Tag Archive | Whitney Museum

Grant Wood Lounge Chair and Ottoman

Grant Wood Lounge Chair and Ottoman
Photos By Gail

Grant Wood designed this Lounge Chair and Ottoman in 1938 for his own living room. Henry R. Lubben, a Cedar Rapids furniture maker, manufactured the design in a variety of fabrics, with or without tasseled fringe, and sold it in department stores throughthe Midwest as the Grant Wood Lounge Chair.

In 1939, Riverdale Fabrics commissioned Wood to create a textile for them based on his 1932 painting Spring Plowing (textile design seen framed, top image). Wood died before this design went into production and the fabric was never made.

Grant Wood Lounge Chair and Ottoman

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables, on View Through June 10th, 2018 at The Whitney Museum of American Art in the Meatpacking District, NYC.

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Modern Art Monday Presents: American Gothic By Grant Wood

American Gothic by Grant Wood
Photo By Gail

Premiering at the Art Institute of Chicago in October 1930, Grant Wood’s American Gothic captivated the public’s imagination and catapulted Wood into the national spotlight overnight. The painting depicts a couple — modeled on Wood’s sister, Nan, and his Dentist — who stand in front of a Midwestern house. The house is notable for its lone “gothic” window, a typical feature of the then-popular Carpenter Gothic style of architecture, in which gothic elements are used in otherwise simple, modern wood structures.

Wood identified the pair as father and daughter, though the work was initially assumed to be a portrait of a husband and wife. “I simply invented some ‘American Gothic’ people to stand in front of a house of this type,” Wood later explained. From the painting’s debut onward, its meaning has been the subject of endless speculation. What has remained central is its seeming embodiment of something stereotypically American.

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables, on View Through June 10th, 2018 at The Whitney Museum of American Art in the Meatpacking District, NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Agnes Pelton, Sea Change

Agnes Pelton Sea Change
Photo By Gail

The forms of Agnes Pelton’s Sea Change (1931) channel the movement and energy of water, which the artist regarded as a metaphor for the ebb and flow of human thought. Created the year she left Long Island for the Southern California desert, Sea Change can be understood as a meditation on personal transitions; however, Pelton refused such specific readings of her art. Influenced by modern Theosophy, an esoteric blend of religion and philosophy, as well as the mysticism of the American Symbolist painters, Pelton believed that art channels the universal energies of the natural world through color and light, which are experienced rather than purely seen. She described color as “active,” likening it to a voice or “vibration” that is ideally perceived like “the fragrance of a flower [which] fills the consciousness with the essence of its life.”

Photographed in the Whitney Museum of American Art in NYC.

“Mom, I’m Gay”

Mom I'm Gay
Photo By Gail

Hey, if you need to find a way to come out to your Mom, and she is also a Star Wars Fan, maybe you can do so via this fun poster, which I spotted on Gansevoort Street out front of the Whitney Museum. You can buy this piece, and other work by artist Denis Ouch via Artfinder at This Link.

Modern Art Monday Present: Arshile Gorky, The Artist and His Mother

Arshile Gorky The Artist and His Mother
Photo By Gail

Arshile Gorky (1904 – 1948) based this portrait of himself and his mother on a photograph taken in his native Armenia in 1912, when he was eight years old. Three years later, during the Ottoman Turk campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Armenians, Gorky, his mother and his younger sister all survived a death march. Tragically, his mother never recovered her health. She died in 1919 from starvation — one of the estimated one million to one and a half million victims of what is now widely referred to as the Armenian genocide.  The following year, at the age of fifteen Gorky emigrated to the United States with his sister. As Gorky established his career as an artist, he became preoccupied with the photograph. The Artist and His Mother, made over the span of ten years (1926 – 1936) does not attempt to reproduce the camera’s image precisely, but instead reduces it to broad areas of muted, softly brushed color. The mask-like faces and undefined hands of the figures at once suggest their loss of physical connection and the difficulty of accessing memories over time.

Photographed in the Whitney Museum in NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Raphael Soyer, Office Girls

Office Girls
Photo By Gail

As an astute observer of Depression-era New York, Raphael Soyer (1899 – 1987) evoked the inner lives on anonymous city dwellers. His paintings frequently depict the new generation of female workers that he encountered in his Union Square neighborhood. Leaving the home for secretarial and clerical jobs, these woman depicted in Office Girls (1936) achieved an independence that was unprecedented for women of the period, even while unemployment remained high among men. While his artist colleagues usually portrayed these young women in optimistic terms, Soyer’s composition strikes a more ambivalent tone. Squeezed between a throng of rushing female workers and a glowering man, the central woman looks out at the viewer with a gaze that is at once weary and unflinching.

Photographed in the Whitney Museum on NYC.

Larry Bell’s Pacific Red II at the Whitney Museum

Pacific Red II

Larry Bell has exploited the transparency and reflectivity of glass to great effect since the beginning of his career, when he inserted a square piece of glass into a painting and titled it Ghost Box (1962).  Pacific Red II (2017)

Pacific Red II

Pacific Red II

Over the years, Bell has developed coating and laminating techniques in order to tint his sculptures or imbue them with metallic or smoky finishes.

Pacific Red II

Pacific Red II

Here on the Whitney Museum 5th floor outdoor terrace, Bell has installed Pacific Red II (2017), a work consisting of six laminated glass cubes, each measuring six-by-eight feet, and enclosing another six-by-four foot glass box.

Pacific Red II

Pacific Red II

The multiple surface interplay and respond to their urban surroundings, when glass towers abound.

Pacific Red II

Pacific Red II

Read more about the painstakingly brutal installation process of Pacific Red II, and see a video, at This Link.

Pacific Red II