Friday, August 7, 2009

It is all primary

An urban lesson in primary colors, this intense mixed media piece by Jasper Johns this piece pushes the limits of bridging the conceptual with the formal...this color study has jumped off of the canvas into the real world...using objects, letters and neon...controlling the message...forcing the viewer see the word red, blue and yellow, but the colors bleed and fan out in furious color...

The balance of activity on the left hand side is balanced by the texture in the middle and the open neutral gray on the right hand side...the mark of yellow connects the viewer back over and ties the picture plane together...this image was taken at the National Gallery and concludes the Washington trip! What great work available for free to all visitors!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Lady in receiving

Magritte has based this sculpture on his painting, a piece housed at the exaggeration of the female form, foreshortened...stepped, like nesting dolls, she is repeated in a beautiful, simple way...fragmented...the bronze form is realistic, broken down to create a sense of unease...How he plays with that which is there and that which is imagined, the sculpture creates a unique world...a space where what we conceive is not what we receive...

I have to say this quick comment...this really go under my skin and I thought it might help to share. Going to the Library of Congress this week...I heard our docent say something startling, but it finally clicked...why do we care so little about art and artists in the US? She said all the painting and carving was done for free and she had the nerve to say that these artists were just happy to have their work placed in such a prestigious place...I thought, this is crap! We continue to place no value on what artists do...I would like to go up to my accountant and say, can you just do my taxes for free? You should be honored to complete my taxes because I am such a great person! I don't think so!!!What we value, is those works of art that have not been completed...success...yet we care nothing for the process and training needed to make great artists...This is the reason I started this blog...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

If I could, I would eat paint

His paintings are like confectionery sugar...Wayne Thiebaud's early works are the perfect union of materials and concept...the images are so rich and delicious you want to eat them...this piece is part of the permanent collection at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC...what a great piece in person!

The cakes are laid out in a repetitious line, tying into the decorative black is used, only pastels, natural and food should be...all of the elements reinforce this sweet and edible feel...light and airy the work fills the viewer up and satisfies!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

So Close you might miss it

Another painting at the Hirshorn...this portrait by Chuck Close of Roy Lichtenstein is an amazing example of the current style by the Internationally known realistic 1988 he suffered a catastrophic illness which left him he paints with a brush strapped to his hand and a lift which moves him up and down the canvas...this event, in my humble opinion, has changed his work into something so much more beautiful and intense...

The contrast of the grid structure (which was his way of copying photographs and blowing up sections square by square) with the loose concentric circles of expressive paint, creates an intensity that is visually appealing...combined with the color schemes of the pointillists and the mark making of the abstract expressionists, this work shouts "ENERGY"...This painting shows tremendous skill as a painter and colorist, transforming an awkward way of working into a new and exciting metaphor for overcoming pain and adversity...

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sizing it all up

In the same vein as sculpture by super realist Duane Hanson, Ron Mueck takes it another direction and arguably a step further by including strong emotional content to the individuals he chooses as subject matters...these figures are not passive, existing along side their "live" counter-parts, but looking for active engagement with their audience...this work the Hirshorn in Washington, DC, is carefully placed in a corner, starring at us a we take images, stare and converse about his vulnerability, relevance and proportion....

Scale is also a dominant theme in his work, playing with our visual sensibilities...this piece is larger than life, a giant amongst a race of little men...the figure is handled incredibly well, with close attention paid to detail on anatomy and flesh...size does matter in this piece, combined with the mood of the male figure, the viewer cannot help but feel uneasy in the presence of someone who seems disturbed...if he were to get up, how could you get away???