Posts tagged art history
Posts tagged art history
Alexander Rodchenko, Composition (Winning Red), 1918
Francis Bacon, Study After Velazquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X, 1953
Remedios Varo, Cazadora de Astros (Star Catcher), 1956.
Remedios Varo, Cosmic Energy, 1956.
Angelica Kauffmann, Self Portrait, c. 1770-75
Romaine Brooks, Ida Rubinstein, 1917.
Kara Walker, Insurrection! (Our Tools Were Rudimentary, Yet We Pressed On), 2000
From the Guggenheim:
In Insurrection! (Our Tools Were Rudimentary, Yet We Pressed On), Walker applied colored projections to her silhouette tableaux for the first time. The additional layer disallows passive voyeurism. As viewers step into the environment, their shadows join the sinister scene. Here a woman flees with a noose still hanging from her neck; there in the Big House, another woman’s rag-wrapped head tilts over a body that she disembowels with a ladle; outside, another young girl straddles a gentleman whose head she lifts off effortlessly. Walker dissects conditions of desperation, subjugation, and the decadence of power, staging fantastical confrontations with the illogic of human bondage.
Kara Walker,No mere words can Adequately reflect the Remorse this Negress feels at having been Cast into such a lowly state by her former Masters and so it is with a Humble heart that she brings about their physical Ruin and earthly Demise, 1999
Although she studied painting and printmaking at the Atlanta College of Art and the Rhode Island School of Design, Kara Walker is best known for her large-scale, cut-paper installations.
Her silhouettes are a direct reference to a popular art form of the nineteenth century, coincident with slavery. Their violent, often sexual imagery is drawn from folk, literary, and visual traditions. Typically arranged as a series of nonlinear narrative vignettes, they retell the history of racism in America.
The traditional rendering of silhouettes in black and white also reflects racism’s visual component. While evoking the past, they efface individual details to create figures that are both stereotypes and archetypes. The artist explains, “The silhouette says a lot with very little information, but that’s also what the stereotype does. So I saw the silhouette and the stereotype as linked. Of course, while the stereotype, or the emblem, can communicate with a lot of people, and a lot of people can understand it, the other side of this is that it also reduces difference, reduces diversity to that stereotype.”
Helen Frankenthaler, Magic Carpet, 1964.
David LaChapelle knows a thing or two about beauty and transience after three decades of experience as a celebrity and fashion photographer. In his current exhibition Earth Laughs In Flowers he explores these themes by updating the Baroque tradition of still life painting.
About the project:
In this new series of ten works DAVID LACHAPELLE (Born 1964) explores the vanity of life and beauty. With titles such as “Springtime”, “Late Summer”, “Early Fall” and “Deathless Winter” the works refer to the four seasons and allude to the life cycle: from birth to death.
The title of the series is a quotation of the poem “Hamatreya” by Ralph Waldo Emerson, in which flowers are the earth’s laughter at the arrogance of human beings who believe they can rule the earth, although they themselves are transient and must return to it. The title of the exhibition can also be read in the sense of the Baroque vanitas portrayals. The meaning of the Baroque floral still life was always related to the human hubris and transience of earthly existence, with the classical still life often containing many of the following: flowers, fruits, vegetables, animals, insects, mask, candles, watches or skulls. These symbols denote the fugacity and limitations of human life and the meaningless nature of vanity. Just like wilting flowers, albeit their beauty, we will all fade away. Whilst LaChapelle shows an explicit compositional affinity to Baroque floral still life, he transfers the genre from painting to photography. The artist employs art historical visual traditions, but he also translates them into visual metaphor of and for our time. On second glance the viewer will discover objects of contemporary society in the blooming and fading flower arrangements: burning cigarettes, newspapers from yesterday, old mobile phones, plastic, Barbies, a Manga mask, medical devices, a burning American flag, a model of an airplane, balloons, tins, collages, throw away dinnerware or a tattered dollar bill. These are the metaphors of vanity in our era of an affluent though seemingly troubled society. The often bizarre and excessive symbolical imagery does not fail to remind us however, as in the traditional vanitas, to follow our virtues and to celebrate life before it‘s over.
These works will be on exhibit through March 24 at Robilant + Voena in Milan.
Gerrit van Honthorst, Christ Before the High Priest, c. 1620-23
In this painting, Christ is higher than the priest, both physically and morally; Christ has the greater calm, standing serenely with his hands bound, while the priest and his soldiers are agitated. There’s an intimacy to the painting that Honthorst favored in his works; the dramatic lighting cast by the candle in the center of the composition unites the figures, and our position on the other side of the table places us in the room in direct proximity to what’s unfolding before us.
Richard Avedon, Julian Bond And Members Of The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Atlanta, Georgia, 1963
Ana Mendieta, Silueta Works in Mexico, 1973-77
From The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles:
Ana Mendieta was born into a politically prominent family in Cuba closely affiliated with the Communist movement led by Fidel Castro. When the alliance between Castro’s factions and Mendieta’s father turned sour in 1961, she was sent to live in the United States. Her exile informed the development of her ensuing work; she did not identify with a particular homeland and adopted various sites for her performances and their documentation. The untitled works that comprise the Silueta series, which she preformed as she traveled between Iowa and Mexico, reveal her interest in the earth as a site to address issues of displacement by recording the presence of her body—or the imprint it left behind—within different natural environments. Mendieta often filled in the silhouette of her body on the earth with various materials such as rocks, twigs, and flowers, as well as blood and gunpowder.
Leonor Fini, Guardian of the Black Egg, 1955
Leonor Fini, Guardian Of The Flowers, 1963