2009年1月30日 星期五

Art of Two Germanys/Cold War Cultures

Art of Two Germanys/Cold War Cultures

January 25, 2009–April 19, 2009 | BCAM

For East and West Germany during the Cold War, the creation of art and its reception and theorization were closely linked to their respective political systems: the Western liberal democracy of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the Eastern communist dictatorship of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Reacting against the legacy of Nazism, both Germanys revived pre-World War II national artistic traditions. Yet they developed distinctive versions of modern and postmodern art—at times in accord with their political cultures, at other times in opposition to them. By tracing the political, cultural, and theoretical discourses during the Cold War in the East and West German art worlds, Art of Two Germanys reveals the complex and richly varied roles that conventional art, new media, new art forms, popular culture, and contemporary art exhibitions played in the establishment of their art in the postwar era.

Art of Two Germanys is the first special exhibition to go on view in
LACMA’s new Renzo Piano designed-building, the Broad Contemporary Art Museum (BCAM). Divided into four chronological sections, the exhibition includes approximately 300 paintings, sculptures, photographs, multiples, videos, installations, and books, by 120 artists. The show features large-scale installations and recreations of major works by Hans Haacke, Heinz Mack, Sigmar Polke, Raffael Rheinsberg, Gerhard Richter, and Dieter Roth,
as well as a number of videos and performance-based works. After LACMA, the exhibition will travel to Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nürnberg (May 23–September 6, 2009), and Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin (October 3, 2009–January 10, 2010).

Curated by Stephanie Barron, Senior Curator of Modern Art, LACMA, and co-curator Dr. Eckhart Gillen, Kulturprojekte Berlin GmbH.

This exhibition was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in cooperation with Kulturprojekte Berlin GmbH. It was made possible in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany. Additional support was provided by LACMA's Art Museum Council. The international tour has been funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation and Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie.

Art | 30.01.2009

Top LA Curator Breaks the East-West Divide in German Art

Cold War art from both East and West Germany is the focus of a new exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which has already received considerable attention. DW-WORLD spoke with curator Stephanie Barron.

The exhibition "Art of Two Germanys/Cold War Cultures" runs through April 19, 2009 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). It will then travel to Germany, where it will be shown at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg (May 23-Sept. 6, 2009) and the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin (Oct. 3-Jan. 10, 2010). Click on the picture gallery below to see some of the works from the exhibition.

DW-WORLD: What is the exhibition's aim?

Stephanie Barron: The purpose of the exhibition is really to look freshly with a distance of twenty years and of being outside Germany at the remarkable range of art created during the Cold War in both Germanys.

We want to look freshly at some of the more familiar ideas about how art has been characterized from this period. It's been primarily characterized by painting -- which is one reason why the exhibition also has so many examples of sculpture, photography, installation, video, documentation of performance and artists' books.

We also try to examine the notion that so much of post-war German art is really expressionist in nature. By looking at multiple threads, I think we make that argument. We also wanted to look closely at works by both East and West German artists together, wherever possible in the same room, and not try to isolate them.

Curator Stephanie BarronBildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Barron has been a curator at LACMA since 1976

It sounds like you're interested in changing the way people think about art from the Cold War period.

I think we are, though I don't think this is necessarily what we started out to do. It's the result of good investigation. Coming at this project as someone in the United States, I don’t bring the same baggage that I would if I were a curator in Germany -- for better or for worse.

I was happy to be able to work with German colleagues on the exhibition. But keeping in mind how this was going to work for a US audience was always very important. I think I wasn't burdened by many of the expectations that (Germans) would have coming to the exhibition.

What are those expectations?

I'll give you an example. When we install an exhibition, every work of art has a label. It says the artist's name, where they were born, where they died, or where they lived and where they were active. In essence, you have to read the labels to find out who is East and who is West.

For many in our audience, who are equally unfamiliar with Konrad Lueg or (Eugen) Schoeneberg as they are with (Werner) Tuebke or (Willi) Sitte they come freshly looking at it as art -- not with any preconceptions about East as one thing and West as something else. I find that very liberating and very fresh.

The exhibition is going to Germany, where it will actually spend more time than in California. Do you think it will be more challenging there with a German audience?

I don't know. One of the things I've noticed over 30 years of doing exhibitions and traveling quite a bit in Germany is that the demographics in Germany have changed. I wonder if people coming to an exhibition like this, depending on their generation, bring the same expectations or the same baggage to it. But I would suspect that a younger generation -- people in their twenties -- might look differently at this show than people in their sixties.

Artistically speaking, can we talk about a "unified" Germany, even 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall?

This exhibition ends in 1989 and I don't think it's appropriate in the context of this one to make sweeping observations about the post-Wall period.

