Tag Archive | Guggenheim Museum

Modern Art Monday Presents: Amedeo Modigliani, Jeanne Hébuterne with Yellow Sweater

Jeanne Hebuterne with Yellow Sweater
Photo By Gail

Amedeo Modigliani (1884 – 1920) met Jeanne Hébuterne in 1917, when she was 19 and a student in Paris. That same year, they moved into a studio and remained together until their deaths in 1920 (Hébuterne committed suicide the day after Modigliani died of tuberculosis). Hébuterne was the subject of more than 20 portraits that embody the artist’s signature depiction: a dramatically elongated figure with almond-shaped eyes and sensual but firmly closed lips. Hébuterne looks straight ahead, but her eyes are empty, as if caught in a reverie. African masks and early Sienese masters, as well as the concurrent styles of Constantin Brancusi and Pablo Picasso, influenced Modigliani’s work.

Jeanne Hébuterne with Yellow Sweater (1919) was photographed as part of the exhibit, Visionaries: Creating a Modern Guggenheim in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in NYC.

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Modern Art Monday Presents: Vasily Kandinsky, Black Lines

Black Lines
Photo By Gail

With its undulating colored ovals traversed by animated brushstrokes, Vasily Kandinsky’s Black Lines (1913), is among the first of his truly nonobjective paintings. The network of thin, agitated lines indicates a graphic, two-dimensional sensibility, while the floating, vibrantly hued forms suggest various spatial depths. By 1913 Kandinsky’s aesthetic theories and aspirations were well developed. He valued painterly abstraction as the most effective stylistic means through which to reveal hidden aspects of the empirical world, express subjective realities, aspire to the metaphysical, and offer a regenerative vision of the future. Kandinsky wanted the evocative power of carefully chosen and dynamically interrelated colors, shapes, and lines to elicit specific responses from viewers of his canvases. The inner vision of an artist, he believed, could thereby be translated into a universally accessible statement.

The artist realized, however, that it would be necessary to develop such a style slowly, in order to foster public acceptance and comprehension. Therefore, in most of his work from this period he retained fragments of recognizable imagery. “We are still firmly bound to the outward appearance of nature and must draw forms from it,” he wrote in his essay Picture with the White Edge, but suggested that there existed a hidden pictorial construction that would “emerge unnoticed from the picture and [would thus be] less suited to the eye than the soul.”

— Nancy Spector

Photographed in the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan

Eye On Design: Maurizio Cattelan, America

America 1
All Photos By Gail

Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan’s bold, irreverent work, America, skewers social complacencies and re-imagines cultural icons. On the occasion of the artist’s 2011 – 2012 retrospective at the Guggenhiem, which featured virtually every work he had ever made suspended from the oculus of the rotunda, Cattelan announced his retirements from art making.

Bathroom with Golden Toilet

Five years later, he returns from his self-imposed exile with a new, ongoing project at the Guggenheim Museum. For America (2016), Cattelan replaced the Toilet in one of the museum’s unisex restrooms with a fully functional replica cast in 18K Gold, making available to the public an extravagant luxury product seemingly intended for the 1 percent.

Golden Toilet Overhead View
The Seat Is Dry, Even Though It Appears to be Wet

Its participatory nature, in which viewers are invited to make use of the fixture individually and privately, allows for an experience of unprecedented intimacy with a work of art. Cattelan’s Golden Toilet offers a wink to the excesses of the art market, but also evokes the American dream of opportunity for all — its utility ultimately reminding us of the inescapable physical realities of our shared humanity.

 

Golden Toilet

Photographed in the Guggenheim Museum, Level 4 Restroom in the Rotunda, NYC.

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Moholy-Nagy: Future Present at the Guggenheim NY

Moholy-Nagy Three Globes
All Photos By Gail. All Text By The Guggenheim Museum

László Moholy-Nagy (b. 1895, Borsód, Austria-Hungary; d. 1946, Chicago) believed in the potential of art as a vehicle for social transformation, working hand in hand with technology for the betterment of humanity. A restless innovator, Moholy-Nagy experimented with a wide variety of mediums, moving fluidly between the fine and applied arts in pursuit of his quest to illuminate the interrelatedness of life, art, and technology. An artist, educator, and writer who defied categorization, he expressed his theories in numerous influential writings that continue to inspire artists and designers today.

Moholy-Nagy 4 Pictures

Moholy-Nagy Plastic Form

Walter Gropius invited him to join the faculty at the Bauhaus school of art and design, where Moholy-Nagy taught in Weimar and Dessau in the 1920s. In 1937, he was appointed to head the New Bauhaus in Chicago; he later opened his own School of Design there (subsequently renamed the Institute of Design), which today is part of the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Moholy-Nagy

Moholy-NagyAmong Moholy-Nagy’s radical innovations were his experiments with camera-less photographs (which he dubbed photograms); his unconventional use of industrial materials in painting and sculpture; experiments with light, transparency, space, and motion across mediums; and his work at the forefront of abstraction, as he strove to reshape the role of the artist in the modern world. Moholy-Nagy: Future Present features paintings, sculptures, collages, drawings, prints, films, photograms, photographs, photomontages, projections, documentation, and examples of graphic, advertising, and stage design drawn from public and private collections across Europe and the United States.

