1. Leon Levinstein, Herald Square, New York City, 1955

    Leon Levinstein, Herald Square, New York City, 1955

     
     
  2. Vivian Fu, Toothless Self Portrait, Santa Cruz, 2010

(nice to meet you last week in dolores park, Vivian!)

    Vivian Fu, Toothless Self Portrait, Santa Cruz, 2010

    (nice to meet you last week in dolores park, Vivian!)

    18 March 2014

    reblogged from: vivian-fu | notes: 65 | download image

     
     
  3. A few decisive moment paintings


I had an extra afternoon in Frankfurt and went to the Städel Museum. I enjoy a museum with no idea beforehand what is in their collection. Faced with interesting artists from the 1600s that I’ve never heard of, seeing dozens of excellent small paintings that will never be sold as postcards, the constant “too many photographs” blog posts makes me wonder if the Dutch were complaining that there are far too many paintings.


On a winter afternoon, the only other person in the galleries with me was a Japanese man with a DSLR snapping at least half of the paintings and info cards. Of course I had judgmental thoughts: Put. Down. The. Nikon. Moments later, there I was, a jackass with my phone, snapping Vermeer’s signature. I try not to be that guy that takes photos in museums of everything that gets my attention (in the bad old days I was the guy scribbling in small notebooks), but it’s still often difficult to find certain paintings online after the visit. The layout and curation of the collection of old masters at the Städel is excellent, but it’s in no way replicated online. There are a few I’d like to see again, or at least know the name of the artist, but are not to be found online. 

[[MORE]]

Because of Max Beckmann’s history in Frankfurt, the Städel Museum has a very good collection his work. I had a little jolt of recognition when I across this portrait of the Carls (1918).  Winogrand’s shrieking laugh woman! 
But, no. These are different expressions in different contexts. The painter is depicting a couple he knows, the wife attempting to cheer up a melancholy husband. The hands on the shoulders mean different things. Winogrand probably spent less than 10 seconds near the couple at El Morocco club, and never knew what elicited her cackle. In both works, it’s not a flattering facial expression.  Beckmann took a larger risk, most obviously by offending friends he knew (and maybe they commissioned the painting). On an artistic level, Beckmann’s moment is a very complicated physical gesture and psychological exchange for a painter to attempt. The profile of her face, the line that defines the cheek feels awkward and re-worked, yet Beckmann left it like that. Winogrand’s subject is a pure shot of energy, and defines “having a blast.” It’s more spontaneous, but it’s a very streamlined image, one loud upper-register note on a trumpet.  

 Trying to locate the Beckmann online, I came across an anonymous-ish Flickr user with 30,000 photographs, who was that person with the DSLR at the museum, that thought nothing of uploading a few hundred photos. And it seems to be the only jpeg of the painting, or at least the only example in many pages of a Google search. 

Spending a few hours with paintings made before 1900 reinforces David Hockney’s theory about camera obscura; there can be no doubt painters used and mimicked lenses. But just as significant is the desire on the part of so many artists to capture transient moments, the brief gesture or pose that we all recognize from daily life, but most of us would not spend hours to reproduce in oil paint. Of course, even after photography allowed much easier capture of these moments, painters like Beckmann continued the difficult work of painting them.

The Städel has an interesting Renoir (1879) which captures his brother lighting a cigarette. The gesture is a tight pose with his hands (framed at the edge of the painting). What got my attention was the weird squint in profile, so smoke does not get in his eyes. It seems a second before and after this moment would have been so much easier to paint and would match the posed feel of the two women. I had this experience many times during the afternoon at the museum: where some aspect of a painting, despite the hours and careful consideration required, felt so accidental - going back to the 1500’s. Comparing the decisive moments in the Beckmann and Renoir to the Winogrand, the Winogrand feels more carefully framed and anticipated.  

Also read: Caille Millner on Winogrand and women

    A few decisive moment paintings

    I had an extra afternoon in Frankfurt and went to the Städel Museum. I enjoy a museum with no idea beforehand what is in their collection. Faced with interesting artists from the 1600s that I’ve never heard of, seeing dozens of excellent small paintings that will never be sold as postcards, the constant “too many photographs” blog posts makes me wonder if the Dutch were complaining that there are far too many paintings.

    On a winter afternoon, the only other person in the galleries with me was a Japanese man with a DSLR snapping at least half of the paintings and info cards. Of course I had judgmental thoughts: Put. Down. The. Nikon. Moments later, there I was, a jackass with my phone, snapping Vermeer’s signature. I try not to be that guy that takes photos in museums of everything that gets my attention (in the bad old days I was the guy scribbling in small notebooks), but it’s still often difficult to find certain paintings online after the visit. The layout and curation of the collection of old masters at the Städel is excellent, but it’s in no way replicated online. There are a few I’d like to see again, or at least know the name of the artist, but are not to be found online.

    Read More

     
     
  4. Francesca Woodman, Rome, ca. 1977-1978

    Francesca Woodman, Rome, ca. 1977-1978

     
     
  5. Richard Kalvar, Piazza San Pietro, Roma, 1980

    Richard Kalvar, Piazza San Pietro, Roma, 1980

     
     
  6. John Vink, Piazza San Pietro,  Roma, 1981

    John Vink, Piazza San Pietro, Roma, 1981

    16 March 2014 | source: johnvink.com

    notes: 181 | download image

     
     
  7. Wayne Bremser, fontanella delle tiare (1927), Borgo, Roma, 2010

    Wayne Bremser, fontanella delle tiare (1927), Borgo, Roma, 2010

    15 March 2014

    reblogged from: mpdrolet | notes: 54 | tagged: Wayne Bremser | download image

     
     
  8. Daniel Shea

    Daniel Shea

    15 March 2014

    reblogged from: bolus | notes: 24 |

     
     
  9. Constantin Brâncuși, Jeune Fille Sophistiquée in Brancusi’s studio, Paris, 1928

    Constantin Brâncuși, Jeune Fille Sophistiquée in Brancusi’s studio, Paris, 1928

    14 March 2014 | source: chaboneobaiarroyoallende

    reblogged from: catherinewillis | notes: 328 |

     
     
  10. unknown, Fête sportive à la commune libre de Montmartre, avec les deux bibendum, Paris, 1922

    unknown, Fête sportive à la commune libre de Montmartre, avec les deux bibendum, Paris, 1922

    13 March 2014 | source: portailblog

    reblogged from: gagedesoto | notes: 478 |