I like a lot of different styles of painting. I have had an active interest in art for the past few years, and my tastes are still evolving as I learn and live with my growing collection. I do not collect as an investment but for the fun of it and to feed my enjoyment for doing research and learning. Here are some of my favorites. By the way, I am NOT the wildlife artist of the same name.
was born in 1903 in Wojciechów near Lublin and spent his
childhood in Cieszyn. He was interned during WWI and
drafted into military service. After the war, he settled
in Kresy (the Eastern borderlands of Poland). He later
moved to Kraków, where he painted and worked as a coach
of the Polish Gymnastic Society "Sokół”.
In 1923, he completed a course at the art department of the State Industrial School in Lwów and then studied at the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts between 1932 and 1939. After graduation, he received a scholarship at Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome. He studied in Kraków under professor Stanisław Kamocki’s direction and their later friendship had a profound impact on Wójcik’s work, which had close connections with the Realism movement in art. Wojcik’s favorite subjects were landscapes, portraits and still-life. He also painted church interiors. Wójcik employed different techniques, including tempera, watercolor and pastel, but he preferred oil painting. When he settled in Zakopane, he painted mostly landscapes of the Tatra mountains and the Podhale region. Many of his paintings can still be found in private collections.
Wójcik was one of the most prolific post-war painters in the Zakopane region. His works were displayed at more than 50 individual exhibitions in Poland and abroad and at numerous collective exhibitions in Poland. He was closely connected with Zakopane’s artistic milieu and a member of the Polish Association of Artists and Designers. His paintings won several awards.
He died in 1984. Thanks to David Fallucco for his assistance in identifying this artist.
unnamed, J. Malm, 5" x 5", oil on MDF board
John Malm was born about 1900 in
Riddarholmen in Stockholm, Sweden. The signature on this
work is very typical for him. I have not been able to
find out much about this artist. I heard from another
collector that this painting is of Sofia Kyrka,
Bergsprangargrand, Stockholm. The other collector has an
identical painting but in winter snow.
John Malm signature
"Pears and apple", Vitali Komarov, 12" x 16", oil
on cardboard, 2010
Vitali Komarov was born in Russia
in 1968. He has a web site
and a blog.
There are many striking works on his web site. I
particularly like the texture of the paint and nature of
the brush strokes in some of these paintings.
unnamed, Johannes Hubertus Mengels, 40" x 20", oil
Johannes Hubertus "Ber" Mengels
was born 6 May 1921 in Heerlen, Netherlands. There are
several web sites devoted to his work. Here is one.
unnamed, Johan Hilding, 15" x 18", oil on canvas,
Johan Hilding (aka Johan Hilding Hägleby)
was born in 1900 in Häglinge, Scania, a
son of John Prine and Emma Smith. He studied at Otte
Sköld's painting school in Stockholm and
elsewhere. Sköld founded his school in
1929 and the school became the Arne Pernby school in
1949 when Sköld accepted a position at the
National Museum of Fine Arts in Stockholm.
Hilding primarily painted landscapes and
figurative works. All of the works by Hilding found in
auction records were oils, and spanned the 1940s and
1960s. He is not listed in any art reference work but
his work appears frequently at auctions in Sweden and
Denmark. He signed both as "Johan Hilding" and
as "Johan Hilding Hägleby". It
seems that Hilding added his wife's surname to his
name sometime after 1948. Her name was Aina Hägleby.
I was able to contact Johan's grandnephew and expect
to receive more information about this artist.
Hilding died in 1981.
Agne Borgstrom was born in
1902, probably in Sweden. He was the author of
several books of drawings of the town of Vaxjo,
Kronoberg County, Sweden in the late 1950s and early
1960s. There is little information available about
him on Google, but he may have been locally
prominent. This was a thrift shop find and appears
to be an original ink drawing with watercolor
shading. There appear to be pin holes in the upper
corners and perhaps some catalog or inventory
markings in the lower right corner. There are also a
couple of creases in the upper right and upper left
corners, or perhaps this drawing was made on artisan
paper that contains these flaws.
