Free Fall II

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This piece in on loan from the Pizzuti Collection. It is one of my favorites in the Contemporary Art wing at the Columbus Museum of Art.

I did a docent research paper on this piece. You can read the abridged version  below —

 

 

Artist – Antony Gormley (British, 1950)

Title of Work – Freefall II (2007)

Stainless steel bars

On loan from the Pizzuti Collection

Description – fractal-like geometric steel pieces, part of the Drift series (2007-2012). According to the artist:

The bodies are free, lost in space, weightless, and with no internal determination—they are not ‘acting.’ They appear as emergent zones: you cannot be sure whether the bubble matrix is produced by the body zone or the zone by the matrix. (Gormley’s website)

Style – Contemporary sculpture. Gormley is characteristically known for his work with life-sized human forms that have ambiguous features and are made of metal visibly soldered together in static poses.

They are casts of the artist’s own body. He is wrapped in cling film, then cloth, then coated with wet plaster, which dries. He is then cut out of the resulting mold, which is reassembled and lead or other metal is pressed into void, or beaten to take his form, and the pieces are welded together (Cumming, p.103)

Gormley was born in 1950, the youngest of seven children to a wealthy family. His father was an avid art lover and would regularly take his children to art museums.  Gormley studied anthropology, archeology and art history at Cambridge (1968-71). It was during a trip to India where he decided to become an artist. Afterwards, he pursued his artistic endeavors at Central, Goldsmiths and Slade Schools of Art, London, 1974- 77.

Significance – Artist deals with the relationship between humans and their environment. Received  the Turner Prize in 1994 for his Fields projects. Most known work is the Angel of the North (1998) in Gateshead, England.

Gormley’s oeuvre is steeped in social theory, anthropology and philosophy.  He is always conscious of space, environment and human form and more importantly, their relationship together. He deliberately exposing the “process by which the work itself was made and the relating it very closely to his own body and existence” (The Guardian, p. 8).

In an article written by Gormley, he discussed the idea of the dualistic nature of sculpture. It is considered a “thing,” it occupies space, and it also can provoke feelings and experiences from the viewer. He continued  to explain this idea,” sculpture itself is an act of liberation…the shape of the thing…are combined with…our experiences of abstract space into something concrete” (Gormley, p.1513)

According to Gormley, sculpture deals with mass and space on a large scale. He invites the beholder to feel their own scale and movement as compared to the sculpture, from this dynamic, emotions arise (Interview Magazine, p.3).

 

Bibliography

Boström, A. (2004). The encyclopedia of sculpture. Fitzroy Dearborn.

Brookner, J. (1992). The Heart of Matter. Art Journal, 51(2), 8-11.

Cumming, R. (2001). Art: A Field Guide. Alfred A. Knopf.

Kuiper, K. (2014). Antony Gormley – British Sculptor and Draftsman, Encyclopedia Brittannica. Retrieved January 11, 2017 from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Antony-Gormley

Gormley, A. (2007). Feeling into form. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 362(1484), 1513-1518.

Wilson, R. (2016). The Body of Antony Gormley. Interview Magazine. Retrieved January 11, 2017 from http://www.interviewmagazine.com/art/antony-gormley-constructs#

Wroe, N. (2005). Leader of the Pack. The Guardian. Retreived January 11, 2017 from https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2005/jun/25/art

 

Students from local schools like this piece too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Visiting the Dayton Art Institute

In August,  I visited the Dayton Art Institute for the very first time. There was a general admission fee to the museum as well as a fee for the current exhibit –  The Antartic Sublime & Elements of Nature: Water.  

Unfortunately, I have sad news.  The Antartic Sublime exhibit was disorganized and underwhelming. My reasons for these criticisms are: first, there weren’t many pieces to the exhibit as compared to other exhibits I’ve seen recently (such as  30 Americans in Cincinnati or The Great War Experimentation and Change in Columbus); and second, there was a physical sense of disjointedness to the exhibit. Unlike normal exhibition spaces  -where the rooms sort of flow together cohesively in a loose maze as you walk through them- the Antartic Sublime was shown in three separate rooms on two different floors of the museum. The combination of these factors created a negative experience for me with this exhibit.

Even though their Antartic exhibit was disappointing,  the permanent collection at the Dayton Art Institute and the museum  itself was quite impressive. It’s a beautiful old building  with an extensive Asian Art and Oceanic collection, decorative arts collection and numerous other ambitious pieces. Shown below are some of the main features from the museum.

 

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Alison Saar’s Lost and Found (2003) [Painting on wall, behind Saar’s work, is by artist Janet Fish]

 

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Pat Steir’s Border Lord (1972)

 

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Dwindell Grant’s Red Circle (1938)

 

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Bodhisattva Guanyin – Chinese, 11th century

 

Amida Buddha – Japanese, 13th Century

 

Elephant Mask Costume – Bamileke people, 20th century

30 Americans

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Late last month I went to the Cincinnati Art Museum for the first time. While I was there I saw  an exhibit called 30 Americans. The collection was composed of  African-American artists from the past thirty years. Read more about the show here.

Below are some of the high points from the show. (And, may I say, there were A LOT.)

 

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Untitled (1985-1999) by Purvis Young

 

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Bird On Money (1981) by Jean-Michel Basquiat

 

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Non je ne regrette rien (2007) by Wangechi Mutu

 

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The Seven Prisoners of the Abyss (2008) by Noah Davis

 

Soundsuit (2009, 2008) by Nick Cave

 

Whore in the Church House (2006) by Mark Bradford  [Top – Two close-up photos of the work. Bottom – The entire piece.]

Columbus Museum of Art – Contemporary Collection

While attending the Picasso The Great War Experimentation and Change exhibit early this past June at the Columbus Museum of Art, I had the opportunity to see the new Contemporary wing of the museum. The wing’s grand opening was in the fall of 2015.

The new wing adds over 50,000 square feet to the museum using 1,500 copper panels on the exterior of the addition.  In my humble opinion, here are some of the gems from the contemporary collection.

Nocturne Navigator by Alison Saar

 

Paranirvana (Self Portrait) by Lewis deSoto

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Side note — The Picasso exhibit, by the way, goes from 6/10/2016 to 9/11/2016.

It’s all in the details

Google came up with a great idea on how you can truly appreciate art in close detail. A new technology called Art Camera, a robotic camera, can take high resolution images of objects. The results are amazing  finely detailed close-ups of artwork.

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(Above Image – Port of Rotterdam by Paul Signac)

Read more about Google’s Art Camera here.

Reflections on Egon Schiele

The Met has a program called The Artist Project. Essentially, it is where contemporary artists discuss different art  featured at The Met. It’s their viewpoint on a specific work of art or the collective works of an artist. I highly recommend watching these vignettes. They are not very long in duration and are immensely insightful.

The one posted here is of the contemporary artist Wangechi Muta discussing the brilliance that is Egon Schiele.

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