Thursday, August 28, 2014

Modernism from the National Gallery of Art in De Young Museum, San Francisco


DSCN0358 _ Modernism from the National Gallery of Art The Robert & Jane Meyerhoff Collection, De Young Museum

Last weekend, I visited De Young Museum to see the special exhibit: Modernism from the National Gallery of Art: The Robert & Jane Meyerhoff Collection.

DSCN0378 _ Modernism from the National Gallery of Art The Robert & Jane Meyerhoff Collection, De Young Museum

DSCN0015 _ NGA at De Young

DSCN0040 _ Modernism from the National Gallery of Art The Robert & Jane Meyerhoff Collection, De Young Museum

The exhibition included many important modern masters, with works in the styles ranging from almost realism to schematic abstract and cartoonish.

DSCN0092 _ Modernism from the National Gallery of Art The Robert & Jane Meyerhoff Collection, De Young Museum

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To me, the most astonishing offering was a series of paintings by Barnett Newman, titled The Stations of the Cross: Lema Sabachthani, created from 1958 to 1966. Spartan and aesthetically pleasing, the group paintings had an otherworldly beauty and spirituality.  The scope of the paintings was vast; and despite the long period of the creation, this series never veered away from the clearly defined concept, and these canvases could be appreciated individually or as a whole:

DSCN0403 _ The Stations of the Cross_ Lema Sabachthani, 1958-66, Barnett Newman, NGA at De Young

DSCN0400 _ The Stations of the Cross_ Lema Sabachthani, 1958-66, Barnett Newman, NGA at De Young  DSCN0402 _ The Stations of the Cross_ Lema Sabachthani, 1958-66, Barnett Newman, NGA at De Young

DSCN0070 _ The Stations of the Cross_ Lema Sabachthani, 1958-66, Barnett Newman, NGA at De Young

DSCN0404 _ The Stations of the Cross_ Lema Sabachthani, 1958-66, Barnett Newman, NGA at De Young

DSCN0002 _ The Stations of the Cross_ Lema Sabachthani, 1958-66, Barnett Newman, NGA at De Young



DSCN0065 _ The Stations of the Cross_ Lema Sabachthani, 1958-66, Barnett Newman, NGA at De Young

DSCN0062 _ The Stations of the Cross_ Lema Sabachthani, 1958-66, Barnett Newman, NGA at De Young

Similarly, I found this Rothko's abstract piece, in very subdued palettes, exceedingly beautiful.  It surely made a stark contrast to his more vibrantly painted pieces, particularly his red and purple pieces.  It is a very meditative piece:

DSCN0381 _ Untitled, 1969, Mark Rothko, NGA at De Young

DSCN0041 _ Untitled, 1969, Mark Rothko, NGA at De Young
Untitled, 1969, Mark Rothko

The Bradley Walker Tomlin painting was definitely vibrantly colorful and also amazingly beautiful, and even orderly, despite the deceptive chaos:

DSCN0399 _ Maneuver for Position, 1947, Bradley Walker Tomlin, NGA at De Young
Maneuver for Position, 1947, Bradley Walker Tomlin

Hans Hoffmann's piece included was a typical Hofmann - strong color contrasts, geometric pattens seemed ever moving on the canvas. Very dynamic:

DSCN0395 _ Autumn Gold, 1957, Hans Hofmann, NGA at De Young

DSCN0396 _ Autumn Gold (detail), 1957, Hans Hofmann, NGA at De Young
Autumn Gold and detail, 1957, Hans Hofmann

Other pieces with similar complexities and contrasts are these pieces below, in turn subtle, bold, schematic, and chaotic:

DSCN0392 _ Essex and Hester (Red), 1958, Grace Hartigan, NGA at de Young
Essex and Hester (Red), 1958, Grace Hartigan

DSCN0384 _ Desert Landscape, 1951, William Baziotes, NGA at De Young
Desert Landscape, 1951, William Baziotes

DSCN0012 _ Perilous Night, 1982, Jasper Johns, NGA at De Young
Perilous Night, 1982, Jasper Johns

DSCN0007 _ Souvenirs, 1980-84, Howard Hodgkin, NGA at De Young
Souvenirs, 1980-84, Howard Hodgkin

The following group included the most representative and visually complex offerings, intricate in patterns and meanings:

DSCN0038 _ La round des images, 1977, Jean Dubuffet, NGA at De Young
La round des images, 1977, Jean Dubuffet

DSCN0032 _ Saigon, Minnesota, 1985, Eric Fischl, NGA at De Young
Saigon, Minnesota, 1985, Eric Fischl

DSCN0004 _ Archive, 1963, Robert Rauschenberg, NGA at De Young
Archive, 1963, Robert Rauschenberg

DSCN0025 _ Courtroom, 1970, Philip Guston, NGA at De Young
Courtroom, 1970, Philip Guston

The following group paintings were the most schematic and purely abstract, and some of them were quite lovely, such as those by Ad Reinhardt:

DSCN0010 _ Graphics Tablet, 1998, Terry Winters, NGA at De Young
Graphics Tablet, 1998, Terry Winters

DSCN0036 _ Picasso's Skull, 1989-90, Brice Marden, NGA at De Young
Picasso's Skull, 1989-90, Brice Marden

DSCN0390 _ Untitled (Yellow and White), Untitled (Red and Gray), 1950, Ad Reinhardt, NGA at De Young

DSCN0049
Untitled (Yellow and White), Untitled (Red and Gray), 1950, Ad Reinhardt

DSCN0387 _ 1951-N, 1951, Clyfford Still, NGA at De Young
1951-N, 1951, Clyfford Still

