Friday, April 29, 2016

Jan Lebenstein (1930 – 1999)

Jan Lebenstein - The Climax, 1969The Climax, 1969

Jan Lebenstein - Hall Of Hearings , 1973Hall Of Hearings , 1973
 Jan Lebenstein - InvasionInvasion

Jan Lebenstein - Untitled , 1962Untitled , 1962
 Jan Lebenstein - Hall - Hearings -Sad - Appeal, 1975Hall - Hearings -Sad - Appeal, 1975

Jan Lebenstein - Couple SquattingCouple Squatting

Jan Lebenstein - Apocalypse , 1985Apocalypse , 1985

Jan Lebenstein - Club Bar, 1976Club Bar, 1976
 Jan Lebenstein - Illustration for Animal Farm, 1974Illustration for Animal Farm, 1974
 Jan Lebenstein - Les Siens, 1969Les Siens, 1969

Jan Lebenstein - Guard House (Straż przyboczna), 1973Guard House (Straż przyboczna), 1973

Jan Lebenstein - Corps de Garde 2, 1970Corps de Garde 2, 1970

Jan Lebenstein - Act, 1968Act, 1968

Jan Lebenstein - Contradicting Images, 1971Contradicting Images, 1971
 Jan Lebenstein - Dream Salon, 1968Dream Salon, 1968

Jan Lebenstein - Bestiary , 1973Bestiary , 1973

Jan Lebenstein - Garden, 1965Garden, 1965

Jan Lebenstein - Aviation,1965Aviation,1965

Jan Lebenstein - From the cycle Bestiary, 1963 From the cycle Bestiary, 1963
 Jan Lebenstein - From Eros and ThanatosFrom Eros and Thanatos


Jan Lebenstein - Untitled ( second version) , 1963Untitled ( second version) , 1963
 Jan Lebenstein - Untitled , 1963Untitled , 1963
 Jan Lebenstein - Point Of View (dyptich), 1967Point Of View (dyptich), 1967
 Jan Lebenstein - Composition of woman with four legs, 1973Composition of woman with four legs, 1973



"The artist's imagination was most strongly inspired by the great texts of world culture. He believed that the road to modernity lead through a processing of tradition. As he himself said, the cellars of the Louvre, filled with relics of the ancient Sumerian and Babylonian civilizations, fascinated him. He was stimulated by the mythologies of ancient civilizations like Assyria, Babylon, Egypt, and Greece, as he was by the Bible. This was the impulse for consistent production of works reflecting an apocalyptic vision of the world. His own "Zoology Lesson" - a personal myth about the derivation and animalistic nature of humans (Leçon de zoologie, 1972) - occupied a central place in his art. In particular, Lebenstein emphasized the biological and physiological foundations of human sensuality. A reader of cultural archetypes, he focused mainly on erotic aspects and themes (reflected in the motifs of the Great Mother and the Great Vamp) and on the concept of Thanatos, manifested in the "Isle of the Dead" motif (Lebenstein dedicated his exhibition at the Théatre National de l'Odéon in Paris to, among others, Arnold Böcklin, creator of a well-known painting of the same title). He caricatured "human fauna", creating strange creatures barely recognizable as being of "human derivation" (Carnet intime series, 1960-65). These pre-evolutionary representatives of archaic tribes were evidently subject to the pressures of untamed desires and appeared above all in Lebenstein's work after 1960 (Bottom I, Inassouvissement, both 1969).

At around the same time he created a series of paintings that portrayed "prehistoric" animals (Créatures abominables series, 1960-65) and imagined "vertebrates" (Deux vertébrés, 1966). This rich, baroque bestiary served as a bank of models from which he drew direct inspiration for subsequent works. Carefully and arduously formed, his compositions of this time seem almost sculpted in wrinkled, dough-like layers of paint, and radiant with an exceptional richness of subtle pictorial effects. Lebenstein would soon abandon this extraordinary noble material in favor of a stylization that also characterized his gouaches and temperas of the 1970s and 80s (between 1976 and 1989 the painter used no oils). These are distinguished above all by fine, often manneristic, curving lines (Animals' Sweety Bar, 1976; Asile, 1989). The works, no longer possessing the textures of his earlier oil paintings, are worthy of note for their unsettled atmosphere and tension inherent in complicated, erotic "dangerous liaisons".

In contrast to many 20th century artists, who shied away from narration in their paintings, drawings, and prints, Lebenstein not only tended towards anecdote, but was also an illustrator of literary works. His achievements in this sphere include a series of outstanding illustrations - to George Orwell's "Animal Farm" (1974), the "Book of Job" (1979), the "Apocalypse" (1983), and the "Book of Genesis" (1995). The artist also produced illustrations for a number of short stories by his friend Gustaw Herling-Grudziński. Furthermore, Lebenstein designed a stained-glass window with scenes of the Apocalypse for a Palotine chapel in Paris (1970) and dabbled in scenery design." - quote source

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Shigeru Mizuki - God of Pestilence

Shigeru Mizuki - God of Pestilence

More works by Shigeru Mizuki were previously shared here.

Marian Wawrzeniecki (1863-1943)


Marian Wawrzeniecki - Enthralled, before 1928Enthralled, before 1928

Marian Wawrzeniecki - "The Medieval Dragon", 1912The Medieval Dragon, 1912

Marian Wawrzeniecki , "Fairy tale of the princess and the dragon" , 1904-1908Fairy Tale Of The Princess And The Dragon, 1904-1908

Marian Wawrzeniecki -The Victim In A Slavic BarrowThe Victim In A Slavic Barrow

Images found at The National Museum in Warsaw and Kultura Wiara.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Giorgio Comolo - Painting based on Jack Kirby's interior art from "The Demon" comic, 2002

Giorgio Comolo - Painting based on Jack Kirby's "The Demon" issue 14 double page spread, 2002

A selection of Jack Kirby's double page spreads from The Demon were recently shared here.

