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Found 12 results

  1. Good review of the Cézanne Portraits exhibit at the National Gallery of Art. They Suffered for Their Cézanne Portraits, by Holland Cotter, June 20, 2018, on nytimes.com. I went a couple of weeks ago and can confirm that it is all that and more. Put down that phone you are always staring at and head on over before it closes on July 8, 2018.
  2. Outliers and American Vanguard Art "Some 300 works explore three distinct periods in American history when mainstream and outlier artists intersected, ushering in new paradigms based on inclusion, integration, and assimilation. The exhibition aligns work by such diverse artists as Charles Sheeler, Christina Ramberg, and Matt Mullican with both historic folk art and works by self-taught artists ranging from Horace Pippin to Janet Sobel and Joseph Yoakum. It also examines a recent influx of radically expressive work made on the margins that redefined the boundaries of the mainstream art world, while challenging the very categories of “outsider” and “self-taught.” Historicizing the shifting identity and role of this distinctly American version of modernism’s “other,” the exhibition probes assumptions about creativity, artistic practice, and the role of the artist in contemporary culture."
  3. Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World is an interesting show at the National Gallery of Art (thru March 20, 2016) featuring 50 bronze sculptures from the Hellenistic Period (approx. 4th century BC to 1st century BC). These sculptures are extremely rare, many of the bronze works from this period have not survived, most have been melted down, destroyed when a ruler went out of favor, lost at sea during transport, or buried during volcano eruptions. The Hellenistic artist Lysippos, the official sculptor of Alexander the Great, is said to have produced over 1,500 works, none of which have survived. Some of the busts are a little repetitive, but the life sized pieces are worth the visit, now often disfigured and missing limbs, several pulled out of the Mediterranean and cracked and pitted with a lovely patina of decay (see the fabulous Victorious Youth "the Getty Bronze").
  4. Gustave Caillebotte was a second tier French Impressionist artist usually written off as the well-to-do financier and collector of his more famous impressionist friends' art work - and indeed he played an important role in underwriting and producing several impressionist exhibitions. During his lifetime he acquired more than 70 pieces of impressionist work and bequeathed his collection to the state, which became the cornerstone of impressionist art in French national museums. The National Gallery's show is part of a recent "rediscovery" of his work and features his two best known pieces - The Floor Scrapers and Paris Street; Rainy Day His paintings of Paris life are indeed quite lovely, his work of the French country life certainly not as iconic as other Impressionists, and his "food porn" paintings of shop windows downright dreadful. All-in-all The Painter's Eye is a compact show and certainly worth visiting to see The Floor Scrapers and Paris Street.
  5. In the Italian Renaissance section of the National Gallery (West Building), you can see works by Panini and Carpaccio. Last weekend, I stumbled across this "Madonna and Child" (c1505-1510) by Vittore Carpaccio and laughed out loud when I saw it. Click on it, and zoom in on the flying cherubs - they look like something straight out of the 20th century, and they are *hilarious*.
  6. I stopped in at the National Gallery West Building this past weekend, and on the top floor, near the east side of the building, they have a *lot* of paintings from the Corcoran Gallery crammed into about three rooms - many of these works I've never seen before, and this exhibit is worth a visit if you're already at the National Gallery. (Note: The East Building is open, but the galleries are all shut off during renovations, and the only works of art on display are the heavy-duty installations such as Scott Burton's Rock Settees - unless you want to see the building itself, it's currently not worth a visit.) Herschel's recent post about Abraham Lincoln prompts me to post this, as one of the paintings in the Corcoran exhibit is a portrait of Abraham Lincoln, painted in 1860, by George Healy. Standing there, a mere foot away from the portrait, you realize that this is what the man actually looked like. Of note: It is the last painting of Lincoln without a beard.
