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Posts tagged art

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"Wakirlpirri Jukurrpa (Dogwood Tree Dreaming)," 107 x 91 cm, by Liddy Napanangka Walker, 2009, Warlukurlangu Artists' Aboriginal Corporation, Yuendumu, Northern Territory, Australia
Nate:

"I Am IAM: Caleb Seeling and IAM in Denver," interview by Christy Tennant, 3 September 2009
Christy:
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"Eugeisona tristis (detail)," from Historia Naturalis Palmarum (The Natural History of Palms by Karl Friedrich Phillipp von Maritus, 1823–50 :: via BibliOdyssey
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from "Anonymous No More," by Jed Perl, The New Republic, 28 July 2009, reviewing "Pen and Parchment: Drawing in the Middle Ages," at the Metropolitan Museum, New York City, through 23 August 2009 :: via 3quarksdaily
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The exhibition is a knockout, at once sumptuous and restrained. The entire show fits into three galleries, but what galleries they are! Holcomb has gathered books and manuscripts from museums, libraries, and religious institutions in Europe and the United States. And it is in these bound volumes that the signal graphic achievements of the Middle Ages are to be found. Everybody, of course, knows the illuminated manuscripts of those centuries, with their dazzlingly colored pages, finished to a jewel-like shimmer. Holcomb’s great idea has been to set those works aside for the time being, and focus instead on what have traditionally perhaps been regarded as humbler fare. These are the pictures done with black or brown or sometimes colored ink, many of which have, at least at first glance, a more casual, more informal character. Such works, she argues, put us in touch with the medieval artist’s most immediate impressions and responses. I think she is absolutely right. There is an easygoing, wonderfully lowdown quality about a lot of the work in this show. We have gotten beyond the delicious formality of the illuminated manuscript. We are seeing artists in a variety of moods, sometimes ruminative or contemplative, at other times more intuitive, more playful. Even when the artists are doing something wonderfully elegant, it is an off-the-cuff elegance, an improvisational elegance. There are so many different kinds of lines to be seen in this show, from skeletal and attenuated to athletic and even frenetic. We see flashes of humor and wit, but also agitation, anxiety, and melancholy.

newsArt that heals wartime wounds

During Sgt. Ron Kelsey’s year-long deployment in Basra, he began to think about how his work as a fine artist jived with his position as an Army officer. Pondering the power of art to heal emotional wounds, Kelsey approached IAM about partnering with the U.S. Army on an exhibition. Mako will speak, I will sing—and there will be plenty of beauty to help the healing begin. —Christy Tennant

Reflections of Generosity: Fort Drum Arts and Crafts Center
August 19 - September 11

The “Reflections of Generosity – Toward Restoration and Peace” Art Exhibit is dedicated to the memory of the heroes of 9-11 and the Soldiers who have given their lives in recent conflicts. Experience the power of painting, sculpture, and song to facilitate restoration through generosity, community, and beauty. Join us at Arts and Crafts for artwork and performances that reflect the spirit of ongoing generosity demonstrated by the military. The opening night will feature Makoto Fujimura, Tim Sheesley, Pamela Moore, Sharon Graham Sargent, Claye Noch, Joyce Lee, Sandra Ceas, Jay Walker, Gerda Liebmann, C. Robin Janning, Craig Hawkins, John Russel, Charles A. Westfall Macon, Ron Kelsey, Kyla Kelsey, Christa Wells, and Christy Tennant.

Christy:
from "Hundreds Try Out for Art-World Reality Show," by Randy Kennedy, NYTimes.com, 19 Jul 2009

Over the last few years reality-show casting calls have become almost as much of a cultural commonplace as the shows themselves — the familiar scenes of hundreds of anxious strangers converging on a street corner with their résumés, their headshots and their A games, hoping for some kind of immortality or at least a more interesting career.

