Art and Individuality

“What the superior man seeks is in himself; 

what the small man seeks is in others.”

― Confucius

Following World War II the relevance of individual identity in art has been disregarded. This blog intends to shed light on the continued expression of individuality by artists.

Karl Zerbe (1903 – 1972) 

[All modern artists have] “the desire to give to the object a functional beyond its naturalistic aspect to free it from its accidental surroundings, to develop and organize it within the frame of the picture into an emotional potential. In other words, the object is elevated to a symbol.” 

Karl Zerbe, Self Portrait with Clown, 1945. Encaustic, 19 1/2 x 15 1/4 inches.
Karl Zerbe, THE MASK OF HER FACE, 1948. Tempera on board, 20 x 25 3/4 inches.
Karl Zerbe, Cyprus II, 1955. Encaustic on board, 39 x 24 inches.


Balcomb Greene (1904 – 1990)


“I do not believe that art should be explicit,” …. It should be suggestive and ambiguous so that the viewer has to enter in.” 



Balcomb Greene, Gertrude III, 1958. Oil on canvas, 62 1/4 x 50 inches.
Balcomb Greene, Two figures,1970. Oil on canvas, 56 x 46 inches.



Balcomb Greene, Shadows and Sea, 1970. Oil on canvas, 61 x 55 inches.



Albert Kotin (1907 – 1980)


“As long as there are people such as Al Kotin, 

there is no danger to art.” – Alexander Calder



Albert Kotin, Untitled, 1950. Oil on canvas, 36 x 30 inches.
Albert Kotin, Untitled, 1954. Oil on canvas, 70 x 58 inches
Albert Kotin, Party IV, 1964. Oil on canvas, 36 x 30 inches.
Albert Kotin, Testigos, 1968,  Quadriptych. Oil on canvas, 104 x 63 inches.
Albert Kotin, Modesty… The Scientist, 1968, Oil on canvas, 39 3/4 x 48 inches.



Ezio Martinelli (1913-1980) 


“For myself I venerate all of that which I am forced to call , for the sake of clarity, the past, my own Western Heritage and the even older and brilliant past of the Far East and Near East and their multiple cultures. In this way I feel I pay homage to the Titan’s, both anonymous 

and known.”

Ezio Martinelli, Untitled (Abstraction), 1949. Oil on canvas, 71 x 39 inches. 
Ezio Martinelli, Untitled, 1950. Oil on canvas, 79 1/2 x 23 1/2 inches.
Ezio Martinelli, Grief, 1951. Oil on canvas, 60 x 25 inches.

Leon Golub (1922 – 2004) 

The ART news writer Amei Wallach once wrote:

“Golub was a righteous monster who reconciled painting with the unpalatable realities of his time.”

Leon Golub, The Orator IV, 1962. Oil on canvas, 37 x 30 3/4 inches

Robert Nathans (1955-2016) 


“I bring all my memories with me as I stand in front of my canvases. Here my intuition comes into play. It will sometimes take me months of working. Then, somewhere in this process of painting and observing. I would inextricably disappear. Unaware of body, time, and space when I become painting.”

Robert Nathans, The Distractive Character, 1986. Oil on wood and tree stumps, 36 x 14 inches.

Anki King (1970 – )   


“Emotions are the base of the work I make and I use paint and brushstrokes to express what I want to say, and the feeling I wish to convey. 


Painting to me is a collaborative process.

Oil paint is a live medium and if you do something with it, it does something back that you again can respond to; it is a communication. Every work I create contains figures or figurative elements. I always enjoyed the figure and I have a love relationship with it as form. It is also the most direct way I can convey my own experience and it is ultimately this experience I create out of.”

Anki King, Broken Mannequin, 2002. Oil on canvas, 39 x 36 inches.
Anki King, Fall, 2012. Oil on canvas, 54 x 74 inches.

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