Modern Art Monday: Arnold Böcklin, Island Of The Dead

island of the dead photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

In 1880 Maria Berna, the American-born widow of a German diplomat, visited artist Arnold Böcklin in Florence, where she saw an unfinished version of this painting, Island Of The Dead (1880) — now in the Kunstmuseum Basel— on his easel. She commissioned the present work as a memorial to her husband, requesting the additions of the draped coffin and the shrouded female figure. Prodded by his dealer, Böcklin painted three other versions by 1886. This romantic image would become one of Germany’s most beloved, widely circulated through poor reproductions as well as a related etching in 1890 by Max Klinger (18571920).

Photographed In the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Pink Thing Of The Day: Iridescent Pink Fanny Pack!

iridescent pin fanny pack photo by gail worley
Photos By Gail

I’m not sure who is trying to make the Fanny Pack come back into style, but I admit that I was at least a wee bit tempted to snatch up this iridescent Pink version of the reviled fashion accessory when I saw it hanging from a display at the local Lot Less closeout store on 14th Street. Only $4.99 – what a bargain!

iridescent pink fanny pack photo by gail worley

Reccomended Reading: Alice Cooper in the 70s: Decades By Chris Sutton

Alice Cooper in the 70s Book

In September of 1970 the band called Alice Cooper had been living out of their suitcases for a year; playing gigs across the country nonstop since leaving California in 1969. Choosing to put down roots in just outside of Detroit, in the center of the Midwest rust belt, proved to be one of the best decisions the band ever made, both creatively and financially. With two commercially unsuccessful albums behind them, Michael Bruce, Glen Buxton, Vince Furnier (aka Alice Cooper), Dennis Dunaway and Neal Smith were at the threshold of turning their music into Gold and Platinum for the first time. In the dawn of a decade bookended by The Beatles and Punk Rock, Alice Cooper exploded as a revolutionary force in theatrical American Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Alice Cooper in the 1970s: Decades, a new book by UK-based author Chris Sutton explores the story of Alice Cooper  from their early years as band of five guys through to the end of the decade, when Alice launched a solo career after the band dissolved.

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Eye On Design: César Expansion Table

cesar expansion table photo by gail worley
Installation View With Rene Gabriel’s Bridge Armchair (All Photos By Gail)

The celebrated French artist César (born Cesare Baldaccini) was a founding member in 1960 of the Nouveaux Réalistes group. His amorphous bronze and glass Expansion Table (1977) is one of the rare works in which César applied his Expansion technique to a functional object. Whereas he also created a handful of bronze ashtrays, lamps, as well as the console commissioned by Henri Samuel, the Expansion Table is the object in which César philosophy — his belief that life and art are one entity, indivisible —achieves its apex.

cesar expansion table detail photo by gail worley

Some background on César’s Expansions: One of the artist’s great breakthroughs in the late 1960s took the form of sculptural spills called Expansions. Realized with liquid polyurethane foam, a novel material at the time, each spill involved actively pouring specifically tinted foam, allowing it to expand, and then leaving it to set in a process that resulted in soft forms several times larger than their original liquid volume.

cesar expansion table detail photo by gail worley

César was moved by this material’s freedom and energy — rather than conforming to the matrix of a mold, it actually spread and expanded in what would famously become a critically admired analog for the new spirit of liberation that marked the era. As Pierre Restany noted in 1970, “César’s expansions reveal a new phase in his work, the phase of maturity: the mastering of the technique allied to the freedom of form.”

cesar expansion table installation view photo by gail worley

Photographed at at Demisch Danant, Located at 30 West 12th Street in NYC.

April 13th Google Doodle Honors 151st Anniversary of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Founding

met google doodle 1
The Met Google Doodle for April 13th, 2021

The 151st anniversary of the founding of The Metropolitan Museum of Art will be celebrated with a custom Google Doodle, the creative treatment of the Google logo featured on the search engine’s homepage. The Met-inspired animated Doodle will launch in the United States at 12 a.m. on Tuesday, April 13, and be viewable for 24 hours. The Doodle will appear in more than 20 countries.

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Modern Art Monday Presents: The Source of the Loue By Gustave Courbet

the source of the loue by gustave courbet photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

Gustave Courbet (18191877) often painted the rocky grotto at The Source of the Loue (1854), the river that flows through his native village, Ornan, in the French-Comte region of eastern France.  This view is probably one of four he mentioned to the art dealer Jules Luquet in the spring of 1864 when he wrote, “I’ve been to the source of the Loue these last days and made four landscapes [measuring] about 1 meter 40.”

Photographed in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Kusama Cosmic Nature Opens at the New York Botanical Garden

On an otherwise gloomy and very rainy Sunday in New York, we made our way to the NYBG in the Bronx for the second day of artist Yayoi Kusama’s new exhibit, Kusama: Cosmic Nature. While Saturday’s opening day enjoyed the benefit of bright sun and warm temperatures, we did not let the overcast skies dampen our sprits at all while exploring this amazing exhibit which showcases of all of Kusama’s ‘greatest hits’ (if you know what I mean). An in-depth review will likely be on the horizon here on The ‘Gig. In the meantime, check it out for yourself buy snagging a couple of hot tickets at This Link!

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