Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Art in Memoriam, 2012 + Cooking with a Mirepoix

ROBERT HUGHES - Photo from "Shock of the New" WNET 13

In Memoriam

Robert Hughes, (July 28, 1938 - Aug. 6, 2012) Art Critic died after a long illness at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx, age 74. He had lived for many years in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.
From a review: "Truly bad art is always sincere, and there is a kind of forcible vulgarity, as American as a meatball hero, that takes itself for genius (Jacqueline Susann died believing she was the peer of Charles Dickens). “My peers,” Schnabel told The New York Times last winter, “are the artists who speak to me: Giotto, Duccio, Van Gogh.” Doubtless this list will change if he tries a ceiling, but Schnabel has never learned to draw; in graphic terms, his art has barely got beyond the lumpy pastiches of Max Beckmann and Richard Lindner he did as a student in Houston. The dull, uninflected megalomania of his kitsch-expressionist imagery (Sex, Death, God and Me) is rant, a bogus “appropriation” of profundity."
The Shock of the New,” his eight-part documentary about the development of modernism from the Impressionists through Warhol, was seen by more than 25 million viewers when it ran first on BBC and then on PBS, and the book that Mr. Hughes spun off from it, described as a “stunning critical performance” by Louis Men and of The New Yorker, was hugely popular. In 1997, the writer Robert S. Boynton described him as “the most famous art critic in the world.”
The New York Times said of him: 
"He was as damning about artists who fell short of his expectations as he was ecstatic about those who met them, and his prose seemed to reach only loftier heights when he was angry. As early as 1993, he described the work of Jeff Koons as “so overexposed that it loses nothing in reproduction and gains nothing in the original.” “Koons is the baby to Andy Warhol’s Rosemary,” he summarized, adding: “He has done for narcissism what Michael Milken did for the junk bond.”

Maurice Sendak (artist/writer) -- Stroke. Died May 8, 2012. Born June 10, 1928. His greatest kids' book: Where the Wild Things Are.

Sendak wrote or illustrated over 100 children's books, but gained international acclaim after writing and illustrating Where the Wild Things Are. The book's depictions of fanged monsters concerned some parents when it was first published, as his characters were somewhat grotesque in appearance, but the children of the world embraced the art and the story.
Self Portrait - Photo © Copyright Eve Arnold 

 Eve Arnold (photographer) -- Died January 4, 2012. Born April 21, 1912. Photographer known for shooting the famous (Marilyn Monroe, Marlena Dietrich) and the unknown (starving children). 
She was born Eve Cohen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the middle of nine children born to immigrant Russian-Jewish parents, William Cohen (born Velvel Sklarski), a rabbi, and his wife, Bessie (born Bosya Laschiner). Eve's interest in photography began in 1946 while working in a New York City photo-finishing business. She learned photographic skills from Harper's Bazaar famous art director Alexey Brodovitch at the New School in Manhattan.
Marilyn Monroe Photo © Copyright Eve Arnold
Arnold's images of Marilyn Monroe on the set of The Misfits (1961) were perhaps her most memorable, but she had taken many photos of Monroe from 1951 onwards. Her previously unseen photos of Monroe were shown at an Halcyon Gallery exhibition in London, May 2005. 
She also photographed Queen Elizabeth II, Malcolm X, and Joan Crawford, plus traveled the world, photographing in China, Russia, South Africa and Afghanistan. Arnold left the United States and moved permanently to England in the early 1960s with her son, Frank Arnold. While working for the London Sunday Times, she began to make serious use of color photography. In 1980, she had her first solo museum exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, NY, featuring her photographic work done in China.
Artist LeRoy Neiman on right.

LeRoy Neiman (artist) -- Died June 20, 2012. Born June 8, 1921. Painted for Playboy, many Olympics Games and illustrated many pop culture events of the '60s and '70s.
He focused on sports and America at play. His subjects included: sailing, cuisine, golf, boxing, horses, celebrities, famous locations, and events. Much of his work was done for Playboy Magazine, for which he illustrated monthly until his death.
Artist Leo Dillon © Photo Copyright Lee Dillon
Leo Dillon (artist) -- Died May 26, 2012. Born March 2, 1933. He illustrated many children's books with his partner & wife, Diane.
From Narnia - by Leo and Diane Dillon

Jan and Stan Berenstain standing in front of their books.
Jan Berenstain (cartoonist/writer) -- Stroke. Died February 24, 2012. Born July 26, 1923. With her husband Stan, she wrote and illustrated over 200 Berenstain Bears books. 
Jan and Stan Berenstain who were simply called The Berenstains, were American writers and illustrators best known for creating the children's book series the Berenstain Bears
Janice "Jan" Berenstain (July 26, 1923 – February 24, 2012) was born Jan Grant in Philadelphia. The Berenstains noticed there were some issues which seemed to appear in every generation, such as kids throwing tantrums in public places, which made important subject matter for their story books. However, they deliberately wanted to steer clear of overly heavy issues, such as violence. 
(Stanley "Stan" Berenstain was born on September 29, 1923 and died on November 26, 2005.)

