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Famous Art Museums: Albright-Knox Art Gallery

Posted by Susan Benford


frida kahlo self portrait monkeyThe Albright-Knox Art Gallery is one of those rare art museums with an art collection that belies its size and location.  It's one of those regional art museums, like the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and Frick Collectionthat invariably delights. 

Frida Kahlo, Self-Portrait with Monkey. Oil on canvas, 1938.  16" by 12".

It turns out that this opinion is shared with esteemed company (which I discovered after my visit!). Thomas Hoving, past president of the Metropolitan Museum, said:

"The Albright-Knox Art Gallery should be on everyone’s list to see, for it’s an overwhelming art experience. Small, intimate, and seductive, the museum has one of the most thumping modern and contemporary collections in the world."

This art museum is especially strong in post-war American and European paintings. In no particular order, here are some of the works of art currently displayed:

Self-Portrait with a Monkey, Frida Kahlo

  • One of the most widely recognized Frida Kahlo paintings, Self-Portrait with a Monkey (above) is diminutive at 16" by 12".   Nonetheless, Kahlo conveys intense confidence and power while simultaneously applying paint in a dainty manner. The detail - in the veins of the various leaves behind her, in the monkey's fur, in the hair on her upper lip - is exacting and even somewhat shocking.  

Explore more Frida Kahlo paintings here.

The Liver is the Cock's Comb, Arshile Gorky
  • Gorky TheLiverIsTheCocksComb 260 1 resized 600One of the first American Abstract Expressionists, the Armenian-born Arshile Gorky (1904-1908) was, by 1944, painting in a style that synthesized Cubism, automatism, and Surrealism.  

The Liver is the Cock's Comb - arguably his best known painting - is a blend of biomorphic and sexually suggestive shapes painted frenetically but with exacting precision.  Gorky uses thin black lines to delineate form, as if carving and defining known shapes.

Arshile Gorky, The Liver is the Cock's Comb. Oil on canvas, 1944. 73 1/4" by 98".

  • soutine carcass of beefCarcass of Beef, Chaime Soutine

The Russian painter Chaim Soutine (1893-1943) flaunts his prowess as a master of color in Carcass of Beef (right). His brushstrokes, as in Little Pastry Cook, are explosive and lush with paint.

Chaim Soutine, Carcass of Beef.  Oil on canvas, ca. 1925.  

The carcass, which nearly overwhelms the picture plane, is an alive, pulsating and menacing personality.  

beckmann hotel lobby resized 600

  • Hotel Lobby, Max Beckmann

    Hotel Lobby is equally foreboding.  Knowing that Beckmann's art was informed by the cruelty and suffering of World War II, it's hard to read this Beckmann painting as just a crowded hotel lobby.

Max Beckmann, Hotel Lobby.  Oil on canvas, 1950.  56" by 35".  Albright-Knox Art Gallery, NY.

The man with his back to the viewer (center foreground) might be eating at the table glimpsed over his left ear, but he might also be blocking the crowd from exiting.  The ambiguity is unsettling (and pure Beckmann). 


Explore more Max Beckmann paintings. 

Read about more famous artwork at the Albright-Knox!

 

Tags: famous paintings, art museums, Albright-Knox

More Famous Artwork at Albright-Knox

Posted by Susan Benford

It's always disappointing when you're expecting to see famous artwork but it's on loan; during my trip to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Spirit of the Dead Watching, one of Gauguin's most famous paintings, was at the Tate.

Bonheur-Horse-Fair-Albright-KnoxBut there were compensating surprises, one of which was Study for Horse Fair by Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899).

Marie-Rosalie (Rosa) Bonheur, Study for Horse Fair.  Oil on canvas, ca. 1862.  10 1/2" by 25".

