Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Terms: Contrapposto

Contrapposto / counterpoise..
An Italian term, referring to human figures standing with most of the weight on one feet. Developed by ancient Greeks. It makes the figure look more relaxed.. This technique was lost during the dark ages and was rediscovered during the Italian Renaissance..
An extension of contrapposto, where the body forms a S-curve..
Below Images:
# Hebe and the Eagle of Jupiter - by Francois Rude ..
# Rosenberg Fountain - by Franz Machtl..

Terms: Arabesque

A ballet position in which the dancer bends forward while standing on one straight leg with the arm extended forward and the other arm and leg extended backward.

Terms: In-The-Round

In The Round..
Sculptures are made to be seen from many directions, or angles, [sometimes even from behind, above and below]... It is free-standing and should be enjoyed from multiple-points-of-view..
Perhaps the best example is Lodaro Taft's, "Solitude of the Soul"..
- Another good example is Auguste Rodin's, "The Kiss"..

Facebook Adventure..

After avoiding/dithering for what seems to be forever, I finally took the plunge and joined the "Facebook" bandwagon..Thanks to all who offered/accepted being friends, especially on the very first day!

Hope I'm able to keep under control, the time spent on my social networking, and keep my laser-sharp focus [!! indulge me some exaggerations!] on documenting Public Art in Chicago, my primary passion.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Harley Davidson Museum: Hill Climber [By Jeff Decker]

Hill Climber..
By Jeff Decker..
2008/ bronze..
Probably my last post from the Milwaukee trip..
# Check out the stunning Milwaukee Art Museum.. click here..

Milwaukee Art Museum [The Kiss - By Auguste Rodin]

The Kiss [Paolo and Francesca], 1886..
Auguste Rodin [1840-1917]
Painted plaster, cast from original clay.
Location: Milwaukee Art Museum..

Auguste Rodin, one of the greatest sculptors of all time. His most productive period, 1880-1900, coincided with the rise of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, avant-garde styles and aesthetic attitudes that dramatically impacted his own art..

"The Kiss" is a result of a commission that French sculptor Auguste Rodin received in 1880, for his "Gates of Hell", a decorative relief door, for a future Musee des Beaux Arts. It was inspired by Dante's The Divine Comedy. But it was removed shortly thereafter and became an independent work. Many of Rodin's independent works, were originally made for this door..
- The Thinker
- Adam, Eve
- The Kiss..

The sculpture is based on the the adulterous love of Francesca da Rimini and her brother-in-law Paolo Malatesta. Their passion grew as they were reading the story of "Lancelot and Guinevere". The book is seen in Paolo's hand. But Francesca's husband Gianciotto Malatesta, Lord of Rimini, discovered them, and slayed them with a rapier. They were buried together in the same tomb. It's a story of forbidden love and eternal damnation. A popular theme of the 19th century artists. However, "The Kiss" does not evoke the agony of forbidden love rather the ecstacy of it. This is said to be one of the reasons, it was removed from the Rodin's relief door "Gates of Hell"..

Rodin confronted the negative aspects of humanity, including moral weaknesses and distress. Apart from digressing from the classical tradition, on the social theme, he also moved in the technical aspects of sculpting. His deeply textured surface was a departure from smoothness of the classics. He was criticised for the lack of decorative details, which he believed distracted the viewers from the strength of emotions.

There are three original marble versions of "The Kiss"..
- In 1888, Rodin was commissioned by the French government to have his plaster carved into marble, double the size of the original. The result was shown at Salone of the Societe Nationale des Bauxe Arts in 1898, along with another of Rodin's work Balzac. However, was the Kiss that was more popular. This version is now at Musee Rodin, Paris, France.
Two other marble replicas were ordered from Rodin..
- Carl Jacobson, ordered one for the sculptural museum Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, Denmark.
- Edward Perry Warren, ordered one fro his own collection. It is now in Tate Modern, London, England.

Notice the convulsive contraction on Paolo's right foot...
I have to mention a book that helped me understand the nuances of this sculpture.."Rodin's Art", by Albert Edward Elson..
One interesting aspect of this sculpture is that many of anatomical details and been obscured in favor of gesture and body languange. In fact it is very difficult to see the kiss, which actually is not a kiss. Rodin's sculpture shows the moment just before the kiss and not after the kiss.