Manifesto

Room of The Present

On display in the museum’s High Gallery is Room of the Present (Raum der Gegenwart), a contemporary fabrication of an exhibition space conceived of by Moholy-Nagy in 1930, but not realized in his lifetime.

Room of The Present

Light Prop for an Electric Stage
Light Prop for an Electric Stage

On view for the first time in the United States, the large-scale work contains photographic reproductions and design replicas as well as his kinetic Light Prop for an Electric Stage (Lichtrequisit einer elektrischen Bühne, 1930; recreated 2006). Room of the Present illustrates Moholy-Nagy’s belief in the power of images and the significance of the various means with which to view and disseminate them — a highly relevant paradigm in today’s constantly shifting and evolving technological world.

Room of The Present

Interior Elevation

This is a massive retrospective with lots to see and learn about the genius of László Moholy-Nagy. Here are a few more photos from this must-see show!

Three Pictures Black Backgrounds

Two Pictures

Ad From London Underground
Ad For The London Underground Circa 1936 – 37

Moholy-Nagy

Moholy-Nagy Pins Detail
Detail from Above Work

Moholy-Nagy

László Moholy-Nagy is a central figure in the history of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. In 1929, Solomon R. Guggenheim and his advisor, German-born artist Hilla Rebay, began collecting his paintings, works on paper, and sculpture in depth for the Guggenheim’s growing collection of nonobjective art. His work held a special place at the Museum of Non-Objective Painting — the forerunner of the Guggenheim Museum — where a memorial exhibition was presented shortly after his untimely death in 1946.

Moholy-Nagy

Moholy-Nagy: Future Present Runs Through September 7th, 2016 at the Guggenheim Museum, Located at 1071 Fifth Ave at 89th Street, NYC.

Moholy Nagy Gift Shop

Kadar Attia’s Untitled (Ghardaïa): A City Made from Made from Couscous

Ghardaïa

For Untitled (Ghardaïa), artist Kadar Attia sculpted  a scale model of the Algerian city of the title in couscous, a regional culinary staple. The fragile and ephemeral structure is accompanied by two prints portraying  foundational Western modernist architects, Le Corbusier and Fernand Pouillon, and by a copy of a UNESCO certificate that officially designates the city of Ghardaïa as a World Heritage Site.

Ghardaïa Detail
Ghardaïa, Detail

Attia’s work calls attention to the fact that both designers borrowed from and reworked the Mozabite architecture native to the city of Ghardaïa, and to the ancient Mzab region, without acknowledging their inspiration, itself derived from France’s 19th Century colonization of Algeria and subsequent exploitation of its resources.

Ghardaïa

Photographed in the Guggenheim Museum in NYC.

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Natascha Sadr Haghighian, I Can’t Work Like This

I Can't Work Like This
All Photos By Gail

West German artist Natascha Sadr Haghighian (b. 1968)  investigates modes of perception and the politics of representation in an expansive conceptual practice that includes performance, writing, video, installation and online projects. She is particularly interested in the consumption of visual art – a field the artist identifies as a reflection of its wider socioeconomic context. I can’t work like this (2007) was conceived in response to a gallery’s invitation to feature her work as the sole exhibition in a commercial art fair booth; the piece was intended to mount a tacit assault on a strolling audience of potential buyers.

I Can't Work Like This

The work withdraws the traditional art object, at least metaphorically, and leaves only the most ubiquitous tools for art installation, including discarded hammers, a common symbol for labor. The effect is one of a casual abandonment, as though the artist simply walked away, though whether in defeat or triumph is open to interpretation. A sharp one-liner, I can’t work like this functions as an expression of the artist’s frustration at the pressures and parameters of her creative output.

Hammer and Nails

Photographed at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City as part of the Storylines Exhibit in 2015.

Rachel Harrison, All In the Family

All In the Family 2
All Photos By Gail

Rachel Harrison (b. 1966) deploys a wide range of influences in her work, combining art-historical and pop-cultural citations with explorations of material, color and form. Her hybrid sculptures enact a range of dialogues — between handcrafted and commercially produced objects, aesthetic and consumer goods, among others — and engage broader social and political histories of exchange.

All In the Family

All in the Family (2012), an upright, top-heavy construction painted deep aubergine, acts as a display mechanism for a bright orange Hoover Vacuum Cleaner. This classic domestic appliance poses as a sculptural artifact or a figure from a retro sitcom, while alluding to Jeff Koons’ seminal 1980s series of encased vacuum cleaners.

All In the Family Rear

Photographed at the Guggenheim Museum’s Storylines Exhibit.