This miniscule work (above) is the only known study for Bonheur's monumental masterpiece, The Horse Fair, measuring nearly 8 feet by 17 feet (below). How remarkable that Bonheur extrapolated this commanding, famous artwork from such a diminutive start!  

bonheur horse fair 

Marie-Rosalie (Rosa) Bonheur, The Horse Fair.  Oil on canvas, 1853-1855.  8' 1/4" by 16' 7 1/2".  Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 

It was only in the final Horse Fair that she inserted what is believed to be her self-portrait, the center rider wearing a worker's smock and cap.  Unlike many female artists in her era, Bonheur was acclaimed during her lifetime, becoming the first woman to win the Cross of the French Legion of Honor.  In presenting this award, Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III, announced, "Genius has no sex."

kirchner portrait of womanLike many art history fans, I silently play "name that painter" in any roomful of paintings.  I was clueless with Portrait of a Woman (left) by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938).

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.  Portrait of a Woman, 1911.  Oil on canvas, 46 3/8" by 34 5/8".

As one of the founders of Die Brucke (The Bridge), a group of painters who laid the foundation for German Expressionism, Kircher was enamored with van Gogh, Matisse, and Edvard Munch - and thus his use of Fauvist color.

The last surprise was Robert Motherwell's Elegy to the Spanish Republic No. 34, one of more than 100 Motherwell paintings about the Spanish Civil War (1936 to 1939) that left Franco in power. Although Motherwell claimed the Elegy series wasn't political, he described these well known paintings as "private insistence that a terrible death happened should not be forgot." 

The black ovoids and verticals nearly obliterate the white lines and background colors, those of the Spanish flag.  Although dark colors generally recede, Motherwell's black doesn't - it seemingly protrudes from the canvas and overpowers the white. Motherwell's insistence aside, I'm certain that the Elegy paintings were his personal commentary about Franco's control of Spain.

motherwell elegy to spanish republic 34

Robert Motherwell, Elegy to the Spanish Republic No. 34.  Oil on canvas, 1953-54.  80" by 100". 

That's it for visits to art museums! The Albright Knox Art Gallery is one hour from Rochester, and is well worth a drive. 

Tags: famous paintings, art museums, Albright-Knox

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Famous Painters Blogroll

Anguissola, Three Sisters Playing Chess and Phillip II of Spain

Beckmann, Blind Man's Buff

Beckmann, Departure; Self-Portrait in Tuxedo; Sinking of Titanic

Bingham, Fur Traders Descending the Missouri

BonheurPlowing in the Nivernais

Bonheur, The Horse Fair

Bosch, Garden of Earthly Delights

Botticelli, Primavera

Caillebotte, Gustave, The Floor Scrapers; The House Painters; Pont de l'Europe; Paris Street, Rainy Day; Fruit Displayed on a Stand

Caravaggio, Fashion and Art History

CaravaggioConversion of St. Paul

Caravaggio, Young, Sick Bacchus and Basket of Fruit

Caravaggio, Cardsharps and Fortune Teller

Caravaggio, St. Francis of Assisi in Ecstasy

Caravaggio, Taking of Christ (Kiss of Judas)

Caravaggio Paintings at the Villa Borghese

Cave Paintings

Cezanne, Bathers 

Cezanne, Card Players

Cezanne, Madame Cezanne Paintings

Cezanne, Most Famous Paintings

Cezanne, Red Dress series

Copley, Paul Revere

David, Death of Marat 

David, Death of Socrates

David, Napoleon Crossing the Alps

de Kooning, Retrospective at MoMA (Part I)

de Kooning,Excavation and Painting, 1948 

de KooningWoman I

Degas, The Bellilli Family, The Dance Class, In a Cafe (Absinthe Drinker)

Delacroix, Liberty Leading the People  

Diebenkorn, The Ocean Park Series

Duncanson, Robert Seldon.  Art History Welcomes Duncanson 

Durer, The Four Apostles

El Greco, Burial of Count Orgaz

El Greco, View of Toledo

FontanaPortrait of a Noblewoman

Frankenthaler, Color Field Painting and Mountains and Sea

Gainsborough, The Blue Boy

Gentileschi, Artemisia.  Judith Beheading Holofernes

Gentileschi, Artemisia.  Self-Portrait as an Allegory of Painting 

Ghent Altarpiece.  

