Tag Archive | The Met Breuer

Modern Art Monday Presents: Wilhelm Freddie, Sex-Paralysappeal

Sex Paralysappeal
Photos By Gail

In line with other surrealist artists’ engagements with the ready-made, Wilhelm Freddie’s objets-mannequins, such as Sex-Paralysappeal (1936, shown here as a 1961 artist’s copy) were scandalous in their day for their explicit references to sex. With a prominently painted penis, both the 1936 and 1961 versions of this work were confiscated by the Danish authorities soon after they were exhibited.

Sex Paralysappeal
Installation View

In Sex-Paralysappeal, Freddie transforms the classical bust into a surrealist object by treating it like a mannequin head and adorning it with various accessories. Placing the head inside an incomplete picture frame, he indicates the desire for the image to become dimensional, more lifelike. The work’s composite title vacillates between sex appeal and paralysis, amplifying the incongruity of its constituent elements.

Photographed in The Met Breuer as Part of the Exhibit, Like Life: Sculpture Color and The Body.

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Modern Art Monday Presents: Jasper Johns, Between The Clock and The Bed

Johns Between the Clock and The Bed
All Photos By Gail

Jasper Johns began to incorporate a cross-hatch pattern in his paintings after seeing it on a car: “It had all the qualities that interest me — literalness, repetitiveness, an obsessive quality, order with dumbness, and the possibility of a complete lack of meaning.” Using encaustic, a method of paint that suspends pigment in hot wax, Johns created lush, layered paintings with richly textured surfaces.

Munch Between the Clock and The Bed
Edvard Munch, Self-Portrait Between the Clock and The Bed

Between The Clock and The Bed (1981) reference’s Self-Portrait Between The Clock and The Bed (1940 – 43), one of artist Edvard Munch’s last works.

Jasper Johns Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art NYC. Edvard Munch Photographed in the Met Breuer, NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Jeff Koons, Michael Jackson and Bubbles

Michael Jackson and Bubbles
Photos By Gail

In imagining Michael Jackson (19582009) as a contemporary god of pop culture, Jeff Koons draws on long histories of representing mythic figures in sculpture. In Michael Jackson and and Bubbles (1988), the singer cradles his pet chimpanzee, mimicking a Pieta as perhaps a poignant evolutionary take on the composition of a mother and her child. Koons uses the techniques and conventions of traditional Meissen porcelain — a medium often associated with kitsch — on a grand scale, to underscore the mass appeal of his subject. Similarly, the pronounced use of gold signals excess to the point of banality, even as it reflects the brilliance of the megastar in the manner of an Egyptian pharaoh.

Michael Jackson and Bubbles

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit Like Life: Sculpture, Color and The Body, at The Met Breuer, NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Duane Hanson, Housewife

Housewife
Photo By Gail

Sculptor Duane Hanson (1925 – 1996) often identified the figures in his artworks by their occupation or social roles, rather than their names. His photorealistic sculptural portraits — cast from life, painted and dressed in clothes corresponding to their roles — are thus transformed into ethnographic types. Their positions subtly critique their social realities as well as the context of their display. Hanson’s typically lower-and-middle class characters are empathetically portrayed in private or mundane moments, and their appearance is at once startlingly present, yet distinctly at odds in a gallery setting, where they are encountered almost voyeuristically, thus amplifying their isolation.

Housewife Detail

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit Like Life: Sculpture, Color and The Body, at The Met Breuer, NYC.

Housewife

Eye On Design: Ziggurat Black Stripes Storage Boxes By Oeuffice

Ziggurat Black Stripes Storage Boxes
Photo By Gail

The research laboratory called Oeuffice was estalished by Nicolas Bellavance-Lecompte and Jakub Zak to develop innovative objects in limited editions. The designers met in Milan after studying in their native Canada and attending university in Berlin. Like Ettore Sottsass, they share a vision of a contemporary utopia in which they refashion architectural design on a domestic scale. The Ziggurat, an iconic architectural form that Sottsass revered, provided inspiration for this stack of Wooden Storage Boxes inlaid with acrylic and solid stained wood (2012). The ziggurat’s form and masterful wood inlays originate in the Near East and were executed by Lebanese artists specialized in the technique.

Photographed in the Met Breuer in NYC.

Eye On Design: Kyoto Table By Shiro Kuramata

Kyoto Table
Photos By Gail

Born in Tokyo in 1934, Shiro Kuramata studied at the city’s polytechnic high school and Kuwsawa Design School. He revolutionized design in postwar Japan by considering the relationship between form and function, adhering to minimalist ideas but embracing surrealism as well. During the 1970s and 1980s, Kuramata began to use new technologies and industrial materials. He was inspired by Ettore Sottsass and joined the Memphis Group at its founding in 1981.

Kyoto Table Detail
Kyoto Table, Detail

The Kyoto Table (1983) is an example Kuramata’s innovative use of concrete and glass to create minimalist form with surface interest. Kuramata’s furniture and interiors have been influential both is his native country and abroad.

Photographed in the Met Breuer in NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Edvard Munch, Sick Mood at Sunset

Edvard Munch Sick Mood at Sunset
Photo By Gail

This work — part of the exhibit Between the Clock and the Bed at The Met Breuer —  is a precursor to the first version of Edvard Munch’s famous painting, The Scream (1893). In fact, the artist later referred to it as “the first Scream.” On January 22, 1892, while in Nice, where he painted Sick Mood at Sunset, Munch recorded in his diary and event that had taken place  years earlier in Norway:

“I was walking along the road with two friends. The sun set. I felt a tinge of melancholy. Suddenly, the sky became a bloody red. I stopped, leaned against the railing, dead tired and looked at the flaming clouds that hung like blood and a sword over the blue-black fjord and city. My friends walked on. I stood there trembling with fright. And I felt a loud, unending scream piercing nature.”

The dramatic diagonal perspective of the railing emphasizes the figure’s isolation and despair.