The Easel

16th April 2019

Hirshhorn Extends Charline von Heyl’s Critically Acclaimed Exhibition

Von Heyl is very specific – her paintings do not carry narrative, in the classical sense. Each work is an object, “a new image that stands for itself as fact.” The months it takes to finish a work are spent “finding ways to lure the eye into the picture.” Von Heyl thinks that when she gets it right, her paintings have “liveliness … something that seduces more than it angers”.

Renaissance Man: Giovanni Battista Moroni

Moroni was a big talent in a small town. The era’s famous names – Titian, Bronzino – competed for clients in glamourous Venice. Moroni enjoyed a quieter regional market where he could get away with painting what he saw, rather than glossy fictions. His naturalistic portraits, not especially celebrated at the time, now look like a “remarkable achievement.” A video (4 min) is here.

Talent and Tragedy

Urban turmoil in Germany and Austria led artists to seek inspiration from within. Then, the horrors of WW1 created a new imperative – to objectively depict the crumbing Weimar republic. The self-portraits from these two periods are among the most memorable of 20th century art, from introspective Schiele to Beckmann’s dark realism. Unsettled faces, as far as the eye can see.

The Enduring Legacy of Joseph Duveen, America’s First Mega-Dealer

Duveen wasn’t the world’s greatest art dealer just because of expertise in art. He had abundant other talents including deal-making (including of the shady kind) and knowing who owned what. His dealings still underpin many major public collections – Washington’s National Gallery alone has 2464 of his pieces. Nearly a century later Duveen influence on art in the US is “nearly impossible to overstate”.