Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Here are a few glimpses of things that haven't been glazed and fired yet. Just playing around with these odd protruding elements. The clay will fire up to be a dark brown, and I will probably only glaze the insides of the pots. Still deciding though.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
My friend Crista Grauer alerted me to this show of stoneware pots. Their maker is English, but lives and works in the Charentes region of southern France. They seem unglazed, but actually do have, in places, a very slightly crackling glaze that is quite close to the look of the clay body itself. Very subtle. We like. At first, I thought the flange elements that protrude from the vessel must be made by slicing these wafer-thin pieces and then attaching them, since their shapes are very uniform and very fragile, but I couldn't see how that could be accomplished without damaging the piece in the course of forming it that way. ( Of course, not everyone is as clumsy as I am. ) In fact, she ingeniously lays down thick coils that are adhered vertically to the underlying shape and then pinched progressively outward. She works exclusively with coiling, paddling and other hand-building methods. Really intriguing and beautiful.
Friday, November 14, 2008
These two Meissen animals are said to be a lion and lioness, but look a lot more like dogs to me, and kind of scary at that. They are made from hard-paste porcelain and feature in the Met Museum's excellent show that is an homage to the soon-to-end Philippe de Montebello directorship ( the terracotta dancer of a post or two back was part of the same show ). Apparently animals of this type were all the rage in their day.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
The decoration around the outside of this pot is based on the idea of those little levers we encounter inside the voting booth; an old-school style of contraption which will soon be obsolete. We here at the dojo are just as happy as can be with our new prez.
Monday, November 3, 2008
This earthenware female dancer from the 2nd century b.c. has traces of slip and oxides still visible, and is an example of early Chinese sculpture from the Western Han Dynasty. Simple forms, but amazingly expressive. One can really get a sense of the slow movements of the dance, and a feel for what the weight of that costume was like to move around in. The massive shapes of the long sleeves of the garment are pretty fascinating.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
This piece, Study For A Town ( circa 1977 ) is on view currently at MoMA. I think she is a really interesting sculptor. This work is said to be influenced by the idea of medieval walled towns, and it reminds me a lot of some of those places in Tuscany. I really like the carpentry work.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I came across this show recently at Sonnabend Gallery in Soho. The sculptures are made from thick, soft, mostly neutral brown or grey felt, and are hung against the wall by way of sturdy metal grommets. They drape themselves into these beautiful shapes because it is the nature of their material to fall in such a way, but also because of the simple and elegant arrangement of the separate elements. Nothing is hidden about the way these are made, and they are gorgeous.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
This is called a thistle pot, and the shape really is just like one. Very minimal iron oxide wash decoration. Coper is one of those fantastic potters whose work will just lasso you over from clear across a room to check it out. I've only been able to see his things in museums, and never yet had the chance to pick one up. They are incredibly elegant, and have the ability to seem sophisticated and "natural" at the same time.
Friday, October 3, 2008
Some bejeweled hands in blue from the Met. You will have to believe me when I say that I did not crop these so that the gold/ochre-colored areas at the right side of both these images would line up exactly. In fact, it was only after I posted them next to each other that I noticed how eerily similar they were. Above is the famous and fabulous lady by Ingres; below is part of a portrait of Henry Geldzahler (equally fab) by Alice Neel. There is something about the crazy energy in the way his thumb is sticking out that really has me wondering if Neel could have been quoting from the Ingres a bit.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
An overview of this artist's work just opened at the Met. It is terrific. I was unaware he was so influenced by Cezanne, although his admiration for Chardin is totally apparent. Unlike the Turner show of a while back, this one wasn't thronged with viewers, although it is as much of a rarity. In fact, there were sparse folks there the day I went; mostly older, mostly in pairs. After a while, I felt like I could almost see a similarity between the rumpled profiles of these art lovers and the carefully grouped still life elements of the great Morandi paintings.