Tag Archive | The Met

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.

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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.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Frank Bowling, Night Journey

Night Journey
Photo By Gail

Night Journey (196970) belongs to Frank Bowling’s Map series (196671), a group of mostly abstract paintings composed of broad fields of color into which the artist placed the continents of Australia, South America, and Africa. Here, the barely discernible shapes of South America, in red at center left, and Africa, in blue and pink and center right, hover in his luminous composition. The yellow area between them evokes the Atlantic Ocean, the maritime highway that facilitated exchange and, most importantly for Bowling, the slave trade. Using the conventions of modern painting about 196970 in New York, where he worked at the time, the artist evokes the displacement and migration of Africans.

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Eye On Design: Bejeweled Armoured Yashmak By Shaun Leane for Alexander McQueen

Yashmak Bodysuit
All Photos By Gail

“You find beauty in the ugliest places,” maverick fashion designer Alexander McQueen assured jeweler Shaun Leane. Modern jewelry does not always aim to flatter. Some of the most spectacular examples assert mastery over the female body. This is jewelry on the edge; designed to push the limits of glamour, courting danger and even pain.

Yashmak Head Detail

The Yashmak is a veil concealing all of the face except the eyes, which is worn by some Muslim women in public. This metal Yashmak is part of a collection of jewelry that was designed for Alexander McQueen by Leane, who was not only a collaborator of McQueen’s, buts also a good friend.

Yashmak Edge Detail

Considered to be one of the top twenty most spectacular pieces in McQueen’s oeuvre, the Yashmak is created from aluminum plates cast from molds. The plates are linked by chains and inset at the center with red, Cabochon Swarovski crystals. Designed for McQueen’s Spring/Summer 2000 collection, which initially explored the clashing of Middle Eastern and Western cultures, the Yashmak  acted as a symbol of Middle Eastern dress.

Photographed as Part of  Jewelry: The Body Transformed, on Exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC from November 12th, 2018 Through February 24th, 2019.

McQueen Metal Bodysuit

Modern Art Monday Presents: Claes Oldenburg, Soft Calendar for The Month of August

Soft Calendar
Photo By Gail

Claes Oldenburg has consistently embraced contradiction to transform and animate everyday objects. In his art, hard becomes soft, miniscule becomes monumental and, as in Soft Calendar (1962), flat becomes three-dimensional. Oldenburg’s stuffed fabric sculptures originated in 1962 as props to his art events, or Happenings, and evolved into independent artworks. The giant numbers of Soft Calendar are sensuously rounded and pillow-like. Each Sunday is called out in brilliant red, while the remaining days of the week are coated in white enamel. Photographic documentation suggests that Soft Calendar was assembled by Oldenburg and is partner, Patty Mucha, at Green Gallery in 1962, in preparation for the opening of his solo exhibition.

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.