Archive for Museum of Modern Art

Goodbye Dorothea Tanning

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY with tags , , , , , on February 11, 2012 by echostains

The oldest living Surrealist artist Dorothea Tanning passed away January 31 2012 at the great age of 101.  Tanning was born in Galesburg Illinois USA 1910, attending Knox College  before living in Chicago for several years.  In 1936 whilst attending the exhibition  Fantastic Art, Dada and Surrealism at the Museum of Modern Art New York, Tanning discovered the wonderful world of Surrealism and Dada.  To support herself, Tanning worked as a commercial artist, but she  soon began to work on her own surreal paintings in the early 1940s.

Lee Millar portrait of Tanning and Ernst

She was introduced to Julien Levy, a gallery owner who was to show her work and give her two one person exhibitions in 1944 and 1948.  He introduced her to a circle of Surrealists  whose work he was showing in his New York gallery.  The young artist fell immediately in love with German surrealist Max Ernst and married him in 1946.  Tanning’s surreal paintings have a dreamlike quality and a very individual style.

She lived in  France with Ernst after the war for 28 years.  Her work features in MOMA. The George Pompidou Centre. The Tate Gallery London and many more collections around the world.  She created costumes for  Balanchine between the 1940s and 50s and sculptures in the 70s

Maternity 1946

At the age of 91 the artist was asked how she felt about carrying the surrealist banner;-

I guess I’ll be called a surrealist forever, like a tattoo: “D. Loves S.” I still believe in the surrealist effort to plumb our deepest subconscious to find out about ourselves. But please don’t say I’m carrying the surrealist banner. The movement ended in the ’50s and my own work had moved on so far by the ’60s that being a called a surrealist today makes me feel like a fossil!

Birthday 1942

Tanning moved back to New York in 1979 after Ernst’s death. Among others, she found a friend in Pulitzer Prize-winning poet James Merrill. It was Merrill

 “Who more than anyone at that point of my life, made me realize that living was still wonderful even though I felt that my loss, Max, had left nothing but ashes,” she says. “So if I took up brushes again, and the pen, to work for 20 more solitary years — and am still at it — it was Jimmy who made me want to, and so proved himself right.”

Tanning published her first book in 1986, The book is a collection of reminiscences and is called “Birthday,” after her most famous painting.

EineKleineNachtmusik

Her career spanned 6 decades, she was a printmaker, sculptor – she  wrote and published  poems and a novel.  She counselled young artists with these words;-

“Keep your eye on your inner world and keep away from ads, idiots and movie stars.”

I was lucky enough to see her work in 2001 at a surrealist exhibition at the Tate Modern, called ‘Desire Unbound’ 2001 .  Her dreamlike scenarios work ensure that she is still known as a surrealist.

Palaestra 1947

 

One of my posts about Women Surrealists and their work can be found here

Night Music image from here

Voltage, Palaestra, Ernst and Tanning, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik portrait by Lee Millar, Maternity from the wonderful dorotheatanning.org where lots of her work can be found

Birthday image from here

More about Dorothea Tanning can be found here

Interview with the artist can be found here

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A Room (or two) with quite a view (or two)

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ART VIDEOS, exhibitions with tags , , , , , on February 1, 2011 by echostains

Google has just launched their new Google Art project today (link at the bottom of post) and it’s rather exciting!  Now you can visit 17 famous art galleries around the world – without leaving your home!  Using the same technology as Google Street Maps you can ‘walk’ round the rooms of the buildings and zoom into the paintings!

Chris Ofili No woman no cry

The images are high-resolution and you can really see details AND the brushstrokes!  I’m very excited by this and have already had a peek in the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam and  Tate Britain where I zoomed into Chris Ofili’s ‘No woman No Cry’  among many.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

William Blake ‘Ghost of a Flea’

William Blake’s ‘Ghost of a Flea’ proved very interesting. Although I really like this idea, I do hope that this project will act as an aperitif and inspire people to actually visit these galleries;-

The National Gallery London
The Frick Collection New York City
Freer Gallery of Art. Smithsonian Washington DC
State Tretakov Gallery Moscow
Alte Nationalgalerie Berlin
The State Hermitage Museum St Petersburg
Palace of Versailles Versailles
MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art New York City
Rijksmuseum Amersterdam
Museo Reina Sofia Madrid
Mueo Thyssen Bornemisza Madrid
The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York City
Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam
Museum Kampa Prague
Uffizi Gallery Florence
Tate Britain London
Germaldegalerie Berlin

In the far right of the screen there is a small plus sign near each painting – this will bring you really up close to the painting 🙂  Sometime this crashes, but don’t forget –  the project is brand new and millions of people will be virtually stampeding through these galleries (just had a quick look at Edouard Manet’s In the Conservatory in the Alte Nationalgalerie Berlin myself, though I’m not too sure how I ended up there. I’m going to take my time visiting  these galleries  – which will take ages.  These are treasure houses full of art and do need to be savoured.

http://www.googleartproject.com/

Video by http://www.youtube.com/user/GoogleArtProject with thanks!

Chris Ofili image from here and Blake image here