The Gare Saint-Lazare was the largest and busiest train station in Paris. Early in 1877, with help from his friend Gustave Caillebotte, Claude Monet rented an apartment in the nearby rue Moncey and began painting the first of twelve canvases showing this icon of modernity. Monet displayed seven of them, including this one, at the third Impressionist exhibition, in April of that year. Legend has it that he arranged to have the standing locomotives stoked with extra coal, so that he could observe and paint the effects of belching steam — dull grey when trapped inside the station, but white and cloudlike when seen against the sky.
Arrival of the Normandy Train, Gare Saint-Lazare (1877) was Photographed at the Institute, Chicago.
Monet’s Water Lillies with Gazing Ball (All Photos by Gail)
Hey remember back in the spring of 2013, when Jeff Koons launched his magnificent Gazing Ball series? I sure do. Gazing Ball was a collection of stark white Greco-Roman statuary, augmented by assorted replicas of common objects such as a Mail Box or Snowman, each of which was enhanced with a bright blue mirrored globe, also known as a Gazing Ball. Trust me: it was Rad.
So, Gazing Ball is a Thing now. Koons revisited the concept when he created the artwork for Lady Gaga’s 2014 CD, ArtPop, and now he’s done it again with a massive show at Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea appropriately titled Gazing Ball Paintings.
As the title implies, Gazing Ball Paintings are Koons’ copies of works by Famous Masters with a Gazing Ball attached to the front of each canvas.
As much as I am inclined to suggest that Koons “phoned it in” for this series, that is not to say that I didn’t totally love the work.
Because, just as the crappiest attraction at Disneyland is still lots of fun, Jeff Koons is Jeff Koons. He could go full-on Yoko Ono and I would still go see the show.
I should probably mention that photography using a “Professional Camera” — which is what the Gagosian staff call a point-and-shoot camera — is not allowed. You can only take photos of the art using a Smart Phone or, I am guessing, an iPad. Lame City.
Up Next: Gazing Ball with Food.
Jeff Koons Gazing Ball Paintings will be on Exhibit Through December 23rd, 2015 at Gagosian Gallery, Located at 522 West 21st Street in the Chelsea Gallery District. Jeff Koons!
Madame X (Madame Pierre Gautreau) 1884 (All Photos By Gail)
I think I sat on this a little bit longer than I should have, because I expected this exhibit to be up for a couple more months instead of ending this coming weekend. My bad! You are advised to act fast and make it to The Met to take in Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends before it closes next Sunday! Here are a few of my favorite paintings from the show, along with background on what you’ll see!
La Carmencita, 1890
Throughout his career, the celebrated American painter John Singer Sargent (1856–1925) created exceptional portraits of artists, writers, actors, dancers, and musicians, many of whom were his close friends. As a group, these portraits — many of which were not commissioned — are often highly charged, intimate, witty, idiosyncratic, and more experimental than his formal portraiture. Brilliant works of art and penetrating character studies, they are also records of relationships, influences, aspirations, and allegiances.
Claude Monet, 1887
Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends brings together ninety-two of the artist’s paintings and drawings of members of his impressive artistic circle. The individuals seen through Sargent’s eyes represent a range of leading figures in the creative arts of the time such as artists Claude Monet and Auguste Rodin, writers Robert Louis Stevenson and Henry James, and the actor Ellen Terry, among others.
Shakespearean Actor Ellen Terry As Lady Macbeth, 1889
The exhibition features some of Sargent’s most celebrated full-length portraits (Dr. Pozzi at Home, Hammer Museum), his dazzling subject paintings created in the Italian countryside (Group with Parasols [Siesta], private collection), and brilliant watercolors (In the Generalife, The Metropolitan Museum of Art) alongside lesser-known portrait sketches of his intimate friends (Vernon Lee, 1881, Tate). The exhibition explores the friendships between Sargent and his artistic sitters, as well as the significance of these relationships to his life and art.
Shakespearean Actor Edwin Booth, 1890 (Brother of John Wilkes Booth)
A Dinner Table at Night (Edith and Albert Vickers), 1884
Garden Study of the Vickers Children (Billy and Dorothy), 1884
Mrs. Hugh Hammersley (Mary Frances), 1892
Robert Louis Stevenson, 1887
Isabella Stewart Gardner, 1888
The story of Sargent’s relationship with each of his subjects is posted next to each painting and it is such a fascinating history lesson and a rapturous trip back in time to imagine what life must have been like for these people. What’s even more exciting is that photography is allowed, and that almost never happens, so please try to see this exhibit before it closes.
Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends, will be on Exhibit Through October 4th, 2015 in Gallery 999 of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Located at 1000 Fifth Ave at 81st Street, New York, NY.
Installation view of James Rosenquist’s F-111 (1964-65) at The Museum of Modern Art, 2012. Oil on canvas with aluminum, 23 sections, All Photos by Jonathan Muzikar (Image Source)
Pop artist James Rosenquist has been one of my favorite living contemporary artists since I was first turned on to his work back when I was in college. I was so excited today to see a full installation of his multi-panel painting entitled F-111. This large scale work, which takes up four walls of a special gallery at NYC’s MOMA, features Rosenquist’s signature style of compiling collages of pop culture images (many taken from magazine ads and photos from the ’60s) and reproducing them on canvas in his pop modernist style.This painting is so gorgeous! The exhibit also contains many framed studies the Rosenquist did in preparation for this executing this impressive work.
According to MOMA’s Press Release on the exhibit, F-111 is presented here as it was first exhibited at the Castelli Gallery in 1965. Rosenquist was well acquainted with painting on this immense scale: before becoming an artist he had earned a living as a billboard painter in New York City. Interested in the phenomenon of peripheral vision, Rosenquist wanted the painting to create an immersive environment that would heighten the viewer’s awareness of his or her own position in space. He cited artistic precedents for this ambition in works such as Claude Monet’s Water Lilies and the large horizontal paintings by Abstract Expressionist artists Jackson Pollock and Barnett Newman.
The collaged subjects on F-111 include canned spaghetti, a swimmer, a mushroom cloud under a beach umbrella, light bulbs, a piece of cake, a Firestone tire and a little girl under a salon hairdryer, all set against the body of an F-111 fighter jet: very fun and visually stimulating but also thought provoking.
James Rosenquist’s F-111 will be on Exhibit on the 4th Floor of NYC’s Museum of Modern Art, Located a 11 West 53rd Street, Between 5th and 6th Avenues, through July 30, 2012.