Monday, December 21, 2009
Art for escapism
Sitting in snowy Connecticut. looking out at a wintry landscape, I wish I could substitute my view for the one a friend just emailed from her beach vacation south of the border. I understand that there’s even more snow in Washington, DC, but at least inside the Corcoran Gallery lucky viewers can escape the weather by visiting the seaside with John Singer Sargent. The exhibition, Sargent and the Sea, will end on January 3, but even browsing the website gives a brief impression of sunshine, warm sand, and salty breezes.
Most of Sargent’s seaside paintings were created when he was still quite young, between the ages of 18 and 23. From a privileged family, he had the oppportunity to study in Paris as well as spend summers in Brittany, Normandy, and Capri. Later paintings become less romantic and more detailed, showing Sargent’s interest in the details of ship rigging and the life of working sailors and those who fish for a living.
Turquoise waters and fluffy clouds in a soft blue sky—I could escape for those!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
More on the amazing Mrs. Delany
Just found an article in an October New York Times that gives even more reason to admire our Mrs. Delany. Take a look and see what she accomplished in the last decade and a half of her long life.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Inspiration from an 18th century “senior citizen”
Our friend Beth came back from a visit to New Haven, CT, recently, raving about “Mrs. Delany’s Flowers.” I’d never heard of Mrs. Delany or her flowers, but my curiosity was piqued. Turns out that the exhibition, at the Yale Center for British Art, features the work of Mary Granville Delany, who was born in 1700 and died in 1788. She was best known for creating nearly 1000 botanical “paper mosaics”, a project she began at the age of 72! Not content with making only these exquisite paper montages, she also produced landscape drawing sand textile designs, and used her craft activities to nurture friendships with people in artistic, aristocratic, and court circles. Her work is unique and beautiful—and inspiring. You see, it’s never too late to discover a passion and talent, and to make a mark on the world.
Friday, December 04, 2009
Next up after Christo’s “Gates” ...
It wasn’t long ago that 7500 gates bearing saffron fabric panels were installed by the artist Christo on the pathways of Central Park. The latest entry in New York’s public art arena comes from England’s Antony Gormley. Gormley is best known for his most recent project, “One and Other”. He arranged for real people to occupy a bare plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square for an hour each for 100 days. Twenty-four hundred people were selected to participate, from 35,000 applicants. Gormley had proposed that people would come together to do something extraordinary and unpredictable—and in fact the participants more than fulfilled that rubric, with everything from speeches to drama to striptease.
Now, Gormley brings his first public art project to New York. From March 26 to August 15, 20010, New Yorkers will be catching glimpses of 31 different sculptures of a naked man in and around Madison Square Park. According to Gormley, “It’s about where the human body fits into the scheme of things.” Welcome to the Big Apple!
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