Tag Archive | Geometric

Modern Art Monday Presents: Alvin Loving, Septehedron 34

Septehedron 34
Photo By Gail

Alvin Loving (19352005) once described geometric shape as “a sort of mundane form that could be very, very dull unless a great deal was done with it.” For him, however, geometry ultimately became an arena in which to develop a dramatic color sensibility. Juxtaposing neon-bright pigments, in Septehedron 34 (1970) he created the illusion that the painting’s forms recede or advance relative to one another.  At the same time, his use of geometric forms emphasized the flat surface of the canvas, from which a tension emerges between real and imagined space. Also notable for its visible brush stocks, Loving’s shaped canvas takes up the challenge of making all seven sides of a heptahedron visible at once.

In 1969, Alvin Loving became the first African American artist to have a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum.

Septehedron 34

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit Spilling Over: Painting Color in the 1960s, On View Through August 31st, 2019 at the Whitney Museum in NYC.

Modern Art Modern Presents: Burgoyne Diller, Second Theme

Second Theme
Photo By Gail

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.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Painterly Architectonic By Lyubov Popova

Painterly Architectonic
Photo By Gail

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.

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Composition-40-2011 By Shirana Shahbazi

Composition-40-2011
Photo By Gail

Shirana Shahbazi (b. 1974) makes photographs in classic genres like portraiture, still life, and landscape. Alternating between abstraction and representation, her vividly colored pictures are made in the crisp style of commercial studio photography without the aid of digital tools.  She achieves her abstract compositions, such as Composition-40-2011 (2011) by photographing geometric volumes and pedestals whose sides are painted various colors, making multiple exposures of the same set of elements, and turning them between exposures to create an interplay between surface and depth.

This work is by an artist from a nation whose citizens would be denied entry into the United States according to recent presidential executive orders. This is one of several such artworks from the Museum of Modern Art’s collection installed throughout its fifth floor galleries to affirm the ideals of welcome and freedom as vital to MoMA, as they are to the United States.

Eye On Design: Stereo Cabinet By Achille Castiglioni

Castiglioni Stereo Cabinet
All Photos By Gail

In 1965, Achille Castiglioni (Italian, 1918 – 2002) created Model RR-126, a striking, modular stereo system that was based on pure geometry of a perfect cube, which could be combined in multiple configurations. The wheeled base provides an element of portability, while the graphic patterns of the speaker grilles and sound controls offer a bold, modern visual statement.

Achille Castiglioni Stereo Cabinet

Photographed in the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in Manhattan.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Charles Biederman, Untitled

Charles Biederman Untitled
Photo By Gail

The strong three-dimensionality of the biomorphic and geometric forms in this composition makes them appear animated within a space bounded by color zones. Charles Biederman (1906 – 2004) had been experimenting with styles of European modernism since 1930 and had gravitated toward greater abstraction after seeing the work of Cubist artists, newly on view in New York. He painted this untitled work while living in Paris in 1936, under the fresh influences of surrealists Joan Miro and Fernand Leger, who preferred strange or oddly combined forms that were both unsettling and humorous.

Charles Biederman died at home in 2004 at the age of 98. His estate was given to the Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota, which has organized traveling exhibitions of Biederman’s work

Photographed in the Brooklyn Museum.

Pink Thing of The Day: Mary Heilmann, Sunset at the Whitney Museum

Sunset
All Photos By Gail

A distinguishing feature of the new Whitney Museum in the meatpacking district is this work by Mary Heilmann, attached to the northern facade of the building, which is called Sunset.  A burst of bright pink, Sunset is a site specific installation that inaugurates the museum’s largest outdoor gallery and transforms it into a place of reverie, memory and leisure.

Mary Heilmann became known in the 197os for vibrant paintings that married taut, abstract forms with quivering line and vivid color. For more than thirty years, she has intermittently explored a stair-step motif bushed within rectangular fields or expressed through irregularly-shaped canvases, which happen to rhyme with the dramatic setbacks and grid lines of the Whitney’s new building. This serendipitous connection inspired Heilmann to enlarge a detail of one such painting and print it onto two large panels that playfully turn the building itself into her canvas and tweak its sharp geometries.

Sunset

Heilmann’s intervention extends to a group of sculptural chairs scattered on the terrace like a shower of confetti. Adapted from furniture that she has displayed in homes and exhibitions, the chairs serve as elements in her larger composition and encourage visitors to interact with one another and the cityscape beyond.

 Mary Heilmann Chairs

Monir Farmanfarmaian: Infinite Possibility, Mirror Works and Drawings at the Guggenheim

Installation View
Room Full of Mirrors…All Photos By Gail

If you are planning a trip to the Guggenheim Museum to see the On Kawara Exhibit – which is pretty sweet – you may be disappointed to discover that the Art Nazis are out in full force, forbidding photography in the Rotunda. And, frankly, that sucks, because if I can’t take pictures, it’s like I wasn’t even there.

Fortunately for those of us to like to capture and share the memory of seeing of great art, the Guggenheim is also currently hosting the very fantastic Infinite Possibility: Mirror Works and Drawings -1974-2014 featuring the work of Persian artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, whose artistic practice weds the geometric patterns and cut-glass mosaic techniques of her Iranian heritage with the rhythms of modern Western geometric abstraction.

