Artists - Season 1

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A&E Premiered Jan 01, 2009 Unknown

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  • His paintings are among the most treasured objects in the world today, yet during his lifetime he was shunned and his work ignored. He spoke four languages, was well read but lived and worked as a peasant. His obsessions contradicted his loving nature. The macabre act of cutting off his ear has overshadowed his incredible story. Join us as we explore the fascinating and often tragic life of Vincent Van Gogh.moreless
  • It is a source of fury to the formal art world that Norman Rockwell was and remains the most visible and beloved of the American painters of this century. His name has come to symbolize the best of an era when American had a single clean, shining patriotic vision. A time when God, country and goodness meant not just something, but everything. While the 320 Rockwell covers for the "Saturday Evening Post" are part of the past, his happy fame lives on in the collections of people as diverse as Richard Nixon, Johnny Carson, Steven Spielberg, Andy Warhol and Ringo Starr. This biography uncovers the complicated man who produced the glorious and uncomplicated paintings that thrilled America for sixty years--from his deathless "Four Freedoms" and "Willie Gillis G.I." series to his panoply of civil rights, baseball, young love and Christmas classics. This biography illustrates not only the artist and his paintings, but the nation as Rockwell helped shape it. Filled with the insights of experts and the people who knew Rockwell. A perfect delight.moreless
  • Michelangelo Buonarotti is the most famous, many would say the greatest, artistic genius who ever lived. Among his prodigious number of masterpieces are the vivid biblical scenes that grace the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, the heroic marble sculpture of David, and the central plan for Saint Peter's Cathedral in Rome. For centuries, Michelangelo has been perceived as a tortured and lonely man--a solitary genius who suffered both personal and financial agonies in creating his art. "Michelangelo: Artist and Man" reveals the truth of this perception and examines their falsehoods by looking beyond the myths--into the very soul of the artist whose talents were so remarkable that during his own lifetime he was called Divine.moreless
  • Jackson Pollock
    Episode 3
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    Painter, born in Cody, Wyoming, USA. He grew up in Wyoming and California, and later moved to New York City. His paintings of the 1930s, such as 'Birth' (1937), anticipate the turbulent impasto and sexual imagery of his later work. His first major exhibition was organized by Peggy Guggenheim (1943) when he was using mythological themes, as seen in 'The She Wolf' (1943). In c.1946 he settled in Easthampton, Long Island, and began his critically acclaimed abstract work exemplified by 'Full Fathom Five' (1947). The spatter-and-drip technique used on his large canvases (1945-55) established his reputation as a major abstract expressionistic painter. This 'drip-splash' method of painting, though in reality only lasting about 4 years, is the style with which he is synonymous. With his canvas lying flat to the floor, Pollock would stand over it and slosh paint in dribbly tickles all over it, disguising the 'beginning' or focus point, leading the eye in a frenzy over the colorful, abstract design. He also explored figurative studies, but shortly before his death in an automobile accident he reclaimed his interest in action painting. Macho and misunderstood, Pollock is one of American art's most tragic legends and is seen as a commanding figure of the Abstract-expressionist movement.moreless
  • 4/30/09
    0.0
    Toulouse Lautrec - He was born into a noble French family but a series of mishaps and events determined that he was not to follow the conventions of an aristocratic life. Crippled at an early age Lautrec could never live up to the ideals set by his eccentric and athletic father. He stood barely five feet high but he did have one talent that raised him above the expectations of his family. Lautrec could draw and paint but to achieve greatness he had to leave the comforts of the family estate to live amongst the lowest members of Parisian society. In the 1880's Paris was at the centre of a revolution in art, the painters who would become known as the impressionists were painting landscapes and portraits in a style that was revolutionary but Lautrec was drawn to subjects that reflected the darker side of life. People, who like him were society's rejects, the 'Can-Can' dancers of the infamous Moulin Rouge and the "Street Ladies of the Parisian Night." Eventually Lautrec was drawn further into the chaotic world of Paris nightlife and the seedy Montmartre Quarter. He became dependent upon alcohol and drugs to sustain him and the effects and brutal treatment of a sexually transmitted disease rendered him practically insane. For a short period Lautrec became a star in Paris, his posters of the Moulin Rouge became icons of an age and his depiction of life in the Parisian brothels are now considered to be master pieces but the price to pay was a brief and tragic life.moreless
  • Diego Rivera
    Episode 1
    4/30/09
    0.0
    Born in Guanajuato, Mexico in 1886, his family moved to Mexico City in 1892. Considered the greatest Mexican painter of the twentieth century, Diego Rivera had a profound effect on the international art world. Rivera is credited with the reintroduction of fresco painting into modern art and architecture. His radical political views and tempestuous romance with the painter Frida Kahlo remain a source of public intrigue. In a series of visits to America, from 1930 to 1940, Rivera brought his unique vision to public spaces and galleries, enlightening and inspiring artists and laymen alike. In 1933 the Rockefellers commissioned Rivera to paint a mural for the lobby of the RCA building in Rockefeller Center. "Man at the Crossroads" was to depict the social, political, industrial, and scientific possibilities of the twentieth century. In the painting, Rivera included a scene of a giant May Day demonstration of workers marching with red banners. It was not the subject matter of the panel that inflamed the patrons, but the clear portrait of Lenin leading the demonstration. When Rivera refused to remove the portrait, he was ordered to stop and the painting was destroyed. After the Rockefeller incident, he painted 21 portable frescoes for the "New Worker's School" in New York City.moreless
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