But I do think that we try to challenge the preconceptions. The second room of the exhibition brings together on one wall examples of Socialist Realism from the 1950s, while on another wall there's informal and abstraction -- (Emil) Schumacher, KO Goetz. And yet right in the middle is a large table filled with these marvelous, small cultural exercises by Hermann Gloeckner from Dresden, who totally confounds any expectations or stereotypes.

So I think we've tried to find artists who are not necessarily always the most expected.

Installaion by Hermann Gloeckner, as seen at the Art of Two Germanys/Cold War Cultures exhibition at LACMABildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Barron says she enjoys the works of Hermann Gloeckner

Do you think that, based on this exhibition which ends with 1989, conclusions can be made about the relationship between art and politics in general?

I think that it's hard to look at German art of the 20th century and not think about the intersections with politics. Certainly, art of the 90s -- internationally -- is just a much more global experience.

When I go to Berlin now, I can just as easily meet someone from London as from Los Angeles or Budapest or Berlin or Hamburg. It's a much more international situation, particularly in Berlin. I find that very exciting, but I think the "Germanness" has become less identifiable than perhaps it was 25 years ago.

How did your personal interest in German art develop?

As an undergraduate and graduate student, I studied French art, like most art historians in the United States. At Columbia University, when I was there, we still had the last gasp of the emigres, but I was studying French and contemporary art.

When I moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1970s, I found that there was this great library of German Expressionism and a great print and book collection here. Being away from New York, before the Ghetty was available with its great library, being able to do original resource in LA was an opportunity I didn't want to pass up. It was also a topic that hadn't been as well mined by others.

Do you have a favorite piece that you stop and look at each time you walk through the exhibition?

When I walk through and see the works of Hermann Gloeckner, I have to say that I still get a chill. I remember seeing the archives in Dresden and being shown these works and thinking, these are absolutely amazing -- I really wanted to show these and bring them to Los Angeles.

Interview: Kate Bowen

2009年1月27日 星期二

李元佳和 LYC Museum

Folding Scroll, ink on fabric mounted on card, 1963

游藝札記蕭勤著, 蕭勤, 省立美術館, 民82[1993]
頁30提到的李元佳和 LYC Museum
李已逝 Li Yuan-chia Foundation The LYC Foundation looks after, conserves, exhibits and disseminates the work of the Chinese artist Li Yuan-chia (1929-1994)

Li Yuan-chia: Space = Time = Life

Li Yuan-chia Book

Li Yuan-chi: tell me what is not yet said A 160-page fully-illustrated monograph on the life and work of Li Yuan-chia, is published by the Institute of International Visual Arts (inIVA). As well as Li’s visual art work it contains some of his poems, a chronology, reminiscences by visitors to LYC Museum, and essays by Guy Brett and Nick Sawyer. The book is available from art bookshops or direct from inIVA (www.iniva.org)

Image above: From the visitors book of LYC Museum


2009年1月25日 星期日

When the News Was New

Last Chance

When the News Was New

Published: January 23, 2009

WASHINGTON — The good lady Opinion sits perched in a tree, wearing the weighty towers of the town as her hat, which blinds her eyes. On one of her hands a chameleon sits, doubtless changing its spots to accommodate the surroundings. Held in her other hand is a wand used to shake the tree’s branches, from which leaves fall: leaves of books and papers, which offer not knowledge but libel and foolishness, which “in everie streete, on everie stall you find.”

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Folger Shakespeare Library

“The World Is Ruled and Governed by Opinion” (1641), Henry Peacham’s cynical vision of the journalism business. More Photos »

Such is the cynical vision of the news business put forward by Henry Peacham in 1641 London, as journalism, in its earliest forms, was becoming a major force during some of the most tumultuous decades in England’s history: no wisdom, he finds, just much posturing and gossip.

More than 360 years later, as advance obituaries are being prepared for the very forms of printed journalism born during Peacham’s era, Lady Opinion is on display, alongwith far more reverential examples of news and opinion, at the Folger Shakespeare Library on Capitol Hill in the exhibition “Breaking News: Renaissance Journalism and the Birth of the Newspaper.”

The show, housed in the library’s stunning exhibition hall, will be taken down after Jan. 31, which means that to sample these offerings we are all of us on deadline. The curators — Chris R. Kyle (Syracuse University), Jason Peacey (University College, London) and the library’s own Elizabeth Walsh — have put together a chronicle of chronicles, an account of how information about the wider world in 16th- and 17th-century England, including reports of wonders and horrors, wars and troop movements, murders and merchandise, gradually made its way from private journals or letters reporting on events witnessed, to publicly sold broadsheets and pamphlets.

The show’s effect is understated and must be pieced together slowly, since these documents should be read as well as seen. But the story of how journalism became a public enterprise in Renaissance England is actually the history of how a public itself took shape; how out of a monarchical society in which great poverty and great wealth cohabited, another kind of identity evolved. It was based on slowly increasing literacy and impassioned written argument; it included curiosity about gossip and a taste for exotic tales; and it developed alongside a new commercial world in which written advertising, like the news it accompanied, helped shape taste and expectations.

