Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Barbara Kruger

Rizzoli recently published a retrospective volume on conceptual artist Barbara Kruger. She has stayed busy since the Seventies creating an indigenous American form of public feminist art.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Fruit of the Loom

Berlin artist Amelie von Wulffen is showing This Is How It Happened in New York.

Felt markers and watercolors combine in most of the pieces.

"... a group of drawings that locate Fruit of the Loom-type characters in settings similar to Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights ..."

The artist has a second New York show running simultaneously at Green, Naftali.

"... in this new exhibition she has pushed her angst and Romanticism to an extreme ..."

Born in 1966, Amelie von Wulffen teaches at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Duck Asleep

The mallard duck in the two photos above is sleeping in daylight on a log in a small pond inside the redwood grove that makes up one environment within the Arboretum in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. The oldest trees in this grove were planted in 1889 when the Park was created.

The green-tinted waxy flowers immediately below belong to the Himalayan Dogwood, Cornus capitata.

Outside the Arboretum, near the band shell, I saw something else I had never noticed before. A large gold-plated bust of composer Giuseppi Verdi. It must have been re-gilded recently, because it surely was a bright heavenly vision.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

London Portraits

Man with a Quilted Sleeve
c. 1510

School of Anthony Van Dyck
Portrait of Two Young Englishmen (detail)
c. 1635

Portrait of a Young Man
c. 1550

This afternoon Peter Brooks in a back issue of the New York Review of Books reminded me of a passage Henry James wrote in The Tragic Muse. The character Nick Dormer has given up a career in politics to pursue life as a painter. He confronts several portraits in London's National Gallery

"As he stood before them the perfection of their survival often struck him as the supreme eloquence, the virtue that included all others, thanks to the language of art, the richest and most universal. Empires and systems and conquests had rolled over the globe and every kind of greatness had risen and passed away, but the beauty of the great pictures had known nothing of death or change, and the tragic centuries had only sweetened their freshness."

Giovanni Bellini
Portrait of Doge Leonardo Loredan
c. 1501

Self Portrait

Nobody knows which specific portraits Nick Dormer was thinking about in the National Gallery back in the 1890s. But some of these must have been included. They remain to this day together in London.

Madame Moitessier

Lorenzo Lotto
Portrait of a Woman Inspired by Lucrezia
c. 1530

Andrea del Sarto
Portrait of a Young Man
c. 1517

Hans Holbein the Younger
The Ambassadors

Jean-Marc Nattier
Portrait of Manon Balletti

Friday, May 27, 2011

Sash Cord

Peering out the window into the street. Mabel Watson Payne likes to look at passing dogs. She probably sees angels out there, as well.

The sash cord now is ready to receive full attention.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Blue Seat

Mabel Watson Payne is already too big to sit in this soft, molded baby seat -- though she enjoyed it well enough when she was the right size for it. It was passed along to her by a bigger baby. Soon it will be to passed along by her to a smaller baby. But in the meantime we got it down off the shelf and tried it out as a plaything. For a one-time investigation it proved sufficiently suitable -- patted and peered at, bitten and lifted.