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By: Kate | August 09, 2017

Wassily Kandinsky has long been hailed as the first abstract artist but there may be worthy challenger to the title, with the rediscovery of the works of Georgiana Houghton. Born in 1814, Houghton was a Victorian medium who claimed that the spirits of the dead worked through her to produce a number of extraordinary works. She held her first exhibitition in London in 1871, three years before the inaugural Impressionist exhibition in Paris and an astonishing 40 years before Kandinsky's Composition V.

Read more here.

Category: Art 

Tags: Georgiana Houghton 

By: Kate | April 07, 2016

Sometimes a visit to a famous landmark can lead to a sense of anti-climax. Buckingham Palace was smaller than I expected, Bali's beaches were pretty ordinary, and from a distance Uluru looked just like the photos. But one icon that proved to be even more impressive than I'd imagined was the Eiffel Tower. Having seen it monotonously reproduced to the point of cliché, I was fully prepared to be disappointed, but from the first glimpse of it I couldn't keep the grin off my face. 

French artist Henri Rivière (1864 – 1951) seems to have been similarly intrigued, creating a series of etchings titled 'Thirty-six views of the Eiffel Tower'. He (like many Impressionists and Post-impressionists) was inspired by Japanese art, in a movement known in Fra...

Category: Art 

Tags: Henri Riviere Eiffel Tower 

By: Kate | January 28, 2016

Jason deCaires Taylor is an artist and naturalist who creates breath-taking underwater sculptures. Most are to be found in the Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park off Grenada, and the Museo Subacuático de Arte (MUSA) off Mexico. The concrete sculptures are designed to encourage the growth of corals, marine plants, sea sponges and sea urchins, allowing them to be transformed over time as they merge with the natural environment. Aside from their astonishing beauty, the works evoke a powerful message about the importance and fragility of the marine world: "artists have a crucial role in engaging communities on an emotional level, where facts, figures and voices fail to reach", says Taylor.

Category: Art 

Tags: Sculpture 

By: Kate | October 15, 2015

Marie Bashkirtseff was born into a wealthy family in Russia in 1858, and spent her childhood travelling around Europe before settling in France. She studied painting at the Academie Julian (one of the few that accepted female students) and produced a considerable body of work before dying of tuberculosis at the tragically early age of 25. 

Marie Bashkirtseff painted in the style of realism and naturalism, which means her paintings can look somewhat conventional to the modern eye.  Figuring that her male colleagues had already cornered the market in painting rural idylls, she turned to urban scenes. Her great skill was in capturing the personality of her subjects, as seen in the paintings below. 

Self-portrait with palette, 1880

Category: Art 

Tags: Bashkirtseff Women 

By: Kate | October 12, 2015

Bruno Catalano's series of sculptures, Les Voyageurs, are located in Marseilles, France.  I don't think I have ever seen work that captures so hauntingly the sense of loss that people must feel when leaving or fleeing their homeland.  

You can see more of Bruno Catalano's work on his website. 

Category: Art 

Tags: Sculpture Travel 

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