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 […]

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Lucas Cranach the Elder – The Ill-matched Couple: Young Man and Old Woman (1520 – 1522)

As Martin Luther’s darling, German artist Lucas Cranach the Elder tried to convey the ideals of the Reformation into art, often drawing inspiration from religion and mythology. One popular theme during that time was the grotesque marriage – an alliance based on money, in which there is a huge age difference. Cranach completed a whole […]

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Gabriele Münter – Boating (1910)

Ahh, the quintessential love story: Girl meets boy. Boy is married to his cousin. Girl wants boy to divorce and marry her. Boy doesn’t. Wait, wait, wait. Let’s rewind. Gabriele Münter met Wassily Kandinsky in 1902. Back then, she was this driven 25 year old art student, financially independent, having just inherited a large amount […]

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Francis Picabia – Idyll (1927)

A playboy that loved women, luxury and fast cars, French artist Francis Picabia was as non-committal in his art as in his personal life. Although he is best known as one of the leading figures of the Dada movement, he was not afraid to experiment or take himself and his art too seriously. Idyll is […]

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