I love going into what I call “real places” and seeing “real art”. For example, there’s an editioned print (not a poster) in the bathroom at the mall, or a quality painting hanging permanently at a bar. I was in the Philadelphia International Airport recently, and even though rotating art exhibitions are becoming more popular […]
“Accumulations” are what Yayoi Kusama called these multiple soft sculpture phalluses that she patiently sewed and placed in rooms, in platforms mounted on floors and walls, and even in two rowboats. Kusama made these pillow-esque, polka-dotted, cartoon-like, engorged phalluses as a way to get over her fear of sex – and one vintage 1960s photo
365 Days of Art: August 27 – Michelangelo Takes 1st Commission, Krakatoa Colors Sky for The Scream, and Guernica is Displayed for 1st Time in US
Another big day in the history of art! August 27, 1498 At age 25, Michelangelo receives his first big commission: a statue of Mary and Jesus for a cardinal. He selects the Carrera marble himself from the quarry and carves the statue from that single piece of stone. The 450 ducats he’s paid make him
August 23, 1913 The Little Mermaid is unveiled in Copenhagen. The patron who commissions the statue is so taken by the fairytale, specifically the ballerina who portrays the Little Mermaid in a ballet based on the fairytale, that he asks her to model for the artwork. She agrees to model her head but refuses to
August 16, 1501 Michelangelo signs a contract with the Office of Works of Florence Cathedral to sculpt his famous David. The road to get to this point has been a long one, though. About 100 years earlier, the same Office decides to commission twelve sculptures to serve as buttresses for Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral.
August 15, 1967 Bonus Post: August 15 is a big day in the history of art because it’s the Feast of the Assumption on the Catholic calendar. Since the Catholic Church is such a large patron of the arts, many works of art, including the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling, have been dedicated or unveiled on this
Bonus post, because the main post today was so heavy. July 21, 1995 The city of Florence, Italy offers a gift to the city of Jerusalem: a replica of Michelangelo’s statue of David, which Jerusalem rejects because they find it pornographic. They do agree to accept a different, fully clothed statue instead.
June 21, 1998 Kiki Smith’s exhibition, Night, closes at the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden. The show explores the natural world after the sun’s gone down, and features works in black glass, bronze, and other media, including animal scat.
June 15, 1983 An exhibition at the outdoor sculpture center in upstate New York, Storm King Art Center, called–simply and appropriately enough–A Landscape for Modern Sculpture, closes. The exhibition features large-scale works by Louise Bourgeois and others.
May 23, 1965 David Smith dies in a car accident in Vermont. Throughout his career, he expands what it means to sculpt in metal. His experience in industrial welding, from a summer job in a car factory, to welding locomotives and tanks during World War II, brings his perspective outside of the box. Instead of
April 30, 630 A Chinese Buddhist pilgrim by the name of Xuanzang visits the Bamiynan Buddhas and notes that the area contains “more than ten monasteries and more than a thousand monks.” He also noted that the two giant Buddha statues were “decorated with gold and fine jewels.” You can read more about the destruction
365 Days of Art: April 15 – Brunelleschi Dies, Da Vinci is Born, Nike of Samothrace is Unearthed, Impressionists Exhibit Together, and Thomas Hart Benton Reveals Himself to Be a Fool (Again)
April 15, 1446 Filippo Brunelleschi, father of Renaissance architecture and engineer of the Duomo, dies. April 15, 1452 Leonardo da Vinci is born. April 15, 1863 An excavation on the Greek island of Samothrace unearthed a winged female statue carved from white marble, known as the Nike of Samothrace, or Winged Victory of Samothrace. It’s
365 Days of Art: April 15 – Brunelleschi Dies, Da Vinci is Born, Nike of Samothrace is Unearthed, Impressionists Exhibit Together, and Thomas Hart Benton Reveals Himself to Be a Fool (Again) Read More »
March 13, 1858 The Elgin Marbles, sculptures taken from the Acropolis in Athens, and their poor conservation were the subject of a letter, written by the superintendent of the “moving and cleaning the sculptures” at the British Museum: I think it my duty to say that some of the works are much damaged by ignorant
365 Days of Art: March 8 – Little Mermaid Is Vandalized in Connection with International Women’s Day
March 8, 2006 The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen is vandalized (not for the first time): a dildo is attached to the statue’s hand, green paint is dumped over it, and the words March 8 are written on it. It is suspected that this vandalism is connected with International Women’s Day, which is celebrated on
March 2, 2001 The Buddhas of Bamiyan, two 6th century statues of Buddha carved into a cliff in Afghanistan, were dynamited by the Taliban. The total demolition was effected in stages, and took several weeks to complete. I remember the awful anticipation of the clock ticking down on this one. I, and all my friends
February 19, 1513 In one of his last acts, Pope Julius II issues a Papal Bull declaring that Michelangelo will carve his tomb. Michelangelo had actually begun the project seven years earlier, but was interrupted by Julius’s commission of the Sistine Chapel ceiling–to Michelangelo’s mind, a frustrating and far less interesting proposition, but the only
Check out these red female figures that float and twist on posts above eye-level on Broadway in the Fashion District. This project by Joan Benefiel seems to add light to Broadway from the inside of these figures, radiating out. Anything that adds a little light to NYC is a great thing.
New Yorkers always tend to look down as they speed around town, probably to avoid stepping in anything nasty. But there’s lots to see when you keep your eyes above street level. This sculpture of Andy Warhol, by Rob Pruitt, is located at the northwest corner of Union Square Park, outside of the building where
I’m wondering how it is that I’m just now discovering that St. Luke is the patron saint of painters… I knew that St. Clare is the patron saint of TV. Oh yes, even though she lived in the 12th century. She supposedly saw images on the wall when she was sick, and heard things too,
Or, Classicism, Propaganda . . . and Jury Duty I’ve always thought that history could best be taught through art and music. So cheers to the Guggenheim for putting together a great history lesson with Chaos and Classicism: Art in France, Italy, and Germany, 1918-1936. The show blew my mind, and I haven’t been able