Kandler’s brilliantly composed figural group, The Judgement of Paris (1762) was intended as a table centerpiece that would appear with dessert. It depicts the story of the shepherd Paris awarding the golden apple to Venus, whose charms he preferred to those of Minerva and Juno. The splashes of color add a frivolous note, in tune with the frothy rococo spirit of the sculpture. Moreover, hints of naturalistic coloring deny these goddesses the timelessness of idealizing sculpture, making them instead into modern beauties who perform a titillating after-dinner entertainment.
Photographed in The Met Breuer (Now Closed) as Part of the 2018 Exhibit, Like Life: Sculpture, Color and The Body.
Jeff Koons’ Woman in Tub (1988) combines a cartoon-like rendering of a nude woman startled by a submerged snorkeler with the exquisite, hard-paste porcelain finish of typical 18th-century Rococo figurines. Part of Koons‘ Banality series, which is characterized by oddly eroticized, comic and kitsch images, this work takes personal taste — good and bad — as its primary subject.
Koons has explained the work’s biographical origin:
When I was a kid, my grandparents had an ashtray on a table in their television room. It was a small porcelain of a girl in a bathtub. It was white, with pink and blue details, and the legs went back and forth. As a kid, I was mesmerized. My Woman in Tub comes from that, though it references [the toiletry scenes painted by] Manet and Degas. I had such as experience of awe looking at that object.
In the mid- 1800s, German immigrant John Henry Belter was New York City’s most important cabinetmaker, producing Rococo Revival style furniture for the luxury market. Belter garnered an international reputation for the suites of drawing-room furniture he manufactured, many of laminated and deeply carved rosewood. This large and exuberant sofa, embellished with bountiful carved bouquets of naturalistic blooms, epitomizes his best work. The modern damask covering was chosen because fragments of the original dark red sill upholstery were found on the sofa’s frame during recent conservation
Photographed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
These superb Wrought Iron Gates (circa 1900) by Emile Robert (French 1860 -1924) are rendered by hand in the curvilinear Art Nouveau style, which originated in northern Europe in the late 1890s and flourished until World War I. The revival of interest in wrought iron work in this period was inspired by the beautiful, ornate, Rococo gates and fences around the main square and garden of the French city of Nancy, an early center of the Art Nouveau style. The butterfly motif in these gates is indicative of the main influences of Art Nouveau design: observation of the natural world and motifs popular in Japanese art.
Joshua Liner Gallery is currently hosting the must-see exhibit, Revival, featuring mixed-media assemblage sculptures by Kansas-based artist Kris Kuksi. This is Kuksi’s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery with works ranging medium-in-size to some over five feet-tall and five feet-wide. The works were definitely on a much smaller scale than those included in a previous exhibit of his work, Triumph, which we saw in March of 2012. Continuing in Kuksi’s highly recognizable assemblage style, each sculpture contains worlds within worlds within worlds, every inch of the piece telling layered stories rich with occult meaning.
Detail from the Sculpture, Above
Film Director Guillermo del Toro has referred to Kuksi as “a postindustrial Rococo master,” a fitting compliment to the artist’s Shrine-like tableaus.
Detail from the Sculpture, Above
I can’t even imagine how labor intensive these pieces are, considering the placement of each tiny piece seems entirely intentional. There must be several thousand components in each of Kuksi’s sculptures. You could probably look at one for a year and never see everything.
Revival also includes a small scale version of The Churchtank — a steepled church structure fused to the base of a tank — a much larger edition of which was given the run of Liner’s rear gallery space during the Triumph exhibit. Church Tank!
Kris Kuksi Photographed by Gail at Joshua Liner Gallery
Kris was present at the opening reception last Thursday and he was super nice to all his fans. I asked him if he’d every considered putting lots of tiny objects in his beard, and while he claimed to have considered the idea, he’d declined to execute it.
I like this guy. He looks like a Renaissance badass.
Detail from the Sculpture, Above
Kris Kuksi is massively talented and truly a one-of-a-kind artist. Don’t miss your chance to see his work up close. Fortunately, you have a little extra time to make it the Liner Gallery for this one.
Kris Kuksi’s Revival will be on Exhibit Through January 18, 2014 at Joshua Liner Gallery, Located at 540 West 28th Street, New York, in the Chelsea Gallery District. Gallery Hours are Tuesday — Saturday from 11:00 AM — 6:00 PM.
I had to look at this photo for a few seconds before I saw past the ornate, neo-Rococo frame to recognize the familiar Batman icon making up the actual mirror itself. Very cool! Created out of hand-molded, painted gypsum from a 2008 design by Stanislav Katz, this conversation-starting mirror comes standard in black, vintage gold or white (with other colors available on request), and measures just over 32-inches wide by 27-inches high. The sale price for one of just five mirrors currently available is $320 (not too dear really, considering) with shipping (from Latvia!) setting you back another $120. Purchasing information can be found at This Link!
Fans of surrealist illustration will not want to miss the latest exhibit at Jonathan Levine Gallery in Chelsea, A Gentle Kind of Cruelty, featuring works by Toronto-based artist Ray Caesar. In this collection, according to the gallery’s press release, “Caesar expands upon his signature aesthetic by taking a more painterly approach, rendering new imagery with softer edges and greater movement than in previous work. The artist’s digitally created dreamscapes, set in elaborately furnished Rococo-style interiors, feature haunting doll-like female figures with delicate features and porcelain complexions. The hybrid characters, part-child-part-woman, some sprouting tails, tentacles and other animal appendages, all wear elaborate costumes that reference fashions of the past and often incorporate futuristic elements as well. Caesar works in Maya (a 3D modeling software used for digital animation effects in film and game industries), using it to create his figures as well as the virtual realms in which they exist.”
The results of Caesar’s technique are really quite spectacular, and photos can’t possibly reveal the depth of detail in these illustrations, which appear almost 3-D and beg to be meticulously examined for their gift of revealing new, previously hidden aspects on each viewing. I couldn’t help but think of the work of Mark Ryden, another gifted contemporary surrealist, by way of comparison. Like Ryden, his work is haunting, dark and somewhat twisted, but also breathtakingly beautiful. As they say, every picture tells a story. I really loved the sense of texture and surface translucence in each scenario. This was my first exposure to Ray Caesar’s art and it has definitely piqued my interested in exploring his body of work. What a fun show!
A Gentle Kind of Cruelty runs through February 19, 2011 at the Jonathan Levine Gallery, located at 529 West 20th Street, 9th Floor (West of 10th Avenue) in New York. Gallery Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 AM to 6 PM.