Agne Borgstrom died in 1997.
"Huizen in Vreeland", P. Zwaal, 12" x 18.5", charcoal drawing on paper with white accents
Pauline "Polly" Johanna Zwaal was
born on 18 October 1906 in Amsterdam, Holland. She
attended the Dagtekenschool for Girls in Amsterdam and
the State Academy of Fine Arts, also in Amsterdam. She
studied under Jan Uri at the Dagtenschool and under Jan
Bronner, John Hendricus Jurres and Hendrik Jan Wolter at
the State Academy of Fine Arts. She was a painter and
draughtswoman of landscapes, figures, animals and
portraits. She was a member of the Dutch Federation of
Artists and the Dutch Association of Illustrators. She
was a close friend of well known Dutch artist Ro
Mogendorff. Mogendorff drew the same scene as that
depicted in the work in my collection.
Zwaal is listed in the Lexicon of Dutch Artists 1750-1950 by Pieter A. Shinn. She exhibited at the Hueff Art Gallery in Wassenaar in 1972. Her work, a portrait of Catharina Rosa Mogendorff, is included in the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam and the Amsterdam City Archives.
Pauline Zwaal (seated) and Ro Mogendorff
This fine drawing was another local thrift shop find. I have no idea how this drawing ended up in this small Midwestern town. The work was indifferently framed with a poor attempt at a French Mat to which it was glued. It was likely purchased at an estate sale by the owner of the thrift shop. There are two universities here, so this may have arrived as the result of academic travel or by way of a returning WWII soldier. No idea of the date of this work, though.
Polly Zwaal died on 10 January 1993 in Amsterdam.
Title and signature
I purchased this little
watercolor from an ebay seller located in Oak View,
California in August 2010. In an email, she told me:
"Thanks for your
message. I bought the pieces at an estate sale, from
the artist's daughter. She was moving to Mexico with
her husband, so they couldn't keep much. The other
pieces are at my friend's house now. They are black
and white, signed and titled, depicting European
buildings. I don't have pictures now, but I can get
them back from my friend if it's worth doing so.
The other pieces mentioned were two
lithographs by Zemp. A couple of mentions of
lithographs by Zemp may be found on the Internet. A
Johann Jakob Zemp is mentioned in Davenports Art
Reference and Price Guide, and on
AskArt.com. His dates are given as 1909-1996. No
biographical information is available for him and
there are no obvious American genealogical records.
It is possible that he did not emigrate to the US,
but his daughter did. Perhaps the inscription "An
Marli Zum" is his daughter's name and the date, 8
May 1982, the date that this painting was framed.
Grigoryi Andreivich Shponko was born in 1926 at
Balky, Zaporogsky, Ukraine. He attended the Kiev Art
Institute (now the National Academy of Art and
Architecture) where he studied under Professors
Trofimenko, M. Sharanov, E. Konstantin, and G.
Melikov. After graduating in 1954, he became a
member of the Union of Artists of the Ukraine upon
the recommendation of Tatyana Yablonskaya. Shponko
received the "Merited Artist of the Ukraine" award.
He assisted in the restoration of Rubo's Sevastopol
Panorama and was later a scene painter in the Kiev
Opera and Ballet Theater under Anatoli Petritskogo.
Andreivich Shponko, 11" x 14", oil
Shponko typically painted in the Socialist Realist
style. He exhibited his work at several Ukrainian
and Union of Artists exhibitions in the Ukraine and
Moscow. He is well known for painting industrial
scenes. His works is in the collections of several
museums, including the Nikolayev Art Museum, Kiev
Historical Museum, Dnipropetrovsk Fine Art Museum,
and the Donetsk Fine Arts Museum. His work has
appeared in several books and magazines including
the Moscow "Arts" magazine and the Kiev "Ukraine"
Shponko is listed in Davenport's Art
Reference and Price Guide and Russian and
Soviet Painters 1900-1980 by Matthew Cullerne
Brown. He is also mentioned in on line sites like AskArt
Shponko died in December 2006 in Kiev.
