Realism vs construction(a guide to choosing the right art education) - Page 8
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    Ashland Academy

    This thread is fantastic -- thanks to everyone who's contributed. These are exactly the issues I've been thinking through as I select programs to apply to. I've been taking drawing and anatomy courses part-time for a few years now, and I'm definitely drawn to the constructive approach -- Gottfried Bammes, George Bridgman, etc.

    The Ashland Academy was mentioned in a few posts, and I know from the school's Web site that it has a Russian heritage and rejects sight-size. Does anyone here have any experiences with that school that they can share?

    I'm interested in classical figure drawing and working in illustration. I found it interesting that Ashland even has an illustration track after the foundation program is completed.

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  2. #212
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    Adelheide -

    I asked in the Ashland thread about their system, and it seems they make use of a direct light a lot.

    This is both good and bad -
    if what you are interested in is the strict renaissance style then I suggest you find a teacher such as Vilppu or a school based on the teachings of Boris or a similar russian master.
    But if you are satisfied with a bit more looser aproach in the construction of the model, then Ashland is probably perfect.

    Yes Ashland is a russian school, but they seem to be VERY aimed towards realism. Personally I prefer the stronger renaissance style of construction, but I love Leonardo and Michelangelo above all, especially their rough colorless sketches.

    I think it might have something to do with preparation for realistic painting. Ashland seems a bit loose on anatomical construction, so that they can teach painting faster.
    In other words, I doubt that they spend 3 hours a day drawing bones, like in Boris school.

    I dont think I can help you more than this, if you find out more about the schools approach please share! Good luck!

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  3. #213
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    There is this guy called Ken who is studying there right now. Maybe you can ask him more about the school.

    This is his SB.
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...=160200&page=8

    From what I see, ashland academy is a fine school to start and strengthen your art foundation. However, to really reach the mastery of the old russian artist, you probably still need to go repin academy to study. I am reading this book which touch on some of the class structure for their analytical anatomy class, and they use the first yaer on just the head, and 2th and 3rd year on the rest of the body. The class is half theory half practice. The russian system seems to emphasize a lot on the understanding. So, if you go for anatomy class 2 times a week for a year on just the head, you will definitely become a master. In other word, i think the russian system is still not some miracle system that churn out master but it is still consistent long period of drawing and studying that make u a master.

    I havent really digest the book, but maybe later, I will try to put some of the knowledge here in a digested form.

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  5. #214
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    Hey Mydrako, thanks for sharing.

    What book are you talking about? Is it the one by Nikolai Li? Care to show some scans of the book?

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  6. #215
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    Mukhina school

    Check out this link - these are drawings done by a student of the Mukhina and Repin institute, (Reading his biography not sure at which school he did these drawings..)

    http://www.josephmenna.com/apps/phot...lbumid=4936288


    These are his two conceptart threads.. A bit old.

    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=40568
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=40300

    EDIT :

    Better post his newer thread : http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=177457

    Read in his conceptart thread that he studied primarily at the Mukhina institute.

    Last edited by hummel1dane; January 6th, 2010 at 01:52 PM.
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    tread lightly

    A lot of good information has been shared in this thread and it is not my intention to take anything away from that. However I wanted to address something to some of the frequent contributors here. When personal opinions are stated as facts the information being distributed becomes a bit misleading. Especially when it is written in an authoritative style, inexperienced or young students may be swayed to adopt biased ideas more easily. In the past it is something I have been guilty of myself and I try to be more cautious now. Especially when one's own work is still showing early development, information about methodology, schools or other (sometimes still living) artists might be better presented in a less dictating manner, no?

    Best Regards,
    Tom

    www.tomvandewouwer.com

    "There is no such thing as 'accurate drawing'. There is beautiful
    drawing, and ugly, and nothing else." JAD Ingres, Ecrits sur l'art
    (1780-1865)"
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  8. #217
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    about Joe Menna

    Joe is a friend of mine and one of the founders of the Bridgeview School. He is a really good artist. He spent 2 years at Mukhina at the sculpture department. He is currently at the US Mint as a medallion artist. It's funny, such a small world.