Collector Mary Griggs Burke

Mary Griggs Burke, 96, American art collector, with the largest private collection of Japanese art outside Japan. 

Mary Livingston Griggs was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on June 20, 1916. She grew up in a Victorian mansion filled with 18th-century French art, but was also exposed to a few Japanese pieces that her mother had acquired. She earned a bachelor’s degree in 1938 from Sarah Lawrence College, where she studied literature with Joseph Campbell and painting with Bradley Walker Tomlin, a member of the New York School of Abstract Expressionists.

Afterward, she earned a master’s in clinical psychology from Columbia. In 1954, she made her first trip to Japan. 
Entranced by Japan and its art, Mrs. Burke returned dozens of times over the decades, and with her husband, Jackson Burke, a printer and type designer whom she married in 1955, she began collecting Japanese art in earnest in 1963. Her collection is widely acknowledged as one of the finest outside of Japan, and spans five millenniums, from the art of early Japanese cultures around 3000 B.C. through that of the Edo period of the 17th to 19th centuries A.D. Assembled over half a century and exhibited throughout the world, Mrs. Burke’s collection comprised approximately a thousand artifacts, including paintings, prints, sculpture, textiles, lacquerware, ceramics and calligraphy.
(Source for all biographies: Wikipedia)


First make a mirepoix!

Strictly speaking the French term, mirepoix, most accurately designates 
the technique of cutting food into a small dice with a knife.

mirepoix (pron.: /mɪərˈpwɑː/ meer-pwah) is a combination of chopped vegetables (most often celery, onions, and carrots) which are sauted as a start to many, many wonderful dishes. There are many regional mirepoix variations, which can sometimes be just one of these ingredients, or include additional items. Mirepoix, raw, roasted or sautéed with butter or olive oil, is the flavor base for a wide variety of stocks, soups, stews and sauces. The three ingredients mentioned, are commonly referred to as aromatics.
Other combinations of vegetables are known as: The Holy Trinity in Cajun and S. Louisiana Creole cooking (diced & sauted onion, celery and green sweet peppers); Refogado (braised onions, garlic and tomato) in Portuguese; Soffritto (onions, garlic and celery) in Italian; Sofrito in Spanish; Suppengrün in German (soup green usually in bundles, consisting of a leek, a carrot and a piece of celeriac); and Włoszczyzna in Polish (typically consists of carrots, parsnips, parsley root, celery root, leeks, cabbage leaves, celery and flat-leaf parsley).
History: in 1814, a book gives a short recipe for a Sauce à la Mirepoix which is a buttery, wine-laced stock garnished with an aromatic mixture of carrots, onions, and a bouquet garni ( which is parsley, thyme and bay leaf but may also include basil, burnet, chervil, rosemary, peppercorns, savory and tarragon).  

A mirepoix, ready for saute. 

2 medium onions, diced
1 carrot diced
4 celery sticks diced
1 bay leaf
2 springs thyme + 1 teaspoon minced thyme leaves

16 ounces mixed mushrooms (such as cremini and shitake)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 ounce dried shitake mushrooms
1/4 pound unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cream

-With a damp paper towel brush the caps of each mushroom. Separate the stems from the caps. Roughly chop the stems and set aside. Slice the smaller mushroom caps into 1/4 inch slices and dice the larger mushroom caps into 1/4 inch pieces.

-Make the stock:
Add olive oil to a large pot over medium-high heat, add chopped stems and dried shitake mushrooms + half of the onions, half of the celery and all of the diced carrots. Sauté about three minutes until they start to soften. 
- Add 1 teaspoon of salt, reduce heat to medium low and cook for 10 minutes. 
- Add 8 cups of water, bay leaf and thyme springs, then bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes. Strain and set liquid aside for later (about 4-5 cups). 

-Add olive oil to a large pot over medium-high heat. Sauté half of the onions and half of the celery until soft.
-Add mushroom caps and sauté for 10 minutes until browned. 
-Add flour and cook, while stirring for one minute.

-Add 1 cup of mushroom stock, using a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pot.
-Add the remaining stock, minced thyme and 1 teaspoon of salt; bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes.
- Taste for seasoning, add salt if needed.
- Add 2 Tablspoons of mushroom broth to the cream.

-To serve: Pour a cup of broth, then float some flavored cream on top. To garnish, sprinkle a few 1/8" chopped bits of mushroom tops. 

Serves 4-6
1 hour/30 minutes - prep/cooking time
(Source for editorial: Wikipedia; Recipe adapted from several sources.)

Until later,

ARTSnFOOD, is an online publication dedicated to "The Pursuit of Happiness, the Arts and Food." ™ All rights reserved. Concept, Original Art, Text & Photographs are © Copyright 2012 Jack A. Atkinson under all International intellectual property and copyright laws. All gallery, museum, fair, auction or festival photographs were taken with permission. Images © individual artists, fabricators, respective owners or assignees.

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