Marc Burckhardt
Art History
Release the Hounds
Glamorama | acrylic & oil on wood panel | 15.5" x 11.5"
There's a saying around our house:
"When a kid turns 18, you have to send them to college; when a dog turns 18, you just bury them in the backyard."

But for all the bravado, dogs have always ruled the roost here--you'll find no bigger fan of canines than the Burckhardts. To prove the point, we've built a shrine of sorts to dogs past/passed: the top one is Glamorama, who lived to be 12 and had a pacemaker (not nearly as expensive as you'd imagine), and Diva, who earned her name every day; their collars hang next to their portraits.
I've spent almost every day of my working life with a dog laying somewhere in the studio; I've probably spent more time in the presence of dogs than I have with any human. They're loyal and patient, and you feel their absence when they're not around.
Diva | acrylic & oil on wood panel | 16" x 12"
Gertie currently has the run of the house, and I hope it'll be a long time before she gets her own spot on the wall.

SI Annual 53, Sequential & Uncommissioned Show
"Himmelblick" | Acrylic & oil on wood panel | 10" x 10"

Artists, writers, philopsophers, and average Joes have always pondered what lies beyond this life: Heaven? Hell? Nothing? It's a question as old as mankind. So when Monte Beauchamp of BLAB! invited me to be a part of an exhibit he was curating in Los Angeles on the theme "The Afterlife", I was immediately intrigued. The piece above was my contribution to this exhibit of self-generated works at Copro Gallery in Los Angeles.

This Friday night, January 7th, at 6pm, the Society of Illustrators will open the first of it's three-part Annual Exhibition "Illustrators 53", featuring Sequential & Uncommissioned work. I'm honored to have two pieces in this part of the exhibit, including the one above--and I'm doubly honored to be receiving a Gold Medal for it.
"Flight" | Acrylic & oil on watercolor paper mounted on board | 24" x 24"

The second piece was created for "Earth: Fragile Planet", a curated exhibit that ran earlier this year at the SI gallery in NY. I'm proud to have it back there, and look forward to the opening on Friday. Hope to see you there!
Friday, January 7th, 2011
Refreshments 6:00pm 
Awards Presentation 7:00pm 
| Cash bar open until midnight
128 East 63rd Street (between Park & Lexington Avenues)
New York, NY 10065

Exhibition January 5 - January 22 | Tues 10 - 8, Wed - Fri 10 - 5, Sat 12 - 4 | 212.838.2560
BLAB! Retrospective tonight at SI
Well-Match Lovers | 14" x 28" | Acrylic & oil on wood panel
BLAB! A Retrospective opens tonight at the Society of Illustrators. I created this piece, titled "Well-Matched Lovers", a few years back for Monte, and it will be part of the exhibition. Wish I could be there for the opening!
BLAB! A Retrospective opens at 6pm Friday, March 26th at the Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators in NYC,128 East 63rd Street, New York City
Apocalypse Now (Actually, Saturday)
"Pale Horse", 28" x 14", Acrylic & oil on wood panel
If you're in LA this weekend, make it out for this show on Saturday—should be amazing!
August 8th - 29th, 2009
OPENING RECEPTION: August 8th, 8:00-11:30 pm

Copro Gallery and Monte Beauchamp proudly present "THE BLAB! SHOW," the fifth Group Art Exhibition featuring original paintings and illustrations from the forthcoming issue of BLAB! magazine - Monte Beauchamp's periodic anthology of sequential and comic art, illustration, painting, and printmaking.


COPRO GALLERY (at Bergamot Station)
2525 Michigan Ave #T5, Santa Monica, CA 90404
p 310-829-2156 |

detail, left
detail, right
Winging it
The great Joe Kimberling at Los Angeles magazine called a few weeks ago with a fun project: The Birds of Los Angeles.
The article focuses on the incredible range of birds that thrive and flourish in LA's urban jungle, and the idea was to capture the feeling of classic naturalist art, but with contemporary urban settings. As always, Joe was great to work with, and the design of the spreads is clean, beautiful and easy to read. If only bird guides were this well designed!
Detail of the garbage canthis was a fun bit!
NEW YEAR | NEW ART Show, Dallas
I'll be showing three pieces as part of "NEW YEAR | NEW ART" at HCG Gallery in Dallas, January 16-February 14th. Opening reception Friday, January 16th, from 5-8pm. The show includes work by:

Susan Budge, Danville Chadbourne, Adriana Carvalho, Madeline Denaro, David Rainey, Karen Garrett, Penelope Speier, Shane Pennington, David McCullough, Ansen Seale

