In titling this painting The Jewess (1908), one of the first that Modigliani exhibited, the artist declared that the sitter’s cultural identity was more important than her name. The model was most likely Modigliani’s lover, Maud Abrantes. Beyond her pallor, she is depicted with a withdrawn, languid demeanor, her cheeks and deeply set eyes touched with startling tabs of green, a streak of which also highlights the ridge of the patrician, aquiline nose. A curious pale mark obscures the area between her eyes, further isolating and drawing attention to her nose
This emphasis on the nose recurs throughout Modigliani’s work and is a focal point of his sculpture. It is s self-referential facet of his own Jewishness — an identity that his daughter later recalled as being deeply important to him. Modigliani’s exploration of his Jewish identity, as a central aspect of his portraiture, has been little noticed.
Photographed in the Jewish Museum in NYC as part of the Exhibit Modigliani Unmasked, which Continues Through February 4th, 2018.
Musical references permeate Cubist painting and sculpture. The guitar, which Picasso depicted often, is one of the movement’s most recognizable motifs. Like a Cubist painting, Henri Laurens‘ painted terracotta sculpture, The Guitar (1919), blurs, even inverts, the relationship between solids and voids; solids appear to recede, while voids assume physical presence. This effect is particularly apparent in the depiction of the sound hole and strings on the face of the guitar.
Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
Ceramic sculptor Toby Buonagurio, the studio coordinator and sculpture director of Stony Brook’s Department of Art, is known for her colorful ceramic sculptures and innovative designs. The New York New Year’s Eve tile above is part of Times Square Times: 35 Times, a permanent public artwork commissioned from Buonagurio by the MTA Arts for Transit. It is permanently installed in illuminated presentation windows embedded in the shiny new glass block station walls throughout the Times Square – 42nd Street Subway Station in the heart of New York City. The artworks are owned by the MTA New York City Transit.
Times Square Times: 35 Times is comprised of 35 unique, one of a kind sculptural ceramic reliefs created by the artist over five years. The work may be viewed in the Times Square – 42nd Street Subway Station along the 7th Avenue Passage, the 41st Street Corridor, the Broadway Mezzanine and the Subway Entrance at 42nd Street. The station is open to the public twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Times Square Times: 35 Times is routinely viewed by more than half a million subway riders daily.
Buonagurio’s project was conceived around three characteristic, conceptual themes emblematic of the energetic vibrancy of Times Square: Performing Arts, Fashion and Street Life – the people, the places, the things – readily recognizable to the average, everyday visitor, not matter where they are from.
Happy New Year, Everyone! Let’s Make 2018 the Best Year Ever!
In 1910, Manierre Dawson (1887-1969) spent six months traveling throughout England, France, Germany, Switzerland and Italy, where he visited museums, collectors and archeological sites. Following this sojourn, he created a series of works in 1911 – 12 based on images from classical art and Old Master paintings. With Meeting (The Three Graces), (1912) he reinterprets the mythological subject of the Three Graces by painting in a manner from both Cubism and Italian Futurism. Although Dawson did not receive much recognition during his lifetime, his avante-garde work was at the forefront of American art at the time.
Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
One thing leads to another, as they say. I was actually in the middle of an urban Art Safari for this project when I looked west across Chrystie Street and saw something that looked very familiar to me.
The interwebs tell me that back in August of 2015, the Brazilian twin aritsts Os Gemeos joined up with French wheat-paster JR to decorate the brick facade of 199 Chrystie Street. You can see the three trademark Os Gemeos characters: two interacting with / tagging the architecture, with one holding up a sign bearing JR’s signature eyeball graphic. Fun!
A reminder to look up more often!
This Mural is Located at 199 Chrystie Street, LES, NYC.
Influenced by Piet Mondrian’s work from the 1910s and 1920s, American artist Burgoyne Diller (1906 – 1965) devised his own abstract formats in the 1930s. Divided into groups called “First, Second, and Third Themes,” Diller’s three series explore the sense of movement generated by different arrangements of geometric forms within a square. Second Theme pictures, such as this one (1938 -40), feature a grid system with rectangular bands of differing widths extending across the canvas.
Photographed the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
In 1919, Lyubov Popova (1889- 1924) described painting as “Construction,” the building blocks of which were color and line. In this work, Painterly Architectonic (1917), brightly colored, irregularly shaped planes are layered are layered against a neutral background. The curved bottom edge of a grey shape emerging from beneath a red triangle and a white trapezoid suggests three-dimensionality, while the vibrant colors and jutting edges that seem to extend beyond the frame evoke energetic movement. Painterly Architectonic is one of a series of works that Popova created between 1915 and 1919 is response to Kazimir Malevich’s Suprematist paintings.