The Destruction of the Father is a critical cathartic work in Louise Bourgeois’ artistic development and psychic life. Completed in 1974, the year after the death of her husband, Robert Goldwater, the work is a synthesis of the soft landscapes, poured forms, and sexually explicit part objects that she made starting in 1960. It is also the artist’s first installation piece and looks forward to the Cells of the 1990s.
By the 1970s, Roy Lichtenstein’s comic-strip style of painting had become his trademark. While he had adapted his early compositions from actual comic books, here Lichtenstein referred to an art historical rather than a pop culture source: Henri Matisse’s Red Studio (1911, in the collection of MoMA), which features Matisse’s canvases casually set around a room. Into the flattened studio space of Artists Studio Foot Medication (1974), Lichtenstein similarly inserted whole of partial versions of his own real and imagined artworks across a range of subject matter, including geometric abstraction. This painting’s title calls out the 1962 print Foot Medication, reimagined as a monumental painting at the upper left. This kind of self-quotation, at once playful and thoughtful, would become anther feature of Lichtenstein’s production.
Photographed in the Art Institute Chicago.
In the 1930s, companies like Delman and Ferragamo popularized chunky sandals and shoes. The trend continued during and immediately after World War II in shoes produced in materials that were not restricted by rationing, such as cork, woven straw, and wood. British brand Biba proposed platform sandals for women that emphasized the individualistic, expressive flare characteristic of that decade’s fashion accessories — an attitude that men confidently adopted as well. Inventive and sometimes flamboyant, platform shoes were favored by musicians in the late twentieth century. In the 1970s especially, lavish platform boots in bright, metallic, or shiny materials intensified the glamorous look of male pop and rock stars including David Bowie and Elton John. These metallic silver and red leather boots bearing John’s initials were co-designed by Elton himself and Lionel Avery in 1974.
Club Kids wore multicolored platform shoes to raves in the 1990s, and pop sensations the Spice Girls made them fashionable, especially for young women. In the twenty-first century, platform shoes have reached new heights in the work of designers such as Alexander McQueen and Noritaka Tatehana.
Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Items: Is Fashion Modern, on View Through January 28th, 2018 at The Museum of Modern Art in NYC.
On This Date, February 18th in 1974: Kiss released its self-titled debut album on Casablanca Records. The album eventually peaked at number 87 on the Billboard 200 album chart. Five songs from the album — including “Cold Gin”, “Strutter” and “Deuce” — remain permanent staples in Kiss’ live set to this day.
“So Long Ago…”
John Lennon was murdered 31 years ago today. I found this really cool video on Youtube which is a tribute to John and The Beatles sound tracked by John’s 1974 single, “#9 Dream” – which is my very favorite song from John’s solo career. Please enjoy remembering John today.