GiorgioneThree Philosophers 

Goya, Duchess of Alba

Goya, Family of Charles IV

Goya, Self-Portrait with Dr. Arrieta

Goya, The Third of May 1808 

Goya, Duchess of Alba; Saturn Devouring his Son; Two Old Men; Half-Submerged Dog; Black Paintings

Grunewald, Isenheim Altarpiece

Hals, Banquet of the Officers of the St. George Civic Guard

Hals, The Laughing Cavalier

Hals, Regents of St. Elizabeth's Hospital

Hopper, Nighthawks

Ingres, Grande Odalisque and Portrait of Madame Moissetier

Ingres, Oedipus and the Sphinx

Isenheim Altarpiece

Kahlo, Renowned Frida Kahlo Paintings.  

Angelica Kauffmann.  Self-Portrait Torn Between Music and Painting and David Garrick.  

Klimt, The Kiss and Adele Bloch-Bauer

Lawrence, Great Migration Series

Leonardo, Lady with an Ermine

Leonardo, Painter at the Court of Milan, National Gallery, London 

Leonardo, La Bella Principessa 

Leonardo, New Mona Lisa

Leonardo, Benois Madonna and Madonna Litta 

Leonardo, Savior of the World(Salvator Mundi) 

Leonardo, The Virgin and Child with St. Anne

Leyster, Famous Female Painters

20 Louvre Paintings not to Miss 

ManetA Bar at the Folies-Bergere

Manet, Luncheon in the Studio

Manet, The Old Musician

Manet, Street Singer

MantegnaDead Christ

Matisse Paintings, In Search of True Painting

Matisse, The DanceThe Music

Matisse, The Cone Collection

Matisse, The Red Studio

Matisse, The Yellow Dress

Michelangelo, Crucifixion with the Madonna

Michelangelo, Famous Paintings

Michelangelo, La Pieta with Two Angels (latest attribution?)

Michelangelo, St. John the Baptist Bearing Witness

Modersohn-Becker, Famous Female Painters

Monet, Impression, Sunrise

Monet, Nymphaes, Le Pont de l'Europe

Monet Paintings at the Marmottan Monet Museum

Monet, Waterlilies

Morisot, Famous Paintings

MorisotMore Famous Paintings

Munch, The Scream

O'Keeffe, Jack in the Pulpit

Peeters, Clara

Picasso, Girl Before a Mirror

Picasso, Nude, Green Leaves and Bust

Picasso, Portrait of Gertrude Stein

Picasso, Las Meninas

Piero della Francesca, The Baptism of Christ

Pippin, Domino Players and Cabin in the Cotton

Poussin, Assumption of the Virgin

Raphael, Sistine Madonna

Rembrandt, Aristotle with a Bust of Homer 

Rembrandt, Night Watch

Rembrandt paintings at Frick Show

Rembrandt, Self-Portrait at an Early AgeJeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem, The Jewish Bride

Rembrandt, The Syndics of the Amsterdam Drapers' Guild

Rubens, Venus and Adonis

Sanchez Cotan, Spanish Still-life

Sargent, El Jaleo

Sargent, Madame X

Sargent, Smoke of Ambergris

Steen, The Christening Feast 

Steen paintings at Frick Show

Tanner, The Banjo Lesson and The Thankful Poor

Titian, Assumption of the Virgin

Titian, Bacchus and Ariadne

Titian, Man with a Glove

Titian, Nymph and Shepherd, Allegory of Prudence, Jacopa Strada, St. Jerome, Slaying of Marysas

Titian, Rape of Europa

Turner, J. M. W, The Fighting Temeraire

Uccello, Battle of San Romano

van der Weyden, St. Luke Drawing the Virgin

van Eyck, Arnolfini Portrait

van Eyck, Adoration of the Lamb

van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece

van Gogh, The Potato Eaters

van GoghMemory of Garden at Etten; Tatched Cottages; White House

van Gogh,  Portrait of Madam Trabuc; Morning: Going Out

van Gogh, Starry Night

van Gogh, Three Pairs of Shoes

Vincent van Gogh paintings up to 1889

Vincent van Gogh paintings, 1888-1890

Vigee-LeBrun, Marie Antoinette and Her Children, Self Portrait, Self-Portrait with Julie

