Monday, April 09, 2007

Perpetual Glory: Plotnick collection of Medieval Islamic ceramics

Iran, c. 1200

This is the new exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago.
The exhibitors selected the above item to promote the show (and so would I !)

Casual - swinging - elegance --- what more could we want ?

Iraq, C. 900
(inscription reads "One of what was made was made")

This piece too (and these pictures, unfortunately, can't convey the sense of volume within this bowl ( it's 6 cm deep ) - that gives the line of script such an un-worldly feeling)

A-Ha !

Here's a photo I took myself,
(4 months later)
makes an interesting comparison
with the one lifted from the catalog

Iran, 13th C.

The photograph can't show what's special about this piece, either
since it's got a band of piercings (filled with translucent glaze)
that creates a light show within the bowl.

It feels like poking your head into a miniature sacred space

Here's a side view of the above,
and you can also note the thinness of this fritware.
(it's 90% crushed quartz)

Here's a very simple bowl from the same period,
but simple is not always a bad thing

This is the inside view of the above
(with a little dab of color -- like my friend Putnam likes to put in his bowls)

Egypt, c. 1200

This piece is very small -- about 4" in diameter
but it's also one of my favorites in the show

It was painted somewhere in dreamworld.
(right around the time of Saladin and the crusades to Egypt)

Iran, c. 1200

Here's a piece that should have been dedicated to Gawain

The various lines of text within and without read:

"Perpetual glory and increasing prosperity and triumphant victory
and durable forgiveness and turn of good fortune and happiness
and well being and generosity and piety and wealth"

"What is the good of a free body
if my heart is enslaved in your love
What a shame that union with you
has perished like my life
I call for help for your love
But what is the use of crying for help
If there is no one who will help"

"Learn the art of writing, oh you of good breeding,
for writing is an adornment to the well bred"

(bottom of the above piece)

Iran, c. 1200
Here's another figurative fritware
(and it looks like a happy life to me)

Rome, 9th Century, Santa Prassede

But overall, the exhibit made me want to look at other things ....

like this picture I found on the cover of an Italian art magazine

(for spiritual ecstasy)

Or this corner of a Renoir.

(for a little more

sensual ecstasy)


Blogger Lori Witzel said...

Deeply swooning over here.

I love what once had been called Persian art. And what you shared -- OMG!

That calligraphic, oracular phrase snaking into the belly of a bowl.

That simple cup (or bowl?) with its farina-colored glaze and a little bit of what to my eye through the many shape-shifts of digitization looked...turquoise, the color of fine Persian sky-catching turquoise.

Well, darn.

It's late, I need to get wound down for sleep and another working day...but these will be vessels to carry me off to dreamland.

(And don't even get me started on that luscious bit of Renoir, I'd be up all night!)


April 09, 2007  
Blogger Gawain said...

everything the iranians make is so DAMN beautiful.

April 11, 2007  
Blogger marlyat2 said...

I saw some lovely Persian pieces yesterday in Corning...

You know, what I often find so entrancing is something you call "casual - swinging - elegance": a sense of offhanded elegance, ease, effortlessness.

April 12, 2007  

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