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  9. #218
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art_Addict View Post
    A lot of good information has been shared in this thread and it is not my intention to take anything away from that. However I wanted to address something to some of the frequent contributors here. When personal opinions are stated as facts the information being distributed becomes a bit misleading. Especially when it is written in an authoritative style, inexperienced or young students may be swayed to adopt biased ideas more easily. In the past it is something I have been guilty of myself and I try to be more cautious now. Especially when one's own work is still showing early development, information about methodology, schools or other (sometimes still living) artists might be better presented in a less dictating manner, no?

    Best Regards,
    Tom
    I think the main problem is that it is difficult to find anybody today with a legit authoritative opinion. This is especially true if the standards in the russian school has dropped as well.
    I wish some kind of master from the 19th century would arise from the grave and set the record straight, but what are the odds?

    What is then important is what you want.

    Do you want to draw like Michelangelo?

    Do you want to paint like Monet?

    I think it will be healthier to focus on the desire of the individual art student, and try to be as honest as possible about how to actually get there.

    If what you want is to become a sculptor, then whats the point in using a fixed light source and wasting your time studying the subtlety of light?

    But if you want to learn realistic painting, then this is exactly what you should do!

    When that is said, I know that this whole thread is a bit biased in favor of the russian method.
    I don't know if this is good or bad, it just happened.

    I can say that I believe that the only way to get back to the standards of the past(figure drawing) is to follow such a strict and thorough method as the russian.
    They did afterall preserve the teachings of the renaissance in its most strictest form(besides perhaps lack of gesture).

    But there is much more to classical art than oldschool figure drawing - and the sight-size school of Richard Lack does have advantages, such as ease of learning.
    And why should sight-size in still life be such a bad idea?
    Even Thomas Eakins used sight-size as a fast way of sketching portraits.

    If you have comments to specific statements please feel free to post. Don't feel intimidated if people disagree, at least you have presented an alternative view which is noble. Then this whole thread will be less biased.

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  10. #219
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    Quote Originally Posted by lena murray View Post
    Joe is a friend of mine and one of the founders of the Bridgeview School. He is a really good artist. He spent 2 years at Mukhina at the sculpture department. He is currently at the US Mint as a medallion artist. It's funny, such a small world.
    Wow! Small world indeed!

    I really like his drawings, I feel very strongly about that Mukhina style - reminds me so much of the works of the renaissance which I love above all!
    Is he still teaching at your school?

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  11. #220
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    Jonas Heirwegh Hey it isnt that book. The one i have is a chinese translation for a russian book written by Nikolai Repin (He is a grandson of illya repin in case people is interested to know) http://www.gxfinearts.com/book/6/200...248082751.html Abit too expensive for the amount of facts inside but still worthwhile for all the rare pictures. I will post some pictures maybe during weekend.

    Art_Addict I agree with you. I too find it confusing when there are so many view on this and everyone seems to have conflicting ideas but in the end, I think it is also the responsibility of the student to validate the information they receive from any source, even your teachers. Do not refuse any information but at the same time, do not accept any information as they are. Look through them, sieve through them, distill them, make them your own. I think only through a more personal understanding of facts can you apply it to your own art.

    -JS Neo

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  13. #221
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    What I meant to say was, if the main interest of this thread (as the edited title suggests) lies in providing students with clear and concise information about different schools and methods, it is important that said information is presented without bias. A lot of statements have been made which are presented as facts rather then personal opinions, without supporting evidence.

    hummel1dane, I'll present an example from your responding post, if you don't mind:
    I can say that I believe that the only way to get back to the standards of the past(figure drawing) is to follow such a strict and thorough method as the russian.
    This is illustrates only a personal opinion which is fine.

    They did afterall preserve the teachings of the renaissance in its most strictest form(besides perhaps lack of gesture).
    This second part of your quote is a personal opinion which is presented as a fact.

