Monthly Archives: January 2012

A little closer to home

Mexican retablo, 19th century.

Mexican retablo, 19th century.

In the last few days all my meandering image research paths seem to lead me to colonial and Spanish art. This must be a result of drawing a tighter focus on the tradition of religious objects and in particular, objects of daily devotion. Continue reading

Now what?

After the Noah plaque of the Verdun altar.

After the Noah plaque, Verdun altar, Klosterneuburg, Austria, 1181.

Diego Rivera: showing vs. telling

From “The Painting on the Wall,” by Peter Schjeldahl in the November 28, 2012 issue of The New Yorker:

[“Frozen Assets”] depicts Depression-racked New York in four tiers: skyscrapers, a homeless shelter, underground pipes, and a bank vault. It can seem a mere polemical illustration; but, given thought, it becomes a distillation of history with a carefully measured, unexhausted potency. It doesn’t tell us what to think, only what must be thought about.

Dieago Rivera, Frozen Assets, 1931.

Dieago Rivera, Frozen Assets, 1931.

(Image from WikiPaintings, and exciting new source!)

Bluest blue on earth

From the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Flickr photostream. The 8000 x 8000 pixel version is extraordinary.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Blue Marble, 2012.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Blue Marble, 2012.

Assignment I: common measure

Assignment I from Writing Metrical Poetry by William Baer.

Giovanni Battista Piranesi
In sixteen plates you take us down
To baleful vaults of stone.
Your fantasies are far to close
To fears repressed and known.

Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Carceri, plate XIV, "The Gothic Arch", 1750.

Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Carceri, plate XIV, "The Gothic Arch", 1750.

Pre-surrealist

One more from the Nelson-Atkins. Giorgio de Chirco’s Rose Tower. It’s like a Medieval dream.

Giorgio de Chirico, Rose Tower, 1913.

From the Nelson-Atkins Museum collection, Giorgio de Chirico, Rose Tower, 1913.

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Advice from Jan

Jan Steen, Fantasy Interior with Jan Steen and the Family of Gerrit Schouten, c. 1659-1660.

From the Nelson-Atkins Museum collection, Jan Steen, Fantasy Interior with Jan Steen and the Family of Gerrit Schouten, c. 1659-1660.

In keeping with the theme of yesterday’s post here is another great work from The Neslson-Atkins Museum of Art: Jan Steen’s, Fantasy Interior with Jan Steen and the Family of Gerrit Schouten. Like many paintings from this region in the 17th century, I am immediately attracted by its symbol saturation. This painting is trying to tell you something. I particularly relish how overt some messages continue to be and how other allusions have become obscured by the passage of time.

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