Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My Miró

Joan Miró. Spanish, 1893-1983
Dutch Interior (III),1928
Oil on canvas

Joan Miró. Spanish, 1893-1983
Circus Horse,1927
Tempera on canvas

Born in the Spanish province of Catalonia in 1893, Joan Miró was deeply influenced by his country's native landscape and artistic heritage. During the early part of his career, he lived in Paris, where he was associated with the French Surrealists and its practitioners, but he returned to settle in Spain after World War II. This deliberate remove from the center of the art world is symptomatic of Miró's independence, a temperament that would mark his art as well as his life. Mining the possibilities of free invention encouraged by Surrealism, Miró developed a style that drew from highly personalized and psychological references. Often beginning with a recognizable starting point, Miró transformed his subjects through whimsical color and free play with form. (from www.metmuseum.com)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Still Life 1976 - Andy Warhol

A new addition to the mezzanine gallery in the Modern Art Wing: this Warhol piece shares a wall with two other similar-sized paintings. The three look great together!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Visit After Work with Lynzie

After work today, my friend Lynzie and I headed uptown to the Met to take in my favorite treasures, and see the city lights from the roof. We took a nice stroll through Egypt and the American Wing, then up to the roof, down to European Paintings, through Modern Art, and out through Oceanic, African and finally Greek and Roman.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Kehinde Wiley at Deitch Projects

Yesterday I went to see "Kehinde Wiley: Black Light" at Deitch Projects in Soho. You may remember Wiley's "Veiled Christ" from the Met, when it was briefly on display in the Modern Art Wing, where Stephen Hannock's Oxbow currently hangs:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Rodin in Brooklyn

In keeping withe the theme of "old friends" at other institutions, today I'll share something I came across in the lobby at the Brooklyn Museum. After admiring the finished piece in the Petrie Court at the Met and also at the Rodin Museum in Paris, I was particularly excited to see four sculptures comprising a study for Rodin's The Burghers of Calais!

The figures are a "rough draft," if you will - a study of nudes that were then draped in wet canvas for clothing before the final mold was cast - a glimpse at the artist's process, which I just love.

French sculptor, Auguste Rodin might be the most prolific sculptor in history - at least I've seen more Rodins than anything else when it comes to sculpture. And I'm not complaining! I LOVE his work. That man captured more emotion in bronze and marble than any painter I've come across.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Murder at the Met

Saturday evening, my friend Elena and I refined our sleuthing skills on a scavenger hunt through the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Watson Adventures hosts hunts all across the country, with dozens right here in New York City — including six at the Met.

Watson Adventures says that Murder at the Met is its most challenging hunt, but that didn't stop me and Elena. We put our best foot forward, finishing the hunt in record time and taking the top prize! It wasn't easy though, without giving away any of the clues, I will tell you that the hunt had us power-walking back and forth across the museum, and racking our brains to decode the mystery answer. I had a slight edge, knowing my way around the museum certainly helped, but I was pleasantly surprised that a lot of pieces in the hunt were ones I hadn't seen before. Oh yeah, our hunt leader, Liz, was great and super nice, too.

Anyone looking for a unique, fun, and challenging activity should try Watson Adventures — I know I'm looking forward to my next hunt!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Yinka Shonibare at Brooklyn Museum

Since I started this blog, I've been searching for a way to incorporate exhibitions I've visited at other museums and galleries to diversify my content and express my impressions of all art that I experience. Finally, I've come up with a solution. Since I am so familiar with the Met's collection, I can now apply that knowledge and recognize similar pieces and techniques elsewhere. So I had been dying to see Yinka Shonibare at Brooklyn Museum, and I finally went on the last day.

I was SO glad I did too, because I absolutely loved the bright colors and intricately crafted garments created by Shonibare. AND, I came across this piece:
which I recognized from a past exhibition at the Met (African Textiles: Design Without End):

I have to say, I was ecstatic! Without realizing it, I really have learned so much from visiting the Met for almost a year.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

More Old Friends: Ugolino and His Sons

Yesterday, I brought up the point that I have begun to recognize "old friends" from the Met at other locations, so I thought I'd share another example. I first encountered Ugolino and HIs Sons, a beautiful marble sculpture (above, left), in the Petrie Court for European Sculpture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. So I was thrilled to recognize a bronze cast (above, right) and a small clay model (right) by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux at Museé d'Orsay in Paris.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Calder Mobiles

For me, one of the greatest things about doing this blog project is familiarizing myself with great artists, and recognizing their work outside of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (it's kind of like seeing an old friend for me). I flew to California (where I'm from) last weekend, and was pleasantly surprised to see an ENORMOUS Calder mobile in the ticket area of JFK (top). The Met's own Calder mobile, located on the second floor of the Modern Art Wing is pictured below it.