    Mydrako : This I think is one of the main problems here. How is a beginning student able to determine that if his own knowledge base is still very limited? I believe it is only after one has mastered principle, that one can choose to reject it, build upon it, or both. On a side note, from personal experience I have noticed this in a subtler way... students who come into class with preconceived notions seem less likely to develop at the same rate as students who come in without prior knowledge on drawing or painting...

    Best regards,
    Tom

    Last edited by Art_Addict; January 7th, 2010 at 08:19 AM.
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  14. #222
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    I can say I believe it is a historical fact.

    If I believe that it is and people ask my oppinion I can only repeat it.
    Some things may not be well documented and Im sorry if I cannot present clear evidence. If a statement seems doubtful and is presented as a historical fact then I apologize. It may happen, I'm no art historian and unfortunately not many art history books of today can be trusted(for elaboration see www.artrenewal.org)
    And even if one finds an art history book to be trusted there is no guaranty that the historian knows ANYTHING about classical technique.

    HOWEVER it is a well documented historical fact that the Repin and the Mukhina and many many other national russian academies goes back many centuries - whereas the western national academies of today hasn't got much to do with the past. If anything at all.

    Then some aspects of the classical technique did survive in the west.
    But without the support of any major academies, this situation will ESPECIALLY create a biased set of instructions depending more on the individual masters interpretation of instructions he received in his youth rather than give a total classical education.

    In an academy you have specialists(professors) who have dedicated their entire life to the mastery of one aspect of art - such as history painting, perspective, technical drawing, renaissance drawing, landscape etc.
    As well as a CONSERVATIVE philosophy aimed at PRESERVING the main body of teachings going back to the renaissance.
    This conservative approach may have been altered towards the end of the 19th century in the french academy - from the drawings that Ramon posted earlier it does look like it.
    Also the appointment of Bonnat as director in 1905 suggest a change in the education in the academy.

    About art education in the states in the 19th century everybody back then would agree that Europe was where the main craft was taught.
    As far as I know there never has been an american academy with high standards.
    If you can think of one please let me know.

    The situation in the 19th century was that americans interested in the classical arts usually travelled to France - many studied with Gerome, and from what I've heard and read it was from Gerome that many american schools of drawing and painting has their origin.

    When I say that the russians may lack gesture it is because their academic system is aimed at long studies. The short 30sec - 10min poses that we do in the west is a rare thing over there - if used at all.

    Last edited by hummel1dane; January 7th, 2010 at 05:44 AM.
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  15. #223
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    Quote Originally Posted by hummel1dane
    I can say I believe it is a historical fact.
    No you can't. It either is or it isn't. You can only believe something to be true or not true. When you say it's a fact, it implies a general objectivity.

    But whether statements are true or untrue is beside the point. For the sake of clarity and objective information that other readers are entitled to concerning today's schools and artists I think personal opinions should not be presented as general truths when their validity can not be tested.

    I don't know how to put it anymore clearer than this.

    Last edited by Art_Addict; January 7th, 2010 at 08:20 AM. Reason: changed 'becomes' by 'implies'
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  17. #224
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    hummel1dane With my limited knowledge of art history, what you said make logical sense. From what I know, the russian art system is influenced heavily by the art system in france in the 17s and 18s, and it more or less remained the same since then while in france or other countries, the art education systems went through numerous changes. So I can assert that the russian art system might be the closest tie to the old art education system.

    That being said, I feel one should not really be mindful of such "historical accuracy", (okie it is super important to art historian but not exactly important for me) One in turn should be critical of what benefit each system give to you. Renaissance system might not be the most perfect system ever and there are certainly many new invention and improvement in our craft since the renaissance. So what we should be aware of instead is the reasoning behind each system and take what suit your personality best. The almost sculptural manner russian drawing system is might not suit a person with a great love for looseness and gesture.

