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Daily Art Moment: Beth Van Hoesen

Beth Van Hoesen’s cocktail drinkers, though created in 1946, seem to show the same world-weariness that has gripped many of us throughout the tumultuous year. They are prepared, I imagine, to toast out the year, but they aren’t going to pretend it was fun! The woman’s raised eyebrow suggests her skepticism about the state of…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: Edward Penfield

In the 1890s, color posters advertising books, magazines, and newspapers exploded onto the scene. Initially inspired by French designs, American artists soon created their own unique style. Edward Penfield led the field with his charming posters advertising Harper’s Magazine beginning in 1893. These designs, generally about 19 by 14 inches, were displayed in book stores…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: Félix Vallotton

In 1896–97, Félix Vallotton captured the private joy and solace of music played only for oneself. In Musical Instruments,” a suite of six woodblock prints, he used the sparest means to depict solitary musicians in comfortable, domestic settings. The Portland Art Museum recently acquired two prints from this series: one depicting a cellist in his…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: Honoré Daumier

When it comes to skewering politicians, Honoré Daumier is unmatched. The French caricaturist was born in Marseille in 1808 and moved to Paris in 1816. He was largely self-taught as an artist, making sketches at the Louvre and learning lithography while still a teenager. He developed into a brilliant draughtsman, capturing his subjects with a…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: Will Barnet

“On Monday, curator Grace Kook-Anderson shared Jacob Lawrence’s inspiring image of voters, a screenprint he prepared for the Kent Bicentennial portfolio. As she notes, the commissioned artists were asked to respond to the question, ‘What does independence mean to you?’. Reviewing the portfolio in ‘The New York Times’ in 1976, one critic cited Barnet’s image…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: Vincent Hamel

“When the news becomes overwhelming, as it often has in 2020, I escape into pure color. Prussian Blue by Dutch artist Vincent Hamel offers a calming retreat. Hamel limits himself to a modest scale and materials, yet he produces captivating work that exhibits his deep love for color and tactility. In Prussian Blue, he used…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: George Johanson

“For the last week, thick yellow smoke from wildfires across the West Coast has choked the Portland skies. I am reminded of George Johanson’s evocative print City with Small Skull in which the swirling clouds suggest an unnamed menace. The ghostly silhouettes of fir trees sway in the night, bent by the strong wind that…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: Gordon W. Gilkey

“Raise your hand if you love mountains! During this time of social distancing and sunny weather, Northwesterners are taking to the trails with alacrity. Here in Oregon and Washington, we are blessed with abundant hiking, backpacking, and alpine routes that provide exercise, solace, and stunning views of the vertiginous landscape. The mountains are also a…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: Warja Honegger-Lavater

“Can you tell an entire story using only colored dots? Swiss artist Warja Honegger-Lavater was up for the task, unfurling the story of Little Red Riding Hood in just four scenes plus a key to the symbols. Anyone familiar with this classic tale can easily follow the wordless action as Honegger-Lavater translates the action into…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: Claes Oldenburg

“We all deserve a treat during the dog days of August, and who better to serve it up than artworld prankster, Claes Oldenburg? Oldenburg humorously transforms familiar things through shifts in scale and media. In this work, the fleshy letters that form a melting ice cream bar recall his soft canvas sculptures from the previous…  Read more