Look carefully, and it is really the birth of the modern West that we see taking place here: snippets of news and sensation helped define a shared experience of the past and present, as political debates laid the foundations of democratic culture. If the Reformation is often credited with having turned the West toward the Enlightenment, another such force must be the growing taste for news and its multiple retellings. While other cultures were arguing over the interpretations of sacred texts, England’s was arguing over the nature of government in print. We are the beneficiaries.

The exhibition itself could have been much more clear in its chronological and thematic organization, particularly because the knotty politics of 17th-century England — centering on its civil wars — are treated as if they were far more familiar than is the case, but these documents repay the patience of careful reading.

When Sir Walter Raleigh was convicted of treason and executed in 1618, his eloquent speech on the scaffold was reported not by newspapers — which had not yet evolved — but in private written accounts. The real revolution came in the 1620s under the influence of “corantos” imported from Amsterdam, which provided the main news of the week. The corantos (which are still recalled in the names of newspapers, like The Hartford Courant) also inspired opposition from the government over their reports of troop movements during the Thirty Years’ War, leading to censorship and even imprisonment.

But the demand for news — and opinion — increased. Press censorship collapsed with the beginning of the civil wars of the 1640s, but the debates of this era were so intense and so much a part of public consciousness that news publications became instruments in the political battles between monarchists and parliamentarians. Newspapers were counterfeited, imitated, mocked and attacked. Parliament tried to reimpose censorship in 1643, and the poet John Milton wrote his famous speech demanding “Liberty of Unlicenc’d Printing.” But newspapers, complained Sir Roger L’Estrange, an ardent monarchist, make “the multitude too familiar with the actions and counsels of their superiors.” He created The Observator, shown at the Folger — the “pre-eminent Tory journal of its day.”

Coffeehouses also proliferated in which newspapers were read and where, as one 1683 critic put it, “false and seditious news is invented and spread.” The Folger has a modern working reproduction of a Renaissance printing press, which in a kind of mirage, out of the corner of the eye (at least an eye surrounded by these contentious publications), seems a distant relative of the guillotine.

The ultimate impact of all this, though, did not depend on a particular political position. The journalistic enterprise itself led to an expanded sense of the importance of individual opinion and even provided glimpses of something like public opinion. The result was a revolution in the ways citizens thought about themselves and their government.

Mixed in with political argument were other morality tales. There were reports of the skies raining blood in Rome, or, in London, “A True Relation of a most desperate Murder” from 1617. There were accounts of beheadings, bizarre births and conjoined twins (“a Prodigious Monster”).

Advertising evolved alongside such narrative spectacles and urgent political arguments. A 1660 notice heralds “Sir Kenelm Digbies sympatheticall Powder, prepared by Promethian fire, curing all green wounds.”

By the beginning of the 18th century the modern press was emerging. The first issue of the first newspaper published in the New World is here: Publick Occurrences Both Forreign and Domestick (Sept. 25, 1690). This was also the last issue; it was closed down by the Governor and Council of Massachusetts for its scandalous tales. The first issue of The Boston News-letter from 1704 is here too, but it must have been more sober: it became the first continuously published newspaper in America.

It is strange to think that the genetic code of modern journalistic culture was laid down four centuries ago in England, mixing hype and high seriousness, incorporating battles over press freedoms, suffused with a spirit of competition and a need for marketing. The newspaper, we also see, evolved as the creator and mirror of its public. Political modernity is almost unimaginable without that relationship.

In our own era this deeply inscribed code can lead to a slightly exaggerated pride and self-importance. That is the approach of the nearby Newseum, devoted to celebrating the press and its importance to democracy. But at this exhibition we see something else.

One aspect of the historic importance of the newspaper arises not from its idea of liberty, or from its presumption to tell truth to power, or from publishing without fear or favor. Its importance derives not out of itself alone, but out of its relationship to an evolving public. Whether published in pixels or ink, it acts at once as that public’s guide and its follower, its critic and its servant, its creator and its voice. That, at any rate, is what it says on the latest leaf that Lady Opinion has knocked out of the tree into this scrivener’s hands.

“Breaking News: Renaissance Journalism and the Birth of the Newspaper” continues through Jan. 31 at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington; (202) 544-7077, folger.edu.

2009年1月24日 星期六

Cuerda Seca

Cuerda Seca Tilework
Cuerda seca literally means 'dry cord' and refers to the cord used to outline
and contain the glazes applied to tiles which was dried away during the firing
www.isfahan.org.uk/glossary/ texture/tilework/cuerda1.html

Palazzo Massimo,


New Light on Ancient Art in Rome

Chris Warde-Jones for The New York Times

The Portonaccio sarcophagus at the Palazzo Massimo.