    Art_Addict Not trying to be arrogant, I feel any student should always be critical of any information they received. If they are not, what ever previous education they have received have failed in their most fundemental purpose. That said, I feel most people who visit this forum should understand most of us are not art historian and so they should take what people say as personal opinion, some more well researched than others.

    students who come into class with preconceived notions seem less likely to develop at the same rate as students who come in without prior knowledge on drawing or painting
    So true ! As paraphrased from Avatar and 2012, "you can only fill a cup if it is emptied first". I do believed it is in the best interest in learning to leave all your preknowledge when ever you go into a new class. Of cos it is not as easy it is said but still worth pondering about.

    -JS Neo

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  19. #225
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    But what forms the "general objectivity" ??

    In the 20th century it was the general objectivity that Picasso was a genius and that Matisse was a master draftsman. We can read all art history books from that period and see art historians personal oppinions being represented as facts!

    That is how history works - there is no such thing as a true 100% correct history, as all historical evidence is conceived by peoples personal judgement, however professional they may be.

    All we can do is attempt to be as unbiased as possible which is what I do. It may not seem like it but I do my best!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mydrako View Post
    I feel one should not really be mindful of such "historical accuracy", (okie it is super important to art historian but not exactly important for me) One in turn should be critical of what benefit each system give to you. Renaissance system might not be the most perfect system ever and there are certainly many new invention and improvement in our craft since the renaissance.
    The renaissance system is based on principles of visual communication and understanding of the sculptural structure.
    When I see any work done by any french master artist in the 19th century I see all those renaissance principles at work. These 19th century masters may not repeat the style of the renaissance, but it is apparent that they understood and mastered all the basic principles. And of course they improved. Especially in the study of realism and painting.

    This is why it is so important to be clear about the system that created a specific master, if you want to eventually produce works of the same standard.
    And that was one of the major reasons I started this thread in the first place. Giving students the idea that they can become the next Bouguereau through studying in a post Bouguereau system of figure drawing is a bit naiv!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mydrako View Post
    So what we should be aware of instead is the reasoning behind each system and take what suit your personality best. The almost sculptural manner russian drawing system is might not suit a person with a great love for looseness and gesture.
    It is impossible to see the subtle use of certain principles without mastering those same principles. And the russian "sculptural" system is more a system that enables you to build your structural understanding of anatomy in a logical manner - it has never been intended as an end in itself.

    I can tell you that classical pianists goes through countless horrible and boring exercises that certainly does not sound like Beethoven!

    Why should it be different for visual artists?

    If one wants mastery like that of the past, doing what is fun all the time doesn't guaranty much.

    Last edited by hummel1dane; January 31st, 2010 at 05:51 PM.
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  21. #227
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    Quote Originally Posted by hummel1dane

    In the 20th century it was the general objectivity that Picasso was a genius and that Matisse was a master draftsman.
    No, it wasn't. What you are talking about is a subjective opinion shared by an indefinite number of people. Please refer here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objectivity_(philosophy)


    Quote Originally Posted by hummel1dane
    We can read all art history books from that period and see art historians personal oppinions being represented as facts!

    That is how history works - there is no such thing as a true 100% correct history, as all historical evidence is conceived by peoples personal judgement, however professional they may be.

    All we can do is attempt to be as unbiased as possible which is what I do. It may not seem like it but I do my best!
    Please don't try to make a point by suggesting something that has no significance to what I said to begin with. See a straw man argument : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

    I also did not wish to digress the thread from the original topic. Just wanted to share a general observation.

    Best Regards,
    Tom

    www.tomvandewouwer.com

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  23. #228
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art_Addict View Post
    No, it wasn't. What you are talking about is a subjective opinion shared by an indefinite number of people. Please refer here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objectivity_(philosophy)

    I don't follow this line of philosophy.
    I follow a school of philosophy that negates this (eastern philosophy) and then you must know that we have no possibility to debate these matters as we do not speak the same philosophical language.

    If you are interested in eastern philosophy presented in a western manner I recommend "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values"
    by Robert M. Pirsig

    --

    About the Straw man, never heard of him.

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    about so called "russian system"

    Since we've gotten into this whole argument, there is something I wanted to clarify for for the record.

