Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hannock Gallery Talk

Ok, so I'm back. Sorry for the long hiatus — between planning a trip and traveling in Switzerland and Paris, I was overwhelmed for a while.

Today, I returned home to the Met to hear a Gallery Talk by Jason Rosenfeld, Professor of Art History at Marymount Manhattan College and friend of Stephen Hannock, about the artist's landscapes in the Modern Art Wing. I'll attempt to summarize the hour-plus talk here, starting with an explanation of the Oxbow's full title — The Oxbow: After Church, After Cole, Flooded, (Flooded River for the Matriarchs E. and A. Mongan) Greenlight.

After Church and Cole refers to landscape painters, Fredrick Edwin Church and Thomas Cole, who influenced Hannock (though Church never painted the Oxbow). Greenlight refers to a 1903 painting by Rockwell Kent, which is in the Smith College Museum of Art.

E. and A. Mongan are sisters that Hannock knew; Agnes, director of Fog Museum at Harvard, who gave him his first show in Boston, Elizabeth (or Betty), director of Smith College Museum of Art. "These people were central to his formation as an artist and also as a professional artist," Rosenfeld said. "His paintings are always dedicated to people, which may seem quaint, but it's part of this sort of buildup and the ideas behind of these kinds of pictures."

Stephen Hannock has made 21 versions of the Oxbow, differing in size and detail and not literally referring to the scene but, rather, inventing a composition that is meaningful and personal for the artist. This concept of seriality is present in the history of art and even more consistent in modern art — think Monet's cathedrals and grainstacks; and Pollock's drip and pour paintings.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

Young Members Party 2009

I had a little fun with photoshop on a couple of these

Visiting the Met when it is closed is a unique experience in itself, but pair that with "summer chic" attire, music, a three-hour open bar, and sunset on the roof and you've got yourself a party. Last night's Young Members Party attracted hundreds of 21 to 35 year-olds dressed in their sharpest summer attire.

My roommate, Ryan, and I marched up the steps into the great hall, where he remarked that "the Met makes even the Natural History Museum seem small" (I smirked with pride). As you can imagine, I had a great time — I'd never seen the Petrie Court that packed, Maelstrom looked great lit up with blue and purple lights, AND we were lucky enough to have a gorgeous sunset as our backdrop for the beginning of the party.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Fourth of July!

Celebrating our independence at the light-filled Charles Engelhard Court in the American Wing at the Met. The north wall of the courtyard contains the facade of the Branch Bank of the United States originally built on Wall Street in 1825. When the bank was to be torn down in 1925, Robert de Forest, then president of the New York Art Commission and the Metropolitan, arranged for the structure to be preserved as the future facade for the not yet built American Wing.

(source: Michael Gross, Rogue's Gallery)