Sunday, July 10, 2011

Max Ginsburg Retrospective

An exhibition of 60 paintings dating from 1956 to the present by New York illustrator and gallery painter Max Ginsburg will be on view at the Salmagundi Club in New York City from July 18 to August 5.

 There will be an opening reception July 21 between 5:00 and 8:00. A major book with 150 reproductions will be published in September. Above: Ginsburg's “Foreclosure,” 2011.


It’s interesting to compare Ginsburg’s painting “Foreclosure” with the 1892 composition “Evicted” by the Danish painter Erik Henningsen (1855-1930).

The Ginsburg retrospective will continue at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio, September 15th-November 11th, expanding to 80 paintings. Ginsburg will teach a workshop this fall at Garin Baker's Carriage House Art Studios.

Max Ginsburg's website 
Max Ginsburg Illustration 
Fine Art Connoisseur's current issue with article on Ginsburg
 Erik Henningsen on Wiki 

12 comments:

etc, etc said...

Ginsburg can paint well, but social awareness themes are just plain old hokey in the hands of modern realists. It just seems like a very misguided attempt to be important and serious.

Keith Patton said...

Ah, yes, because naked figures sitting there, doing nothing, and then often named after some Greek mythological story that has absolutely nothing to do with the painting is the epitome of great art! haha. I'm not trying to be confrontational, but I see a lot of this with contemporary realists, and it's boring. We need more painters like Ginsburg who will paint about human experiences actually happening today. Most of the greatest Old Master paintings were not simply pretty genre paintings of naked people, but were discussing events, stories, and themes that were important to the people of their time. Looking back, we see nice pretty figures and skilled technique; but to them, the technique was only a means to an end.

phiq said...

I have to agree with etc, etc there on the hokey quality of (a lot, but not all) modern realists. The top image is a prime example. I understand that the picture is about the hard financial times devastating families, but it is just stated so obviously and the figures look like posing models. There seems to be no subtly, no layers. So theatrical too. I can't empathise with them. The young woman in the top-right is the worst offender.

My Pen Name said...

I agree with Keith, - obviously there is a line between propaganda or advocacy, and personally i don't care for this Ginsburg painting, - nor the label 'social awareness' - human experiences can also be positive - or very ordinary but interesting - which is what Norman Rockwell did so well.

tobbA said...

I don't dislike it at all. I can agree that a lot of modern realism is superficial and quite boring. But I think this piece works quite well. Yes, it's theatrical, but it uses that to it's own advantage. It's supposed to communicate a chaotic situation, which is also enforced by the hapahazard objects in the background. It's not trying to make some kind of statement, just capture the feeling of such an event.

etc, etc said...

Ah, yes, because naked figures sitting there, doing nothing, and then often named after some Greek mythological story that has absolutely nothing to do with the painting is the epitome of great art!

Keith,
That's not at all what I'm asking of modern realists, although academy nudes are what they do best. I simply prefer Ginsburg's works that do not employ over-the-top theatricality. And not that I'm opposed to social awareness themes either, because the Henningsen is perfectly acceptable to me. The problem with most modern realists is that they are unaware or cannot accept that reality rarely subsumes good pictorial design.

Michael said...

I think those calling the painting hokey are missing the point. I think the artist painted them in such a way to mock their materialistic addiction. Their is so much materialistic addiction that those saying it's hokey are likely in a single word, brainwashed, over-consuming, corn fed, domesticated cows, like the people in the painting.

Michael said...

The most interesting thing about the two paintings is that in the older one the people have much less ridiculous crap to worry about.

My Pen Name said...

I think the artist painted them in such a way to mock their materialistic addiction
we're approaching "the Painted Word" here :)

Michael said...

I love Ginsburg! Thank you so much for sharing!

Rob Rey said...

Great Paintings and great to know about the exhibit!

Here is another great painting for comparison by Hans Brendekilde: http://www.hopegallery.com/php/detail.php?artwork=74

eager said...

The Ginsburg composition doesn't hold up. He is a very good painter, but IMO his life paintings and illustrations are better designed and more honest than his social realist works. Granted, multi-figure compositions like this one are the most difficult to execute. This one has no center of interest though, and the figures actually bounce the viewer's eye out of the picture frame. The showy poses have been mentioned already, but I'm also struggling to find the eye level in this picture. The family patriarch appears to be standing in a ditch...