Tag Archive | Rococo

Modern Art Monday Presents: Woman in Tub By Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons Woman in Tub
All Photos By Gail

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 KoonsBanality series, which is characterized by oddly eroticized, comic and kitsch images, this work takes personal taste — good and bad — as its primary subject.

Jeff Koons Woman in Tub

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.

Jeff Koons Woman in Tub

Photographed in The Art Institute, Chicago.

Butterfly Gates

Butterfly Gates
Photo By Gail

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.

Photographed in the Brooklyn Museum.

Kris Kuksi’s Revival at Joshua Liner Gallery

Kris Kuksi Sculpture
All Photos By Gail

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.

Kuksi Detail
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.

Kuksi Feathered Sculpture

Kuksi Feathered Sculpture Detail
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.

Kris Kuksi Chrich Tank

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
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.

Kris Kuksi Sculpture

I like this guy. He looks like a Renaissance badass.

Kris Kuksi Sculpture

Kris Kuksi Sculpture Detail
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.

Must See Art: Ray Caesar’s A Gentle Kind of Cruelty

Kingdom, By Ray Caesar

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.”


Silent Partner

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! More pictures from this terrific exhibit, including one of the artist, are available at According 2 G Dot Com.

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.

Consort Study