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Author Topic: This year’s Summer Flickr  (Read 3555 times)

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Online andyg0404

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Re: This year’s Summer Flickr
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2018, 10:03:01 PM »
I knew the car wasn't air conditioned when the train pulled in as there were a lot of seats available. I've certainly been on the subway when it's been worse; when I was a kid the only thing that would stir a breeze, if you could call it that, on the subway were overhead fans which moved very slowly. We were lucky in that although it was rush hour we were heading in the opposite direction on the way home, going back downtown. I commuted for a year in the City and rush hour was not fun. Very glad I only had to deal with it for a short time. And I'm equally glad that I'm retired now and don't have to deal with the commute into the City which just got much worse due to construction on the helix into the Lincoln Tunnel.

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Re: This year’s Summer Flickr
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2018, 05:00:22 PM »
Hello everybody and welcome back to My Weekly Flickr.

It’s a gloriously beautiful day here as summer starts to wane. Next week we are expected to be back in the heat wave. I will remember it fondly when we are in the dead of winter.

More drawings this week, it’s the latest rotation of the drawing corridor at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Selections from the Department of Drawings and Prints: Journeys. This is a link to the Overview page which also links to all the objects in the exhibit. The drawings are rotated on a quarterly basis and I have calendar reminders set for the three month periods so I don’t forget. In the Overview you can see that the Met has over a million drawings in their collection which makes it extremely unlikely that I’ll get to see all of them but I certainly want to enjoy as many of them as I can.

I was actually at the Met viewing the DeLacroix exhibit when it was being hung but didn’t want to wait until it was officially opened. I guess if my eyesight was better I could have viewed it that day as the bulk of the drawings were on view but behind a rope barrier about five feet from the wall they were hung on. I’m very nearsighted and need to get so close to the paintings that I wouldn’t be surprised if people who see me think I’m trying to smell them. Anyway this was another exhibit of their lesser known artists, certainly for the most part lesser known by me. The theme of Journey’s is explained this way, “This installation features works that respond to journeys made across land and sea, as well as into spiritual and imaginative realms.” I confess I’m not sure I understand what they are trying to convey although I assume they mean journeys of imagination rather than physical traveling. At any rate below are some things that I found interesting. Be sure to click on the images to enlarge.

James Barry – Barry was an Irish painter of the 18th Century. He’s an interesting character and you can read more about him here on his Wikipedia page.

Study for Divine Justice - This drawing reproduces figures from the center of Barry’s painting Elysium and Tartarus, celebrating patrons of the arts. I was particularly struck by the copy which pointed out that, “the sublime form of Divine Justice tilts her scales toward the abyss to suggest that evil has generally prevailed over good in history.” This seems remarkably apropos for the current age. Divine Justice and The Angelic Guards were done for his six large paintings which collectively are known as, “The Progress of Human Culture and Knowledge,” and reside in the Great Room of the Royal Society of Arts in London. You can get a better view of Divine Justice in this subsequent etching.  This is a review of a book published in 2015 on Barry and his paintings.

The Angelic Guards – This copy explains what Tartarus and Elysium are, “Four angelic beings, reminiscent of similar figures by Michelangelo and Raphael, protect the heavenly realm of Elysium from Tartarus: the dark, ill-defined abyssal zone at right.” The evil is personified by the snake at the bottom of the drawing.

Orpheus Instructing a Savage People in Theology and the Arts of Social Life – Orpheus is the inventor of music and it struck me that this etching illustrates the first live concert in history.

Job Reproved by His Friends – My first knowledge of Job came not from the Bible but from the music group Seatrain whose “Song of Job” appears on their second album. I’ve always liked this group and you can hear the song at this link.  Job’s tale also brings to mind another song, Bad Luck and Trouble.

John Sell Cotman -  Cotman was a 19th Century English marine and landscape painter, etcher, illustrator, author and a leading member of the Norwich school of artists. This is his Wikipedia page.  Of the three examples below, two are watercolors and one is an etching. 