Published: January 25, 2009

ROME’S museums are many things — world-class, historic, awe-inspiring — but one thing they often are not is people-friendly, based on the notion that treasures should be seen but not experienced.

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Rome Travel Guide

From the International Herald Tribune

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That’s why a promotional campaign recently begun by the Palazzo Massimo, part of the National Museum of Rome, is so unusual. As the banners draping the museum’s perimeter exclaim, it’s time to “Discover the Massimo.”

This impressive collection of ancient art is being revamped in honor of the museum’s 10th anniversary as a separate institution, and officials don’t want those changes to go unnoticed by the public at large. “We want people to come, and to come back,” the museum’s director, Rita Paris, said recently. “We want people to know that the Massimo belongs to everyone.”

For the anniversary show, the museum tinkered with several showcase exhibits — including the so-called Portonaccio sarcophagus (after the Roman site where it was found), considered to be a masterpiece of second-century Roman sculpture, and the first century B.C. frescoes depicting a garden from the Villa of Livia, the wife of Augustus — to place them in a better light. In the case of the frescoes, a new lighting system was installed that recreates the sun’s dawn-to-dusk nuances.

“It’s rather nifty to watch,” said Carlo Celia, one architect who worked on the project. And it’s an improvement over the previous lighting, which tended to flatten the frescoes. A temporary exhibition of frescoes from the Tomb of Patron, a first-century B.C. Greek doctor buried near the Appian Way, also has a garden theme. The frescoes are on loan from the Louvre in Paris and will remain at the Massimo until June 7.

Artifacts from the museum’s deposits have also been dusted off (well, carefully restored), to renew the galleries. Archaeologists and restorers have in part recreated a first-century columbarium, or burial chamber for cinerary urns, using frescoes excavated between 1838 and 1922 in the Villa Doria Pamphili, the city’s largest park.

Few extant columbariums are visible, and the frescoes provide a unique occasion to get a sense of the “serenity, abundance and even fun,” of ancient Roman funerary art, Ms. Paris said. Eventually, these frescoes will be installed in another branch of the museum at Diocletian’s Baths, across the street.

“We wanted to launch a message, give the idea of the museum as something dynamic and alive,” Ms. Paris said of these initiatives, which will formally end on June 7 but are part of a continuing renewal of the galleries. “The idea was, what can I do to bring people to the museum and let them have fun.”

The fun part includes wine tastings every Saturday until March 21 (on a rotating basis at three National Roman Museum sites). These are geared toward families, because as parents drink up, children between 5 and 10 years old can take part in art workshops.

Tickets cost 15 euros, or $20, at $1.34 to the euro, plus the cost of the museum admission, and they can be booked online at www.pierreci.it. For information, see the city of Rome’s tourism site (www.romaturismo.com) because the museum Web site, archeoroma.beniculturali.it/it/palazzo_massimo, is Italian-only.

2009年1月20日 星期二

Trick Art 福田繁雄

トリックアート 原文 Trick Art 這可能是日本常用的說法


The history of trick art is old, and dates back to about 2,000 years ago. It had become an established art form by the time of the Renaissance era.


青春の地 惜しむ声


 日本を代表するグラフィックデザイナーで、二戸市で青春時代を過ごした日本グラフィックデザイナー協会会長の福田繁雄さん(76)が11日、くも 膜下出血のため死去していたことがわかった。「だまし絵」を使ったポスターなど不思議なトリックアートで知られる福田さんの突然の悲報に、ゆかりの人々か らは惜しむ声が相次いだ。




 デザイン館が設けられている二戸市シビックセンターの畑本義江所長は「ポスター大賞の表彰式の翌日(12月7日)、『元気でまた来るよ。1月中に は自宅に遊びにおいで』と言ってくれ、いつ遊びに行こうかと考えていた」と突然の死を惜しむ。「デザイン館は、全国から多くの人が集まる施設として、先生 の力を借りてやってきた。本当に残念です」と肩を落とした。




 「明日、二戸に行くから夕方は時間とれるよ」。昨年12月5日、新年企画「輝才」の取材を電話で申し込んだ際に、すぐに返ってきた福田さんの言葉 だ。コンクールの審査や個展で国内外を飛び回るのに、事務所も助手も持たずに自らスケジュール管理をしている、という話は本当だった。


 この日の取材は約2時間。デザイン界の巨匠の生涯をたどるには余りにも短かった。焦る記者に、福田さんは秋に銀座で開いた個展の名を挙げ、「あの 展覧会の冊子を読めば、最近の僕が考えていることはだいたい分かるよ」と助け舟を出し、「いつか僕のアトリエにも遊びにおいで」と優しかった。果たせぬ願 いとなった。


2009年1月16日 読売新聞)

Home of wondrous illusions at the foot of Mount Takao....Welcome to the
world of trick art! The Takao Trick Art Museum, located at the foot of Mt. Takao west of Tokyo, opened in April, 1996.
The theme of the concept at the Takao Trick Art Museum is essentially the same as the illusionism of that era, namely creating the optical illusion that depicted objects really exist, instead of being just two-dimensional paintings. Surrounded by the rich natural environment of Mt. Takao, the museum is right across the road from Takaosanguchi Station on the Keio Line.