But few such casting calls have looked like the one that began in the wee hours of Saturday morning in the West Village, where Jeff Lipsky, a 37-year-old painter and digital artist from Tyngsboro, Mass., unfolded his New England Patriots lawn chair and camped out for the night in front of the White Columns gallery, first in line to audition for a new reality show being created for Bravo. Produced by Sarah Jessica Parker, the show, which doesn’t have a title or a broadcast date, will try to do for the contemporary art world what the cable channel has done for the worlds of fine cuisine (“Top Chef”) and fashion (“Project Runway”): discover young, or maybe even middle-aged or old, unknowns with the talent to command the attention of both a television audience and a serious audience in the creative field to which they aspire.

The 13 finalists eventually chosen — from among hundreds who have already auditioned in Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago and now in New York — will compete for a gallery show, a cash prize and a sponsored national museum tour, though the producers have not revealed how much money is at stake or which museums or galleries will participate.

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Untitled (13 1/8 x 10 x 3 1/2 in; private collection), by Joseph Cornell, 1942
Nate:
Andy:

As I sat in our all-day meeting at Duke Divinity, talking about the future of a theology and arts institute, it struck me that a lot of our comments revolved around programs and activities. . . . People were offering great suggestion—suggestions I want in on. But a light bulb went off in my head at one point. It’s gone off before.

It’s a light bulb that made it into the Introduction of my book. If we really want to experience the kind of environmental conditions in which the arts will flourish in a Protestant setting—in the same way that the fruit and flora of God’s creation flourish, both in kind and degree—then we don’t need programs. The best program money could buy would still not accomplish what we yearn to see. What we need is a different theological and practical ecology. We need a different tradition.

I’m talking about a massive overhaul of a culture. In such a culture every bit of labor, every bit of a program matters. But what a culture has that a program the size of Jupiter doesn’t have is positive inertia. That’s what we need. We need for the current to be constantly and positively running in the direction of artistic flourishment, not fighting against us half the time.

Nate:

[The National Endowment for the Arts]‘s current slogan is “A Great Nation Deserves Great Art.”

Wince. That imperial bit of provincial pomposity has things exactly backward.

Here’s a new NEA motto: “Great Art Makes a Great Nation.”

After all, that is how it works.

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Cocktails with Picasso, oil on canvas (2007) by Mimi Jenson :: via New American Paintings
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By improving access to a worldwide market, eBay has inadvertently created a vast market for copies of antiquities, diverting whole villages from looting to producing fake artifacts, Stanish writes. The proliferation of these copies also has added new risks to buying objects billed as artifacts, which in turn has worked to depress the market for these items, further reducing incentives to loot.

from a Boing Boing post, by David Pescovitz, 11 May 2009

Artist Liz Glynn and her assistants built a small model of Rome in a day from cardboard and wood at New York’s New Museum. And then destroyed it.

excerpt Awakening
Andy:
from "Artist Profile: Anna Kocher," by Elrena Evans, Her.meneutics, 30 April 2009
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What is the role of a Christian artist? One of your paintings, for instance, shows a man sitting on a toilet — is there anything fundamentally Christian about that piece?

I think the role of the Christian artist is the same as that of a secular artist: to make the best artwork possible. . . . My work is inherently Christian because I am a Christian and my work comes out of who I am. I don’t think the highest calling for the Christian artist is to use his or her art as a platform for opinions, convictions, or beliefs. If art is to be anything other than preaching, illustrating, decorating (all of which have their place), it has to transcend what you, as an artist, are trying to say and actually become a living thing in its own right.

My Awakening series (of which the infamous man-on-toilet painting is one) was actually one of my more intentionally Christian projects. I might even call it allegorical. In doing those seven paintings, I was thinking about spiritual transformation and how you expect it to happen in the blink of an eye but it often happens incrementally. For me, going from being asleep to being awake and ready to face the day is a process . . . and involves lots of elaborate routines (revolving mostly around hot beverages). This relates to the process of going from spiritual deadness, stagnation, and denial to being spiritually awake and ready to face life or whatever you are presented with. . . . Discipline, or routine even, plays a role in this. You go through these small, seemingly insignificant processes and find yourself changed at the end without being able to see the exact moment when the change occurred.

[I’m] disappointed that my Awakening series is probably among the least likely of my projects to be displayed in a church or Christian setting, in spite of the fact that it was more consciously influenced by my faith than much of my other work. I think that art has a much higher capacity for being influential, in a positive way, in the church, but we have to be less afraid of incorporating things that we may not completely understand or be able to define.

