Nov. 9th, 2015 01:46 pm
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I've been hearing little whispers of a "Renoir Sucks at Painting" movement. This morning, I finally read a detailed article on them at Salon. I happen to like some Renoirs, not all, but that's because I don't like all the works of any artist. I also don't think vilifying one artist is the way to get more people to appreciate their local museums. Although, with troll culture, I could be wrong about that.

I'll admit, Desert Island Discs (which ten pieces of music would you want on a desert island along with three books (complete works of Shakespeare and the Bible are already included) and a luxury) is enjoyable, but Desert Island Discards (which ten pieces of music would you want to leave on a desert island permanently) is much more fun at parties. (I am not advocating censorship, just for the record. It's an interesting way to see where your tastes overlap with your friends' tastes, and the best part is advocating for the ones you like that they don't and vice-versa.)

What I'd like to do is see who my friends (hell, anyone who finds this post is welcome) would like to see more widely known at artists. Women and people of color would be great, but it's not zero sum. Anyone you think is under-represented or who should be in more museums as an inspiration to others is welcomed.

April Gornik is an artist whose work I love. She does landscapes and plays with light.

Lightning on Water
Green Shade
Full Moon Rise

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the Louise Bourgeois exhibit at the Hirschhorn a few years ago. The artist died soon after. If spiders alarm you, don't randomly click on her work. The link below has spiders.

Her "Cells"


Jun. 30th, 2015 09:03 am
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I don't see well three dimensionally. When I didn't wear glasses, I saw in 2-D (kept glasses in the car for driving only, since I didn't need them the rest of the time) and even now, some prescription adjustments have me hugging walls for a day or two until I get used to this new concept of depth.

Oddly enough, 3-D movies and illusions always have depth for me. The first 3-D movie I saw was Kiss Me Kate which was playing at Coolidge Corner about two years before I started wearing glasses full time. I actually gasped because it was the first time in my life I'd seen something like that. (On a side note, Mom and Dad saw it with me. For the first time, Mom understood why I'd been bad at games with balls -- baseball especially. If it was a flat object which kept getting bigger rather than moving through space, of course I couldn't catch it.)

All of this is a lead up to a video I saw on slate this morning, an anamorphic rendering of a glass of water. Deeply, deeply cool.

fabrisse: (Persephone)
An artist by the name of Jake Chapman was quoted in The Independent as saying children shouldn't be taken to art galleries because they can't appreciate the point the artist is trying to make.

Yes, I'm screaming. I loved going to art museums when I was a kid. One of my most visceral memories is of seeing Winged Victory (Nike of Samothrace) for the first time when I was seven. I would beg to be allowed to go to the National Gallery or the Portrait Gallery after church when we moved back to DC, and, from the time I was ten, my parents would let me go on my own.

Field trips to The Phillips Collection or the Corcoran were high points of my school year.

And then there was the tutoring when I grew up. One of the things I had the hardest time with, both in DC and Boston, was encouraging the students to develop their own tastes. Especially in DC, the students were hesitant to voice an opinion because they were afraid either of being "wrong" (in quotes because, while bad taste exists, it's still a personal taste and therefore can't be wrong) or of disagreeing with an adult.

And yet, some of the best times I've ever had have been with preteens at a museum. There was the girl next door who had a hard time keeping her hands off the Babylonian art and tried to touch the Van Gogh's. She didn't care for Egyptian art at all and thought Monet was a little dull (for the record, I like Monet better than Van Gogh and prefer Egyptian to Babylonian, but her enthusiasm was infectious.). The group I took to the National Gallery was fascinated by the Venetian paintings and had some very pointed comments about a nude that we passed. Some loved still lifes, others thought the carved table was the bomb (their word, not mine), and all of them adored Villareal's Multiverse installation.

How can anyone say that kids can't enjoy art? Worse, how can anyone say that a child isn't human yet?

Villareal's Multiverse (it's a little sped up)
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I've just found out that the Glasgow School of Art has had a fire. The Guardian is reporting that the building is 90% viable, but Mackintosh and his wife, Margaret MacDonald, were all about the details, and I worry that some of those may be lost.

I've loved Rennie Mackintosh's work for such a long time. It's one of my defining charatceristics, as strange as that may sound. Mom and I had a delightful weekend in Glasgow together (I know me, Mom and "delightful" in the same sentence!) going to Willow Tearooms and finding everything of his that we could that was open.

One thing I always notice is that if you want the future in a chair, go to Rennie Mackintosh.
Star Trek, in several iterations used his chairs, so did Babylon 5 and I even caught one in an episode of Fringe.

I hope the School is all right. Its legacy is priceless.


Jul. 17th, 2013 05:09 pm
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I never watched Transformers. It was after my time.

However, I fell in love with the Citroen DS (aka Goddess, if you like puns in Franglais) the first time I saw one. It is a pure and true adoration, and my various winning the lottery fantasies always include owning at least one in mint condition.

Today, at the New York Times there was an article on a Citroen Transformer created by artist Chico MacMurtrie. Go have a look, and don't forget to click on the video showing the transformation. She goes from the sleekest, sexiest car on the road to a Mecha as elegant as the Chrysler building (though I think the inflatable is cheating a little).

Go, go. It's gorgeous!
fabrisse: (Default)
I don't particularly care for it, except when I do.

I was a bit of a prig as a kid and into my early twenties, and my tastes were very conservative. But there were always exceptions. I loved the Eero Saarinen buildings I saw -- and I still get a quiet thrill when I see that soaring wing of Dulle Airport -- had a fondness for Salvador Dali's jewelry (that's a YouTube link), and generally liked Man Ray's photographs.

I hated the Hirshhorn Museum and until I moved back here in 2008, I hadn't crossed its threshold since the opening weekend in 1974. About a year after I moved back, I started going to the special exhibits there. I don't like much of the permanent collection, although there are some fantastic Rodin's, and I don't always like the exhibits, but I'm refining my tastes and have often been surprised.

One of the exhibits that surprised me was the one on Louise Bourgeois. I actually went back to it because aspects of it had caught me. She uses a great many spiders in her works, but when you know that her mother was a weaver and lace maker who restored historical fabrics, those images start to make psychological sense. Many of the installations were "rooms," some tiny enough that I stood over them or next to them and looked in, some large enough to walk through, and some large enough to walk through that could only be looked in on. The one thing they all had in common was a marble piece -- it might be a carved block or a hand or just a raw piece of marble -- which worked as a symbol of the artist herself and her protection of her talent within her somewhat fucked up family.

I was sad to hear of her death. She was 98, and her work wasn't really recognized until she was in her 70s.

She gives me hope, and opened my eyes to other aspects of art.
fabrisse: (Default)

I went to see the Magritte Exhibit at LACMA last week. The whole exhibit was carpeted like in the picture above and the ceiling had pictures of the Los Angeles Cloverleaf system.

Read more... )


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