 Whether covered in the first green of spring, or in glorious autumn colors, Mount Takao has something to offer in any season. Come and savor the rich and varied nature of Mount Takao, abandon your visual preconceptions, and have a fun time and memorable experience at the Trick Art Museum. Be ready to make fresh discoveries and to have your imagination challenged.

2009年1月17日 星期六

The Mary Rose Museum (Center for Environmental Structure, Vol 8) The Mary Rose Museum


The Mary Rose Museum (Center for Environmental Structure, Vol 8)

Product Description
In 1982, more than four hundred years after she mysteriously sank off the English coastline, Henry VIII's great warship the Mary Rose was raised to the surface. The extraordinarily intact ship was towed to a dry dock in the beautiful and historic harbor at Portsmouth, where she lies today, an enduring symbol of Britain's seafaring past.
In January 1991, the internationally acclaimed architect Christopher Alexander was commissioned by the Mary Rose Trust to design a museum to house this national treasure. Grounded in his techniques and principles for a new way of building that have earned Alexander a worldwide following over the last two decades, this book explains Alexander's vision of a permanent home for the Mary Rose. Spanning from the first inception of its design to finished models and drawings, it includes detailed, step by step explanations of the way this vision could be realized in structure and construction. Emphasizing the unification of design and construction, with hands on construction management by the architect, it provides a model for the way a large and highly technical building can be designed with proper importance given to human comfort and human feeling, while using the most advanced and sophisticated technology.
Published here for the first time are the revolutionary construction management contracts for construction developed by Alexander and his associate Gary Black and their colleagues at the Center for Environmental Structure. Also of keen interest to professionals are the more than 100 drawings and photographs of the distinctive lattice arches that were first introduced by Alexander and Black in a smaller building in San Jose, California, and are a central part of Alexander's vision for the finished museum.
To the half a million visitors who flock to see the Mary Rose each year, she is an opportunity to touch the past. To Alexander, the great ship is a touchstone for the architecture of the future. His vision of a new age in which respect for nature and the integrity of the past go hand in hand with advances in technology will inspire architects, engineers, builders, museum professionals, and anyone who cares about the design and construction of the great public buildings of the next century. Richly illustrated, and offering a wealth of conceptual, technical, and practical information, this volume is a most remarkable reference and guide.

About the Author

About the Author:
Christopher Alexander, winner of the first medal for research ever awarded by the American Institute of Architects, is an architect and builder who has built in many countries. He is also Professor of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, and Director of the Center for Environmental Structure.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (April 13, 1995)
  • Language: English

The Mary Rose Museum (Center for Environmental Structure, Vol 8) (Hardcover)

by Christopher Alexander (Author), Gary Black (Author), Miyoko Tsutsui (Author)

2009年1月16日 星期五

Gustave Courbet at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Two nudes hanging side by side in the show might almost be by different artists. “Reclining Nude” of 1862 is a kind of joke on Titian: a rather loosely painted figure in a brownish atmosphere surrounded by excesses of red velvet drapes whose kewpie-doll knee socks add to her modern quirkiness.

Next to it, a twofer, the lolling giantesses of “Sleep,” from 1866. It offers a vision of precise forms and Rococo pinks and whites, although what is often referred to as a lesbian embrace seems more like an orbit at very close quarters, slightly above the bed.

The second gallery contains an astounding work of accidental Modernism: the unfinished “Preparation of the Bride/Dead Girl,” one of the big paintings of village life that Courbet tackled in the early 1850s. Here a roomful of women orbits around a young, limp girl being dressed by three of them. Other women make a bed, lay a tablecloth or straighten up.

This look reaches a zenith of some kind in his drowsy masterpiece “Young Ladies on the Banks of the Seine” of 1856-57. Here the two subjects lie side by side forming a mass of frothy garments, female flesh, assorted flowers and moral lassitude. The overt, possibly lesbian eroticism that shocked viewers remains palpable. So does the ebullient, taunting hash of traditions, of public park with boudoir, of still life and figure painting, all crowded by a strangely vertical plane of water.

"The Desperate Man" (1844-45)

No artist before Picasso put so much of himself on canvas. In one self-portrait, he is long-haired and delicate, a Pontormo prince. In another he tears his hair, wide-eyed and wild, like Johnny Depp’s pirate rendered by Caravaggio. And in “Self-Portrait with Pipe” we see an early version of the disengaged gaze, at once dreaming and sardonic, that would become a trademark.