Andy:
from "Let Beauty Awake," by the Bishop of Durham, Dr. N. T. Wright, N. T. Wright Page, 12 April 2009 :: via TitusOneNine

The crisis in art today, where nobody much seems to know how to move beyond the sterile opposition of kitsch sentimentalism on the one hand and in-your-face brutalism on the other, is not to be solved, as Roger Scruton in his recent work seems to want to solve it, by a return to an early Romantic sensibility, however preferable that might be to some of what’s on offer today. The only way forward is to put back together what ought never to have been separated, so that, just as with God and public life, God and politics, God and art need to come once more into the same room and do business with one another. As with God and politics, this will be a huge struggle because there are so many ways of getting it wrong. But the church desperately needs artists of every sort, from sculptors to storytellers, from painters to potters, from singers to seamstresses, and so on; artists whose work will draw attention not to itself, the nemesis of an atheistic aesthetic, but rather to the glory of God. After all, if new creation has begun, if beauty has awoken afresh in the new Temple, the living home of the living God, as he awakens from the tomb, and if beauty is now let loose in all the world, it will rightly generate new forms, new possibilities, new delights. It will come closer and closer to its two senior cousins, Love and Truth, showing with them how to avoid the other false polarization, a brittle objectivity and a collapsing subjectivity, because it will be kept in place by the work of image-bearing, Spirit-filled human beings as they reflect the glory of God into the world and the glory of the world back to God.

Nate:
from The Fragrance of God (2006), by Vivian Guroian :: via Speaking of Faith, thanks Emily!

When Adam gardened, he imitated his Maker in a purely recreative act of cultivation and care. He did not need to subdue the earth in order for it to yield fruit. Rather, the plants were Adam’s palette, and the earth was his canvas. There was nothing but delight in the Garden, for Eden itself means “garden of delight.” When I dug my garden in Culpeper, I was preparing a canvas. And when I arranged the flowering plants and shrubs on the freshly turned ground, I saw already the pink peony blossoms with their heads turned down toward the blue iris, and the white phlox standing straight beside the slouching crimson bee balm. I breathed in the sweet honeysuckle and the citrus-scented bergamot.

I have said on occasion that I think gardening is nearer to godliness than theology. (By “theology” I mean the kind of formal written discourse that my special guild of academic theologians does, not the praise of God and communion with divine life that ought to inspire theology at its core.) True gardeners are both iconographers and theologians insofar as these activities are the fruit of prayer “without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17, NKJV). Likewise, true gardeners never cease to garden, not even in their sleep, because gardening is not just something they do. It is how they live.

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from "Astrid Stampe's Picture Book," Odense City Museums :: via Fed by Birds
Nate:
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"Sharp VII," 12×12" acrylic on canvas, by Frank Gonzales
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It’s not often that aesthetics are considered in the study of science, but [University of Chicago grad student Elizabeth] Kessler maintains it is necessary if one is to fully understand the space telescope and its impact.

“There’s a lot of translation that occurs between the data the Hubble collects and the final images that are shared with the public,” Kessler explains. Translating raw data into the “pretty pictures” that have become a staple of newspaper front pages requires careful image processing.

Astronomers and image specialists strive for realistic representations of the cosmos, yet they make subjective choices regarding contrast, composition and color. The Hubble images are complex representations of the cosmos that balance both art and science. In that sense, as well as in their appearance and emotional impact, Kessler says they resemble 19th century Romantic landscape paintings, especially those of the American West.

“The aesthetic choices made result in a sense of majesty and wonder about nature and how spectacular it can be, just as the paintings of the American West did,” Kessler said. “The Hubble images are part of the Romantic landscape tradition. They fit that popular, familiar model of what the natural world should look like.”

"David Taylor - In His Own Words," by The Austin Stone, 6 March 2009
Andy:
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"Ponte Vecchio 5" (36 by 60", 2007) by Leigh Wen, from an 2008 exhibit at the Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries :: via New Aerican Paintings
Nate: