Tekhnika Molodezhi was the Popular Mechanics of the Soviet Union. The magazine, whose name means Technology for the Youth, had illustrations of everything from space stations, computerized farming, transport of the future, friendly robots, to more abstract images. If you don't want to hunt through the archive, Mythbuster's Tested website has a gallery of 201 great images from the magazine.
The Dancing Saints is "a 3,000 square foot icon wrapping around the entire church rotunda, showing ninety larger-than life saints; four animals; stars, moons, suns and a twelve-foot dancing Christ." Among the icons are traditional saints like Francis of Assisi and Mary Magdalene, but most of them are non-traditional saints, like Florence Nightingale, John Coltrane and Lady Godiva's Horse. The Dancing Saints Icon is inside the St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco. You can watch a video tour of the church's architecture, read an interview with iconographer Mark Dukes, and a short essay on the Dancing Saints Icon by Richard Fabian.
A twenty-five minute doctumentary about Auguste Rodin's monumental sculpture "The Gates of Hell," which exists in two radically different versions. From the first version spring many of Rodin's best known sculptures, including his most famous, "The Thinker," originally conceived as a portrait of Dante gazing at Hell from above. It was never cast in bronze during his lifetime and was somewhat notorious for never having been completed, but is now considered to be one of the greatest sculptures of the modern era.
"We cannot send 'The Dog' to the museum basement because it was on the apparently nonexisting second floor of the Quinta."
The Black Paintings is the title given to a series of works by Spanish artist Francisco Goya painted directly on the walls of his house from 1819-23. Their provenance has been doubted much like that of The Colossus, which has recently been attributed to Goya's assistant. Either way, the Black Paintings are masterpieces and have pride of place in the Museo del Prado in Madrid, which has put them all online in high resolution (you can save images to your computer in high resolution). [Goya previously]
The Great Wave off Kanagawa is probably the most iconic Japanese artwork in history, often used to illustrate tsunamis, and scientists have attempted to analyze what kind of wave it depicts. The woodprint is part of the 36 Views of Mount Fuji series, which depicts the famous mountain from different spots in Japan. The artist who made the Great Wave, Katsushika Hokusai, created thousands of images, many of which can be viewed online, such as in the internet galleries of the Museum of Fine Art and Visipix (Visipix' Hokusai page). Besides woodprints, Hokusai produced sketchbooks he called manga, one of which, number twelve, can be flipped through on the Swedish Touch and Turn website.
Two Flickr sets of 295 illustrations and 103 illustrations each (plus three more illustrations), by French artist Chéri Herouard who is most famous for his work for "naughty French magazine" La Vie parisienne from 1907 to his death. You can find some high quality scans from La Vie parisienne and more information about the magazine at Darwination Scans. Quite a few of the images are not safe for work. [via Kate Beaton]
"these little songs, and many like them, were made for the comfort of my friends, in their sorrow, doubt and suffering"
An internet search, even in these days of abundant information, yields only that the pamphlets can be found in various library collections, and that they continued to be produced into the '70s. And that Edmund Wilson once sent one, "Mr. P. Squiggle's Reward," to Nabokov, calling it "one of the oddest of many odd things that are sent me by unknown people." He also got the title wrong, dubbing it "Mr. P. Squiggle's Revenge," which is probably significant. But that’s it: nothing about Volk or McCalib.Epitomes was a series of pamphlets published by Elwin Volk and Dennis McCalib. Few traces of Volk's life are to be found, but he seems to have been a lawyer, and wrote at least a couple of pamphlets about law, which he self-published in Pasadena. McCalib is equally elusive. A man by that name contributed to an issue of One: The Homosexual Viewpoint in 1964. A Dennis McCalib also used the pseudonym Lord Fuzzy. The aforementioned "Mr. P. Squiggle's Reward" got a curt, two half-sentence dismissal in Poetry Magazine, otherwise these pamphlets seem not to have troubled the literary world. Someone donated their manuscripts to UCLA where they rest undigitized in fourteen boxes. But Library of Congress has scanned a total of twenty-six pages in high resolution.
After the highly publicized Bruce Lee monument was erected in Mostar, a city and municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2005, a series of similar ventures were initiated in rural Serbia. Some sociologists describe the glorification of nonpolitical celebrity figures as the result of an identity crisis caused by the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s, a period when a once functioning multi-ethnic unity collapsed.— Turbo Sculpture is an essay by Aleksandra Domanović about sculptures of pop culture heroes, e.g. Bruce Lee, Rocky Balboa and Bob Marley, which have been placed or proposed in the nation-states that once comprised Yugoslavia. You can also watch a photo-illustrated reading of the essay voiced by a dead-pan British man. [via We Find Wildness]
"Robert Montgomery works in a poetic and melancholic post-situationist tradition. He makes billboard pieces, recycled sunlight pieces and drawings." This one's my favorite but I like others too. Here are a few more examples: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
"I'm proud of being recognized as an artist, but I really want to be known as someone with a special talent for the whip." Simon Tookoome, who passed away last year, was justly celebrated as an artist in his lifetime. You can view 39 of his pieces in The Canadian Art Database (including my favorite of his, the sculpture Shaman Wolf). But whipping was closer to his heart, and in his prime may have been the world's greatest whipper. Sadly, I could find no video of him from before 2000 on the internet, but here he is at 72. You can read a description of him at his peak in this condescending Time article about the 1972 Arctic Winter Games. And you can watch a few more Simon Tookoome videos here.
