John Clapp
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Contemporary Artists

Historical Artists (to be finished soon)

Lucien Freud
With Odd and Dorothea, I feel these three are the three best living painters. Tremendous range within a limited palette. Nobody gets more color out of greys.

Honóre Daumier
(French-19th Century)
An extraordinary draftsman. One of the all-time greatest. The King of Gesture.

Odd Nerdrum
Old world skills. If you don't know who he is, you should buy the book available on his work. (the expensive one) It could teach someone how to paint.

Tom Otterness
A sculptor whose work is a joy to see. I stumbled upon him at the John Bergrueen Gallery in San Francisco and have never forgotten the work. Very funny man.

Dorothea Tanning
Fantastic painter and colorist. Really knows how to make marks. Why she isn't more famous is beyond me.

Joel Peter-Witkin
The real deal. Whenever someone brings up Mapplethorpe I like to show them Witkin or Mary Ellen Marks. Shocking, but a quality artist.

Andrew Wyeth
A very good artist who gets a bum rap from the establishment because he happens to be popular with mainstream America. History will vindicate him. A very aggressive, honest artist. That is the highest of praise in my mind.

Edgar Degas
(French-19th/20th Century)
The best "Impressionist" in my opinion.  He could draw circles around all the others.  The only one who comes close is Monet.  Degas was a master of composition, and a great draftsman.  One of the other things I've always liked about him was his immediacy.  He was a very aggressive artist.

Frank Duveneck

(American-19th/20th Century)
A very talented "virtuoso" painter.   His best work is worthy of Sargent, who was a contemporary of his, but overall, he wasn't as prolific.  He's been virtually ignored by art historians.

Alberto Giacometti
(Swiss-20th Century)
Giacometti's fame is the result of his sculptures, but personally, I've always been fascinated by his paintings and drawings.   If you haven't seen them, you should look for them.  They're fascinating to look at.  (He would draw or paint the same marks repetitively, one on top of the other.  The end result being essentially forty of so drawings superimposed on top of one another)

Child Hassam
(American-19th/20th Century)
An "American Impressionist", (I hate that term) Hassam is simply a great American painter.  Beautiful color, incredible control of values within his paintings, and he drew better than any of the French Impressionists, with perhaps the exception of Degas.  Really strong artist overall.

Edward Hopper
(American-20th Century)
One of the best American painters this century.  Couldn't draw worth a damn, but he more than made up for it with his compositional and color skills.  I think of him as being the "heir" of Degas--you can see the influence in his work.  Extraordinary at manipulating the viewer's eye.

Michelangelo
(Italian-15th/16th Century)
Probably the most ambitious artist ever.  Reading his biography, I'm always amazed by his apparent strength of will.   Breathtaking. 

Alphonse Mucha
(Czech-19th/20th Century)
He could do it all, exquisite draftsman, maybe the best this century, very skilled painter, designer, and everything else.  Pretty much ignored by art historians, I think he's one of the most skilled artists of this century, though he is admittedly nowhere near as significant as many others.

Giovanni Piranesi

Pontormo

Rembrandt

Auguste Rodin

John Singer Sargent


Joseph Cornell