Tag Archives: paintings

A Closer Look: My Favorite Painting in North Carolina

There are a lot of paintings in North Carolina.  But of all the ones I’ve seen, my favorite is Berkeley No.8 by Richard Diebenkorn.  Part of the North Carolina Museum of Art’s permanent collection, this painting is an iconic example of Diebenkorn’s signature style, in which he used landscapes to inspire abstract compositions.  The subleties of color and delicate application of paint make this painting interesting and beautiful.  It always holds my gaze for a long while…

Berkeley No. 8 is hanging right now in the modern galleries of the North Carolina Museum of Art, so go see it soon!


image: NCMA

A Closer Look: Mickalene Thomas

I visited the North Carolina Museum of Art this week, and there was a great surprise in the contemporary galleries – a new large scale painting by Mickalene Thomas called The Three Graces. Painted this year, the piece measures an impressive 9 feet by 12 feet, and is made of thousands of rhinestones and acrylic paint.  And it’s absolutely beautiful!

The painting re-casts the Three Graces from Greek Mythology as African American Women dressed in 70’s clothing.  According to the artist’s website, she “introduces a complex vision of what it means to be a woman and expands common definitions of beauty.  Her work stems from her long study of art history and the classical genres of portraiture, landscape, and still life.”

Mickalene Thomas has gotten a lot of attention recently – a similar painting now hangs permanently in the window of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.  I  feel lucky to have one of her most significant paintings in the permanent collection of our local musuem.


image 1: mickalenethoms.com

image 2: artknowledgenews.com

image 3: lehmannmaupin.com

A Closer Look: 30 Americans

The North Carolina Museum of Art is a fantastic museum.  I’ve already written about the new wing and what a perfect place it is for art.  But through September, you’ll find some of the best surprises in the old wing, as part of the show 30 Americans.  The 75 works in this show were pulled from the Rubell Family Collection in Miami, and represent a sampling of some of the best American Art from the past 4 decades.  All of the artists in the show are African American, and their work often addresses issues of identity and race.  There are so many beautiful and interesting pieces, that it’s hard to choose favorites – but I’ll try:  Highlights for me included the following works by Wangechi Mutu, Kerry James Marshall, Shinique Smith, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

(above: Wangechi Mutu, Non Je Ne Regrette Rien)

(above: Kerry James Marshall, Souvenir: Composition in Three Parts)

 (above: Shinique Smith, A Bull, A Rose, A Tempest

 (above: Jean Michel-Basquiat, Untitled Self Portrait)

I hope you’ll head to the NCMA to see this show – it’s definitely worth the trip.  30 Americans runs through September 4th – more info at http://www.ncartmuseum.org/


images: Rubell Family Collection

A Closer Look: Modern Art in Traditional Spaces

Opposites attract.  Believe it or not, this can also be true when choosing art for your home.  Modern art can look fantastic in a traditional home.  The key is to carefully place the artwork, making the juxtaposition of styles look intentional and well-considered.   Here are some excellent examples to inspire you:

1. A painting by Joseph Albers hangs above the mantle in a dining room.  I love the pop of color.  Albers was a famous colorist and once taught at North Carolina’s Black Mountain College.

2. A painting by Joan Mitchell, one of my favorite artists, hangs above the couch in a room designed by Peter Marino. 

3.  In this example, a painting by Fernand Leger hangs in a traditional room.

4. Here’s a great example, which was taken from the set of the movie Meet Joe Black – a beautiful Marc Rothko painiting hangs on a paneled wall.  Somehow, it works beautifully!


5. And finally, a cozy scene from a house with a giant canvas on the wall (by Egon Schiele?).

Where can you see modern art in your home?


image 1: Apartment Therapy

image 2, 3: Architectural Digest

image 4: Sweet Sunday Mornings

image 5: Traditional Home

Award Winning Interior Design | Raleigh, NC