Alasdair Gray is best known as a novelist but his illustrations of his own books have long fascinated and delighted. Here you can see hundreds of artworks by Alasdair Gray, including some book illustrations, from 1950 through 2009. Here are a few of his works that I like: unfinished Scottish Society of Playwrights poster, Nina Watching the Simpsons, Erics Watching Television, Ice Age and Babylonian Science, theatre poster for A Clockwork Orange and the Scots Hippo series. Also on the website there are a lot of articles about and by Alasdair Gray reposted from various publications. And finally, here's a podcast of a talk Alasdair Gray gave called The First Pictures I Enjoyed.
The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam invites you to compare Caravaggio and Rembrandt. For an overview of Rembrandt's work here are Rembrandt van Rijn: Life and Work and A Web Catalogue of Rembrandt Paintings. For Caravaggio there's caravaggio.com which makes use of the Italian website Tutta l'opera del Caravaggio.
The Temple Gallery in London has more than 200 items of Eastern Orthodox religious art, principally icons, on its website, both from the current exhibit as well as older pieces. Icons have been a part of Orthodox Christianity for centuries and they are loaded with meaning. The theology is elaborated upon in this essay on the history, principles and function of icons by iconographer Dr. George Kordis. One of the subjects of the essay is the Byzantine iconoclasm, a central event of which was the Seventh Ecumenical Council, depicted here in an icon. Here are some other icons I like: The Forty Martyrs of Sebasteia, St. Alypius the Stylite, Synaxis of the Archangels, Dormition of the Virgin and Presentation of Christ in the Temple. [Click on any image for a larger view]
Seattle-based German artist Trimpin makes sculptural musical instruments. He was profiled in a mini-documentary by Washington public TV station KBTC a couple of years ago. Here are videos of some other works of art he's created, Fire Organ, Liquid Percussion, Cello, Sensors and Record Players, Contraption at Seattle-Tacoma Airport, MIDI-controlled Player Piano and Sheng High. Kyle Gann wrote an essay by that placed Trimpin in the tradition of John Cage, Harry Partch and other avant-garde American musical inventors. The audio of a nearly hour and a half long 1990 interview with Trimpin by Charles Amirkhanian can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Another, more light-hearted interview in connection to his show at this year's SXSW, where a documentary about him premiered (trailer).
The Wriston Art Center Galleries Digital Collection at Lawrence University has over 1500 images of various artworks, focusing especially on prints & printmaking and ancient coins. All can be viewed in extremely high resolution (click "export image" above the artwork). Here are a few I particularly like: Beginning of Winter (Japanese woodcut), Rising Sun (Paul Klee painting), From Distant Lands (watercolor), Three Kings (Jacques Villon engraving), Untitled I (netting) and Noble Lady and Prince (Japanese woodcut).
The Essence of Line is a collection of over 900 drawings by French artists "from Ingres to Degas" by the Baltimore Museum of Art. I'd link to some highlights but the site did such a stellar job of it that I'll just direct you there. They also have some sketchbooks. Note that some of the drawings have short essays about them. As a related link, here is the famous Demonographia, with drawings of demons by Louis Breton and descriptions by Collin de Plancy.
Artists' Books Online is a collection by the University of Virginia of artists' books. Artists' books are works of art that take the form of books and are often both text and visual art. Either way, they're awful interesting to look at. Here are some artbooks to get you started: How to Humiliate Your Peeping Tom by Susan Baker, The Word Made Flesh by Johanna Drucker, Life in a Book by Francois Deschamps, A.A.A.R.P. by Clifton Kirkpatrick Meador, opuntia is just another name for a prickly pear by Todd Walker and Black Dog White Bark by Erica Van Horn
ArtMagick is a collection of art and poetry that roughly dates from after the Enlightenment but before Modernism. While the poetry section is extensive the main draw is the sites extensive art collection, which can be browsed by artist, art movement, title, theme or albums created by the site's users. So, forget the summer heat with some chilly pictures of winter, check out famous objects of devotion or search the archive.
English newspaper Mail on Sunday claims to have uncovered the identity of artist Banksy claiming his name is Robin Gunningham: "People who know Gunningham are now unable to say what has become of him. His father Peter, who lives in Kingsdown, Bristol, denied that the man in the photograph was his son, and his mother Pamela was surprised by the picture, then denied she even had a son, let alone one called Robin." More information in a report from CBC. If you don't know who Banksy is visit a Flickr pool with over 7000 pictures of his work in situ or check out previous MetaFilter posts about Banksy.
The website of artist Suzanne Treister holds many treasures, such as watercolors based on NATO's item codification system, reimaginings of the front pages of various newspapers as alchemical drawings, invented Amiga videogame stills and, my favorite, the huge images from Hexen2039 - new military-occult technologies for psychological warfare. She's also the director of the International Corporation of Lost Structures and the Institute of Militronics and Advanced Time Interventionality, an organization committed to time travel based research since 2005. Rumor has it that Treister and IMATI star researcher Rosalind Brodsky are one and the same person. The Rosalind Brodsky page has a ton of stuff on it. Here's a small sample: Time Travel Equipment Designs, Brodsky's Delusional Watercolours, Biography of Rosalind Brodsky and Time Traveling Costumes.
net.art generator [via William Gibson] The art is created through a Google image search and some automatic image manipulation. For examples, go here.
Irving Sandler Artists File and The Curated Artists Registry are searchable databases of lesser known, contemporary artists. You can search by name, keyword, media, style/genre and location. [via The Economist's Art.View]
3 young Baltimore figurative painters Lillian Bayley (toyworld alienation) Rachel Bone (a saner, calmer Darger) Alyssa Dennis (bleak figures in a bleak world) [via New American Paintings]