Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Innocents - Dedicated to the victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17

The magnitude of the unspeakable tragedy of the downing of the civilian Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 by a mission in the war-torn region of eastern Ukraine was hard to fathom and absolutely cannot be accepted in a civil global society.  Everyone with righteous mind mourns the loss of near 300 people, on their way to return to their homes, to see their friends and families, to go to work, or to make holidays.

I was deeply touched by the tragedy and channeled my feeling into a gouache painting, commemorate this utterly senseless tragedy.

The Innocents - Dedicated to the victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17
The Innocents - Dedicated to the victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17


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Friday, July 18, 2014

BAM/PFA New Building Topping Out Celebration


DSCN0070 _ BAM-PAF Building Topping Celebration, 17 July 2014

Yesterday, I attended a block party on Addison Street below Oxford, celebrating the topping out of the new Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive building of University of California, Berkeley, in the ceremony traditionally held when the last beam is put in place.

According to the press release, the new BAM/PFA is "designed by renowned architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, integrates a repurposed building, the former UC Berkeley printing plant, at the corner of Oxford and Center Streets, with a dramatic new structure. Opening in early 2016, the new building will anchor Berkeley's downtown Arts District, engaging diverse audiences in groundbreaking art, film, performance, and education programs." 

DSCN0068 _ BAM-PAF Building Topping Celebration, 17 July 2014

DSCN0071 _ BAM-PAF Building Topping Celebration, 17 July 2014

DSCN0114 _ BAM-PAF Building Topping Celebration, 17 July 2014

DSCN0115 _ BAM-PAF Building Topping Celebration, 17 July 2014

DSCN0076 _ BAM-PAF Building Topping Celebration, 17 July 2014

It was a fun event and people was entertained by lively music, provided by Mission Delirium, a fourteen-piece party brass band:

DSCN0075 _ BAM-PAF Building Topping Celebration, 17 July 2014

DSCN0120 _ BAM-PAF Building Topping Celebration, 17 July 2014



There was also a spontaneous dance courtesy of a most talented toddler:



The best part of the celebration was signing the beam - all the people present were invited to sign the beam with permanent markers - a courtesy doesn't often extend to common folks, and yesterday the people were truly inspired and left many interesting "signatures" on the steel beam:

DSCN0109 _ BAM-PAF Building Topping Celebration, 17 July 2014

DSCN0118 _ BAM-PAF Building Topping Celebration, 17 July 2014

DSCN0201 _ BAM-PAF Building Topping Celebration, 17 July 2014

DSCN0142 _ BAM-PAF Building Topping Celebration, 17 July 2014

DSCN0122 _ BAM-PAF Building Topping Celebration, 17 July 2014

Finally, the steel beam was ready to go up:

DSCN0178 _ BAM-PAF Building Topping Celebration, 17 July 2014

DSCN0197 _ BAM-PAF Building Topping Celebration, 17 July 2014




Cannot wait to see the new building in 2016!



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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My Favorite Artworks in Votivkirche, Vienna

One of the most visible churches in Vienna, amongst many magnificent ones, is Votivkirche, which I visited in 2012 and was duly impressed. 

DSCN9231 _ Votivkirche, Wien, 2 October- 500 DSCN9394 _ Votivkirche, Vienna, 2012

This Neo-Gothic church of twin spires, dating back to late 19th century, boasted a famous Antwerp Passion Altar (Wood Curve) (dating back to around 1460). This altar was the best example of the achievement of medieval wood curving religion art in the low countries.

DSCN9317 _ Antwerp Passion Altar, Museum of Votivkirche, Wien, 2 October- 500
Antwerp Passion Altar

DSCN9316 _ Antwerp Passion Altar, Museum of Votivkirche, Wien, 2012

This Altar has grandeur, dignity and its moving pathos lies in the folksy naïveté and the lightened wrenching dramatic tableau it represents.  I found it hugely effective and moving.

DSCN9371 _ Antwerp Passion Altar, Museum of Votivkirche, Wien, 2012 DSCN9324 _ Antwerp Passion Altar, Museum of Votivkirche, Wien, 2012
DSCN9320 _ Antwerp Passion Altar, Museum of Votivkirche, Wien, 2012 DSCN9318 _ Antwerp Passion Altar, Museum of Votivkirche, Wien, 2012

Another amazing work was even grander assembly - Hochaltar (Main Altar), which consists of tier-ed multiple parts.  Due to restoration work, I was only able to see the upper part from side and behind in the Museum Gallery; however, the trusses of the scaffolding added quite appropriate setting to Christ and angels when view from behind.  The lower part of the Hochaltar was glistering and awe inspiring.