Jack Kirby - Double Page Spreads From "The Demon" 1972-73

Jack Kirby - Interior art from "The Demon" Issue 14, November 1973 Jack Kirby - Interior art from "The Demon" Issue 8, April 1973 Jack Kirby - Interior art from "The Demon" Issue 12, September, 1973 Jack Kirby - Interior art from "The Demon" Issue 13, October 1973 Jack Kirby - Interior art from "The Demon" Issue 9, June 1973 Jack Kirby - Interior art from "The Demon" Issue 7, March 1973 Jack Kirby - Interior art from "The Demon" Issue 2, October 1972 Jack Kirby - Interior art from "The Demon" Issue 1, August:September 1972
"After the cancellation of his Fourth World titles at DC, Jack Kirby created a number of other properties for the company, none of which survived very long. One of these was the Demon, conceived as the demonic alter-ego of Jason Blood. Kirby borrowed the Demon’s look from a Prince Valiant comic strip in which that character donned a demon costume.

 In contrast with Kirby’s Fourth World work, his work during this period often blended genres in ways that can sometimes seem strange or arbitrary. Kirby’s The Demon mixed the supernatural and super-heroes. It may be seen as a noble experiment, in as much as it was essentially a supernatural title marketed for the super-hero audience. But Kirby’s super-hero aesthetics proved a strange mix, undermining the seriousness of the supernatural elements.

 The series lasted only 16 issues, but the Demon would begin appearing occasionally across the DC Universe, only a few years after his title’s cancellation. He would be more substantially revived in the 1980s, and he’s become a staple of the DC Universe ever since." - quote source

Friday, April 08, 2016

Arent van Bolten - Engravings, 1604-1616

Arent van Bolten - Engraving of grotesque ornamental creatures, 1604-16 Arent van Bolten - Grotesque Creatures 20, 1604-1616 Arent van Bolten - Grotesque Creatures 1, 1604-1616 Arent van Bolten - Grotesque Creatures 2, 1604-1616 Arent van Bolten - Grotesque Creatures 10, 1604-1616 Arent van Bolten - Grotesque Creatures 3, 1604-1616 Arent van Bolten - Grotesque Creatures 5, 1604-1616 Arent van Bolten - Grotesque Creatures 14, 1604-1616 Arent van Bolten - Grotesque Creatures 12, 1604-1616 Arent van Bolten - Grotesque Creatures 8, 1604-1616 Arent van Bolten - Grotesque Creatures 11, 1604-1616 Arent van Bolten - Grotesque Creatures 18, 1604-1616
Arent van Bolten - Grotesque Creatures 15, 1604-1616 Arent van Bolten - Grotesque Creatures 19, 1604-1616 Arent van Bolten - Grotesque Creatures 8, 1604-1616 Arent van Bolten - Grotesque Creatures 16, 1604-1616 Arent van Bolten - Grotesque Creatures 13, 1604-1616 Arent van Bolten - Grotesque Creatures 17, 1604-1616 Arent van Bolten - Grotesque Creatures 7, 1604-1616 Arent van Bolten - Grotesque Creatures 6, 1604-1616 Arent van Bolten - Grotesque Creatures 4, 1604-1616
"The known facts of van Bolten’s life and work are few. He was born at Zwolle ca. 1573. He is known to have been in Italy in 1596 and 1602. By 1603 he was back in his home-town, where he married one Birgitta Lantinck. The couple had eight children. He was a silversmith by profession. At some point he moved with his family from Zwolle to Leeuwarden, where he died, ca. 1633.

Van Bolten’s reputation, however, rests mainly on his drawings, and in particular on the album in the British Museum that bears the title “BOLTEN VAN SWOL/TEEKENINGE” The drawings range from ornament, objects in precious metals, grotesque figures and monsters, to figural scenes from the Bible and mythology, the Shrovetide carnival, the commedia dell’arte and peasant life.

This album was compiled by an unknown collector ca. 1637, who had the drawings numbered, and grouped into thematic sections. ‘Some of van Bolten’s drawings of monsters and fanciful animals bear a resemblance to those in the prints of Christoph Jamnitzer […] and Wendel Dietterlin the Younger.’ Several of the designs in the album had been ‘turned into meticulously-faithful prints’ and published in Paris (between 1604 and 1616) by a Flemish-born printseller named Pierre Firens. The four images above are examples of these engravings. The last of them combines two of van Bolten’s drawings (nos. 151 and 152 in the album, shown below), into a single composition, embellished with farting monkeys.

 ‘A number of fantastic bronze animals have been attributed to van Bolten on the basis of stylistic similarities to his designs known from the drawings and the prints.’ Four different models have been documented. At least ten examples of the birdlike creature (the first image below) are known. Some of them seem to have been designed as novelty lamps, where the wick (and the flame) would come out of the creature’s mouth. Another figurine, of which just a single example is recorded, depicts a monster with a reptile’s head, a bird’s body and legs, with snail-shells in place of wings. The second image below shows a statuette with the head of a buffalo, the body of a frog, with stylised wings in place of forelegs, and the hind legs of a hoofed animal. It is not known whether these bronzes were van Bolten’s own work, or whether they were modelled from his drawings, or the engraved copies thereof."

 - quote taken from the long defunct but amazing Giornale Nuovo.

You'll notice the post on Bolten there was provoked by a previous post here on Bolten's works. Almost ten years later and I'm returning to deliver the best examples of Arent van Bolten that I've been able to dig up over the years.

See examples of Bolten's grotesque ornamental oil lamps here.
 Examples of Bolten's ink drawings can be found here.