Friday, April 29, 2016

My Favoritate Paintings at Battistero, Padova (Padua), Italy

Next to the city Duomo, the Battistero (Baptistery) in Padova (Padua) contained amazing Fresco cycle by Giusto de Menabuoni, covering the circular wall and the dome.  Brilliant colors and striking composition. Definitely my favorite.

DSCN1009 _ Frescoes by Giusto de Menabuoni, Battistero, Padova, 12 October

My second favorite work there a Polittico (Polyptych), which presented Madonna con Bambino and other saints in a tiered structure, resembling a gilded palazzo, formal, regal, and impressive, especially the interplay of brilliant blue, red and gold colors.

DSCN1007 _ Battistero, Padova, 12 October


My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 114: To be continued
<< My Favorite Museum Collection Series 112: My Favorite Paintings at Basilica di Sant'Antonio, Padova (Padua), Italy

List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

My Favorite Paintings at Basilica di Sant'Antonio, Padova (Padua), Italy


DSCN1056 _ Basilica di Sant'Antonio, Padova, 12 October

The great Basilica di Sant'Antonio in Padua, famed for its relics of Saint Anthony, houses some wonderful artworks underneath its almost Byzantinesque domes.

My favorite of such was the great altar, which dazzled with brilliant blue, yellow, white, red, and gold hues.  A bit kitschy from distance, perhaps; but on the spot, I was quite easily transported by the mysterious shimmering light.

DSCN1065 _ Basilica di Sant'Antonio, Padova, 12 October

My second favorite was a fragmented mural, with cleanly delineated figures, animals and walled city, evoking the ideal of early Renaissance epoch - urbane, sophisticated, refined and pure.

DSCN1066 _ Basilica di Sant'Antonio, Padova, 12 October


My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 113: To be continued
<< My Favorite Museum Collection Series 111: My Favorite Frescos at Cappella degli Scrovegni and Musei Civici degli Eremitani in Padova (Padua)

List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

"Intrude", Wonderful Rabbits Installation in San Francisco

Presented by San Francisco Arts Commission, five exhilarating gigantic white rabbits installation, titled Intrude by Australian artist Amanda Parer, boldly occupied the Civic Plaza of San Francisco, right in front of the City Hall.

According to the curator's note, "Parer's edgy and ephemeral artworks explore the natural world, its fragility and our role within it."

"To the artist, rabbits are animals of contradiction. While they often connote a furry innocence, rabbits are considered an invasive pest in artist's native Australia...  Through Intrude, Parer hopes people will thoughtfully consider how humans can change and dominate the environment.

I was utterly enchanted by those artifacts of "Nylon 210D, air blowers, 55w LED floodlights" and failed to pay any attention of the underlying questions intended to probe.

The show ends on April 25th, 2016.  Catch them, if you can!

IMG_4744 _ Intrude (2014) by Amanda Parer, SF Civic Center

DSCN1934 _ Intrude (2014) by Amanda Parer, SF Civic Center

IMG_4751 _ Intrude (2014) by Amanda Parer, SF Civic Center

IMG_4794 _ Intrude (2014) by Amanda Parer, SF Civic Center
Intrude (2014) by Amanda Parer, SF Civic Center

DSCN1938 _ Intrude (2014) by Amanda Parer, SF Civic Center

IMG_4773 _ Intrude (2014) by Amanda Parer, SF Civic Center

IMG_4752 _ Intrude (2014) by Amanda Parer, SF Civic Center

IMG_4755 _ Intrude (2014) by Amanda Parer, SF Civic Center

DSCN1948 _ Intrude (2014) by Amanda Parer, SF Civic Center

DSCN1946 _ Intrude (2014) by Amanda Parer, SF Civic Center DSCN1950 _ Intrude (2014) by Amanda Parer, SF Civic Center

IMG_4791 _ Intrude (2014) by Amanda Parer, SF Civic Center IMG_4793 _ Intrude (2014) by Amanda Parer, SF Civic Center

IMG_4768 _ Intrude (2014) by Amanda Parer, SF Civic Center IMG_4763 _ Intrude (2014) by Amanda Parer, SF Civic Center IMG_4770 _ Intrude (2014) by Amanda Parer, SF Civic Center

DSCN1943 _ Intrude (2014) by Amanda Parer, SF Civic Center

DSCN1945 _ Intrude (2014) by Amanda Parer, SF Civic Center

IMG_4799 _ Intrude (2014) by Amanda Parer, SF Civic Center

IMG_4821 _ Intrude (2014) by Amanda Parer, SF Civic Center

IMG_4789 _ Intrude (2014) by Amanda Parer, SF Civic Center


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Thursday, April 7, 2016

My Favorite Frescos at Cappella degli Scrovegni in Padova (Padua)


DSCN0709 _ Cappella degli Scrovegni (Scrovegni Chapel), Padova, 12 October

Cappella degli Scrovegni in Padova (Padua), Italy, boasts a thrilling fresco cycle by Giotto, whose works were so delicate, that the viewers were limited to 10- to 20-minutes guided tours, and could only enter the chapel after a 15-minutes temperature and moisture modulation sessions.

That cycle was simply breathtaking - enormous scope, brilliant colors, remarkable compositions, "modern" technique of rendering volumes and understanding of human anatomy and perspectives, and above all, exotic and even bizarre visual symbols, not all of them could be understood readily by modern casual viewers, though that fault could hardly dampen visitors' collective awe.

