Tuesday, November 1, 2016
BAMPFA, the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, is the visual arts center of the University of California, Berkeley, with a proclaimed mission to inspire the imagination and ignite critical dialogue through art and film.
One of the most striking paintings I saw in their inaugural exhibition at the new downtown location was 4 Brushstrokes over Figure by Hyun-Sook Son, a painting of a woman half-hidden behind a gauzy white curtain on the left half of the painting, contrasting greatly to the very dark background on the right, bound together by a perhaps broom held by the protagonist. The painting invoked essence of traditional Korean paintings or perhaps the golden age porcelains, with its sparseness and cleanness and the light-handed and deft rendition. There was a great sense of mystery and somewhat sadness to a very ordinary yet almost ritualistic chapter of life. In front of this near monochromatic painting, people felt like eavesdropping and automatically be hushed by its overwhelming quietude.
4 Brushstrokes over Figure, Hyun-Sook Song
For a contrast, my second favorite was a combustive color burst — Summer Bliss (1960) by Hans Hofmann, whose initial donations kickstarted the founding of this museum. This wonderful pure abstract featured bold color blocks, primarily in red, yellow and blue, over a large expanse of green. The most striking part was the color contrast and harmony, and above all, the kineticism of the painting, a overwhelming sense of constant movements as all those colors and color blocks seemed forever shifted, pulsated and moved in many directions, according to the relationships of adjacent colors and shades, and ultimately formed a great choral symphony, full of combustive life and energy.
Summer Bliss, 1960, Hans Hofmann
My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 145: My Favorite Artefacts at Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life in Berkeley
<< My Favorite Museum Collection Series 143: My Favorite Paintings at Art Institute of Chicago
List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited
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