Thursday, April 29, 2010

Patsy Degener (1924-2010)

Last month Patsy Degener passed away.
When I first came to St. Louis she was introduced to me as a remarkable person, a great artist and a fierce art critic. Indeed I was very happy to have met a real artist, passionate with her work, opinionated about art, outspoken and with an impeccable taste. I was very much impressed by her ceramics that are a hybrid of sculpture and painting dealing with art historical, mythological and architectural subjects.
She started out to be a painter, but chose ceramics when she lived in the Riverdale section of the Bronx early in her marriage.
''After my second child was born,” she told a reporter, “I decided that I was becoming a vegetable. I was trained to paint and I tried to paint, but that was entirely too intellectual with babies around, so I took up ceramics.''
She moved with her family to St. Louis in the '50s and lived here since. Patsy had a rich and productive life and left us her art and her impact in the St. Louis art scene. She was a member of the faculty of People's Art Center, a progressive inner-city program founded by the WPA in 1942. It was the first racially integrated arts program in the city.
She also was responsible for running MECA, the Metropolitan Educational Center for the Arts, a federally funded arts program.
She taught art in the St. Louis public schools, too, in the famous program initiated and run by the late Dr. Marie Larkin.
She influenced and formed the art scene of St. Louis as a founding member of Craft Alliance Gallery and the First Street Forum now the Contemporary Art Museum of St. Louis and from 1980 till 1990 as an art critic for the St. Louis-Post Dispatch.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Franco Ionda

Mistake 3 by Franco Ionda

Mixed Media and Acrylic on paper

23.6 x 31.5 in. / 60 x 80 cm.

Franco lives and works in Florence, Italy.
He has been collaborating for almost 20 years with Centro per l’ arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci di Prato and with numerous international museums. He started showing his work first in Belgium in 1986 and since his work has been exposed in Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and USA. He studied painting at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence.
More about Franco at

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


"First",mixed media on paper by Lauren Bakoian. Lauren lives and works in NY

She says about her work: "First is 12 x 20 inches, white gouache, ink and black gesso on paper. I begin by making a grid on the paper and I have a general idea about how to divide the space. The process brings about change. The image emerges, and synthesis happens between idea and process. Many of the works are based on Armenian miniatures in their structure. First is the first piece in this body of work. Like First, many of the works are set up like two pages in a book.The gouache is from the paint maker Robert Doak at It is actually a white watercolor. His colors are beautiful and on a whim I bought white. The gesso is Golden and the paper I think is Rives BFK, but it was a couple of years ago. Oh, the date on the work is 2006."

Hot House

"Hot House", painting by Barbara Holtz who lives and works in St. Louis, MO

Barbara says about her painting: "Hot House is the result of several arrangements and palettes. Once I felt there was some depth I began the process of spacial arrangement and then the addition of sharp accents to give the plane some punch. I was also involved in making a variety of markings. Going over and over the negative spaces with a range of reds created a surface I hoped would make the painting bristle. At first of course I thought of Matisse. However, I wanted to move to my own rhythm. If the painting had not been framed I would probably keep dabbing at it. In the end, I did decide to include the Matisse cat in homage to him."

More about Barbara at

Small Talk Interlude

Small Talk Interlude, Collage by Pam Anderson who lives and works in Richmond, VA.
Pencil, thread, gesso, charcoal, paper napkin

Pam says about her art: "I am interested in the space between sentiment and pure formalism. I find a pleasing coupling is struck between the external world collage evokes and the more meditative and internal rhythms of drawing and sewing. Emptiness matters, and if clutter or crowding occurs, it is deliberate. Everything here is deliberate, usually surgical in its precision. Precious is an essential adjective in describing this work (I'm holding on, the work is holding on). I'm a collector of minutes and hours, even days, but also of the petty thesaurus scrap that would otherwise end up on the floor. I'm an arranger, an organizer of mostly flat space, though sometimes I tease with an illusion. My pieces are meant to be read, not just seen. They are syntactical and intimate. The work likes being caught between divisions, pairing opposites: keeping together/falling apart; past/present; top/bottom: fast/slow; written/imaged; actual/simulated; present/absent. Sometimes it is hard to tell which is which. In the last couple of years I have experienced death often and profoundly, losing people I cared about far too soon. If people are not yet dead, they are sick. Waiting. Underneath everything is this. Art, this art, is a way to make sense of the senseless. "

More about Pam at

Monday, April 19, 2010


"Scouting", a print by Julie Heller, collagiste extraordinaire.
Julie lives and works in St.Louis as a graphic designer. She uses printed images from old publications and stamps in the most unpredictable way, composing portraits of perfect strangers.
More about Julie at

Passion or the Impossible Choice

Passion or the impossible choice by Romaine Fauchère

diptych 111cmx122cm

Rembrandt oil on canvas

She says about her painting:

"The research field is the exploration of different paths, daring and frustrating the «choice » to achieve at the extreme where the antagonists meet and are confronted.

To abandon, and finally to discover the intrusive and joyful fullness.

To give up to distinguish the detail in order to discover unexpected totality.

Passion rises from this renunciation.

The blue and the red that have been opposed over centuries of painting and optics, twinkle and palpitate on the same level."

Romaine is born in Sion, Switzerland, lives in Lausanne.

She studied painting, sculpture, scenography and design at the Academia delle Belle Arti in Firenze and at the Academia delle Belle Arti of Brera, Milan (Italy) where she graduated in 1989.

Later she trained in scientific drawing and she collaborated with several archaeology institutes.

Since 1990, Romaine has created more than thirty scenographies and costumes for operas, classic and contemporary theatre in Switzerland, Germany and France.

At the same time, Romaine keeps developing her activity as a painter and she exposes individually and collectively in Switzerland and Italy.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Daffodils signal the end of the winter.
Mixed media drawing on paper. I forget the dimensions. Not too small, not too big. Made in 2007 by Nancy Exarhu.