"Self-Portrait with Pipe" (circa 1849)

Overbearing and arrogant, Courbet virtually wrote the definition of the modern artist as a bohemian, narcissistic loner and political radical. He shunned the academy and lived by the phrase “epater le bourgeois.” He emerged in Paris in the 1840s, when the modern art market was beginning to take shape, as were the popular press and popular culture. Courbet was quick to grasp the usefulness of all three forces.

épater <1> vt inf (stupéfier) to amaze; ça t'épate, hein? amazing, isn't it?

"The Shaded Stream at the Puits-Noir" (circa 1860-65)

Courbet only grudgingly accepted the title of Realist. Even in front of his most realistic work, you often find yourself wrestling not so much with reality as it was lived as with the sheer uncanniness of his painting. It is a continually shape-shifting uncanniness that mixes genres and styles, and genders, with subtle visual irony.

Photo: Baltimore Museum of Art: The Cone Collection

2009年1月15日 星期四

The Phenomenon of Life: Nature of Order, Book 1: An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe

The Phenomenon of Life: Nature of Order, Book 1: An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe (The Nature of Order) (Bk. 1) (Hardcover)

by Christopher Alexander (Author)
The Phenomenon of Life: Nature of Order,  Book 1: An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe (The Nature of Order) (Bk. 1)

The essence of that view is this: the universe is not made of "things," but of patterns, of complex, interactive geometries. Furthermore, this way of understanding the world can unlock marvelous secrets of nature, and perhaps even make possible a renaissance of human-scale design and technology.

Product Description

What is happening when a place in the world has life? And what is happening when it does not? In Book 1 of this four-volume work, Alexander describes a scientific view of the world in which all space-matter has perceptible degrees of life, and sets this understanding of living structure as an intellectual basis for a new architecture.

He identifies fifteen geometric properties which tend to accompany the presence of life in nature, and also in the buildings and cities we make. These properties are seen over and over in nature, and in cities and streets of the past, but have all but disappeared in the deadly developments and buildings of the last one hundred years.

The book shows that living structure depends on features which make a close connection with the human self, and that only living structure has the capacity to support human well-being.

The other three volumes of The Nature of Order continue this thesis with three complementary views giving a masterful prescription for the processes which allow us to generate living structure in the world. They show us what such a world must gradually come to look like, and describe the modified cosmology in which "life" as an essential quality, together with our inner connection to the world around us-towns, streets, buildings, and artifacts-are central to a proper understanding of the scientific nature of the universe.

". . . Five hundred years is a long time, and I don't expect many of the people I interview will be known in the year 2500. Christopher Alexander may be an exception."-David Creelman, author, interviewer and editor, HR Magazine, Toronto

Christopher Alexander is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, architect, builder and author of many books and technical papers. He is the winner of the first medal for research ever awarded by the American Institute of Architects, and after 40 years of teaching is Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley.

p.7 On Process

San-ju-san-Do, temple of thirty-three bays, Kyoto...此處關於"間"之翻譯可能有錯錯誤

bay 格間(ごうま)
  1. Architecture. A part of a building marked off by vertical elements, such as columns or pilasters: an arcade divided into ten bays.


三十三間堂這個名字大家應該會覺得很奇怪吧!三十三間到底是什麼呢?小花本來以為是不是有33間小廟組合而成,結果還真錯得離譜啊!"間(gen)"是日 本古時候一種用在建築物度量長度的單位,一間大概是1.75到1.9公尺,這個長度也是柱子到柱子間的長度,而蓮華王院的本堂長度就是33間,所以又稱為 三十三間堂。不過三十三又代表著佛祖在人世間拯救眾生的33種面相。"

Google Earth Takes on the Prado's Masterworks

Google Earth Takes on the Prado's Masterworks

Web users will be able to see the finest detail on 14 of the Prado Museum's masterpieces
Web users will be able to see the finest detail on 14 of the Prado Museum's masterpieces

Is that a pimple on her butt? It's hard to imagine why Flemish Renaissance artist Peter Paul Rubens would paint a blemish on the backside of one of the fleshy lovelies meant to represent beauty, charm, and good cheer, but there's no denying that single red brushstroke in the midst of his central figure's creamy skin. At least not now that the painter's 1638 masterpiece The Three Graces is available in ultra-high definition on Google Earth.

Like most other major art museums, Madrid's Prado maintains an online gallery of its most important works. Now, thanks to a new Google project unveiled January 13, 14 of those masterpieces, including Velázquez's Las Meninas, El Greco's Nobleman with Hand on His Chest, Durer's Self-Portrait and Fra Angelico's Annunciation, have been reproduced in a resolution so fine — 14,000 mega-pixels — that not only individual brushstrokes, but even the seams in the canvas and cracks in the varnish are visible. (See pictures of Turner's work.)