I am not big on collecting
prints or etchings, but happened on half a dozen of
these little 1920ish prints and, as they were cheap,
and a research opportunity, I picked them up. At
first I thought they might be hand colored etchings,
but I later saw others that were identically
colored, so my current guess is that they are
possibly the French equivalent of pochoir prints.
Each is signed in the plate, but also signed and
titled in pencil by Veder, or one of Veder's
lackeys. I have not spent much time researching this
artist, but he seems to have been active in France
in the 1920s and 1930s.
Moreira Aguiar was born in 1947
in Portugal and lives in Lisbon. I purchased this
painting from a seller in Santa Cruz, California and he
could not remember the name of the artist and could not
read the signature. I could not read the signature,
either, but conjectured that it might me the work of Mr.
Aguiar. Luckily, Mr. Aguiar came across my web site and
contacted me, confirming that this is one of his early
works. Mr. Aguiar has exhibited all over the world, most
often in the US. He now works in oils and palette knife.
Though Davenports Art Reference and Price Guide says he is from Mexico, Mr. Aguiar assured me he is from Portugal. Moreira Aguiar has a brother, Armando, who is also an artist. Moreira Aguiar is listed on all major on line art sites. I really like this work. The artist did a really nice job catching a moment in time, and I really like the workaday subject matter. I hope to add more information about this artist.
Francois Blin is a French
artist who specializes in naturalist subjects. He
attended the Ecoles des Beaux-Arts de Rouen et de
l'Ecole Camondo de Paris, from which he received a
diploma. He is best known for his paintings of
birds. As of mid-2009 there have been nearly 100
exhibitions of his work worldwide, including France,
Japan, Canada, Korea, and the US. Mr. Blin has a web
site. He is
a member of the Society of French Artists. I will
get a better image when time permits. The detail of
this painting is incredible.
Paulo J. Mendes was born in
Porto, Portugal in September 1965. He worked as a
layout illustrator at a phone book company until
2001 when he began to work as a ceramic wall tile
painter. He started to paint in watercolors in his
spare time in 2001, usually large paintings of
abandoned traditional Portuguese houses which are a
passion of his. The complex, battered surfaces of
these old houses challenged him to learn techniques
for realistically reproducing them in watercolor.
While rewarding, these larger paintings were very
time consuming to complete, usually amounting to
only a handful of paintings each year as they were
done in his spare time and very detailed. Starting
in late 2007 Mr. Mendes began painting smaller
paintings, typically of fanciful scenes created from
his memory and imagination. He especially likes to
reproduce the types of architecture and scenes that
are rapidly disappearing from his country due to
modernization. He decided to try selling his work on
ebay and has been very successful.
As you can see from the paintings in my collection Mr. Mendes' work remains detailed and charming. I like his work very much. Each one seems to tell a story, to provide a glimpse into every day Portuguese life. I discover something new I hadn't noticed before almost every time I examine one of these paintings. I also like the color palette that he uses. I will get more detailed photographs of these paintings as time permits.
Mr. Mendes has a blog though it is primarily devoted to photographs of the types of scenery that inspires him to paint. His ebay id is pjorge1808, in case you would like to see more of his work.
Antonio DeVity painted what I call "sofa art" because in the '50s and 60's his Paris and Venice street scenes must have hung over half of the sofas in the US of A, judging by the number of his paintings I see for sale. I really like his work, however, and think it has a bit more going for it than the typical "sofa art" of that period. I love the sense of motion and warmth of color in his paintings along with his unmistakable style. Many of his paintings are huge, almost murals on canvas. Some of his early works were done using watercolors.
Antonio DeVity was born in
1901 in Reggio-Calbria, Southern Italy. He lived in
Naples and later moved to Rome where he studied with
Giacomo Balla, creator of futurism. He spent time in
Paris and was heavily influenced by Impressionism.
DeVity opened a studio in Naples, and his works have
won many international awards and he is recognized
for his modernist street scenes of Paris and Italy
as well as landscape scenes of Venice. He was also a
student of Antione Blanchard. DeVity died in 1993.