Boats off the Coast, Storm Approaching – The tan sail in the right center of the painting immediately draws you in. It’s a wonderful composition, the rolling waves set against the stormy sky, with the birds flying overhead and the men working to secure the boat. Like so many artists he was influenced by Turner, in this case his Dutch Boats in a Gale which you can see here,

The Abbatial House, Abbey of St. Ouen, Rouen – This watercolor was done from his imagination as the Abbey had been demolished several years earlier, a great loss if it looked anything like his depiction of it. It’s also a wonderful work with a lot going on, men and women in period dress, birds flying, dogs in various stages of activity, a statue of what looks to be a discus thrower and what I take to be somebody’s cloak and hat draped on the wall at the bottom of the painting. The details of the façade are exquisite.

Lakenham, Near Norwich – There’s something about derelict buildings which appeals to me as does this one. The little girl and her dog playing in front of it lead you to surmise that this is their humble home.

Antoine Watteau - Standing Woman Holding a Spindle, and Head of a Woman in Profile to Right – Watteau is an 18th Century French painter and I’ve linked to many of his red chalk drawings of which this is one. The Morgan Library and the Met have large collections of his works.

Andrea Del Sarto – A 16th Century Italian painter, this is also a red chalk drawing. Several years ago I wrote about a small exhibit of 3 oil paintings and 45 drawings by Del Sarto at the Frick which was really wonderful. This is a link to the Frick website showing the exhibit. If you click on Complete Checklist you can see all the items in it.

As always a visit to the drawings corridor is a pleasant thing, whether it’s to see greatly renowned artists or to come into the acquaintance of others for the first time.

Time now for the Flickrs I would think.

Andy G.



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Re: This year’s Summer Flickr
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2018, 04:58:08 PM »
Hello everybody and welcome back to My Weekly Flickr.

This week I visited the Met Breuer, the site of the old Whitney Museum for their exhibition, OBSESSION: NUDES BY KLIMT, SCHIELE, AND PICASSO FROM THE SCOFIELD THAYER COLLECTION. I seem to have a mental block as to where the museum is exactly, always expecting it to be further uptown than it is. I walked up and crossed 75th Street from Fifth Avenue and walked a few blocks up Madison when I realized it wasn’t there. I was nonplussed and finally stopped a woman to ask its whereabouts. She couldn’t help me until I said it was the old Whitney, then she turned me around and pointed back down the block to where I had turned onto Madison. If I had just looked right I would have seen it. Me and my keen sense of direction again. I wasn’t really planning on seeing this exhibit but I had a late morning doctor’s appointment and his office is only a few blocks away so I decided it would be a good way to pass the time until I had to walk over. I arrived at 10:30AM and expected to be there until 11:30AM when I would walk over for my 11:45AM appointment. But I finished in just a little over half an hour, even with walking through the galleries several times. I was so surprised at the time it took that I had to check to make sure my watch was working properly. It was mostly drawings and there was a lot of repetition in that just about everything in it was sketched versions of nude women. I had expected to visit other exhibitions but it just so happened that nothing else was up, the other floors were closed for new installations.

This exhibit was like the one at the Neue Galerie I wrote about last month except it included works by Picasso. Both exhibitions celebrate the centenary of the deaths of Klimt and Schiele. I found the Neue more enjoyable as it had paintings as well.

This is a link to the New York Times review of the exhibit. It’s a very good overview and speaks to the eroticism of the drawings, the Met website warns that some of the images contain explicit erotic content and they certainly do as you will see, mostly from Schiele. It contrasts the three artists techniques pointing out that Klimt’s drawings are very thin lines and faint on the canvas while Schiele’s are bold and dark. It says Klimt’s drawings don’t fare so well in comparison to Schiele’s and I have to agree. The Met really fell into this collection without even knowing about it. Schofield Thayer acquired an enormous collection of drawings while he was in Europe from 1921 to 1923. He exhibited in New York in 1924 and received acclaim for the art but when it was displayed in his hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts it was not a success owing to its erotic content. This angered him to the point that he changed his will and left the entire collection to the Met who didn’t find out they were the beneficiaries until after Thayer died in 1982 and the contents of his will were disclosed. As the article mentions, it’s taken the Met the years since to sort the bequest into a coherent collection and be able to choose what to display.

This is an art blog with illustrations and some more information.

These are selected highlights.

Reclining Bather with a Book - Pablo Picasso – One of his simple nudes

Picasso - Head of a Woman – This is a chalk drawing and I think it’s the one I most enjoyed in the exhibit. The card on the wall said that it showed the influence of classical and renaissance art he had absorbed from his time in Italy.