HCG Gallery | 1130 Dragon Street (off Howell) | Dallas Texas | | 214.760.9230
Art Basel | Miami, etc.
"Resurrection" | Acrylic & oil on wood panel | 10" x 10"
Here's a piece I did for the upcoming Art Basel | Miami KNOW with Mark Murphy, Dec. 4-7.  This is a group show that includes:
Jennybird Alcantara : David van Alphen : Ana Bagayan : Robert Bellm : Jonathan Bergeron : Mike Bertino : Cathie Bleck : Jonathan Boam : Darren Booth : Brandon Boyd : Katherine Brannock : Calef Brown : Ryan Bubnis : Marc Burckhardt : Christopher Buzelli : Ray Caesar : Luke Chueh : Dave Chung : Robert Connett : Molly Crabapple : Amy Crehore : Rob Day : Xiaoqing Ding : Leslie Ditto : Doodles : Gerard DuBois : Ekundayo : P-Jay Fidler : AJ Fosik : Andrew Foster : Ken Garduno : Ill Gill : Matt Haber : Moira Hahn : Robert Hardgrave : Ryan Heshka : Vincent Hui : Jordin Isip : Jason Jacenko : Levon Jihanian : Ron Job : Dan Kennedy : Mel Kadel : Donald Kilpatrick : Kinoko : KMNDZ : Zane Kozak : Kukula : Travis Lampe : Daniel Hyun Lim : Tommii Lim : Jen Lobo : Lola : Dan May : Brandi Milne : Mark Murphy : Joel Nakamura : Andrew Neyer : Clinton Neuhaus : Kathie Olivas : Brandt Peters : Jenn Porreca : Luke Ramsey : relAx one : RG : Mark Ryden : Chris Ryniak : Erik Sandberg : Mijn Schatje : Jeffery Scott 92501 : Kim Scott : Jeff Soto : Nathan Spoor : Matt Stallings : David Russell Talbott : Yoko Tanaka : Gary Taxali : Peter Taylor : Jon Todd : Joe Vaux : Alexei Vella : Jonathan Viner : Marco Wagner : Cynthia Walton : Gordon Wiebe : Nicholas Wilton : Martin Wittfooth : Davey Wong : Johnny Yanok : Marco Zamora : Chet Zar
I'm also showing 10 paintings at Art Basel | Miami SCOPE, with the Marder Gallery, also December 4-7. Here are a few of the pieces in that exhibit.
"Affiction" | Acrylic & oil on wood panel | 33" x 48"
"Mirror" | Acrylic & oil on wood panel | 18.5" x 15.75"
"Whitewash" | Acrylic & oil on wood panel | 20" x 16.25"
"Proxy" | Acrylic & oil on wood panel | 18.5" x 16"
"Heroine" | Acrylic & oil on wood panel | 7.5" x 10.25"
And finally, I have a few new pieces that will be part of the "America" show at Marder in Bridgehampton, NY, opening next Saturday, November 29th. The gallery is located at 120 Snake Hollow Road, and the opening reception is 5-9 on Saturday.
"Bethrothed II" | Acrylic & oil on wood panel | 8.5" diameter
Wolf Totem
I just opened my mail to find a tearsheet (who gets those anymore?) from Standpoint magazine, a wonderful new political publication based in London. Actually, art director Ingrid Shields sent me the whole July issue, and the cover art by Noma Bar is a standout as well. Thought I'd post them both.
The article I was commissioned to illustrate was a book review of Jiang Rong's Wolf Totem, the autobiographical tale that won the 2007 Man Asian Literary Prize, and is a best seller in China. The nomadic life of Inner Mongolia and the bold spirit of the wolves who roam their grasslands, as well as the eventual demise of that culture, are metaphors for Rong's view of contemporary China. I wanted to capture the nobility of the wolf set against the Mongolian foothills, using golfleaf to reinforce both the regal quality and to reflect the graphic nature of traditional Chinese guó huà painting.

This cover double portrait by Noma Bar is amazing in its simplicity, intelligence, and ability to capture the candidates. Wonderful work by the brilliant artist from israel, now living in England.
Gabriel von Max
"Monkeys as Critics"
I've been wanting to post something about one of my favorite artists, Gabriel Cornelius Ritter von Max, (August 23, 1840 - November 24, 1915) for some time now. Given the various competitions in our field that are either being unveiled or judged in the coming weeks, I saw a very thin thread to hang it on now. After all, one of von Max's most famous paintings, "Monkeys as Critics", was about judgement and aesthetic.
Gabriel von Max was the son of a sculptor, Joseph Max, and he initially trained in his native Prague with Eduard von Engerth. He later went to the Viennese Academy of Art and finally to the Munich Academy, where he studied under Karl Theodor von Piloty and Hans Makart. He settled there, and from 1879 to 1883 he was a professor of Historical Painting at the Munich Academy. He was also an accomplished illustrator, producing images for a variety of literary stories, poems, fairy tales and folk songs.
"The Anatomist"
But what's most interesting to me about von Max's work is the mystical & allegorical paintings he began producing later in his life. In addition to "Monkeys as Critics", works like "The Anatomist", and "The Ecstasy of Katharina Emmerich" (all three in the Neue Pinakothek in Munich—one of my favorite museums) take on an almost surreal quality that's unlike anything his peers were doing, and that foreshadows both the Secessionist movement and today's figurative/symbolist genre.
"The Ecstasy of Katarina Emmerich"
While a great deal of his work had a religious theme, there's a haunting quality about his paintings that comes partly from the muted palette he used for most of his later works, but also from the lifelong interest he had in mysticism and philosophy, which colored even his most conventional subjects.
Jean Baptiste Oudry at the Getty
On May 1st, the Getty Museum in Los Angeles will open a exhibit of works by Jean Baptiste Oudry (1686–1755), one of the most celebrated animal painters of his day. Among the pieces in the show are two works, Rhinoceros and Lion, that underwent a massive 5 year restoration and conservation at the Getty. These pieces will be included along with nine other paintings by Oudry, as well as many of his drawings.

The immediate artistic ancestor to George Stubbs, Oudry took conventional animal painting and elevated it to the level of portraiture. These pieces were part of a series commissioned to document the exotic animals of French King Louis XV, who kept these creatures at Versailles and occasionally toured them around capitol cities. The Rhino above is Clara, and she was something of a celebrity in eighteenth-century Europe, where the rise of Empiricism and an interest in natural history created a thirst for knowledge of the animal world. Oudry created the most accurate representations of the rhino to date - an animal that had until then been depicted in Western prints and paintings as something closer to a dragon or dinosaur than the creature we know today. He also was a master at capturing the sense of aggrandizement and nobility that was a significant reason to own - and have portraits made of - exotic and pure bred animals.
George Stubbs
On February 14th, the Frick will open a show of work by George Stubbs (1724 –1806) one of the most underappreciated 18th century British painting masters. His lack of reknown is primarily due to his subject matter: he created portraits of horses.

Stubbs also did many very powerful portraits of humans and exotic creatures from around the world, but was primarily a painter of domestic animals, which were commissioned for their "status" as objects of wealth and power. What makes his work so unique was that he portrayed these animals with an attention to detail and personality that raised the bar of the artform.  If you find the genre of English sporting paintings at all interesting, Stubbs' work is without a doubt the pinnacle of it.  And then there's the Frick itself, which is always a treat to visit.
Eakins Update
Recently, I posted an article on the Thomas Eakins' painting "The Gross Clinic" , which was about to be sold by Thomas Jefferson University, possibly to a museum outside Philadelphia. I'm happy to report that the piece will remain in Philly now, and will rest in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The painting is only half paid for, however, so the museum is collecting donations in order to meet its debt. To find out how to support this effort, go the the PMA official site.
Eakins, anyone?
Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia
Read today that Thomas Eakins' painting "The Gross Clinic", which has been in Philadelphia for over 130 years, may be sold to a partnership between the National Gallery in D.C. and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas. It will undoubtedly be in good hands either way, but it seems a shame for Philly to lose one its historical treasures, both from an artistic and civic perspective. The Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts need to raise $68 million (!) by December 26th to keep it; it's owned by the Jefferson Medical College, and has been on loan since its original purchase in 1878, for just $200. Anyone have some spare change for the folks in Philly?

Sattler and Panorama painting
I've been off the board and traveling this summer, taking in some great art and getting inspired. One of the amazing things i came across was in Salzburg, where the "Panorama Museum" houses the collected works of Johann Michael Sattler, one of the most prolific landscape artists of the 19th century. The main focus of the museum is his colossal mural of Salzburg, 16 feet high and 85 feet long, completing a perfect 360 degree view of the city as it appeared in his time, 1825.
To say Sattler was detail-oriented is an understatement; imagine Tim O'Brien on steroids, and you get the picture. Even more impressive than the Salzburg panorama are the host of depictions of cities throughout the world, which he painted with a degree of finish that makes you want to put your little brushes down and take up house painting. And the genre of panorma itself is fascinating, done in the spirit of giving an accurate and even scientific depiction of the world most folks would never see otherwise, with just a hint of the sideshow spectacle. Apparently these "cosmoramas" were all the rage in the 18th and 19th century, and there were a number of artists who specialized in these works, though very few of the paintings remain and even fewer compare with the Salzburg work.
Inspiring and humbling stuff!
Happy 400th, Rembrandt
Today is the 400th birthday of Rembrandt van Rijn. Anyone who has picked up a brush since has been awed and influenced by his work, which feels more alive and contemporary than any other art, music or writing of that vintage that I can think of. I visit the Met's Rembrandt room every time I'm in NY, and those portraits are so well realized in both technique and character that it feels like they're ready to step out of the frames and start walking around the museum. Truly one of the greats.
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Burckhardt is teaching at TutorMill, an online mentoring site for students of illustration!