Friday, February 26, 2010

Joan Miro's "Chicago" - Another Look..

We have all heard "Art for art's sake"..
And it makes sense!
Art should be independent of all claptrap - should stand alone, and appeal to the artistic sense of eye and ear, without confounding this with emotions entirely foreign to it, as devotion, pity, love, patriotism, and the like..
- James McNeill Whistler

But enjoying art is always much more pleasurable when we dig deeper..
Knowing about the artists body of work, their style, compare and contrast with other styles, how it fits a particular period of time..

When I saw Joan Miro's sculpture Chicago, click here.. I didn't really care much.. Till I saw his paintings at the Art Institute of Chicago and found them very amusing, very absorbing.. which made me dig further into his style and influences..
Now there's a new found appreciation..

Joan Miro [1893-1983] was a Spanish Catalan painter, sculptor and ceramist. If we need some kind of "ism" to define his body of work, it's mostly Surrealism and sometimes Cubism and Expressionism.. combined with the playfulness and whimsical nature of a child..

Simplification is not always desirable. however, that's exactly what I'm doing here.. Wide ranging influences on his works can be broken down to..
- bright colors of the Fauves
- multiple point-of-view of Cubism
- flat two-dimensional quality of Catalan folk art
- dreamlike quality of Surrealism..
As is said.."the whole is greater than the sum of its parts".. These various influences have been internalized, so to produce something very original and very evocative!

Joan Miro used automated drawing, used by other surrealists painters like Salvador Dali and Andre Breton. In automatic drawing, the hand is allowed to move randomly across the paper and to a large extent is free of rational control. Hence the drawing produced may be attributed in part to the subconscious and may reveal something of the psyche, which would otherwise be repressed.

“Throughout the time in which I am working on a canvas I can feel how I am beginning to love it, with that love which is born of slow comprehension.”
- Joan Miro

For Joan Miro's sculpture "Chicago"..
# The Art Institute of Chicago...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Art Institute of Chicago

I am starting a series on the Art Institute of Chicago. Although it has sculptures and paintings, I don't think it belongs to the "public art" blog, so if it interests you, check out my other blog.. Chicago - Architecture & Cityscape.. click here..

Sculptures here..
- The Solitude of Soul - By Lorado Taft [1914]
- Dancer and Gazellas - By Paul Manship [1916]

AIC: Abraham Lincoln [By Daniel Chester French]

Abraham Lincoln..
By Daniel Chester French [1850-1931]
Modeled: 1916, Cast After: 1916
Location: Art Institute of Chicago: Gallery of American Art
Lower Level: Sculpture Court, Gallery 171..

The marker reads..
Lorado Taft paid tribute to Daniel Chester French as "the dean of American sculptures". French specialized in large-scale marble statues, private memorials and portrait busts. here the sculptor captured Abraham Lincoln in a difficult hour of decision, and the president's expression is more serious and thoughtful than in French's earlier bronze of the standing Lincoln [on view in Gallery 171].. This bronze is a reduced version of the full size statue in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., which French worked with architect Henry Bacon. Daniel Chester French's brother William M.R. French was the first director of the Art Institute [1879-194]..

Also check out the other sculpture of ..
Abraham Lincoln.. [By Daniel Chester French].. click here..

For more on.. [click on the link]..
The Art Institute of Chicago...

AIC: Abraham Lincoln [By Daniel Chester French]

Abraham Lincoln
By Daniel Chester French [1850-1931]
Modeled:1912, cast after 1912
Location: Art Institute of Chicago, Galleries of American Art
Rice Building, Lower Level, Gallery 171..

The marker reads..
In 1909, the Lincoln Centennial Memorial Association of Nebraska commissioned Daniel Chester French to create monumental statue of Abraham Lincoln for the state capital grounds. The association ran out of funds towards the end of the project and in lieu of a final payment, they permitted French to sell bronze casts of the original statues, of which at least 11 were made at New York's Roman Bronze Works. With his head tilted downward, Lincoln is depicted in a moment of deep thought. French explained that he had "Purposely tried to represent Lincoln bearing the burden and perplexities and problems of the Great War"..

Also check out the other sculpture of ..
Abraham Lincoln.. by Daniel Chester French.. click here..

For more on.. [click on the link]..
The Art Institute of Chicago...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Loop [Christ of the Loop - by Arvid Strauss]

Christ of the Loop..
Sculptor: Arvid Strauss
Location: 110 West Madison St.
St. Peter's Church operated by the Franciscans.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Tracking the Y-symbol [Millennium Park]

It was a beautiful day today and as I was walking by the Millennium Park, I had stopped to see people ice-skating, when suddenly I noticed something - the Y-symbol!! Check out the base of the light-fixtures..

You only see what you know..
When I didn't know about the y-symbol, I never saw it anywhere,
now I see it everywhere..
For more on the Y-symbol.. click here..

# For more on the Y-symbol.. click here..

Friday, February 19, 2010

Y-symbol at Wrigley Square [Millennium park]

Here's more of Y-symbol/ Municipal Devise at the Millennium Park..

Click on any image for an enlarged view..

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Y-symbol on the LaSalle Street bridge

Y-symbol on LaSalle Street bridge..
All the four bridgehouses on the LaSalle Street bridge display the Y-symbol..
For more on the Y-symbol.. click here..

# For more on the Y-symbol.. click here..

Y-symbol at the Chicago Theater

The Chicago Theatre marquee, the unofficial emblem of the city, has the Y-symbol right in the center. This is perhaps the most prominent Y-symbol in the city..
For more on the Y-symbol.. click here..

# For more on the Y-symbol.. click here..

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Loop: The Winged Victory of Samothrace

The Winged Victory of Samothrace..
A copy of the original from Greece, circa 200 BC, which is now in the Louvre Museum, Paris. This is cast from a mold of the original sculpture in the Louvre Museum, Paris, France..
Location: lobby of the Bank One Center
131 S Dearborn Street..

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My first professional assignment

Image 1: Cover-page of Ask Magazine
Image 2: Inner pages with the article "Fun with Mirrors"..

My first professional assignment was published this month in the cover-page of the Ask magazine, February, 2010 issue. "Ask" stands for "arts & science for kids". The photo-shoot was for the article "Fun with Mirrors", and the venue was Chicago's famous Cloud Gate [also known as the "Bean"], at the Millennium Park, which is a "giant fun-house mirror".

My special thanks goes to Karen Kuhn, the Senior Art Director of the magazine, for giving me my first break, even after I explained to her that I was just an amateur. Her trust and encouragement means a lot to me. Also huge thanks to the kids. They were so much fun to work with. In fact "work" is not the right word. It was a fun-filled afternoon with some cheerful, smart kids and yes, I did take some photos too! The kids were having fun with their reflections, especially under the omphalos [or "bellybutton" of the Bean], where they could see themselves upside down, and I was happy clicking the camera, capturing the moments..

Apart from the cover-page [above image], two more photos were published, as shown below.. One was one the inner cover page, and other as an inset on the main article "Fun with Mirrors".

Below are some more photos from the same day..

For more on..
Cloud Gate at the Millennium Park.. click here..