Picasso - Josep Fondevila – This one appealed to me as well. Josep is described as a fierce nonagenarian, a former smuggler and someone who is cantankerous to all except Picasso who he regales with stories of his smuggling escapades.

Picasso – Three Bathers by the Shore – These women have a sculptured look to them possibly also influenced by things he had seen in Italy.

Picasso - The Watering Place – This is an oil sketch for what was planned to be an epic painting on a large scale which was never realized. He revisited the theme for boy leading a horse which is the second link.

Picasso – Erotic Scene – This is an oddity, done when Picasso was 22 and shows the artist himself laying on the bed, not paying attention to the woman and effecting the pose of a Goya Maja. The painting was hidden behind another one and years later Picasso denied authorship of it.

Egon Schiele – Woman and Girl Embracing – Unlike other drawings of erotic poses this shows the tender embrace of a Mother for her daughter.

Schiele – These are two examples of Schiele’s most erotic and explicit drawings and you may imagine how they would have been received in 1920’s Worcester, Massachusetts.
Reclining Nude with Boots
Observed in a Dream

Schiele - Seated Woman, Back View – This is likely a picture for which his wife modeled. She didn’t like being recognizable in his art and made him either alter her features or replace her face with another models. She also prompted him to make his art more commercial so they could enjoy a better life.

Schiele – Nude in Black stockings – Like many of his works in this one he displays his understanding of anatomy. His models are often shown in contorted, twisted poses displaying the human body as it really looks.

Schiele – Two Reclining Nudes – These models are aware of the artist as well as the viewer as shown by the way one of them is looking straight at you. It’s a rather gloomy watercolor, a dull color and washed out look maybe to highlight its sordidness.

Gustav Klimt - Two Women Friends Reclining – This is a good example of Klimt’s fine, thin line and faint impression. There are other drawings in the exhibit which are so faint it would be difficult to discern what’s in them.

Klimt –Two of his explicit, erotic drawings.
Reclining Nude –
Standing Nude -

Klimt - Two Studies for a Crouching Woman – A much more chaste depiction, the women shown with their legs together.

Schiele and his wife both died of Spanish influenza during the pandemic that claimed more than 20 million lives. They were both very young, he was only 28 and we’re left to speculate what art he might have created had he lived to have a long career as Picasso did. In his last few years he was moving on to landscapes and portraits and larger and grander paintings.

Let’s wander over to the Flickrs now.

Andy G.

An old pic.

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Online andyg0404

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Re: This year’s Summer Flickr
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2018, 05:30:48 PM »
Hello everybody and welcome back to My Weekly Flickr.

I woke up on Labor Day intending to go to the Met, then on my morning walk I realized that Labor Day meant a parade and I thought I really didn’t want to get involved in that again. When I got back to the house I had more or less made up my mind not to go but decided to check the parade route. I was very pleased to discover it takes place in Brooklyn so I decided it was safe to go. Considering that everything was on a holiday schedule my traveling was good on all my routes although I was concerned when I got to the Port Authority for the ride home and my bus wasn’t on the schedule. I assumed they had closed the gate and I would be directed to the third floor but I got there and there was no notice directing me elsewhere and there was a bus sitting waiting to pull out. Very satisfactory aside from having to run twice to make connections.

I was there for Asian Art, the third rotation of the Chinese exhibition, Streams and Mountains without End: Landscape Traditions of China. This is a link to the Overview page. The overview itself is brief but if you click on the Exhibition Themes link you will come to a detailed explanation of the art that’s in the exhibit. Below the Themes link is the Exhibition Objects link where you can see the art on display.

I’ll link to some of the things I especially liked below.

Streams and Mountains without End – Zhao Zuo - This is the scroll which gives the exhibition its title. It’s almost 39 feet in length and is shown in sections at the link. Scrolls like this are fascinating because you can walk back and forth in front of them and keep finding elements that you missed on first viewing.

Landscapes after old masters - Wang Hui – There are 12 paintings in this series and while I can’t discern the differences in the styles that the artist is portraying all of them are lovely. At the first link is a slide show showing all of them while the second link is an enlargement of the one that is my favorite. I find it to be a real precursor to the Japanese woodblock prints I enjoy so much. The vivid green paint really leaps off the canvas to show you the rolling hillside.

Portrait of Shaoyu in the guise of Liu Ling – This is another long scroll, 21 ft., which you can also see in slide show fashion. The first image is from the center of the scroll and is the main image. I really liked this one as well. It took me a little while to be able to discern the attendant holding the shovel. In the museum her head blended in to the painting, she’s much more noticeable here. The description of the painting on the website is very good as well, she’s carrying the shovel in case Shaoyu dissipates from excess and needs to be buried. As with all the images be sure to click on them for enlargement.

Boating amid Snowy Streams and Mountains - Lan Meng – This is a very large hanging scroll roughly 7 ½ feet tall. The boat is almost lost in the immenseness of the image as it is dwarfed by the mountains surrounding it. If you look closely you can see a traveler along the mountain path at the bottom of the image.

Garden of the Inept Administrator - Wen Zhengmin – This is pages from a portfolio of 8 painted leaves with accompanying poems described on the website as, “In these works Wen achieved the ideal integration of the three separate arts of poetry, calligraphy, and painting (the so-called three perfections).” This is another slide show and the second link is leaf G which I liked for its serenity. It shows a man ladling water into a jar. On the website is a translation of the poem along with translations of the others as well.

Famous Women - Poems by Cao Zhenxiu – Another series of painted leaves with accompanying poems, the illustrations were commissioned after the poems were written. The poems celebrate women, poets, calligraphers and warriors. The artist had a delicate hand, the drawings are light in tone but “display a seemingly endless variety of brushwork.”

Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove - Liu Yanchong – This 14 foot scroll shown in sections, depicts the intelligentsia of the third century, gathering together to play music, drink wine and converse about lofty subjects, eschewing discussions of politics. Something I think we try to do in the present day. It starts with calligraphy and then is interspersed with 4 images and finally the entire scroll.

Scholar looking at a waterfall - Zhong Li – I’ll just copy from the website for this one, “This strongly painted composition, the best known of Zhong Li's signed works, is a classic Ming academic-style picture; it continues Dai Jin's (1388–1462) monumental refiguration of the Southern Song academic manner. The interior dynamics are even more spectacular than in earlier works in the tradition, from the explosive energies of the plunging waterfall and dramatically towering cliff face to the twisted pines coiling out like springs from the stone walls. There is also something quite imperial in the pose of the seated figure on the garden terrace, leaning back like the master of his universe to observe the potent forces of nature as they conduct a special performance for him alone.” Couldn’t have said it better.

Everything in the exhibit was worthwhile and there were a few things I would have liked to link to that are either from private collections or prohibited from being displayed on the Internet. There’s more Asian art coming up in the next few weeks and I am certainly looking forward long term to the fourth rotation of this exhibit.

Let’s move on to the Flickrs now.

Andy G.

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Re: This year’s Summer Flickr
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2018, 05:21:10 PM »
Hello everybody and welcome back to My Weekly Flickr.

After a rather cool rainy week today is a gloriously beautiful warm day. Hopefully we’ll get more of these before summer really goes away.

This week I got my flu shot and my pneumonia shot. I recommend that all board members regardless of their age get the flu shot. I didn’t bother with it for many years and then I caught the flu. It was the sickest I can ever remember being. I woke up and pretty much fell out of board and crawled to my reading chair and just sat in it the entire day. Couldn’t read or watch television, just sat shaking. It was not pleasant. Subsequently I make a point of getting the shot and have had no recurrences since then. The pneumonia shot is aimed at senior citizens, those of us who are 65 and older, but there are other circumstances when younger individuals should consider it as well. You can read about it here, It’s not an annual vaccination it’s usually one time. I had one a few years ago but the composition of the vaccine has changed drastically and it was recommended that we should get the second shot so I did.  I got both shots at the same time and while I had no side effects my arm was sore for a week. To the point that I couldn’t raise my arm over my head let along do my pushups, pullups or chins. It’s better now though. Anyone who had chicken pox as a child and is over 65 should also get the Shingles vaccine. The pox stays in your system and over time could manifest itself in shingles which is a very painful condition. I had the shingles shot a few years ago but, again, the composition of the new drug is much more effective and revaccination is recommended. It’s not covered by primary Medicare but is partially covered by Part D, the drug plan. It was very expensive the first time but the price has dropped for this one. This is a two vaccination process separated by 2-6 months. The vaccine has also been in short supply and the current estimate for arrival is the end of September so I’ll check again in early October. Be smart with your health.

