"Animal Love"   Lot no. 4758

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By Kurt Ard (American, 1925-)

1971
22.25" x 19"
mixed media on paperboard
Signed Lower Right

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This piece was first illustrated on the cover of the 1971 issue of Panorama magazine and then featured in Allers Magazine, 1973. The illustration features a young boy sleeping on the ground next to an empty dog bed. The beagle dog has taken over the little boy's bed. 

 

Much like Norman Rockwell, Kurt Ard was inspired by everyday life and he often used his wife and children as models, striving to portray figures and their surroundings as accurately as possible. Ard’s strong attention to detail creates a visual delight on canvas and enhances the relatability of his narratives. These charming scenes of childhood and witty commentaries on relationships and daily life are representative of Ard’s endearing humor that defines his signature style.

 

Kurt Ard was born in Copenhagen in 1925 and apprenticed to a Danish painter in his youth. He sold his first magazine illustration at the age of seventeen and began his career working for small newspapers, but commissions were scarce at the time due to World War II. After the War, Ard achieved global fame for his covers produced for popular magazines throughout Europe and the United States from the 1950s through the 1970s. In Europe, Ard’s illustrations graced the covers of popular magazines, including PanoramaHÖRZUAllers, and Familie Journal. In the United States, Ard’s illustrations appeared on eight covers of The Saturday Evening Post, as well as the pages of other leading publications, including McCall’s and Reader’s Digest.

 

Ard had a unique challenge producing artwork for US-based publications from his studio in Copenhagen. According to The Saturday Evening Post, after the artist submitted his sketches to the magazine’s editors and art department, Ard had to wait for a response before beginning his final painting. He sometimes had to halt progress and wait for approval if he wanted to make changes mid-project. (Reference: Joseph Scales, “Beyond the Canvas: Covering Up,” The Saturday Evening Post online, published July 23, 2014.)



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