DSCN9232 _ Hochaltar (Main Choir), Votivkirche, Vienna, 2012 DSCN9244 _ Lower part of the Hochaltar (Main Choir), Votivkirche, Vienna, 2012

DSCN9326 _ Upper part of the Hochaltar (Main Choir), Votivkirche, Vienna, 2012 DSCN9322 _ Upper part of the Hochaltar (Main Choir), Votivkirche, Vienna, 2012

DSCN9334 _ Viewing Altar from Museum of Votivkirche, Wien, 2 October- 500

Below is a short video with quick glances of the Antwerp Passion Altar, and the Hoch Altar viewed from Museum Gallery:




My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 85: To be continued
<< My Favorite Museum Collection Series 83:  My Favorite Artworks at Secession Building, Vienna

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


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Sunday, July 13, 2014

My Favorite Artworks at Secession Building, Vienna

The Secession Building in Vienna is so iconic, that though it doesn't have permanent collections, except for Beethoven Frieze by Gustav Klimt, I feel that I am compelled to include it in the series of .

Secession Building is an exhibition hall built in 1897 by Joseph Maria Olbrich as an architectural manifesto for the Vienna Secession and the Beethoven Frieze is a painting by Gustav Klimt created in 1902 for the 14th Vienna Secessionist exhibition and is now on display in the building permanently.

The frieze has the hallmark of the overt ornamentation the movement, and it also addressed the life's motifs close to Klimt's heart, as it covered the themes of human yearning for happiness and fulfillment of desires in the dark and tempestuous world as can be gleaned through a snapshot of the copy of part of the immense frieze below.

DSCN0593 _ Beethoven Frieze copy, Secession, Wien, 5 October
Beethoven Frieze copy, Secession, Wien

The frieze has the hallmark of the overt ornamentation the movement, and it also addressed the life's motifs close to Klimt's heart, as it covered the themes of human yearning for happiness and fulfillment of desires in the dark and tempestuous world.

Since there are no other permanent art collections to speak of in Secession Building, I'm going to cheap a bit, by citing an element of the utterly lovely building itself.  My favorite relief on the exterior wall of the building is a group of three highly decorative owls, well-balanced and proportioned, stylized in the typical Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) fashion.  Absolutely enchanting.

File:Jugendstil owls - Koloman Moser - Detail facade of Secession Building - Vienna.jpg
Jugendstil owls - Detail of the facade of the Secession Building.
Image credit: Alberto Fernandez Fernandez



My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 84: My Favorite Artworks in Votivkirche, Vienna
<< My Favorite Museum Collection Series 82: My Favorite Paintings at Leopold Museum, Vienna 

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


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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Impressionism from National Gallery of Art (DC) in San Francisco

Last weekend, I visited Legion of Honor Museum, San Francisco, to see a special exhibition - Intimate Impressionism from the National Gallery of Art from Washington D.C. (March 29, 2014 – August 3, 2014).  

DSCN1836 _ Impressionism from National Gallery of Art at Legion of Honor Museum, San Francisco

The exhibition included many paintings from the period of the emergence of the Impressionism, most of them were of modest dimensions, with subjects ranging from intimate portraits, still life to familiar outdoor landscapes.

The exhibition was organized and displayed by artists, a choice group including many big names and a few less familiar ones.  Below are the paintings I liked most:

DSCN1805 _ Self-Portrait, 1861, Henri Fantin-Latour, National Gallery of Art at Legion of Honor
Self-Portrait, 1861, Henri Fantin-Latour

DSCN1807 _ Three Peaches on a Plate, 1868, Henri Fantin-Latour, National Gallery of Art at Legion of Honor
Three Peaches on a Plate, 1868, Henri Fantin-Latour

DSCN1806 _ Oysters, 1862, Édouard Manet, National Gallery of Art at Legion of Honor
Oysters, 1862, Édouard Manet

DSCN1808 _ The Artist's Studio, ca. 1868, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, National Gallery of Art at Legion of Honor
The Artist's Studio, ca. 1868, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

DSCN1815 _ The Towpath, 1864, Johan Barthold Jongkind, National Gallery of Art at Legion of Honor
The Towpath, 1864, Johan Barthold Jongkind

