Author's Forum Archives

October 22, 2016

Taken one painting at a time, as I had known his work prior to this summer, the artist Robert Hamilton’s work is if not playful then dark, peopled with eclectic, mythical characters floating in a liquid, dreamy depth of color, graphic, and shape. Surfaces appear haphazard and casual, and paint is applied with an ease bordering on recklessness.

When seen as a whole, however, over time, as I had the opportunity to experience at Studio 53 Gallery in Mid-Coast Maine this past July, an entirely different sophistication emerged, one imbued with clarity, cogency, and a perseverance to be more
July 08, 2016

Cade Tompkins, of Cade Tompkins Projects (Providence, Rhode Island), who represents the Estate of Thomas Sgouros, knew the artist from 1998 until his death in 2012. On one of our visits to the ISB Gallery at RISD to see the recent Sgouros exhibit, we spoke to her about Sgouros, who she visited frequently in his studio in the last years of his life.

PHILLIPS:  You mentioned that after Sgouros’s vision was affected by macular degeneration, he paused before resetting his career, so to speak. It was a dark time for him, out of which came his Remembered Landscapes. Did more
April 16, 2016

Degas was a copious letter writer. Here we look at his correspondence through the lens of his struggle with vision loss, and couple this chronology with examples of the paintings and drawings he produced at each stage of his vision deteriorating.

(with quotes excerpted from Edgar Germain Hilaire Degas Letters, edited by Marcel Guerin)

1870: At the age of 36, Edgar Degas (1834–1917) realizes that the vision in his right eye is severely impaired when he closes his left one during rifle practice in the Franco-Prussian War and more
November 25, 2015

Nearly all of the artists we have encountered in our research have suffered vision loss due to macular degeneration only late in their careers. The many challenges they face in trying to paint with partial or complete vision loss come after many decades of robust painting with optimal vision. Degas had already begun to experience failing vision due to early onset macular degeneration by his late thirties, when he painted several pathos-filled portraits of his cousin, Estelle Musson, who suffered from the same disease. At the time he was painting her, he wrote with uncharacteristic emotion more
October 18, 2015

"Detachment is all about light. When you see something, you're only able to see it because there's light, right? So that's one of the things you're painting with. Light. Some people call it nature, but it's really light. And light is a blessing for everything it touches, really. So I try very consciously to paint the way something looks in that light."

"When I went to Cranbrook and I first started painting, I painted a portrait. I looked at it and I said, you know, there was something that I had never seen before in my work, and it came from the model. So I glommed onto that, and more