Agnes Tait – Skating in Central Park (1934)

A year ago I was sharing with you Hendrick Avercamp’s Winter Landscape with Ice Skaters, an early-17th century outdoors scene depicting the dwellers of a Dutch community having fun and making the most of the cold weather. This year, however, we’re going to 20th century New York. American painter Agnes Tait would probably be completely…

Alice Neel – The Spanish Family (1943)

“Every person is a new universe unique with its own laws emphasizing some belief or phase of life immersed in time and rapidly passing by,” American artist Alice Neel said in her autobiography. Looking at her career spanning over six decades and consisting of hundreds of portraits of people from all walks of life –…

Edward Hopper – New York Movie (1939)

“In these days of wars and rumors of wars – haven’t you ever dreamed of a place where there was peace and security, where living was not a struggle but a lasting delight?” This is the question that starts off Frank Capra’s 1937 movie, Lost Horizon. “Of course you have. So has every man since…

Joan Semmel – Intimacy/Autonomy (1974)

If to empathize means to put yourself in someone else’s place, then Joan Semmel’s self-portraits offer us an exercise in empathy. Four decades before selfies became a thing, this American artist was resorting to photography to document her body and sexuality, an approach that offered her a unique vantage point, further explored through painting. One…

William Kurelek – The Maze (1953)

What’s it like inside the mind of a depressed person? You might expect nothing. Flatness. Hollowness. The most hopeless numbness. If that’s the case, buckle up! William Kurelek is going to take us for a ride. This Canadian artist was 26 years old when he painted The Maze, a fascinating, multilayered journey through one man’s…

David Ligare – Man with Crow (2015)

If you ever dreamt of being a Greek hero/ine and sail the seas like Odysseus, overcome impossible tasks like Hercules or be a skilled, renowned warrior like Atalanta, then David Ligare’s paintings will go straight to your heart. With his love for Classicism, this contemporary American artist is bringing Ancient Greece back to life in…