DSCN1816 _ Beach at Trouville, 1864/65, Eugène Boudin, National Gallery of Art at Legion of Honor
Beach at Trouville, 1864/65, Eugène Boudin

DSCN1817 _ Beach at Trouville, 1863, Eugène Boudin, National Gallery of Art at Legion of Honor
Beach at Trouville, 1863, Eugène Boudin

DSCN1822 _ Mound of Butter, 1875/1885, Antoine Vollon, National Gallery of Art at Legion of Honor
Mound of Butter, 1875/1885, Antoine Vollon

DSCN1820 _ Claude Monet, 1872, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, National Gallery of Art at Legion of Honor
Claude Monet, 1872, Pierre-Auguste Renoir

DSCN1831 _ The Fence, 1872, Camille Pissarro, National Gallery of Art at Legion of Honor
The Fence, 1872, Camille Pissarro

DSCN1830 _ Flood at Port-Marly, 1872, Alfred Sisley, National Gallery of Art at Legion of Honor
Flood at Port-Marly, 1872, Alfred Sisley

DSCN1827 _ Boulevard Héloïse, Argenteuil, 1872, Alfred Sisley, National Gallery of Art at Legion of Honor
Boulevard Héloïse, Argenteuil, 1872, Alfred Sisley

DSCN1838 _ Madame Henriot, ca. 1876, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, National Gallery of Art at Legion of Honor
 Madame Henriot, ca. 1876, Pierre-Auguste Renoir

DSCN1841 _ Carmen Caudin, 1885, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, National Gallery of Art at Legion of Honor
Carmen Caudin, 1885, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

DSCN1842 _ Three Pears, 1878/79, Paul Cézanne, National Gallery of Art at Legion of Honor
Three Pears, 1878/79, Paul Cézanne

DSCN1845 _ Flower Beds in Holland, ca. 1883, Vincent van Gogh, National Gallery of Art at Legion of Honor
Flower Beds in Holland, ca. 1883, Vincent van Gogh

DSCN1852 _ Village by the Sea in Brittany, ca. 1880, Odilon Redon, National Gallery of Art at Legion of Honor
Village by the Sea in Brittany, ca. 1880, Odilon Redon

DSCN1854 _ Breton Village, ca. 1890, Odilon Redon, National Gallery of Art at Legion of Honor
Breton Village, ca. 1890, Odilon Redon

DSCN1853 _ Landscape of the Île-de-France,  Édouard Vuillard, National Gallery of Art at Legion of Honor
 Landscape of the Île-de-France,  Édouard Vuillard

DSCN1856 _ Woman in Black, ca. 1891, Édouard Vuillard, National Gallery of Art at Legion of Honor
Woman in Black, ca. 1891, Édouard Vuillard

DSCN1870 _ The Artist's Studio, 1900, Pierre Bonnard, National Gallery of Art at Legion of Honor
The Artist's Studio, 1900, Pierre Bonnard

DSCN1867 _ Red Plums, 1892, Pierre Bonnard, National Gallery of Art at Legion of Honor
Red Plums, 1892, Pierre Bonnard

DSCN1872 _ Bouquet of Flowers, ca. 1926, Pierre Bonnard, National Gallery of Art at Legion of Honor
Bouquet of Flowers, ca. 1926, Pierre Bonnard

Famous names included in the exhibition included Monet, Gauguin, etc. but I felt their works somewhat less moving and affecting than their the better efforts, nevertheless, their works deserved to be included in this blog:

DSCN1818 _ Horses in a Meadow, 1871, Edgar
 Degas, National Gallery of Art at Legion of Honor
Horses in a Meadow, 1871, Edgar Degas

DSCN1809 _ The Artist's Sister at a Window, 1869, Berthe Morisot, National Gallery of Art at Legion of Honor
The Artist's Sister at a Window, 1869, Berthe Morisot

DSCN1832 _ Argenteuil, ca. 1872, Claude Monet, National Gallery of Art at Legion of Honor
Argenteuil, ca. 1872, Claude Monet

DSCN1844 _ Self-Portrait Dedicated to Carrière, 1888 or 1889, Paul Gauguin, National Gallery of Art at Legion of Honor
Self-Portrait Dedicated to Carrière, 1888 or 1889, Paul Gauguin

It was a marvelous show and the last day of the exhibition is August 3rd.  Do try to catch this beautiful presentation.


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