Saturday, December 9, 2017

A VISIT TO THE HUNTINGTON ART GALLERY

"Jerusalem Stabile" Alexander Calder 

Calder's work is the perfect entrance to the grounds of The Huntington. The piece itself consists of archways and entrances to walk through. The bright red adds an energetic feel. Yes, Huntington, you've got me. I'm ready to go view some art.

"Global Loft (Spread)"  Robert Rauschenberg

Interestingly, it was during a visit to The Huntington that Rauschenberg decided he could make a living as an artist. The work consists of fabric, paper, metal objects, acrylic paint and solvent transfer on canvas. It takes some time to digest with multiple photo transfers referencing various people and objects. I'm still trying to make associations between photos of skiers, reptiles, the earth, cows and windmills. 

"Zenobia in Chains"  Harriet Goodhue Hosmer

Hosmer's sculpture is quite stunning and a bit intimidating in stature. Zenobia, a queen of what is now Syria, is depicted in chains during her capture by the Romans. Some male art critics at the time (1862 when Hosmer's work was shown in London) did not believe she had the ability to complete such a piece. A group of American sculptors stepped up and told the press that she had done all the work on the piece on her own. Hey guys, women can sculpt, too.

"Leaves Fluttering in the Breeze"  Alma Thomas

In 1972, Alma Thomas had a solo show at the Whitney Museum. She was the first African-American women to do so. This work brings me back to the many walks I've taken through Autumn woods. The leaves are painted in varying directions lending the feel of movement.

"24,000 BCE-1992 CE"  Soyoung Shin

It is always interesting to find out how artists get their ideas. Soyoung Shin referenced the history of tapestries and a photo from 1946 which showed eight men alongside of one of the earliest computers, ENIAC. Shin placed women as the focus referencing: Two computer programmers (Betty Holberton and Jean Bartik), a textile artist (Anni Albers), a mathematician (Ada Lovelace) and a computer scientist (Grace Hopper). 

I spent quite a while looking at the work. There are fabric layers, stitches and threads hanging. The photo below shows a close-up of these features.

"24,000 CBE-1992 CE"  close-up,  Soyoung Shin

 
"Yankee Driver"  Thomas Hart Benton

Benton's work is easily recognized. His painting technique is highly sculptural, curvy and bold. He typically portrayed the everyday American and areas he knew. He also taught Jackson Pollock. Out of curiosity of their differing styles, I ordered "Tom and Jack: The Intertwined Lives of Thomas Hart Benton and Jackson Pollock" for my ipad.

"Peyote Candle"  Lee Mullican

This work is highly textured with a beautiful glow. Mullican created what seemed to be thousands of short lines of paint with the edge of a palette knife. One can also see layers of various yellows.

"Flower Basket", "Pictorial Hearth", and "Austine W. Phillips Rug"

One of the last rooms we viewed had a small collection of rugs. The top left rug was bias shirred, the bottom left was yarn-sewn and the larger work was yarn-sewn and chenille-shirred. All are on linen backings. The bottom left rug dates at 1824 and is one of the oldest sewn rugs of its type.

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