The technology also allows viewers to navigate easily across large paintings such as Hieronymous Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights, moving from the serene portrait of Adam and Eve in Paradise, to Earth's naked bodies coupling inside a mussel shell or munching oversized pieces of fruit, or Hell's kissing pigs disguised as nuns, with an ease that — given the work's size and intricacy — would be denied a visitor standing before the actual 220 x 390 cm triptych.

The technology, says Javier Rodríguez Zapatero, general manager of Google Earth Spain, makes "it possible to enjoy these magnificent works in a way never previously possible, obtaining details impossible to appreciate through [even] first-hand observation."

To obtain the pioneering images, technicians at the Prado used special cameras to take more than 8200 photographs of the paintings over the course of three months. Those images were then connected and layered using the same Google Earth technology that allows a viewer to zoom in a street or house most anywhere on the globe. (To see the works, users must download the Google earth application, enter "Prado masterpieces" in the search window, then click on the icon representing the museum.)

"With prodigious realism, we've universalized knowledge of these works," said Prado director Miguel Zugaza, in a presentation to the press. "We now have an amazing tool for researchers, teachers, and art lovers."

But while those associated with the project stress the ways it will "democratize" access to these great works of European art, some experts are skeptical of its value.

"If it inspires people to go see the original, then I'm all for it," says New York University art historian Jonathan Browne. "But if it leads them to stay away from museums, then I'm not. Looking at a painting in person is a living experience. You communicate with the picture and it communicates with you." (See 10 Things to Do in 24 Hours in New York.)

Asked whether he anticipated using the Google Earth program in his own research, Browne, a Velázquez expert, was adamant. "There's no benefit for the scholar," he said. "I've spent half a lifetime in front of Las Meninas, and I know that you can't replace the kind of free play you get from standing before a large canvas. Scale is important, surfaces are important — they play a role in making the painting vibrant. The difference between the original and a high-resolution image is the difference between a living thing and a corpse."

2009年1月10日 星期六

Pearlstein, Philip,

Columbia Encyclopedia: Pearlstein, Philip,
1924–, American painter, b. Pittsburgh. He paints monumental nude figures directly from life with a verisimilitude that captures sagging and sallow flesh, works that recall photorealism in their precise imagery and smooth surfaces. Pearlstein's style, which has changed little since the 1960s, is aggressively literal and purposefully unromantic. His subjects, which have become more complicated over the years, are depersonalized through arbitrary cropping and harsh lighting. Pearlstein's paintings have been exhibited widely and examples are in numerous major collections.

"Two Nudes with Red Drape" (1965)

Around 1961, when he was in his late 30s, Mr. Pearlstein began to paint pictures of nude people from life. It was an old-fashioned idea, but in his hands, it became shockingly modern. He stripped the nude of almost all its customary associations. Beauty, eroticism, mythology, allegory: all the traditional justifications for nudity in painting were gone, leaving only the bare fact of the naked human body.

Photo: Courtesy Betty Cuningham Gallery

2009年1月2日 星期五

高麗秘色 韓國KBS電視台「陶瓷」







第五集 挑戰的世紀』十八世紀薩克森與普魯士兩國一直處於戰爭狀態,薩克森國王-奧古斯都二世,在見過普魯士-腓特烈王的夏洛特堡瓷器房後,決定要建造一間更寬敞的瓷器房,奧古斯都二世對瓷器的狂熱,也讓薩克森皇室陷入了前所未有的財務危機本集主要敘述十八世紀時,歐洲各國間以及與亞洲相互挑戰,瓷器製作技術的故事。

第六集 『跨越文明』從 模仿中國與日本瓷器開始,歐洲瓷器在短短的三百年裡,橫掃全世界的市場。在歐洲,不論是中國的青花白瓷,還是日本的伊萬里瓷器,都用歐洲的製瓷方式,重新 展開了華麗的面貌。本集採取越過文明的角度,探討從亞洲與歐洲,如何互相傳遞科學與藝術的方式,發展出來現代瓷器的故事。


2009-01-08 22:00~23:00 週四 首播
2009-01-09 02:30~03:30 週五 重播
2009-01-09 22:00~23:00 週五 首播
2009-01-10 02:30~03:30 週六 重播
2009-01-15 22:00~23:00 週四 首播
2009-01-16 02:30~03:30 週五 重播
2009-01-16 22:00~23:00 週五 首播
2009-01-17 02:30~03:30 週六 重播

2009年1月1日 星期四


Dusting Off a Serene Jewel Box

David Gray/Reuters
The Juanqinzhai is the first part of the Palace of Tranquillity and Longevity, inside the Forbidden City, to be restored. More Photos >


Published: December 31, 2008

BEIJING — Like any sensible adult, the Emperor Qianlong planned ahead for his retirement. A compulsive poet who oversaw the unprecedented expansion of China’s borders, Qianlong began creating a refuge in 1771, at 61, for his golden years.
Unlike his predecessors, who ruled until death or disability, Qianlong, the fifth emperor of the Qing Dynasty, vowed to abdicate at 85 and settle down in comparatively modest quarters carved out of the Forbidden City, the imperial behemoth with 8,700 rooms that anchors the Chinese capital.
Employing the finest craftsmen of the day he spent five years building a fanciful collection of pocket gardens, banquet rooms, prayer halls and a single-seat opera house. The Palace of Tranquillity and Longevity, as it is known, would be a place to meditate, write poetry and enjoy the reviving company of his many concubines.

