Tag Archive | Museum of Fine Arts

Modern Art Monday Presents: Portrait of Jamie Wyeth by Andy Warhol

Portrait of Jamie Wyeth
Photo By Gail

This 1976 oil on canvas portrait of artist Jamie Wyeth is one half of a “Portrait Exchange,” which includes a portrait of Warhol done by Wyeth. Warhol’s half of the portrait exchange presents a brooding and handsome young artist, posing as if for a Hollywood head shot or mimicking Wyeth’s own Portrait of John F. Kennedy. The two artists styles could not be more opposite, and yet they each shared a dedicated work ethic.

While Wyeth created many detailed studies of Warhol to compose his panel painting, Warhol prepared by taking numerous Polaroid snapshots of Wyeth — more, he claimed, than for any of his other subjects at the time. Drawn to celebrity and fame, Warhol frequently surrounded himself with young artists for inspiration, and Wyeth’s natural talent and artistic lineage (not to mention, according to Warhol, his “cuteness”) especially appealed to him.

Photographed in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Tongue Gilding by Lauren Kalman

Tongue Gilding
Photo By Gail

Lauren Kalman’s Tongue Gilding (2008), a digital print laminated on acrylic, entertains questions like, “Where does adornment end and body modification begin? How do we use jewelry to create and ‘ideal’ body? Can it create an ‘abject’ one?”

Trained as a metalsmith, Kalman has made gold body embellishments which, in order to be worn, alter the body in a way that may seem unusual or off-putting. She then documents the works through photographs that focus on these performative elements. At once seductive and repulsive, Kalman’s images ask us to question the ways in which we present our adorned bodies to the world.

Photographed in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Tara Donovan’s Styrofoam Cup Cloud Installation

Tara Donovan Cloud
Photos By Gail

If you happen to be doing the tourist thing in the city of Boston, you absolutely cannot miss the opportunity to visit the Museum of Fine Arts, which, like The Met here in NYC, is massive, and has a little bit of everything that an art lover wants to see, all under one roof. It is really quite a remarkable place.

Favorite areas of the museum, for me, are the Contemporary Art galleries, which make amazing use of the space with several installations placed against the high vaulted ceilings. One such piece is Tara Donovan’s Untitled, (2003); a representation of a cumulus cloud formation, which she created solely from Styrofoam cups stuck together with hot glue.

Untitled Clouds

This piece is not only very beautiful, but it also encourages imaginative extrapolation as to how the Brooklyn-based artist chooses her materials. You can read more about that at This Link.

George Segal: Walk, Don’t Walk at the Whitney Museum

Walk Don't Walk
All Photos By Gail

The past weekend, Geoffrey and I paid our first visit to the new and — dare I say — much improved Whitney Museum on Gansevoort Street in the Meat Packing District, and we had the time of our lives! I took hundreds of rad photos, some of which I will be sharing with you in the coming weeks. I am especially smitten with this installation/sculpture thing by George Segal (1924 – 2000), which is called Walk, Don’t Walk (1976). I  saw Segal’s work in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston last summer and I think his stuff is pretty cool.

Walk Don't Walk

Stacking Chair By Danny Lane

Stacking Chair
All Photos By Gail

Danny Lane is a London-based designer, visual artist and glass sculptor who specializes in working with fractured and stacked glass.  His popular Stacked Chair (1993) is made up of slab-like green-tinted glass with polished, irregular edges. The chair back and rear, single leg are  constructed of an arched column of stacked irregularly cut and polished glass slabs held together by a central steel rod topped by a nut. Similar construction applies to the chair’s shorter front legs and feet.

Stacking Chair Display Shot

This is what the chair looks like on display in the contemporary art wing of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, where I took these photos last summer. You can actually find this chair for sale around the web, with a little Googling effort.

Stacking Chair Detail

Dale Chihuly’s Lime Green Icicle Tower

Lime Green Icicle Tower
All Photos By Gail

Dale Chihuly is one of the greatest American glass artists. His Lime Green Icicle Tower (2011) measures more that 40 feet high, weighs approximately 10,000 pounds and is made up of 2,342 individual glass pieces mounted on a steel armature.

Lime Green Icicle Tower Detail

A similar sculpture can be found at the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum in Seattle, Washington.

This piece was photographed at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Lime Green Icicle Tower Detail

Pumpkinhead – Self Portrait By Jamie Wyeth

Pumpkinhead Self Portrait
Photo By Gail

Jamie Wyeth (son of artist Andrew Wyeth) began painting Pumpkinhead (1972) as a portrait of his friend, Jimmy Lynch, but eventually finished the painting himself, wearing the pumpkin as a mask.

Cropped at the ankles and wearing a too-small military jacket, he stands alone in a hazy field strewn with dry autumn leaves. To the artist, the jack-o-lantern carries an eerie charm. “I always  loved the carved face just leering at you…” he admits.