Velazquez, Juan de Pareja

Velazquez, Pope Innocent X

Velazquez, Overview of Famous Paintings

Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring

Vermeer, Saint Praxedis

Vermeer, The Kitchen Maid

Vermeer, The Allegory of Painting

VermeerGirl with the Red Hat

Vigee-LeBrun, Marie Antoinette and Her ChildrenSelf PortraitSelf-Portrait with Julie

Warhol, Campbell's Soup Cans

Warhol, Marilyn Diptych and Gold Marilyn 

Warhol, Mao 

Whistler, Whistler's Mother

Anders Zorn

Famous Paintings by Art Museums

Learn about famous paintings to see in these art museums:

Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo, NY). One of those intimate, small art museums with a stellar collectionExplore famous paintings at the Albright-Knox. 

Art Institute of Chicago: Plan to see these famous paintings at the Art Institute -- and download an ebook about them.

Louvre Museum, (Paris): one of the largest art museums in the world! Know which Louvre paintings not to miss in this sortable ebook. 

Mauritshuis Museum: explore works by renowned Dutch painters

Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City): download the ebook, Famous-Paintings-Metropolitan-Museum, to learn its must-see masterpieces. Or read the blog post, "Famous Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum". 

National Gallery (London): with 2300 famous paintings alone in its European painting section, discover highlights to see!  Art Paintings to See at the National Gallery.

Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam): 10 famous paintings not to miss

Washington, D.C. Art Museums: Explore forty famous paintings in Washington, DC in this article.

Whitney Museum of American Art.  Don't miss these 10 famous paintings at the Whitney.

Most Popular Posts

Michelangelo PaintingsThe Torment of Saint Anthony; The Manchester Madonna;Holy Family (Doni Tondo); and Entombment

Cave Paintings: explore this prehistoric art in Spain and France.

Picasso's Las Meninas: 58 Picasso paintings inspired by Velazquez's Las Meninas

Ghent Altarpiece: the van Eyck masterpiece, one of the most famous artworks ever made. 

10 Famous Paintings at the Prado. Don't miss a one of these.

Survey of Renaissance Paintings: want to know what Renaissance paintings were all about? Start with 20 of its most famous painters in this sweeping survey! 

Discover more of readers' favorite art history blog posts. 

Female Artists

While we long for the time when artists are artists and genderless, that time isn't yet here.

These are a few of the female artists who've left lasting legacies in the history of painting:

Sofonisba AnguissolaThree Sisters Playing ChessPhillip II of Spain

Rosa Bonheur.  Plowing in the Nivernais.  Horse Fair.

Lavinia Fontana. Portrait of a Noblewoman.

Helen Frankenthaler. Color Field Painting and Mountains and Sea. 

Artemisia Gentileschi.  Judith Beheading Holofernes.  Self-Portrait as an Allegory of Painting.

Frida Kahlo.  Frida and Diego Rivera.  The Two Fridas.  The Love Embrace of the Universe. 

Angelica Kauffmann.  Self-Portrait Torn Between Music and Painting.  David Garrick.

Elisabeth Vigee-LeBrun.  Self-Portrait; Marie Antoinette and Her Children; Self-Portrait with Julie

Judith Leyster.  Self-Portrait.  The Proposition. 

Paula Modersohn-Becker. Self-Portrait with an Amber Necklace. Still Life with Goldfish. 

Berthe Morisot.  Refuge in Normandy.  The Cradle. 

Georgia O'Keeffe. Jack in the Pulpit Series. 

Survey of Female Artists

Art History Beyond Europe

A few forays into art outside Europe:

African Art and Bocio

African Mask of Idia

Coatlique 

Japanese Woodblock Prints: The Great Wave

The Terracotta Warriors