Recently I learned of a real world artist whose work, and approach to making art appealed to me. Reading about Hedda Sterne, and finding fair use images of her art inspired me to bring some pieces into Second Life, to view them on the walls of a small skybox that is now functioning as a gallery.
Around the same time, my friend Klaus came across the work of William H. Johnson whose art he appreciates. He brought some pieces inworld into what I’m now calling Rosewood Way Station Gallery. We’d like to share the exhibit with other virtual residents.
In the real world, Hedda Sterne’s art would not be displayed so close together, and William Johnson’s woodcuts would be shown much smaller. There is an informational notecard in the exhibit poster.
The pieces selected from Sterne’s body of work span decades, and differs from many of her contemporaries in its avoidance of a signature style. I also like that she considered herself a “pointer” in that her art was not self-expression, but pointing at something.
She was a member of “The Irascible 18”, a label given to a group of abstract artists who rejected the exhibit, and boycotted the competition, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s American Painting Today – 1950. She posed with a group of the artists for an iconic photo in Life Magazine. Many of them didn’t want her included because she was a woman.
She outlived them all. More information can be found here.
William Johnson’s wonderful art was almost destroyed in 1956; over a thousand works were eventually transferred to The Smithsonian American Art Museum. He led a fascinating, but tragic life.
Widely traveled, he returned to the US when war threatened Europe. He’d become fascinated with “folk art” style, and depicted African American life. Today he’s considered to be one of the most important artists of his generation. More information can be found here.