Tag Archive | The Met

Modern Art Monday Presents: Elizabeth Murray, Terrifying Terrain

Terrifying Terrain
Photos By Gail

Elizabeth Murray belonged to a generation of postmodern artists that challenged the austerity and impersonality of Minimalism and post-painterly abstraction by working in different techniques and styles simultaneously, blurring perceived boundaries between traditional media. Composed of multiple, irregularly shaped canvases that are seemingly combined haphazardly, Terrifying Terrain (1989 – 90) is a sculptural painting  — or a painted sculpture? — that conjures the precariousness of an awe-inspiring rock-climbing trip in Montana. Jagged, overlapping planes convey the mountainous landscape that the artist experienced there, as well as the constant threat and fear of falling. The opening in the middle simulates the effect of a climber’s vertiginous view down into a ravine.

Terrifying Terrain

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Stuart Davis, Men and Machine

Stuart Davis, Men and Machine
Photo By Gail

Heralded for his abstract visual evocations of jazz, Stuart Davis‘s art also responded profoundly to the industrial age. Men and Machine (1934) features two men standing before a schematically rendered structure with their backs to the viewer. Likely representing a construction site with the foreman and investor looking on, the painting alludes to New York’s interwar construction boom. Highlighting the degree to which industrialism was associated with masculinity, Davis’s painting, consisting of primary colors on a white background, also testifies to the artist’s respect for Piet Mondrian.

Photographed in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Fernand Leger, The Builders

The Builders
Photo By Gail

The quintessential painter of the machine age, Fernand Leger observed the effects of modern technology in the trenches as a soldier in the French army during World War I. Featuring workers whose bodies appear to be assembled from standardized industrial parts, The Builders (1920) exemplifies the style he developed after the war. Unlike the toiling laborers of Thomas Hart Benton’s mural, America Today, the builders here fuse seamlessly with the scaffolding and gears around them, as though they are part of one, harmonious machine. In the 1930s and 1940s. Leger would go on to make his own murals, featuring abstracted images of industry and machine power.

Photographed in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Still Life With Cake By Raphaelle Peale

Still Life with Cake
Photo By Gail

Still Life With Cake (1818), a typical still life by Raphaelle Peale (17741825), the son of Charles Willson Peale, may have been the picture exhibited in 1819 at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts as Still Life—Wine, Cakes, Grapes, &c. A similar picture dating from the same year is in the Detroit Institute of Arts. Peale’s tightly-grouped still lifes are often permeated with a delicate melancholy akin to that which characterized the life of the artist; he was an alcoholic who suffered the effects of arsenic and mercury poisoning caused by his work as a taxidermist in his father’s museum. His spare, essential style may have been influenced by the Spanish still lifes he studied in Mexico and by the works of Juan Sanchez Cotan, exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy in 1818.

Photographed in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: The Return of Neptune By John Singleton Copley

The Return of Neptune
Photo By Gail

In this scene, mermaids, tritons, and marine cherubs effervesce from the sea around the mighty marine god, Neptune. John Singleton Copley derived the image for The Return of Neptune (1754) from an engraving of 1749 by Simon Francois Ravenet, after a design by the Italian painter Andrea Casali. It is among Copley’s earliest works, executed when the artist was about fifteen years old. He may have been introduced to the European print while viewing works in the collection of his stepfather, Peter Pelham, a well-known engraver and print seller in Boston. Colonial American furniture makers had similar access to prints and design books that they used as inspiration for carving patterns, decorative motifs, and geometric proportioning.

Photographed in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: The Businessman Max Roesberg, Dresden By Otto Dix

The Businessman Max Roesberg, Dresden
Photo By Gail

German painter Otto Dix portrayed his subjects with a hard-edged, detached realism, accentuating unattractive features and signs of age. Since this portarit, The Businessman Max Roesberg, Dresden (1922) was a commission, his treatment of his subject was rather kind. Dix highlights Roesberg’s business prowess — which was short-lived — in several ways. The room is cluttered with materials central to a productive professional practice, such as a telephone, calendar, and tools for correspondence,while the palette of greens and blues alludes to rh coorof money. Moreover, Roesberg’s body is almost completely obscured by his business suit —  a mark of his professional identity.

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Eye On Design: Chippendale Side Chair Circa 1772

Chippendale Side Chair
All Photos By Gail

Around 1748, the young British furniture maker Thomas Chippendale moved from his home in Yorkshire to London, a cosmopolitan city full of opportunity but also stiff competition in the luxury trades. Although there was no guarantee that his business would succeed, within a decade “Chippendale” had become a household name and a hallmark of quality British Furniture.

Chippendale Side Chair Seat Detail
Red Morocco Leather Seat Upholstery, Detail

This classically inspired, fan-shaped chair back with a central medallion draped in garlands is one of the few examples of furniture that can be securely attributed to the workshop of Thomas Chippendale. This Chippendale Side Chair was made as part of a set of fourteen for the politician Daniel Lascelles (17121795) at Goldsborough Hall, Yorkshire.

Chippendale Side Chair

Executed from Mahogany in the neoclassical style, the chair illustrates how Chippendale kept-up-to date-on the latest fashions and tastes of his clients. His workshop created similar sets of neoclassical chairs, including one for Daniel’s brother Edwin at Harewood House, where Chippendale collaborated with the famous architect, Robert Adam (17281792).

Chippendale Side Chair
Chippendale Side Chair, Installation View

Chippendale’s designs spread throughout the British Empire, following the routes of the nation’s expanding maritime trade and colonization of North America and the Caribbean. As talented craftsmen and consumers adopted his design and aesthetic, blending them with their own local traditions, the name Chippendale came to refer not only to a prominent local cabinetmaker but also to an enduring style, one that has played a central role in British and American furniture design for more than 250 years.

Photographed as Part of The Exhibit: Chippendale’s Director: The Designs and Legacy of Furniture Maker at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.