    What was taught by now late Boris Kazakov (a really good teacher, no argument here) and by the Mukhina academy in general, I would not refer to as the "Russian system".

    I've pointed before in one of my previous posts that since the mid-20th century there has been a war going on between Repin and Mukhina academies, Mukhina being a new academy compared to Repin (Russian Imperial Academy). Despite this war, most of Mukhina teachers were recruited from Repin Academy, which I believe Kazakov himself graduated from before teaching at Mukhina.

    What's Russian and what is not, that's hard to say, really. My anser is nothing other than the Russian avant garde (Kandinsky and Malevich).

    When you get down to it, nothing is Russian, even the icons came from the Byzantia. While France had Boucher and Fragonnard, Russia had nothing of similar home-grown quality at the time. That's why Peter the Great's daughter Elizabeth started the Imperial Academy (called Repin today) to bring the French and the Italian tradition to Russia. Not one Russian architect participated in the original design and building of St. Petersburg, Russia's capital for many years to come, it's all the Rastrellis, the Qvarenghis, the Rinaldis, the Monferrants and the likes (all geneus men, by the way).

    What you present as the "Russian way" based on Mukhina-style drawing is actually the German way, and did not exhist in Russia until 1960s. In fact, Bammes actually visited Mukhina school in the 60s or 70s (not sure) and befriended many of their professors, Kazakov probably included. It was a totally "modernist" movement, very 20th century monumental art, perfect for the Soviet propaganda, sort of stylized and schematic, opposed to naturalism which might have been viewed as decadent by the authorities.

    While I studied at Repin for a year, I attended Mukhina's professor Zaitsev's private class to augment my more "optical" Repin-style understanding with more construction.

    But, even Zaitsev and I believe, Kazakov, graduated from Repin, where none of this drawing of each individual bone has ever been taught. They themselves re-invented this system basing it on Bammes and going somewhat further with it.

    About stiffness being more characteristic of the Russian system. It's not true.

    When it comes to stiffness, you see more of it in the Mukhina type of drawings than at the Repin Academy. I don't find any stiffness in Professor Kurkov's anatomical drawings from Repin Academy (one of my previous posts), and definitely no stiffness in their 19th century guys (Repin or Imperial Academy products).

    One of my other mentors in Russia, now late sculptor and Repin graduate Sasha Molev always criticized the Mukhina system by arguing why bring onto the surface all this internal structure by actually drawing it (the see through method, as they call it in Mukhina). The idea is that the construction is there, but you should keep it in your mind while you are drawing a human being who is not a machine. He himself had a great understanding of construction and anatomy, totally planular approach, but he also emphasized fluidity and unity, which I think Kazakov in my opinion did not stress enough. Think about the Greeks. Did they draw individual bones? And yet, is there no construction there in the Greek sculpture?

    Don't want to go into this much longer, but if you consider any great Russian 19th century artist (which so far has been the height of their art tradition) such as Repin of course, Serov, Kramskoi, Vrubel, none of them ever heard of or practiced the type of drawing taught at Mukhina at the second part of the 20th century. My teacher Samuel Kudish is 82 years old and he studied at Mukhina in the 50s way before Kazakov, and they did not do any of this stuff then, it all came later.

    Anyway, to summerize this post, I would not call Kazakov's method "the Russian School". It's like calling "sight size" method the French method.

    Sorry, if it took me so long to explain it, but it's just for the record, especially if someone is debating between the Repin Academy and Mukhina.

    And of course, you can see my own bias towards Repin, can't help it. But so is felt by the Mukhina academy students, most of them have a lot of admiration for the Repin students. That's what they expressed when I spoke to them during their Open House a few years ago.

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    Thank you Lena

    It's very difficult for a westerner to understand the richness of the russian academical system - that they had two such great schools in Skt. Petersburg alone! WOW!

