Moving to Chicago just a little over a year and a half ago I was unfamiliar with Chicago artists. Loving the artists from my native Minnesota made me curious about the artists of Chicago. The beauty of the city of Chicago and the wonderful geography of Illinois gave me a strong incentive to discover these artists. After searching on the Internet for artists from the Chicago area I found very little information and it became very time consuming. When I joined MIR Appraisal Services, Inc. I finally became immersed with some excellent Chicago area artists. I found that most of these artists were born outside of the United States, but chose Chicago to progress their artistic talents. These artists have helped pave the way in making Chicago one of the premier artist cities in the world.
Gianni Cilfone was born in Italy and came to Chicago when he was five years old. Gianni Cilfone trained at the Chicago Academy of Fine Art and the Art Institute of Chicago. The painting "Moonrise" that is hanging on the walls at Mir was exhibited at the 1929 annual exhibit at the Art Institute. Cilfone's paintings are characterized by his warm colors and impressionistic style. His landscapes give off a peaceful tranquility with his calm compositions. Cilfone would paint side by side for many years with another artist who resided in Chicago named Samuel Bartilotta. Cilfone would later become a instructor at the Art Institute where he would share his knowledge and skill to young artists.
Henry Hulsmann was a German immigrant artist who painted in and around the Chicago area. Hulsmann grew up in a small farming town in Germany and moved to America when he was nineteen. Hulsmann would individually create frames to match his paintings. This would put a valuable relationship between the painting and the frame. Hulsmann's landscapes look like they could have painted in Germany. Many of his landscapes would have farming themes, which may have reminded him of his native Germany. Hulsmann's daughter was also a well known Chicago artist.
Harry Mintz was a polish born Artist who immigrated to America where he became a professor at the Art Institute of Chicago. His lively abstract paintings capture the vitality and energy of Chicago. He experimented with a abstract expressionist style that was in a color field style. His paintings are very intuitive and emotionally intense. Some of his compositions would be entirely abstract, while others were more concrete.
Joseph Tomanek was born in Czechoslovakia and came to Chicago when he was 21 years. old. Tomanek painted very nice nudes that look similar to that of Renoir. His paintings were very delicate and feminine, with his loose brushstrokes and pastel colors. His nudes were very idealized, Tomanek would pick and choose different parts from his models to create the idyllic woman.
These artists are only a small sample of the incredible talent pool of Chicago artists. Chicago is a such a melting pot of cultures that these artists were able to come from all over the world to bring their own styles and cultural experiences to the city of Chicago. This would not have been possible without the proper institutions to harbor the talents of these artists. The Art Institute of Chicago showed how incredibly influential it has been in developing the art scene in Chicago. There are also a number of different artists groups and coalitions that have nurtured the arts scene in Chicago. Here at Mir our appraisers have a wealth of information on Chicago artists, but we are constantly trying to expand this knowledge. If you have any artwork by Chicago area artists, please let our dedicated staff take a look.
Written and researched Robert Snell
307 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 308
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: (312) 814-8510