Tag Archive | Modern Art Monday

Modern Art Monday Presents: Frank Bowling, Night Journey

Night Journey
Photo By Gail

Night Journey (196970) belongs to Frank Bowling’s Map series (196671), a group of mostly abstract paintings composed of broad fields of color into which the artist placed the continents of Australia, South America, and Africa. Here, the barely discernible shapes of South America, in red at center left, and Africa, in blue and pink and center right, hover in his luminous composition. The yellow area between them evokes the Atlantic Ocean, the maritime highway that facilitated exchange and, most importantly for Bowling, the slave trade. Using the conventions of modern painting about 196970 in New York, where he worked at the time, the artist evokes the displacement and migration of Africans.

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

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Modern Art Monday Presents: Claes Oldenburg, Soft Calendar for The Month of August

Soft Calendar
Photo By Gail

Claes Oldenburg has consistently embraced contradiction to transform and animate everyday objects. In his art, hard becomes soft, miniscule becomes monumental and, as in Soft Calendar (1962), flat becomes three-dimensional. Oldenburg’s stuffed fabric sculptures originated in 1962 as props to his art events, or Happenings, and evolved into independent artworks. The giant numbers of Soft Calendar are sensuously rounded and pillow-like. Each Sunday is called out in brilliant red, while the remaining days of the week are coated in white enamel. Photographic documentation suggests that Soft Calendar was assembled by Oldenburg and is partner, Patty Mucha, at Green Gallery in 1962, in preparation for the opening of his solo exhibition.

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Andy Warhol, Mona Lisa

Andy Warhol Mona Lisa
Photo By Gail

This Mona Lisa (1963) is one of the earliest works for which Andy Warhol employed silk-screening, the printing process that he adopted in 1962 to quickly and easily make multiple copies of preexisting images. Here, he revels in the rat of duplication. By replicating a reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting Mona Lisa four times in two different ways, the artist reduces a masterwork epitomizing traditional notions of artistic genius and authorship to a pale shadow of its former self. Warhol’s Mona Lisa was donated to The Met by his friend Henry Geldzahler, the Museum’s founding curator of contemporary art. One year before Geldzahler made his gift, Warhol released he film Henry Geldzahler, which consists solely of ninety-seven minutes of footage of the curator smoking a cigar.Photographed in The Met in NYC.

Photographed in The Met in NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Eugène Delacroix, Basket of Flowers

Delacroix Basket of Flowers
Photos By Gail

French painter Eugène Delacroix (1798–1863) was one of the greatest creative figures of the nineteenth century. Coming of age after the fall of Napoleon, he reconnected the present to the past on his own terms. Delacroix produced an extraordinarily vibrant body of work, setting into motion a cascade of innovations that changed the course of art.

In September of 1848, social and political unrest in Paris led Delacroix to retreat to his country house in Champrosay. There, he undertook this flower paining and four others, which he intended to exhibit at the next year’s Salon. The present example, Basket of Flowers (1848-49) is a rare hybrid in Delacroix’s work of still life and pure landscape. Falling from the basket are dahlias, rudbeckias, daisies, nasturtiums and roses. The arch is a typical white morning glory or moonflower, which appears to be invading a shrub with flowers arranged incense, fat clusters, possibly elderberry. On the left are elephant head amaranth, with a variety of Centaurea (perhaps cornflowers) beneath.

Photographed as part of the Exhibit, Delacroix, on View Through January 6th, 2019 at the Metropolitan Museum Art in NYC.

Delacroix Installation View
Installation View

Modern Art Monday Presents: Yves Tanguy, Title Unknown

Yves Tanguy Title Unknown
Photo By Gail

This unknown-titled work from 1926 shows French Surrealist painter Yves Tanguy’s debt to the still and imaginative landscapes of the Italian artist Giorgio de Chirico.  The influence is apparent in the perplexing array of imagery that includes a small school of fish and a child flattened by a cart. The plain white tower in the background —  a favorite iconographic motif of de Chirico — secures the connection between the two artists.

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Marc Chagall, Cubist Landscape

Cubist Landscape
Photo By Gail

This work, Cubist Landscape (1919) by Marc Chagall (18871985)  illustrates the artist’s relationship to the Suprematist avant-garde at the time. Its disjointed geometrical shapes and use of heterogenous materials to create texture originated in Cubo-Futurism. One of the steps leading to Suprematism according to Kazimir Malevich’s theory of art, this style privileged movement, fragmented forms and bold colors. In the composition, geometric forms overtake a figure carrying an umbrella in front of Vitebsk School — perhaps a stand-in for the artist, protecting himself from the Suprematist storm. To the left of this figure, in a scene typical of Chagall’s shtetls (a small town with a large Jewish populations), a man with a goat makes a faint appearance. The artist repeats this name endlessly across the canvas, humorously illustrating the gulf between his painterly poetics and the stark Suprematist creations of his rival Malevich, who advocated collective art.

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit Chagall, Lissitzky, Malevich: The Russian Avant-Garde in Vitebsk, 1918-1922, On View Through January 6th, 2019, at the Jewish Museum in Manhattan.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Lyonel Charles Feininger, Lehnstedt

Lehnstedt
All Photos By Gail

Born in New York to German American musicians,  Lyonel Charles Feininger (18711956) travelled to Germany in 1887, and remained in Europe for several years to study art. While in Paris, he encountered Cubism and embraced its rationality and abstraction of form and space. “Cubism is a synthesis,” the painter explained, “but it may be degraded into mechanism. My Cubism is visionary, not physical.”

Feininger most famously applied his visionary style to architectural subjects that resonated with metaphysical meaning, especially churches. Here, the artist depicts the village church of Lehnstedt (1917) and its wooded environs with his characteristic crystalline and refracted forms.

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.