Alexander Calder (1898-1976), whose illustrious career spanned much of the 20th century, is the most acclaimed and influential sculptor of our time. Born in a family of celebrated, though more classically trained artists, Calder utilized his innovative genius to profoundly change the course of modern art. He began by developing a new method of sculpting: by bending and twisting wire, he essentially "drew" three-dimensional figures in space. He is renowned for the invention of the mobile, whose suspended, abstract elements move and balance in changing harmony. Calder also devoted himself to making outdoor sculpture on a grand scale from bolted sheet steel. Today, these stately titans grace public plazas in cities throughout the world. - from calder.org

The Met held a Calder Jewelry exhibition a while back, which highlighted his skills as a metalworker and showed his diversity as an artist. And, speaking of seeing "old friends," I came across a Calder sculpture in the garden at the Baltimore Museum of Art a few months ago. Also, "Alexander Calder: The Paris Years" came through The Whitney in New York last year, and I was able to catch it at the Centre Pompidou in Paris over the summer. It was a wonderful, whimsical exhibition, see the video below:

Thursday, September 17, 2009

MetEveryday on MUG!

MetEveryday was featured on Manhattan Users Guide yesterday and the traffic poured in! I discovered a great site out of it and got a bit of a confidence boost.

I LOVE what they wrote about the blog too: Girl meets museum, falls in love, stalks daily. We love the impulse behind visiting The Met Everyday and hats way off to the blogger who shares her experiences of, and insights from, its hallowed halls and galleries.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Vermeer's The Milkmaid

The much-anticipated exhibiton of Johannes Vermeer's masterpiece, The Milkmaid, is now on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, along with other works by the Dutch artist and his contemporaries.

The gallery held a decent crowd for a Thursday afternoon, and rightly so. Not only is The Milkmaid stunning, the exhibition also displays several more of Vermeer's 36 known paintings, as well as beautiful depictions of Dutch daily life by other artists.

There is a reason, however, that the title of the show pointedly singles out one painting. As I said before, it is stunning. The Milkmaid clearly stands out above the rest, not in size or even complexity, but in vibrance. The colors are, rich, exquisite, mesmerizing - the sunlight glinting off the bread and its basket sucked me in, and the tiny highlights of the woman's earrings held me there in the painting.

I've marveled at the Vermeers in the Met's permanent collection, enjoying his exquisite pattern work in Young Woman with a Water Pitcher and A Maid Asleep, but now The Milkmaid stands as my unrivaled favorite painting of its time, by any artist.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Napoleon III and Paris

You'll have to hurry if you want to see the photography department's exhibition, Napoleon III and Paris, which ends September 7 (the Met Museum is open Monday, September 7 for the Labor Day holiday). It's tucked away in a small gallery space off the main hall of 19th- 20th-Century European Paintings.

I had wandered through this exhibition once a couple months ago, but hadn't spent much time with it until today. I was again reminded how much more valuable an experience can be if you just slow down and take each piece in one at a time. I think it also helped that I have now been to Paris (I took my very first trip there in July). But even for those that haven't been, these photographs will spark the imagination, for many of them depict a Paris that no longer exists. Their historic value outweighs even the arresting imagery of burned-out palaces, rubble, and barricades equipped with cannons and guns.

Notably, there is a photo of the Vendome Column, which was broken down by a group of Communards led by artist Gustav Courbet on May 16, 1871; and a drawing by Édouard Manet, entitled Civil War, which depicts a fallen soldier behind the barricades. There are also two stereographs (which I love, because of their three-dimensionality).


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Malian Jewelry

Pendant (left) and Ring with Equestrian Figure
Mali, dogon peoples
19th-20th century
Copper alloy

I love horses, so these two little pieces from Sudan in the African Arts collection struck my fancy. I'd totally wear that ring!

You can find more info on the region from the Timeline of Art History.