For more extensive artist's bio, articles and list of exhibitions, visit artist(s) website(s). Many of the images displayed on this site are copyrighted, and are used here only for purposes of education or critical review. All rights are reserved by the artists who created the works referenced herein.

Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Mary Jane Ansell

Mary Jane Ansell













Mary Jane Ansell graduated from Brighton University in 1994 and now works from her studio in the heart of Brighton's North Laine.

After only beginning to seriously exhibit her work in 2002, she was selected for both the 2004 BP National Portrait Award and The Daily Mails Not the Turner Prize she was also prize winner in LondonArts Art of Love competition held at the Arndale Gallery, Cork Street London.

2004 also saw her supporting the national charitable initiative Big Arts Week spending a week with children, at Stanford Infant School during June encouraging them to explore portraiture for themselves.










She was invited to appear on the BBC, giving a live half hour portraiture master-class on CBBC's Xchange programme marking the National Gallery's exhibition Making Faces.

During Brighton's May Festival she was short listed for the Brighton Festival Fringe Art Prize 2004

2005 continued to be just as eventful. Mary Jane won the Sussex Open Painting Award at Brighton and Hove Museum and was selected for the Royal Society Of Portrait Painters annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London followed by a second selection for LondonArts Art of Love competition held at the Oxo Tower Gallery, London in February.

2006 opened with an invitation to produce a portrait, one of 150 to be auctioned as part of The National Portrait Gallery's 150th Anniversary Gala celebrations. Along with celebrities such as Mario Testino, Bruce Oldfield, Sam Taylor-Wood, Sophie Dahl and Jerry Hall - artists and sitters joined forces for National Portrait Gallery's 150th Anniversary Appeal: 'Collecting for the Future' raising money for future collections.



















Frank Kortan

Frank Kortan

















Born in Prag 1964. He starts the professional artistic carrier of a musician he emigrates to Tessino (Switzerland), after one year he moves to Germanyhe has been studying painting intensively, during studies he meets German Trompe-l'oeil scene and then he starts the professional carrier of a paintergraduated from Masaryk's Academy of Fine Arts, Prague.

He lives and works in Kalchreuth near Nürnberg, Germany.His paintings have been exhibited in many individual or collective exhibitions (e.g. Salon d'Automne Paris/France, Salons de la Résidence du Louvre/Monaco Modern Art Museum, Salvador Dali Exhibition Musee Baron Martin Grey/France, Centre Culturel Peugeot Paris/France, Albrecht Dürer Haus Nuremberg/Germany). They are a part of private collections or the collections of public institutions as for example Albrecht Dürer Haus Nuremberg (Germany), Monaco Modern Art Museum (Monaco), Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Santiago (Chile), Museo d'Arte Mendrisio (Switzerland), Levi Strauss Museum Buttenheim (Germany), Bibliothéque Royale Albert I. Brussels (Belgium).


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"It's highly gratifying to see that there still exist artists such as Frank Kortan, who have tasted from the elixir of Emperor Rudolph II and, in the spirit of the noble art of Mannerism, keep presenting its mastery to our contemporaries' eyes; the mastery that had already seemed extinct but that is essential to create magnificent paintings in the style of the old masters. May his works open the eyes of all those who have become blind through pointless art so that they are able to understand the language of paintings again."


Prof. Ernst Fuchs, Monaco, 16.04.2003



"In the blur of our time, in which the beauty and the art have been dutifully eliminated from les beaux arts, some artists continue, with courage and saintly tenacity, to paint in the spirit and with the skill of the Old Masters, though each in his own individual style. The portrait that Frank, in his inimitable mastery, has painted of me and for me, is the best one that I have ever seen - including those that I catch sight of in the bathroom mirror. I have often talked to myself, but never before have words failed me. The picture says it all. The painter has recognised me. There can be no greater compliment."

Ephraim Kishon
Appenzell/Switzerland, November 2004





An artist of transcendental intimacy
When perceiving the artistic creation of Frank Kortan we are down, if we want to apply the methods and clichés of classical art history. We have to turn to the newest spiritual and theoretical conceptions from various fields of anthropology. We are led to it by honest intentions to get into the aesthetics of Frank Kortan. The inspirations of artistic creation of this painter are near to the surrealistic aesthetics of free imaginations and associations, the experience of subconscious and nonconscious defined by Freud. But not everything created by Kortan can be explained in this way. According to him antitheses cease to be "real or imaginative"; he is a follower of the relativity of existence. When contemplating of Kortan's artistic creation we remember the words of André Breton from the Second Manifesto of Surrealism. He says that the aim of a surrealistic activity is to define "a certain spiritual point from which life and death, real and imaginative, past and present, notifiable and unnotifiable, high and low cease to be perceived as antitheses." Kortan's everyday motives express his love of dreaming which has been named "via regia" - nonconsciousness. Nevertheless, we cannot confine the perception of Kortan to classical psychoanalysis. It seems to us that the most thruthful are concepts, which Gaston Bachelard applied in his Phenomenology of Dreaming where he distinguished the values of dream. In this respect Kortan is a master of absolute dream and half-dream. In his paintings full of "old" and "new" eternity we register something, which is named "dreaming about dreaming". Kortan's absolute dream of a night sleep is in fact a Universe. We acquaint with Kortan's animism: nothing is death in his still lives - everything is live. The activity of subconsciousness is evident: one motive is replaced by another; psychical accents are transferred to other ones. Aesthetic condensation defined by psychoanalyses is substantial: two - or more - imaginations combine and create more complex imagination with deeper meaning and stronger energy. We register out-of-sensuous perception, especially the transfer of aesthetic meanings. As a matter of fact, Kortan is one of world avant-gardists because his paintings are near to "individual mythology" which is focused on the retrospective classification of the past and inspired by the "tracks of human civilisation" and which emphasises "the re-vitalisation of fragments". While Anne and Patrick Poirier look for archeological inspirations, Nikolaus Lang depicts the atmosphere of a Bavarian family and Jürgen Brodwolf paints miniature shop-windows, Frank Kortan confines himself neither to a metaphor nor a concrete event. We have to point out to Kortan's aesthetics, which reflects the out-of-sensuous psychology of C.A.Mace who presupposes the existence of a "psychical ether" through which the waves of thought spread and in which the tracks of events remain. In addition, the aspect of temptation is presumed. If he did not admire the symbolic-sexual aspects of a woman nude, he would not be a surrealist. Nevertheless, in his artistic creation these aspects oscillate between latent, evident and mysterious. These are the symbols of woman. As noncousciousness follows the principles of delight and not reality - as we know from psychoanalysis - Kortan expresses the eternity of delight. He reminds the words by Nietzsche on his tablet in Sils-Maria See in Upper Engadin: "Every delight is eternity". Kortan invites to introspection and purification from the sentimentality of civilisation. He wants a man to be immune against any tie resulted from work and the world of things. In this respect he is "transcendental". In this respect we can cite an idea from Indian spiritual culture: "A work which does not cause any tie is a work with transcendental result, i.e. karma-yoga." Kortan does not aim at the Absolute Personality of the Deity: he represents a happy soul and wants everybody to be like him ...

Prof. Dr. Miroslav Klivar, member of The American Society for Aesthetics




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