Modern & Contemporary Popular Favorites

Nov 29, 2020Artwise Posters
Modern & Contemporary Popular Favorites
JANUARY 11, 2019 

Although there are many artists who contribute, in small ways or large ones, to a grand sweeping movement in culture and time, a handful of popular ones continue to surface above the others again and again— artists whose work, throughout stylistic shifts or genre changes, maintained a level of beauty, inspiration and talent that has left an indelible mark in the history of art. Their blissful visions seem somehow always fresh even in today’s climate, and always enriching to the environments in which they find a home. There is certainly something timeless about great art that has tapped into the living voice of a keen creator.

David Hockney – Celia In A Black Dress With Colored Border, stone lithograph 1981
David Hockney – Corbusier Chair and Rug (sm), offset lithograph 1969

David Hockney has proved an ability to keep his finger on the pulse, his dramatically varied body of work showing colors on the stylistic scale that never existed before he arrived. Throughout the many different tones of Hockney over six decades of work, his enigmatic spirit never fails to pierce throughCelia In A Black Dress With Colored Border is a stone lithograph from 1981 featuring one of his oft-revisited subjects, and Corbusier Chair and Rug is from 1969, both pieces reminding us of his singing line quality. And this large print of A Closer Grand Canyon reveals that unknowable Hockney charm, the kind that fills the room.

David Hockney – A Closer Grand Canyon, offset lithograph 2011

Pablo Picasso similarly has an indescribable charm, and was also one who shifted stylistically as a matter of course— whether he was scribbling text, inscribing large arabesques or honing impassioned subtleties, Picasso’s marks and forms, humor and personality are simply unparalleled, his unique timbre a diamond in the rough. Congress For Peace - Issy-les-Moulineaux is a very rare stone lithograph poster, printed by Mourlot in 1962 and published by Le Mouvement de la Paix in Paris. Cote D'Azur is an original edition 1962 stone litho by Picasso, a fourteen-color collaboration with master printer Henri Deschamps, an unusual and formidable feat of lithography prowess as each color requires its own stone plate. And Picasso fans everywhere will respond to Guernica, its composition, subject matter and tone earth-moving in nature.

Pablo Picasso – Congress For Peace - Issy-les-Moulineaux, Mourlot stone lithograph 1962
Pablo Picasso – Cote D'Azur, Mourlot stone lithograph 1968
Pablo Picasso – Guernica, offset lithograph 2017
"There is certainly something timeless about great art that has tapped into the living voice of a keen creator."

Alexander Calder showed the world how to rethink the art of motion, his kinetic sculptures dazzling the eyes of all who encounter them. Even his prints are full of movement and energy, a testament to his undying enthrallment with the magic of the natural world and its unfolding. 1971 stone lithograph Derriere le Miroir No. 156 is an almost automatic rendering of some dream state, the crashing together of an enamored artist’s mind and a symphony of organic activity. And Spirales, a 1974 stone litho also out of the DLM publication offers similar gestures, perhaps swallows hunting insects in the sinking sunlight.

Alexander Calder – Derriere le Miroir No. 156, stone lithograph 1971
Alexander Calder – Spirales, stone lithograph 1974

One can never go wrong with Marc Chagall’s flying figures, his night visions perpetually following the frequency of love. His words are synonymous with this insight, as heard in quotes like “In our life there is a single color, as on an artist palette which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love;” and “If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing.” Derriere Le Miroir no. 27-28 Cover features some uncharacteristically dark colors, striking a trance-like mood, and the euphoria of love carries through The Song of Songs with details like the low placement of the moon and the mysterious presence of the other figures, some even upside down— delightful.

Marc Chagall – Derriere Le Miroir no. 27-28 Cover, stone lithograph 
Marc Chagall – The Song of Songs, Mourlot stone lithograph 1975

Joan Miró’s abstract brilliance built an empire of abstract expressionist work, with innumerable pieces all glittering with the same mystique. La Danse de Feu, a 1963 DLM stone litho, is a gorgeous experiment with materials suggesting elements of both water and fire, playfulness and intensity, and Gravure sur Bois 8 is a thrilling 1958 woodblock print from a series done with French poetry, printed on Arches wove paper and with an image and text on both sides. Miró’s shapes and unique use of overlays with the materials allow this latter work in particular to softly pull the viewer around, activating different parts of our minds, bodies and emotions— something for which the best abstract art can show great capacity, and with which Miró especially displays an unequalled affinity.

Joan Miró – La Danse de Feu, Mourlot stone lithograph 1963
Joan Miró – Gravure sur Bois 8, woodblock

And if you ever come across a work you are interested in that we no longer carry, let us know anyways as we have been known to be good print hunters, and we have a Wishlist feature that can send you an email if we get your request back in the shop.

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