One of my favorite was the Final Judgement Scene - restrained and classical, without baroque sentimental exaggeration of the later period.  Giotto captured the essence of human conditions which were almost primordial and touching in its piety and simplicity.

DSCN0707 _ Giotto Frescoes in Scrovegni Chapel, Padova, 12 October
Final Judgement

My second favorite depicted the scene of the Kiss of Judas — menacing yet becalming, with its ritualistic violence cloaked/contained in stylized manners, simultaneously timelessly still and dynamic. Unique and unforgettable.

DSCN0705 _ Giotto Frescoes in Scrovegni Chapel, Padova, 12 October
Kiss of Judas (Lower)

My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 112: My Favorite Paintings at Basilica di Sant'Antonio, Padova (Padua), Italy
<< My Favorite Museum Collection Series 110: My Favorite Sculptures at Musei Civici degli Eremitani, Padova (Padua)

List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited

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- Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Exhilarating Exhibition - Pierre Bonnard: Painting Arcadia at Legion of Honor Museum, San Francisco


Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF _ 4527

Last weekend, I visited Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco for an exhilarating special exhibition, Pierre Bonnard: Painting Arcadia.

Bonnard, an often also-run amongst other marquee names in some Impressionism or Post-Impressionism blockbuster shows, richly deserved a place of his own.  Viewed together, the body of his works was truly impressive and deeply moving, other than being overshadowed by others here and there of his incidental presences.

A most amazing colorist, Bonnard used his explosive colors to portrait multilayered people, interior and exteriors, and extended into their psychology.  His oeuvres were far beyond the narrowly defined Arcadia implied by the title of this exhibition.

It did start with some decorative works, with main focus on patterns of floras and dresses, with muted colors than his later works:

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - Twilight - The Croquet Game _ 1842
Twilight - The Croquet Game

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - The Large Garden _ 1841
The Large Garden

His attention then shifted to interior and his exploring of human psyche got deeper, though ostentatiously playful still:

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - The Checkered Blouse & Two Poodles _ 1912
The Checkered Blouse & Two Poodles

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - The White Cat _ 4525
The White Cat

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - Reading the Newspaper _ 1850
Reading the Newspaper

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - Woman with Cat or The Demanding Cat _ 1852
Woman with Cat or The Demanding Cat

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - The Bowl of Milk _ 1851
The Bowl of Milk

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - Lunch by the Lamp _ 1846
Lunch by the Lamp

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - The Work Table _ 1861
The Work Table

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - Table Conner _ 1856
Table Conner

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - Dining Area at Le Cannet_ 1857
Dining Area at Le Cannet

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - Dessert _ 1858
Dessert

In some of works, his palette became somber and cool, and even devastating, prefiguring the equally disturbing Edward Hopper:

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - The Table _ 1855
The Table

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - The Breakfast Room _ 1859
The Breakfast Room

The highlights of this exhibition and his outputs were his nudes — languid women confined in spaces dissected into stripes of various colors and patterns, often full of vigor and charged emotions.

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - The Dressing Table _ 1863
The Dressing Table

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - Woman Dozing on a Bed or The Indolent Woman _ 1849
Woman Dozing on a Bed or The Indolent Woman

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - Man and Woman _ 1848
Man and Woman

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - Homage to Maillol _ 1864
Homage to Maillol

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - The Dressing Room, Nude with Mirror, or Nude Before the Mirror _ 1871 Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - The Dressing Room or Pink Dressing Room _ 1870
The Dressing Room, Nude with Mirror, or Nude Before the Mirror & The Dressing Room or Pink Dressing Room

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - Nude in an Interior _ 1873
Nude in an Interior

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - Nude with Back to Her Toilet, Woman at Her Dressing Table, or Yellow Harmony _ 1869
Nude with Back to Her Toilet, Woman at Her Dressing Table, or Yellow Harmony

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - Somber Nude (Dina Vierny) _ 1867
Somber Nude (Dina Vierny)

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - Nude in the Bathtub _ 1874
Nude in the Bathtub

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - The Bathtub or The Bath _ 1866
The Bathtub or The Bath

His group portraits, a bit intentionally caricaturistic, impressed with their virtuosic and witty compositions.

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - The 
Café "Au Petit Poucet", Place Clichy in the Evening _
 1896
The Café "Au Petit Poucet", Place Clichy in the Evening

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - Evening by the Lamp _ 1862
Evening by the Lamp

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - A Bourgeois Afternoon or The Terrasse family _ 1880
A Bourgeois Afternoon or The Terrasse Family

His portraits, particularly self-portrait, were direct and frank, to the point that I felt the need to avert my eyes under his unflinching gaze.

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - Self-Portrait _ 1883
Self-Portrait

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - The Boxer (Portrait of the Artist) _ 1887
The Boxer (Portrait of the Artist)

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - Self-Portrait of the Artist _ 1888
Self-Portrait of the Artist 

Finally, there were some wonderful cityscapes and landscapes, and more of some decorative works based on biblical stories and Greek mythology, though the latter group didn't exert as much hold on me:

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - View of the Port, Saint-Tropez _ 1891
View of the Port, Saint-Tropez

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - Trouville, the Exit of the Port _ 1890
Trouville, the Exit of the Port

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - Almond Tree in Bloom _ 1903
Almond Tree in Bloom

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - The Abduction of Europa _ 1909
The Abduction of Europa

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF - On the Boat _ 1901
On the Boat

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF _ 1889

Overall, a most marvelous tribute to a first-rate master, often a tad overlooked by curator and viewers. 

Pierre Bonnard, Legion of Honor, SF _ 4545


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