Strolling through Artopolis: Part Three
Woman with Apple, 1948, 23"
Marcks is one of my favorite 20th C. sculptors
- which probably coincides with the fact that he's occasionally available
to be seen in American museums.
Here's a figure made the year I was born.
"Woman with Apple" ?
Why doesn't he just call her "Eve"?
It's funny how traditional Christian iconography
appears even when it hasn't been summoned.
This is the fullness,
and the relaxed elegance
that gives me so much pleasure
Pierre Fournier Des Corats (1883-1953)
There's less pleasure for me in this piece,
but I'm inspired to try something like it,
a large, 50" sculpture
that's more like a deep relief.
These are the bronze versions of
the stone sculpture carved for the mansion of
William Randolph Hearst mansion in San Simeon Cal.
They represent Summer and Winter
(and I wonder whether Patty Hearst grew up with them)
I like this view..
but not this one -
it somehow feels less like a figure sculpture
and more like a clumsy piece of furniture
Pierre-Marie Poisson ( 1876-1953)
Allegory of Maritime Commerce
maquette for sculpture commissioned
for the Ocean Line La Normandie, 1935
I suppose that decorative and fine-art sculpture
are supposed to be kept distinct from each other
.. but I don't know why
(and over the passage of time,
doesn't that distinction disappear ?)
Poisson was a leading decorative sculptor
of his day,
and I have a lot more
of this kind of work on
Cecile (or Madeleine) Lalande Dutemple (1910-1942) - Eve , 1937
I'm not sure that this life size piece deserves all this attention,
but this poor sculptor,
a pupil of Chlana Orloff , died so young,and this is her only documented, exhibited work.
I 'm also not sure
whether its fine finish
should be more attributed
to the foundry than to her.
But it certainly got my attention,
and what else is sculpture for ?
Hugo Robus ,1885-1964, 16", --" Young Girl (shy) "1951
(drawing in background by Francis-Marie Martinez Picabia, c 1941)
Like the piece before,
it's not that I like this so much as
its oddness seems to hold my attention
as something from one of the possible civilizations that
America might have become but didn't
..reminding us of the tragic story of The Sculpture Center ,
which began as a well-equipped working space
for sculptors in midtown Manhattan
(Hugo Robus worked there)
but was hi-jacked by its board of directors in 2002
and transformed into a gallery of contemporary art in Long Island City.
Robus - Spirit of Youth, 1931
Why do these pieces feel so Japanese ?
They seem so well made,
but so tangential to what might interest me
Joseph Cszaky (1888- 1971 ) " Mother and Child", 1927
Here's a Hungarian who joined the first generation
of Cubist sculptors in Paris.
In my alternate narrative of art history,
cubism - like Bolshevism -
was one of the disasters of the 20th C.
But Cszaky's figures still feel human,
and very appealing,
(note: the above sculptures (except for the Marcks)
were all shown by the
Martin Du Louvre gallery from Paris,
which also provided a relatively
thorough history of the artist and the piece.
I certainly hope they return to Artopolis next year)
Amer Kobaslija ( b. 1975 - Serbia) "Janitor's closet II", 2007 , 93" X 72"
I love a neat, clean space (to visit!)
but I'm more comfortable
living and working in chaos,
and there's an entire school of
that seems devoted to the formal redemption
of my living habits.
This is the latest -- and so far -- the largest
example of that distinguished endeavor,
combining a ripe sense of disorder
with an uneasy sense of vertigo.
I love it !
Max Weber (1881-1961) , 1907, 16"
I hate Max Weber,
I hate Cubism,
I hate abstract expressionism,
and I hate the grandfathers,
fathers, and children of that disaster called Contemporary American art.
But I like this painting,
done when Weber was 25,
living in Paris,
hanging out with the avant garde,
and painting like Cezanne.
He had an eye for beauty,
but unfortunately he soon discovered
that it had nothing to do with art.
David Hockney, portrait, 2003
There was a wall full of Hockney line drawing portraits,
illuminated by some strange yellow light,
that didn't work well with my camera.
But they're fine drawings anyway,
with a delicious sense of design.
Hockney is a somewhat controversial figure
in the world of drawing
because he's suggested that the old masters
used a camera obscura to aid in their optical realism.
This has greatly exercised
the gentle folk at the Art Renewal Center
for whom such realism is a necessary (and objective!)
condition for excellence in the fine arts.
But I think that these drawings
(and all drawings)
can do quite well without it.
(or despite it)