DSCN0383 _ Study for Homage to the Square_ Light Rising, 1950, altered 1959, Josef Albers, NGA at De Young
Study for Homage to the Square_ Light Rising, 1950, altered 1959, Josef Albers

DSCN0386 _ First Theme, 1964, Burgoyne Diller, NGA at De Young
First Theme, 1964, Burgoyne Diller

DSCN0033 _ Untitled #2, 1981, Agnes Martin, NGA at De Young
Untitled #2, 1981, Agnes Martin

And lastly, there were some Roy Lichtenstein's cartoonish paintings - certainly there was no denying that there was some beauty in them, but they just didn't speak to me, as to some other absorbed patrons:

DSCN0089 _ Painting with Statue of Liberty, 1983, Roy Lichtenstein, NGA at De Young
Painting with Statue of Liberty, 1983, Roy Lichtenstein

DSCN0091 _ Entablature, 1974, Roy Lichtenstein, NGA at De Young
Entablature, 1974, Roy Lichtenstein

The exhibit was in the Herbst Special Exhibition Galleries of De Young Museum and it ran from June 7, 2014 to October 12, 2014.  Highly recommended.

DSCN0084

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And you can tweet about it:

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

My Favorite Paintings at Neue Galerie, Graz, Austria

The other important museum I visited in Graz, besides Kunsthaus, was Neue Galerie, which housed many important Austrian art.

DSCN9534 _ Neue Galerie, Graz, 9 October

DSCN9528 _ Neue Galerie, Graz, 9 October

My favorite painting there was, again, by Egon Schiele (1890, Tulln an der Donau, Austria - 1918, Vienna),  titled Stadtende (Häuserbogen III) (City End, Houses Arc III). It depicted a jumble of houses in various shades and shapes and the whole composition was quite dynamic, full of contrast and movements. Despite the many colors employed by the artist, the painting was also very harmonious, predominately in various shades of gray, accented by stripes and patches of brilliant blue, red, and green colors.  It was a lovely painting, beautiful, a bit unsettling and menacing, mainly due to some very angular and irregular outlines of those houses.

DSCN9492 _ Stadtende (Häuserbogen III), um 1917, Egon Schiele, Neue Galerie, Graz
Stadtende (Häuserbogen III), um 1917, Egon Schiele

My second favorite piece was by a Graz artist, Axl Leskoschek (1889, Graz -1976, Wien), Der Doppelgänger (The Double).  It was a somewhat spooky painting, monochromatic and enigmatic.  It featured actually not two, but three figures - the doubles and an image reflection in a mirror, looking out of the frame, as if mocking at the live two, in their fancifully dinner jackets, with intriguing postures and facial express warranted endless interpretations.  It was an unforgettable piece.

DSCN9485 _ Der Doppelgänger, 1945, Axl Leskoschek, Neue Galerie, Graz, 9 October
Der Doppelgänger, 1945, Axl Leskoschek (1889, Graz -1976, Wien)

My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 92: To be continued
<< My Favorite Museum Collection Series 90: My Favorite Artworks in Kunsthaus, Graz, Austria

List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited


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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

My Favorite Artworks in Kunsthaus, Graz, Austria

The ultra-modern museum, Kunsthaus, in Graz, Austria, was a distinctive architecture and its attraction is itself.

DSCN8995 _ View of Kunsthaus, Graz from Schloßberg, Graz, 8 October

DSCN9414 _ Kunsthaus, Graz, 9 October

DSCN9402 _ Kunsthaus, Graz, 9 October

That said, I did see some very interesting works in this museum during my 2012 visit to Graz.  My favorite item was an installation - a wooden forest flourishing under several intense circular florescent lights, suggesting a giant incubator, or an solemn, almost spiritual outer space, where several stars or planets converging upon alien soil.  Very intriguing.

DSCN9371 _ Kunsthaus, Graz, 9 October

My second favorite was a 30 minutes video, titled True False Else, white outlines of ever-morphing objects continuously expanded and contracted against a dark background, reminiscent of the famous William Kentridge's drawing animation.  Mesmerizing.

DSCN9349 _ True False Else, 1992, Constanze Ruhm, 30 min., Kunsthaus, Graz, 9 October
True False Else, 1992, Constanze Ruhm, 30 min.

My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 91: My Favorite Paintings at Neue Galerie, Graz, Austria
<< My Favorite Museum Collection Series 89: My Favorite Artworks in Schloss Eggenberg, Graz, Austria

List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited


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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My Favorite Artworks in Schloss Eggenberg, Graz, Austria


DSCN8852 _ Schloss Eggenberg, Graz, 8 October

Schloss Eggenberg in Graz, Austria is a magnificent Baroque palace and in 2010 was included in the listing of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites.  In 2012, when I made a brief stop at Graz, though I was not able to visit the museum housed inside the Schoss, Universalmuseum Joanneum, I was able to tour the building and its lovely garden ground.

DSCN8785 _ Schloss Eggenberg, Graz, 8 October

Though I couldn't go inside many marvelous rooms, I was able to see this wonderful triptych below through the window and though it was medieval in style, the coloration and rendering of its figures were reminiscent those of the great Jan van Eyck.

DSCN8795 _ Schloss Eggenberg, Graz, 8 October

My second favorite in the Schloss was a bearded figure with a heavy crown, a Kaiser, I assume, holding a model of a town with some effort, looking imploringly heavenwards.  A pious figure, seemingly suffered under the weight of his charges, almost pathetically tragic. Hard to forget.

DSCN8842 _ Schloss Eggenberg, Graz, 8 October


My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 90: My Favorite Artworks in Kunsthaus, Graz, Austria
<< My Favorite Museum Collection Series 88: My Favorite Artworks in the Mausoleum, Graz, Austria

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