Photographed By Gail at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Fred Wilson, Sculptures, Paintings and Installations 2004 – 2014 at Pace Gallery

Fred Wilson Don't Flags Painting Grid
The People, 27 Flag Grid By Fred Wilson, 2010 (All Photos By Gail)

It’s funny how I am always ‘just discovering’ artists that have been around for decades, and then once I see their work, I start seeing it all over. It happens all the time. For example, I was just vacationing in Boston last month and paid a visit to that city’s really fantastic Museum of Fine Arts, which everybody should visit. In the contemporary art wing at the MFA, I became enchanted with this work by Fred Wilson called Lago’s Mirror, which is a huge, ornate wall mirror made up of layers of black glass. It was so totally my thing and I stared at it for about ten minutes. Art!

Fred Wilson Chandelier
Chandelier Sculpture

So, it was very fortuitous that I ran into a couple of my neighbors during my September 11th Art Crawl and they raved about an exhibit that wasn’t even on my list for the evening “over at Pace” – which they insisted I absolutely had to check out. This exhibit turned out to be Fred Wilson’s Sculptures, Paintings and Installations 2004 – 2014 — a fantastic retrospective to see in Pace’s cavernous 25th Street space. Also: free wine!

Fred Wilson Black Rain
Black Glass Drips Sculpture

Here’s a little background from the exhibit’s Press Release. Since the beginning of his career, Fred Wilson has created a diverse range of work that challenges assumptions of history, culture and race. Pace’s exhibit features works from the past ten years, including several that have never been exhibited. A catalogue featuring an essay by Doro Globus accompanies the exhibition and also gives further insight to the work and its deeper meaning. I’m going to include some of that essay here because I think it adds value for anyone who is going to see this exhibit maybe not knowing anything about Wilson up front.

Fred Wilson Paintings and Black Rain

As Globus writes, “Wilson’s appropriation is wide-reaching. Simultaneously working with the decorative arts and national symbols, he breaks down the supposed structures in place and offers up an alternative view of nearly everything he touches. He even treats the seemingly simplest forms – a mirror or a flag – in the same manner as an entire museum collection; clearly showing the relevance and import of his work outside such institutions.”

Please enjoy some of my photos from the show!

Fred Wilson Bird Painting

This exhibition features Wilson’s complete Flag Series, which has never been exhibited in its entirety. His newest work featuring Flag images, Black Birds (above) and Black All Stars (Below) isolate bird and star iconography from the flag of Africa another “black identified” countries, rendering these symbols onto a canvas surface exactly where they would be positioned on their respective flags.

Fred Wilson Stars Painting
Black All Stars

Fred Wilson Don't Tread on Me
Don’t (2010)

In Don’t, Wilson superimposes various flags from our nation’s history on top of one another. Clearly visible are the phrases “Don’t Tread on Me” from the Gadsen flag, the X from the Confederate flag, the horizontal band from the Black Liberation flag and the Stars and Stripes from the American flag. I love the 3-D look of this painting!

Fred Wilson Flag Paintings
M (2010) One of Four Vertical Groupings of 8 Flags Featured in This Exhibit

Fred Wilson Africa Painting
Africa!

Fred Wilson Black Mirror

There are also two new black venetian glass mirrors in the exhibit, which were definitely the talking points of the evening. Go see this exhibit to find out what these mirrors are all about!

Fred Wilson Black Mirror

I learned a a lot about Fred Wilson at the Pace exhibit and I like his work even better now. Fred Wilson!

Fred Wilson’s Sculptures, Paintings and Installations 2004 – 2014 will be on Exhibit Through October 18th, 2014 at Pace Gallery, Located at 534 West 26th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Head of Medusa by Arnold Böcklin

Head of Medusa By Arnold Bocklin
Head of Medusa: Papier Mache and Plaster. Open Mouthed Head with Coppery Locks and Snakes Issuing from Domed Black Medallion with Molded and Gilt Rim. (All Photos By Gail)

Swiss artist Arnold Böcklin (1827–1901) created this realistic sculpture of the Head of Medusa around 1894. This piece is on exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston, which I visited in August of this year. Below you can see a photo of the wall against which it hangs and get an idea of how it is displayed. They do a nice job of staging everything at the MFA, that is for sure.

MFA

Beatles Dress

Beatles Dress
All Photos Taken By Gail at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

A fluid back-and-forth between contemporary art, music and fashion characterized the 1960s. Made for Universal Studios as a rare promotional item, this Beatles dress illustrates three ideas central to Pop Art – the blending of Art and Advertising; the instant obsolescence of fashion; and the cult of the rich and famous.

Beatles Dress Detail
Print Detail

Its brightly contrasting print mimics Andy Warhol’s repetitive silk-screened images of celebrities and commercial products through the ‘60s and ‘70s.

Beatles Dress Side View
Back View of Dress. (Note: Red Anish Kapoor Wall Sculpture in the Background.)

Regarding the black patent leather mid-heeled shoes on the mannequin, designed by Roger Vivier, The Beatles themselves were avid customers of Vivier, a fashion designer credited with the Stiletto heel.