Profile: CG Hughes

Art History and Visual Culture Blog

CG Hughes authors and maintains the False Start blog, focusing on fine art and art history. His background includes a Ph.D. from Princeton University and a Ph.D. History of Art from the University of California, Berkley. He has lectured at UCLA, UCR and USC and spent time as a research associate at the Getty Research Center. Hughes currently lives in Los Angeles, Cali.

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NoteStreams By CG Hughes

Marilyn Minter

From a January 2014 interview with Marilyn Minter. The questions, which were three times longer than Minter’s answers, have been omitted.

Category: Arts

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Awkward In An Interesting Way: Doig

Peter Doig (Scottish-Trinidadian-Canadian, b. 1959) received his BA from the Chelsea School of Art (1983) and his MA from the St Martin’s School of Art (1990). He was nominated for the Tate Gallery’s prestigious Turner Prize in 1994 and from 1995-2000, he served as a Tate Trustee.
His paintings have sold for record-breaking prices at auction; in February 2015, his Cold Blooded (2003) sold for £1.3 million and in May 2015, his Swamped sold for $26 million.
Tags: peter doig, british painting - 21stc, landscape painting, figurative paiting, francis bacon, david hockney, chris ofili

Category: Arts

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Le Douanier Rousseau

In 1893, at the age of 49, Henri-Jean Rousseau (French, 1848 - 1910) retired from his position at the octroi of Paris to devote himself to painting. His naive pictures of mysterious happenings in hallucinatory, exotic settings would become touchstones for the Surrealists but in the later 19th century they were objects of ridicule. Picasso bought one of Rousseau’s paintings from a junk dealer for a few francs in 1898.
Tags: henri-jean rousseau, art primitif, le douanier rousseau, pablo picasso, gertrude stein, banquet rousseau, le bâteau-lavoir, andré salmon

Category: Arts

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Natural Design: Teatro Olimpico

Theatre design was a natural extension of Palladio’s interests in stage-like architecture, one-point perspective and classical antiquity, so when the officers of the Accademia Olimpica, a learned society based in Vicenza, of which he was a member, approached him in 1580 about building a theatre in Vicenza, he readily assented even though he was 72 years old at the time. He died shortly after the designs were approved, and it fell to his son, Silla, to carry out the construction of the theatre, which was built entirely of wood.

Category: Arts

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Controversial Art: Robert Mapplethorpe

Robert Mapplethorpe was the subject of two retrospectives in the last year of his life, “Robert Mapplethorpe,” at the Whitney Museum of American Art (26 July - 23 October 1988) and ”Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Moment,” organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, which traveled to Chicago, Washington DC, Boston, five other museums in 1989-90. The religious right successfully pressured the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington to cancel the exhibition before it opened in 1989 and caused the Cincinnati district attorney to bring criminal obscenity charges against curators of the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center in 1990. Right wing politicians made the exhibition the centerpiece of their campaign to discredit and do away with the National Endowment for the Arts, which ultimately failed.

Category: Arts

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Understanding Photorealism

Photorealist paintings are replicas of photographs, not representations of directly observed phenomenal reality. Photographs are not the sources of the paintings, they are the subject of the painting. Candy shop windows, New York streets, reflecting neon signs, and 1970s cars were the subject of the photographs.

Category: Arts

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Minor Masters: Arnold Boecklin

Arnold Boecklin is a minor master in the greater scheme of things, and, to some, he is an aesthetic atrocity (Clement Greenberg wrote that Böcklin’s work “is one of the most consummate expressions of all that was now disliked about the latter half of the nineteenth century”). Boecklin has a gift for devising extremely unflattering poses and capturing awkward moments, like the intervention of the incensed blowfish on behalf of a mildly abducted Meerkuh. The Alte Pinakothek in Munich, a comprehensive museum dedicated to the art of the Germanic countries before 1900, has one large Boecklin picture on display.

Category: Arts

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