This is Asian week at the auction houses so I visited both Christie’s and Sotheby’s. These auctions aren’t like the Impressionist, American and Old Masters auctions in that you won’t see many multi-million dollar bids, or instantly recognizable artists or styles.  There are always nice things to look at though. Below are some of the things I liked.

THE ZUO BAO YI GUI A HIGHLY IMPORTANT AND EXTREMELY RARE BRONZE RITUAL FOUR-LEGGED FOOD VESSEL – I’m always curious as to what’s going to be the big ticket item in the auctions and while most of the paintings I saw were well below millions of dollars this old bronze pot had an estimate of $4-$6 million. In viewing it you might consider it interesting as something that was very old and remarkably intact, albeit a little green from oxidation but I don’t think your first thought would be this is worth millions of dollars. For some reason this has disappeared from the Christie’s website but I was able to find a picture on a blog.

With the following I’ve linked to the main item page and then to an enlargement. Some of the enlargements also need to be clicked on to increase the magnification.

WITH SIGNATURE OF QIU YING - Green and Blue Landscape – This is a large scroll showing  a sprawling landscape of greenery and mountains with houses nestled within. At the bottom there’s a little foot bridge with several people on it.

GAO JIAN (ATTRIBUTED TO, 1634-1708) - Winter Scene – I like the whiteness of the snow covering everything with just a little green still showing on the tree in the front. The two travelers probably heading home to the house over the bridge.

ANONYMOUS (QING DYNASTY) - Military Encampment – This is another large scroll showing an army group gathering in the woods, very colorful with a lot to see. When I was at the gallery there was a man standing next to me also viewing it and he commented that it was a shame it was damaged as the restoration would be more than the estimated bid range.

Unlike the other auctions I mention above most of the artists in the Asian auctions to my eyes don’t have a very different style, they all seem to paint in the same style. That being said I’ve been to a number of these auction previews now and Pu Ru is someone who I’ve come to very much like. It seems that as I walk the floor I inevitably stop to look at something I find particularly attractive and quite often it’s by Pu Ru. He’s a 20th Century Chinese artist and he must have been very prolific as I see a lot of his work at these auctions. They are usually colorful and very pleasing to the eye. Here are four paintings, two each from Christie’s and Sothebys, two landscapes and two floral paintings.

PU RU – Landscape

PU RU - Scholar on Cliff

Pu Ru - Peonies

Pu Ru – Red Bamboo

HUANG JUNBI – Waterfall – The immensity of the falls can be imagined from the tiny figures on the bridge at the top of the painting. Wonderful the way he’s used mostly white to depict the rushing waters.

GAO YIHONG - Peaceful Home – I’m drawn to the paintings with color and I really liked the birds among the bamboo stalks with just those few red buds.

QI KUN - Listening to a Waterfall – If it wasn’t for the title you can almost miss the small image of the person at the bottom who is doing the listening.

Wang Pu - SEVEN SAGES OF THE BAMBOO GROVE – These are the same Seven Sages you saw in my post about my visit to the Chinese rotation at the Met.

Feng Chaoran - CAT GAZING A BUTTERFLY – I love this fat cat lurking amid the foliage with his eyes focused on what he probably thinks would be very tasty.

Sha Fu - PLAYFUL CHILDREN – Nice juxtaposition of the children circled around what I’m guessing to be a pool of some kind as their faces are reflected back at them in the water while the fourth child is coming out of hiding behind the screen.

Liu Jiyou - LONGEVITY AND GOOD FORTUNE – I was drawn to this painting by the colors of the old man’s robe, the fur of the deer and the ribbon tied to the staff the child is carrying. Love the monkey as well.

Li Qiujun - SPRING AND AUTUMN – Two lovely colorful still lifes.

Xue Yue - FLOWERS AND BIRDS – Four hanging scrolls with colorful flowers and birds perched on the branches.

I’m glad I was able to visit both auction houses as there were worthwhile things in both, I could have linked to many more paintings.

Now let’s leave the Orient and visit with the Flickrs.

Andy G.

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