  7. You have two weeks left to see this one-room exhibit containing several works by Doménikos Theotokí³poulos, better known as "El Greco." My advice is to spend as much time looking at the 11 paintings (7 by Theotokí³poulos) as you can tolerate, and then go downstairs to the Lecture Hall (near the furniture exhibit), and watch the looping, thirty-minute film about the life of El Greco. Or, for a slightly different experience, do the two in reverse, but either way, seeing the film is a must. This great painter, a relative unknown compared to Velazquez, has had an extraordinary influence on Modern Art - artists from Cézanne to Picasso revered him (as well as taking his works, and putting their own spin on them). Go spend an hour in the gallery enjoying this extremely accessible and manageable exhibit - you'll really appreciate it, and you'll never look at Blue the same way again. The three large paintings in particular will stay with you long after you've gone home - Saint Martin, Madonna and Child (with Saint Martina and Saint Agnes), and Laocoön (speakers on - you can't be expected to know the pronunciation of this four-syllable name even though you may recognize the world-famous sculpture, "The Laocoön Group," unearthed in Rome in 1506). One criticism I have is that the signage (two signs outside the room, three smaller signs inside the room, and the captions themselves) don't make it easy to discern which 7 (out of the 11) works were executed by Theotokí³poulos, and exactly what the other 4 works are - you can figure it out, but something this small should be nearly instantaneous to glean. The film will walk you through his life in Crete, Venice, Rome, and Toledo, making it quite clear how he progressed. You'll emerge from the gallery a better person than when you entered it.
  8. Perhaps I'm burnt out with Impressionists after touring the Barnes Collection. First of all Degas/Cassatt was packed over the Memorial Day weekend, barely able to move packed, can't read the walk text packed, stumbling over other people packed. Which was good to see. The show investigates the long relationship between Degas and Cassatt and how they influenced each other. Perhaps the most interesting room was the side room featuring a body of work by Degas known as Cassatt at the Louvre: The Etruscan Gallery. The show features many small etchings and studies, which in a packed room are tough to enjoy. But in the end, few of the major, finished pieces are particularly strong.
  9. "Rarely Seen Van Gogh Moves To National Gallery" by Brett Zongker on abcnews.go.com "Van Gogh's "˜Green Wheat Fields: Auvers' Goes To Washington" by Carol Vogel on nytimes.com This painting is now on display at NGA (thanks to the generous endowment of Paul Mellon and his 103-year-old wife, Rachel Lambert Mellon), and was completed in Van Gogh's last year of life, 1890.
  10. "Andrew Wyeth: Looking Out, Looking In" now at the National Gallery until November 30, 2014. Call this show a retrospective of Wyeth's love of windows centered around his work Wind from the Sea. So, yes be prepared for room after room of moody atmospheric paintings of windows. What you are really looking for are the little moments - the gnarled wood of a window frame, the lines of leafless branches, the rough surface of stone, the winter light. It's a beautiful show...just a lot of windows.
  11. For those of you who know and love Paris, or photography, please consider visiting Charles Marville: Photographer of Paris at the National Gallery. The exhibition closes this Sunday, January 5. Though not a household name, Marville was an extraordinary photographer working at an extraordinary moment. Hired to document the ancient streets of Paris before their demolition in the 1860s , he left a riveting and haunting record of a city on the cusp of modernity, looking both forward and backward at once. As you can see from the attached, his prints are glorious and place him squarely in the pantheon of the greatest photographers of that city--at least, according to the Wall Street Journal. And if that's not enough to intrigue you, note that the Garden Cafe (in the west building) is featuring a menu designed by Michel Richard. There's a light bouillabaisse, a rich mousse au chocolat, duck confit, cheese board, a nice, minty carrot salad, etc--all for 20.75. Perfect place to take Aunt Mildred or your mom for a nice lunch. Plus you can also see the new Van Gogh acquisition upstairs. nota bene: I have been involved in this exhibition, so I am by no means objective (I do not work for the restaurant however). National Gallery of Art, Charles Marville Exhibition Web Page
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