But like many men with abundant power and large egos, Qianlong refused to take a final bow. Even after handing the throne to his son, he kept a firm hand on his empire and remained in the Forbidden City’s sprawling royal quarters. He died, at 89, without ever having spent a night in his retirement home.

Emperors came and went, insurrections raged, but somehow Qianlong’s two-acre jewel box remained untouched. In 1924, when China’s civilian rulers tossed the last emperor out of the Forbidden City, the gates to Qianlong’s miniature palace were chained shut and largely forgotten.

For decades stories circulated among art historians of a mothballed Qing Dynasty retreat, its embroidered thrones thick with dust. Word eventually reached the World Monuments Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving imperiled historic sites across the globe. Since 1965 the fund has restored scores of Eastern European synagogues and South American cathedrals — even Ernest Shackleton’s expedition hut in Antarctica — but a Chinese palace interior was something entirely new.

“We had serious misgivings, especially given the deterioration, and we wondered if it would be possible,” said Bonnie Burnham, the organization’s president.

Six years and $3 million later the first building to be restored, Juanqinzhai, or Studio of Exhaustion From Diligent Service, has just been completed. It was an ambitious endeavor, made all the more complex by the delicate dance that takes place whenever Chinese and Westerners are forced to reconcile divergent sensibilities.

In a country where historic preservation usually entails razing a structure and replacing it with a brightly painted replica, Juanqinzhai is something of a milestone. The pavilion’s slavishly faithful restoration is an archetype that both Chinese and American conservators hope to replicate over the next eight years, as the remaining 26 buildings are refurbished. The $15 million effort will be financed by the Americans, with much of the work carried out by employees of the Palace Museum, which runs the Forbidden City.

The Americans contribute their well-practiced conservation techniques; the Chinese, their deep understanding of Qianlong’s architectural tastes and decorative predilections. The supporting cast includes aging artisans whose rarefied skills somehow survived the Culture Revolution, when traditional craftsmanship was considered bourgeois and worthy of punishment.

Zheng Xinmiao, the director of the Palace Museum, described the collaborative process as “charting uncharted waters.” “It gave us precious experience in both theory and practice,” he said during the ribbon cutting in November.

Juanqinzhai, which is to open to the public in the coming months, brings to life a level of detail rarely seen in historic Chinese buildings. Conceived as a pleasure pavilion, it is a simple rectangular box dolled up inside with translucent embroidered screens, jade-inlaid wall hangings and a distinctively Chinese form of carved decoration that involves layering bamboo skin atop dark zitan wood. The pavilion is strewn with upholstered thrones — anywhere an emperor sat was a throne — and cloisonné tablets bearing Qianlong-inspired couplets.

The pavilion’s tour de force is the private theater, which provided the emperor with a cozy perch to view chaqu, a form of opera invented by a commoner that became all the rage in 18th-century Beijing. Qianlong, who supposedly composed 40,000 poems, became a chaqu aficionado, spending long hours writing stanzas about dreamy landscapes, flower picking and the glories of a stiff drink.
For art historians Juanqinzhai’s most beguiling elements are the panoramic murals of the pavilion painted on silk. Wisteria cascades from the ceiling and magpies soar over the tiled roofs of the palace. The blend of traditional Chinese painting with the Western use of perspective and optical illusion is a testament to Qianlong’s embrace of Giuseppe Castiglione, an Italian artist and missionary who lived in Beijing at the time. The emperor was a voracious collector and art patron who encouraged his court painters to study Castiglione’s work.

Derided in the past for his family’s “barbarian” origins in Manchuria, not part of China at the time, Qianlong has been enjoying something of a renaissance in recent years. In this new official narrative he represents an era of military strength and material wealth before China succumbed to corruption, foreign domination and, as many Chinese see it, national humiliation. Despite the Qing Dynasty’s non-Chinese beginnings, Qianlong has been transformed into an idealized Chinese ruler, said Geremie R. Barmé, professor of Asian history at the Australian National University.

Mr. Barmé, the author of “The Forbidden City,” a cultural history published in 2008 by Harvard University Press, takes a jaundiced view of the Qianlong revival and in particular a spate of recent architectural restorations in Beijing that embrace the “Qianlong style.” He said that many historic buildings, including Juanqinzhai, were associated with more than one emperor and that preservation efforts should reveal that truth.

“I think the results are lovely,” he said, “but after a while it gets tiresome to see everything restored back to this presumed last great moment in Chinese history.”