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Roundup: Smell the Roses

Post #1729 • November 10, 2014, 6:39 PM


Henri Fantin-Latour, Asters in a Vase, 1875, Saint Louis Art Museum

There is no need to stop to smell the roses. Just look at them, and the daisies, asters, lilacs, snapdragons, peonies and other floral specimens at the Dallas Museum of Art’s ravishing show “Bouquets: French Still Life Painting from Chardin to Matisse” (here through Feb. 8, 2015; thereafter at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, March 22-June 21; and at the Denver Art Museum, July 19-Oct. 11). You will find more flowers than those that bloom in the spring. Willard Spiegelman on the exhibition in Dallas

No artist captured the dark side of human nature with greater lucidity than the Spanish painter, printmaker and draftsman Francisco de Goya (1746-1828). Endowed with keen eyes and a febrile imagination, Goya chronicled both the outward appearances and inner psychic drama of societal dysfunction—war, madness, fanaticism, anarchy—in an oeuvre of almost hallucinatory visual impact. Jonathan Lopez on Goya

The Metropolitan Museum of Art identifies it as “the first life-sized nude marble statue since antiquity” and “the most important Italian Renaissance sculpture in North America.” Contrary to what many people might expect, it is not the work of a Florentine such as Donatello, Verrocchio or Michelangelo, but of the less widely familiar Venetian master, Tullio Lombardo (c.1455-1532). Among Tullio’s surviving works, “Adam”—in the Met’s permanent collection since its purchase in 1936—is arguably his finest. Barrymore Laurence Scherer on Tullio Lombardo

One afternoon in May of 1853, the painter Eugène Delacroix went for a walk in the forest with two old friends. As they walked, the three men returned to topics they had discussed before: questions of spontaneity, how finished pictures are “always somewhat spoiled” compared to sketches. Together they admired a famous oak tree. They talked about Racine. Then they went back to Delacroix’s house for dinner. After the meal, Delacroix later recalled, “I made them try the experiment which I had done myself, without planning it, two days before.” The experiment was simple. First, he passed around a set of unusual pictures, photographic calotypes that Eugène Durieu, a pioneer in the new medium of photography, had taken at his request. Alexi Worth on Delacroix's photographs

On the afternoon of Saturday, November 1, a small U-Haul truck pulled up to the loading dock of the Brooklyn Museum. Behind the delivery was Jason Andrew, the director and curator of Norte Maar, a Bushwick-based nonprofit at the crux of Brooklyn’s artistic renaissance. The Brooklyn Museum’s education department had invited Norte Maar to produce a “performance by sound artists and dancers” for its free “Target First Saturday.” The show, “The Brooklyn Performance Combine,” was a two-hour event Andrew and the choreographer Julia K. Gleich had planned to take place in the museum’s Beaux-Arts Court that evening. Hidden among the cargo that Andrew was expected to deliver in the truck—sound equipment, costumes, and props—were unsolicited canvases and sculptures by Brooklyn artists he planned to sneak into his performance. James Panero on the Brooklyn Museum

No artist has ever embraced the freedom of the imagination with more fierce, hell-bent intensity than Picasso. In the generation since his death in 1973 at the age of ninety-one, modernism has given way to postmodernism and posthumanism, and through it all Picasso has somehow retained his heroic standing, still the virile Nietzschean hero with the X-ray eyes. Artists, curators, critics, and museumgoers will disagree about the quality of one or another aspect of his epochal output. But anybody who walks through the Musée Picasso in Paris, just reopened after a five-year renovation, or through the enormous exhibitions of Picasso’s work currently on view at the Gagosian and Pace galleries in New York will probably experience something like the adrenaline rush that Picasso’s earliest admirers knew in the years before World War I. Jed Perl on Picasso

It was a really devastating message, the Miami art dealer Fredric Snitzer said, recalling the personal impact when Emmanuel Perrotin's 13,000-square-foot outpost closed in 2010. If he couldn’t make a go of it, what I am doing here? Brett Sokol on Art Basel Miami Beach

In the summer of 1969, as the violence intensified in Northern Ireland, the poet Seamus Heaney was in Madrid. Like any tourist, he went to the Prado, but not specifically, he later said, to study examples of art in a time of violence. He found, nonetheless, that some of Francisco Goya’s work on display had the force of terrible events…. All that dread got mixed in with the slightly panicked, slightly exhilarated mood of the summer as things came to a head in Derry and Belfast. He found Goya’s work overwhelming, and was fascinated at the idea of an artist confronting political violence head-on. In his poem Summer 1969, he wrote of his time in the heat of the Spanish city while Belfast burned... Colm Tóibín on Goya

This is a good time to be an overlooked Renaissance master. A couple of years ago Federico Barocci was exhumed by the National Gallery, dusted down after centuries of neglect and revealed as a significant painter of the late 16th century. Now it is Giovanni Battista Moroni's turn. Michael Prodger on Biovanni Battista Moroni

I understand Anna’s feeling; I’d never been moved to tears by a painting before, but I was when I saw this one a few months ago in Florence. Yet if I step back and take in The Last Judgment as a whole – the saved on one side, welcomed by angels; the damned on the other, herded by devils; the celestial host above them, directing it all – it strikes me as an odd painting for a secular person to love. The Last Judgment is more than a work of art. It’s a profession of faith – in divine justice, the communion of saints, the resurrection of the body, life everlasting. What does it mean for a person like me to love a painting like this? What does it mean to be moved by the beauty of a vision you can’t believe to be true? Pelagia Horgan on Michelangelo




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