Monir with Sculpture
Monir in her Tehran Studio (1975) Working on Heptagon Star

This is the first U.S. museum exhibition of mirror works and drawings by Farmanfarmaian (b. Qazvin, Iran, 1922) and it was also my first introduction to her work, which is just amazing. To provide some background on this accomplished artist, Monir spent formative years (1945 to 1957) working in New York, during which she met artists Milton Avery, Willem de Kooning, Joan Mitchell, Louise Nevelson, Barnett Newman, and, later, Andy Warhol, among others. She returned to Iran in 1957.

Color Sketch

Sketches

Color Sketch

There, she further developed her artistic sensibility through encounters with traditional craftsmanship, indigenous art forms such as Turkoman jewelry and clothing, coffee house paintings (a popular form of Iranian narrative paintings), and the technique of reverse-glass painting, resulting in a period of artistic discovery that culminated in commissions in Iran and exhibitions in Europe and the United States.

Green Mirror Detail

Mirror Detail (Above) and Study (Below)

Mirror Sketch

The Islamic Revolution in 1979 marked the beginning of Monir’s 26-year exile in New York, during which she focused on drawing, collage, commissions, and carpet and textile design. In 2004, when she finally returned to Iran, she reestablished her studio there and resumed working with some of the same craftsmen she had collaborated with in the 1970s.

Two Sketches

Orange Faceted Mirror

Triangular Wall Mirror

Square Wall Mirror

The exhibit includes plaster and mirror reliefs, large-scale mirror sculptures the artist refers to as “geometric families,” and works on paper, revealing the central role drawing has played in Monir’s practice and focusing on a sculptural and graphic oeuvre developed over more than 40 years (many examples of which have not been displayed publicly since the 1970s).

Monir and Sculptures
Monir with her Mirror Ball Sculptures, Seen Below

Mirror Balls

This body of work is characterized by a merging of visual and spatial experience, coupled with the aesthetic traditions of Islamic architecture and decoration. Her use of geometry as form allows for, in the artist’s words, “infinite possibility.”

7 Sided Mirror
Mirror Cube Sculpture

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian: Infinite Possibility. Mirror Works and Drawings 1974–2014 will be on Exhibit Through June 3rd, 2015 at the Guggenheim Museum, Located at 1071 Fifth Avenue (at 89th Street) in New York City.

Mirror Sculpure Cluster

Must See Art: Frank Stella Sculpture at the Marianne Boesky Gallery

Puffed Star II, 2014
Puffed Star II, 2014, Polished Aluminum (All Photo By Gail)

Can you believe that Frank Stella is 78 years old and he is still making amazing sculptures like Puffed Star II? I can’t even believe it — and yet, it is true. Right now, Marianne Boesky Gallery presents Frank Stella Sculpture, the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery since joining in the spring of 2014, and you really have to check it out. Because, Look at this:

K.150, 2014
K.150, 2014

Just Look at it!

K.150, 2014

K.150, 2014

If this were the only piece in the show, it would still be worth going to. K.150, as it is called, was rendered using rapid prototyping or 3D printing. So remarkable.

K.150, 2014

K.150, 2014

If I owned this sculpture, I would never, ever stop looking at it. But wait, there’s more!

Sanibel to Sobolnoye, 2014
Sanibel to Sobolnoye, 2014

This one is pretty cool as well.

Sanibel to Sobolnoye, 2014

Fishkill, 1995
Fishkill, 1995

This one, Fishkill, is from Stella’s Hudson River School series.

Frank Stella Sculpture Sturdy

I think this one is a study for larger work, as you can see a tiny model of the Puffed Star inside of it. Go see this exhibit while you can.

Frank Stella Sculpture will be on Exhibit Through December 20th, 2014 at Marianne Boesky Gallery, Located at 509 West 24th Street, New York, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Mickalene Thomas, Tete de Femme at Lehmann Maupin

Tete de Femme
All Photos By Gail

Lehmann Maupin is delighted to debut Tête de Femme, a new body of work by artist Mickalene Thomas. In her fourth solo exhibition with the gallery, Thomas explores the intricacies of female beauty through painting and collage, focusing on how artifice serves both to mask and reveal the individual essence of her subjects.

Tete de Femme

Throughout much of her career, Thomas has drawn from art history with particular interest in classical portraiture, constructed interiors, and iconic representations of the female form. References to Édouard Manet, Henri Matisse, Romare Bearden and Gustave Courbet may be found throughout her oeuvre. In Tête de Femme (translated as “head of a woman”), Thomas looks to early 20th century Cubism and contemporary Pop references, fragmenting and reducing portraiture to its most formal and geometric elements to create larger-than-life portraits of her models.

Tete de Femme

While the artist’s earlier works focused on classical depictions of the female form, primarily using powerful black women as the subjects, Tête de Femme more boldly conceptualizes female faces from collaged geometric cutouts. She relies on these shapes in the absence of glamourized female bodies placed in the highly conceptualized environments of her previous work. The series demonstrates the artist’s interplay of line, form, and material, punctuated with an increased use of color. With an affinity for rhinestones and glitter, Thomas utilizes these materials in addition to introducing screen-printing to her practice, giving her paintings a new dimensionality.

Mickalene Thomas: Tête de Femme will be on Exhibit Through August 8th, 2014 at Lehmann Maupin, Located at 540 West 26th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Mickalene Thomas: Tête de Femme Signage