on producing sculptures and mosaic murals; many of which still stand throughout British Columbia.  He taught at UBC from 1950 until 1981 in both the Fine Arts and Architecture Departments. Lionel Thomas died unexpectedly at the age of 90 on May 6, 2005.  For more information on Lionel see this link here.

Mosaic photos shown above via Cardena's Flickr page.

Movements & Themes: Still Life Paintings

I decided to create a series of posts titled "Movements & Themes". Each entry will feature works from a variety of artists that either were inspired by the same artistic movement and style or whose pieces feature similar themes and subject matter. Today's Movements & Themes post features still life paintings completed in a wide range of styles. I enjoy seeing how each artist uniquely imparts color, texture and shape to the same subject matter. Be sure to check out my previous post on mid-century nautical theme paintings here.

Carol Lee Rice, Still Life with Lute, 1963, 30.75 x 48.75 in., Aspire Auctions (sold)

Anthony Scornavacca, Still Life with Chairs, 1961, 40 x 51 in., Leland Little Auctions (sold)

Alpor, untitled, ca. 1950's, 42 x 30 in., Galerie Sommerlath ($950 at time of post)

Pablo Picasso, Still Life with Skull, Leeks and Pitcher, 1945, 28.75 x 45.6 in., Fine Arts Museum of SF

Alma Woodsey Thomas, Still Life (Mexico), 1954, 32 x 25 in., California African American Museum

Phillipe Marchand,  Still Life with Watermelon, ca. 1960's, 24 x 30 in., Stewart Galleries (sold)

Avigdor Luisada, 1948-52, 23.6 x 27.6 in., Matsaart Auctioneers, Jerusalem (sold)

Anthony Scornavacca, Still life with bottles, ca. 1960's, ebay at time of post

George Keyt, Still life with Lemons, 1946, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan

Jacques Henri Guyot, 50.5 x 24.5 in. 

Lyonel Feininger, Still Life with Brushes, 1915

Robert Franquinet, Still Life, 25.5 x 39.25 in., Le Trianon Fine Art & Antiques (for sale)

Mel Fowler, still life, ca. 1960's 22 x 35 in., ebay (available at time of post) 

Barbara Lee, Still Life with Lute, 25 x 36.5 in.

Robert Lohman, still life, 1960, 48 x 36 in., Antique Helper (sold) 

Van Lowe, 41 x 25 in. (framed), ebay

Benard Buffet, Le Pain et le Vine, 1964, lithograph, 22.25 x 17 in.

Brent Bennett Ceramics

Brent Bennett is a California ceramic artist whose career started over 5 decades ago when he began working as an apprentice for Raul Coronel (see my post on Raul here). He has created a wide variety of pieces including; fountains, vessels, lamps, tables and wall reliefs. Bennett's pieces have an organic quality imparted through his use of hand carved surface textures, plant-inspired motifs and shapes, as well as glazes that reveal the underlying earthen structure. Most of these images are from an exhibit held in 2005 by NOHO Modern.

 Brent Bennett, hanging lantern, 51h x13w in., NOHO Modern sold.

Brent Bennett, pedestal table and stools, Rago Auctions, April 2010

To see more of Brent Bennett's ceramic pieces head over to his website BJB Designs here.  For additional photos of the NOHO Modern exhibit on Bennett click here.  If you are interested in purchasing some of Brent's work NOHO Modern usually is a good place to start.