Rodin also departed from Dante, in depicting Francesco as the instigator or initiator of the kiss. She leans towards Paolo, who still seem to be stitting in a position of reading the book. His eyes are open, her closed. In one hand he still holds the book, while his other hand barely touches her. His right foot is tensed and shows the convulsive contraction. Paolo seems to be hesitant, while she is more relaxed.

"The Kiss" is really a masterpiece and one of the most censored works of Rodin.. Altough this piece I saw at the Milwaukee Art Museum, there are some very good work by Auguste Rodin at the Art Institute of Chicago.. Like Adam, Eve, The Walking Man, Balzac.. and more..

# Milwaukee Art Museum..
# For more on Chicago's World's Fair, click here..
# My FB Album, From Chicago's World's Columbian Exposition, 1893..

Friday, July 23, 2010

Milwaukee Art Museum: Argo [by Alexander Liberman]

By Alexander Liberman
1974/ painted steel cylinders and unspooling ribbon..
What I found particularly intriguing, is that it looks complete only from one side, from the Baumgartner Gallery looking towards the Lake.. from other sides it looks pretty incomplete.
# For more on the Quadracci Pavilion at the Milwaukee Art Museum, click here..

Milwaukee Art Museum: Baumgartner and Schroeder Galleries

Baumgartner and Schroeder Galleries..
Extending north from the main museum's Reception Hall / Windhover Hall, [first image], leading to the museum's collection galleries are two arched promenades
- The Baumgartner [east] Galleria, and..
- Schroeder Foundation [west] Galleria..
These offer beautiful view of the lake and the city..
The gallerias are parallel concourses that flank Lubar Auditorium, the Museum Store, and the Baker/Rowland Galleries.
Baumgartner Galleria provides expansive views of Lake Michigan, and Schroeder Galleria looks out onto the Cudahy Gardens, and the city beyond..

Baumgartner Gallery has some wonderful collection of modern sculptures..

Baumgartner Gallery..
- The Walking Man - by Auguste Rodin
- Figure on Stage - by Henry Moore
- Theseus - by Jacques Lipchitz
- Standing Woman - by Gaston Lachaise

Also from the Baumgartner Gallery, looking outside at Lake Michigan is the view of Argo by Alexander Liberman.. For more on Argo.. click here..
# For more on the Quadracci Pavilion at the Milwaukee Art Museum, click here..

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Milwaukee Art Museum: [ Blown Glass Sculpture - by Dale Chihuly]

A detour to Milwaukee, and the Milwaukee Art Museum..
Here's Dale Chihuly's blown glass sculpture.
Isola di San Giacomo in Palude..
Location: Reception Hall of the Quadracci Pavilion..
# For more on the Quadracci Pavilion at the Milwaukee Art Museum, click here..

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Milwaukee Art Museum: "Red, Black, and Blue" [Mobile sculpture by Alexander Calder]

Red, Black, and Blue, 1968..
Mobile Sculpture..
By Alexander Calder..
Location: This "Red, Black and Blue", mobile sculpture hangs above the entrance to the Milwaukee Art..
Alexander Calder is famous for his mobile and sabile sculptures..

# For more on the Quadracci Pavilion at the Milwaukee Art Museum, click here..

Monday, July 19, 2010

Illinois Centennial Monument

Illinois Centennial Monument

Illinois Centennial Monument

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The Illinois Centennial Monument..
1918, Commissisoned by the B.F.Ferguson Monument Fund..
to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Illinois Statehood.
Design by Henry Bacon
Relief by Evelyn Beatrice Longman
The eagle, is in reference to the state flag. Reliefs surrounding the base depict figures of Native Americans, explorers, farmers and laborers intended to show the great changes experienced during the state's first century.

Illinois Centennial Monument

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A Photographer's woes..
I could manage detail photograhs of reliefs on the right side of the monument, but not on the left side, as a family was sitting there. I could not ask them to move and so.. a missed opportunity!

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Of particular interest to me was the representation of Native Indians. He is said to be the Indian chief Hiawatha.