Gregory Crewdson - From the series “Sanctuary”, 2009
Simon Alexandre-Clement Denis - Study of Clouds with a Sunset near Rome, date unknown. Oil on canvas
John Brett - The British Channel Seen from the Dorsetshire Cliffs, 1871. Oil on canvas
Claude Monet - Houses on the Achterzaan, 1871. Oil on canvas
From the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC:
This light-filled, en plein air scene is one of twenty-four landscapes that Monet painted during his sojourn in the Netherlands in 1871. Painted near the village of Zaandam, the Achterzaan river occupies the foreground of the painting while windmills and industrial buildings can be seen in the distant background. The water reflects the multi-colored houses and willow trees that line the river bank as well as a white sail boat that floats along the water. A woman dressed in a white diaphanous gown stands beneath a willow tree on the left, gazing by the water.
Employing a distinctly blonde color palette reminiscent of that used by landscape painter Corot, Monet renders this scene with attention to atmospheric detail and palpable light. This painting also evokes a sense of leisure and pastoral beauty typical of Dutch seventeenth century paintings that Monet would have seen during his stay in Holland. The artist’s color palette, portrayal of leisurely pursuits, and increasing attention to the surface of the canvas—all practices that Monet explored during his stay in Holland—were significant and influential in the development of his increasingly modern approach to painting.
Monet postdated this work, marking the canvas in his studio in the year after it was painted. The fact that Monet held on to the canvas for many years after he completed it contributes to the pristine condition of the unlined, unvarnished painting.
Richard Prince - Untitled (Cowboy), 1989. Chromogenic print
From the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC:
In the mid-1970s Prince was an aspiring painter who earned a living by clipping articles from magazines for staff writers at Time-Life Inc. What remained at the end of the day were the advertisements, featuring gleaming luxury goods and impossibly perfect models; both fascinated and repulsed by these ubiquitous images, the artist began rephotographing them, using a repertoire of strategies (such as blurring, cropping, and enlarging) to intensify their original artifice. In so doing, Prince undermined the seeming naturalness and inevitability of the images, revealing them as hallucinatory fictions of society’s desires.
"Untitled (Cowboy)" is a high point of the artist’s ongoing deconstruction of an American archetype as old as the first trailblazers and as timely as then-outgoing president Ronald Reagan. Prince’s picture is a copy (the photograph) of a copy (the advertisement) of a myth (the cowboy). Perpetually disappearing into the sunset, this lone ranger is also a convincing stand-in for the artist himself, endlessly chasing the meaning behind surfaces. Created in the fade-out of a decade devoted to materialism and illusion, "Untitled (Cowboy)" is, in the largest sense, a meditation on an entire culture’s continuing attraction to spectacle over lived experience.
Gregory Crewdson - Untitled (Shane), from the series ‘Beneath the Roses’, 2006. Digital carbon print
Jeff Wall - A Sudden Gust of Wind (after Hokusai), 1993. Silver dye bleach transparency; aluminium light box
When I was making A Sudden Gust of Wind I knew I wanted to show how the air could carry the papers. Hokusai had already solved some of these problems. If you analyse his composition, you realise that many of the little pieces of paper coincided with very important points of the rectangle. He composed something that had a feel of the accidental. It was not accidental, but he knew how to make it look that way. I thought that the only way to achieve that was to first create chance situations, to create a lot of movement and then just have a lot of materials to edit. So we created a way a lot of paper could be moved in the air and then tried to think of both the rectangle and the invisible air current in three dimensions. As the papers move in depth, they move away from us and get smaller. I just worked hard on it and tried to compose. There is no guide, its just a feeling, a sense of real, how things are really are or would be .