    I would love as much info as possible about the Mukhina system - to me it seems as close to the renaissance as possible. Perhaps they use longer poses than they did in the renaissance, who knows. As to where it comes from - in my mind the similarities with the renaissance are to great to suggest that it should come from anywhere else. But I cannot know that. I was taught by Boris trained instructors that it came directly from the renaissance. More or less unaltered. All that Boris method really lacked was gesture.
    And of course cast shadows.

    Yes the idea is to eventually keep construction in the head - but only after many years of actually drawing the structure, this is also the method Robert Beverly Hale suggests.
    As for getting all the anatomical bumps - this is exactly what Michelangelo did. And what he was both criticed and loved for.

    Are you sure that Repin academy NEVER taught students to draw the individual bones? Even before the time of Repin himself?
    I believe the academy was much more conservative before Repin. Is this incorrect?

    If Boris and Zaitsev really did re-invent this "renaissance" system based on Bammes my respect for them has grown a whole lot! That means that they re-invented a lot of beautiful and practical methods such as see through and building the tone in layers, and having the tone follow the form.

    Considering the Greek statues - are there any surviving 2500 year old drawings that can teach us more about their method? Their statues are also very idealised, not at all realistic. It has been suggested that some of the poses are even impossible for human beings to redo. Similar to the exaggerations of Michelangelo.

    The renaissance artists may have liked the greek style, but they weren't at all satisfied with the knowledge of anatomy that came from the greeks. So they either performed or attended dissections themselves, building their knowledge of anatomical structure.

    Also the greek system wasn't just one unified system - they had origin in different methods of idealisation. Such as proportion and composition based on numbers, on geometry etc.

    Ah yes, for the record I must say I'm biased towards Mukhina institute then.

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    You will find that semantics isn't really that high a priority in the mind of a student.
    More likely you will find that they are asking themselves why they have to fly to the armpit of the world and learn russian just to get that type of art education and why they still have to pay so much for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mydrako View Post
    Jonas Heirwegh Hey it isnt that book. The one i have is a chinese translation for a russian book written by Nikolai Repin (He is a grandson of illya repin in case people is interested to know) http://www.gxfinearts.com/book/6/200...248082751.html Abit too expensive for the amount of facts inside but still worthwhile for all the rare pictures. I will post some pictures maybe during weekend.

    Interesting. I would love to see some examples of those analytical anatomy class. Also rare drawings would be cool



    Art Addict: I agree with Mydrako. Its kinda obvious that whatever you read on the internet you dont immediately take as facts. CA is a big community, there are tons of people like hummel1dane who state facts when in fact they may not be. I wouldnt worry about it so much, if people are clever enough they think for themselves.
    I would rather have you join in on the discussion cause I know you have some interesting views and thoughts to share...

    Last edited by Jonas Heirwegh; January 7th, 2010 at 03:31 PM.
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    on mukhina academy

    Hummel1dane:

    You are right. It is amazing that there are two such good academies in Petersburg. We did not even speak about Moscow which also has some amazign academies such as Surikov and Glazunov Institutes, for example.

    Zaitsev published a small book which I have. If I ever have time, i will post a few of his students' drawings, classic Mukhina work.

    To Hyscoa: The armpit of the world is my home country and my home city, but I don't take it personally, and I have told people here that life there is not a smooth ride. But in a way, it makes it easier to study art, because there aren't that many things to distract you from it and everyone is really serious about it. Like my friend says, "Art aint a joke there".

    However, I would not want to discourage those who might be interested in studying there. It is still one of the most beautiful cities in the world (Petersburg that is), and it has the Hermitage Museum and the Russian Museum, a whole bunch of other palaces rivaling Versaille, great ballet, opera, symphony and dramatical arts. Beautiful young girls, by the way! And, I don't think studying there is that expensive. For what you get there it is much cheaper than any American or European art college or even an atelier.

    By the way, has anyone here had any time to draw or paint since participating in this forum? I actually have not done much myself lately, and I feel terrible. This has been so interesting to follow along with other holiday-type distractions for me. My New Year resolution is to cut on my electronic time. What about you guys? Although, I feel like I've made some good friends here, thanks to Hummel1dane who started this thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lena murray View Post
    Hummel1dane:

    You are right. It is amazing that there are two such good academies in Petersburg. We did not even speak about Moscow which also has some amazign academies such as Surikov and Glazunov Institutes, for example.

    Zaitsev published a small book which I have. If I ever have time, i will post a few of his students' drawings, classic Mukhina work.

    To Hyscoa: The armpit of the world is my home country and my home city, but I don't take it personally, and I have told people here that life there is not a smooth ride. But in a way, it makes it easier to study art, because there aren't that many things to distract you from it and everyone is really serious about it. Like my friend says, "Art aint a joke there".

    However, I would not want to discourage those who might be interested in studying there. It is still one of the most beautiful cities in the world (Petersburg that is), and it has the Hermitage Museum and the Russian Museum, a whole bunch of other palaces rivaling Versaille, great ballet, opera, symphony and dramatical arts. Beautiful young girls, by the way! And, I don't think studying there is that expensive. For what you get there it is much cheaper than any American or European art college or even an atelier.

    By the way, has anyone here had any time to draw or paint since participating in this forum? I actually have not done much myself lately, and I feel terrible. This has been so interesting to follow along with other holiday-type distractions for me. My New Year resolution is to cut on my electronic time. What about you guys? Although, I feel like I've made some good friends here, thanks to Hummel1dane who started this thread.


    I would like to see some Mukhina drawings, from what ive seen now I'm more impressed with the Repin drawings to be honest. I seriously think nothing surpasses the Repin quality in the world at the moment. Btw does Kurkov still teaches at the Repin Academy? And if he is can you choose wich teacher you want if you get in?

    You know you hit on some cool points. I cant wait to study in Sint Petersburg, although I've never been there I can imagine they are serious about art and there is not so much distraction like you have in LA. You can tell there is good old discipline, and thats what you need as an artist.
    I also agree on the price, it isnt that expensive. I'm doing a regular job at the moment and I'll propably have to work one and a half year to pay for the Repin academy including stay and food for at least 4 years. Once I have a bit more time on my hands I'm gonna start my preparation for entering the academy. As for now it would be way to early, I need alot more practice.

    btw Lena, I'm probably gonna visit the academy in august or september. I'm gonna try planning a trip to St Pete and visit some museums. Can you enter the academy as a visitor?

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    Quote Originally Posted by lena murray View Post
    Hummel1dane:
    Zaitsev published a small book which I have. If I ever have time, i will post a few of his students' drawings, classic Mukhina work.
    I would really like that, Im curious to see if they are similar to the work of Boris students.

    Quote Originally Posted by lena murray View Post
    Hummel1dane:
    By the way, has anyone here had any time to draw or paint since participating in this forum? I actually have not done much myself lately, and I feel terrible. This has been so interesting to follow along with other holiday-type distractions for me. My New Year resolution is to cut on my electronic time. What about you guys? Although, I feel like I've made some good friends here, thanks to Hummel1dane who started this thread.
    Not much time to draw no. And yes I will definitely cut down on this forum as well, think it's more important to draw than to debate how it's done!

    Thank you for sharing all that stuff about the russian academies, I am now more curious than ever.

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    lena murray Great information!! Such facts is really hard to obtain even from the internet. I am just wondering. According to the book I have (posted a few post down) which is written by Nikolai Repin who graduated from repin institute (is this the same Repin Academy?) under Andrei Mylnikov. Now he is teaching in repin institute now and he seems to say analytical anatomy study is a very important part of the education at repin. Maybe u can provide more insight on as to why it seems to conflict with what you said?

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    U.S. schools

    Any other opinions on U.S. schools with a strong figurative program? I see that the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art combines constructive anatomy with what it considers 19th century practices. It has gotten some positive mentions in this thread, as has Glenn Vilppu, who teaches there. Any additional thoughts from you guys would be appreciated.

    <quote from Web site>

    The LAAFA/Atelier core curriculum uniquely combines techniques developed by:

    * European 19th Century Ateliers and Masters
    * U.S. 20th Century Figurative Masters & Illustrators

    These schools of study are sometimes seen at odds with each other. However, when studied within the LAAFA/Atelier curriculum, they dramatically enhance the student's artistic appreciation and forms of expression. Our program is designed to create an artist who is prepared to take the skills learned into any avenue of the art community, whether it is Fine Art, Illustration, or Entertainment.

    <end of quote>

    Most of my art heroes are illustrators of the early part of the 20th century, and I'm looking for a program that will move me in that direction.

    I know the New York Academy of Art also seems quite focused on anatomy and structure.

    Thanks again.

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    Adelheide -

    New york academy is new to me, just checking it out now.

    From what I can read on the website it sounds great, but without more images of student work it's difficult to tell. I suggest you visit the school to check out the student standard.

    LAAFA I would recommend since Vilppu teaches there and Rey Bustos. But thats only drawing, construction and anatomy. I don't know much about the other classes offered.

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    U.S. Schools

    Thanks. Yeah, Rey Bustos' ecorche class looks excellent. New York has a full-year ecorche, too.

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    about New York Academy

    I am very familiar with New York Academy since it's sort of a competitor to the Bridgeview School (my school in New York city).

    NAA has great resources, full figure casts from the Met, excellent studios, extensive use of models, long poses and etc.

    It is very expensive, about $30,000 a year I believe? (not sure). This is an MFA program although they do have some Continuing Education and workshops as well.

    Andy Warhol gave money to start it back int he 80s, isnt' that ironic? You probably heard that Warhol was an avid collector of traditional art.

    Drawbacks. Student level varies a great deal from absolutely beginner to an OK. The weakest Bridgeview students were able to get in there, I was really surprised. I think it's gotten better now. If you look at their diploma projects, it's hard to believe it's done by MFA graduates, people who will be now trying to get teaching jobs at colleges and universities.

    At Bridgeview we have always had quite a few New York Academy students, who attended our evening classes to augment their NY Academy experience. One guy was from China (the best student at NYA, got a scholarship and etc). After studying at Bridgeview he ended up going to China to study more. Actually Joe Menna (mentioned in the previous posts) studied there as well, and ended up in Mukhina in Russia after NYA.

    Currently we have Boris Tyomkin (an American of Russian discent) studying with us right now. Boris moved to New York all the way from LA to attend New York Academy. At Bridgeview, he is taking Samuel Kudish's class (this is my 82 year old teacher and mentor, a Mukhina graduate back in the 50s). Boris says that he gets more from Kudish in 3 hours a week than from the whole Academy in months (that's his words).

    The bottom line is that their teachers are not so good, I am sure there are exceptions. But, again these are American-trained realist artists who themselves went to New York Academy or studied in some atelier schools. None of them had the benefit of a real academy education. Leonid Lerman, probably one of the best sculptors living in America now, another Mukhina graduate, used to teach there, but not anymore. This has nothing to do with the students, he just gets more money at other places.

    If you are interested in any type of construction, even minimal, NYA is not your school, totally "shadow shapes copying". Their ecorche classes are more for medical students. You learn the bones and muscles by sculpting each individual muscle thread, but you don't understand plasticity, or what is referred to as "artistic anatomy".

    Having said this, if you need an MFA degree which may help you get a teaching job, and you have a lot of money or want to borrow money (you can get student loans for NYA), and can spend 2 years in a very intensive program in New York city, then NYA is for you. By the way, their program is quite intense, they cram a lot of classes into these two years.

    This is another thing that I've heard from one of our students who also studied there. While they accept students with very low level, many of them quit, since the program is too hard for them. So, the ones who stay are probably the better ones and they produce better work at the end.

    In any case, if any of you decide to go there, I hope you come to Bridgeview in the evening or on weekends to augment your training there.

    If you want Boris Tyomkins' email, write to me privately and I will send it to you so you can speak to him first hand.

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