Black ships and samurai
In 1853 four ships under Commodore Perry anchored off the coast of Japan against the wishes of the Japanese. According to historian John Dower, "This initial encounter between the United States and Japan was eye-opening for all concerned, involving a dramatic confrontation between peoples of different racial, cultural, and historical backgrounds. We can literally see this encounter of "East" and "West" unfold through the splendid, yet little known, artwork produced by each side at the time." This beautiful exhibition includes many examples of this artwork, juxtaposing scenes of the encounter from Japanese and American artists' points of view. (Part of MIT's open courseware initiative.)
Johannes Matthaeus Koelz: A Life Divided.
An artist who escaped to England from Nazi Germany. From the exhibition
'Koelz, a painter, was living in a small cottage in the Bavarian forest estate of Hohenbrunn. One morning he travelled to nearby Munich on a routine visit to police headquarters to renew his exit visa for a planned trip to Italy.'
'At some point during the following night Koelz instructed a young man from the local woodmill to take his major work - a triptych which had occupied him since the early 1930s and cut it into pieces. He left Hohenbrunn at dawn, arranging for his family to follow ... It was the first stop on a journey that would take them to England. '
'Meanwhile the state police had raided their home and interrogated family members left behind. They were searching for the painter and his triptych, a massive anti-war painting which not only questioned the horrors of war but also the rising power of the Nationalist Socialist Party and by implication, its leader, Adolf Hitler.''Thou Shalt Not Kill'
, Koelz's tryptych.Timeline
Earth from the Air
is a free, open-air exhibition in the gardens of the Natural History Museum, South Kensington, London. It is a spectacular presentation of large-scale photographs of astonishing natural landscapes. Created by world-famous photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand, also refer to the previous discussion
of his work. Every stunning aerial photograph tells a story about our changing planet. Seen together, they are an outstanding visual testimony to the world we live in today. A world with a growing population, shrinking biodiversity, polluted lands and oceans, a changing climate and a shortage of drinking water. A world, nevertheless, of beauty and of wonder. Also in a pioneering project Yann Arthus-Bertrand's unique aerial view of the world can now be seen by blind and partially sighted visitors
is a Canadian art community funded by the Canada Council for the Arts
. Of course, you don't have to be Canadian to sign up. It's a neat place to show off your own art, be it political
, or just strange
. If nothing else, their live Graffiti Wall
The Mythical Quest
, an old exhibition at the British Library. 'Throughout the world, tales have always been told of
heroes and heroines embarking on perilous quests in
search of lost loved ones, the secret of immortality,
earthly paradise or simply great riches. Many of these
stories have elements in common, such as clashes with
monsters, battles with the elements, interventions by
the gods and tests of moral character, mental cunning
and physical strength. These tales have been expressed
in songs, literature, art and dance for thousands of
years, and are still being reinterpreted today in
books, comic strips, interactive games and adventure
More British Library exhibits here
, from early Indian photography
to the secret life of maps.
Examples of mythical quests :-
Journey to the West
not to mention
the Thai version);
(subject of a previous
the journey of Alexander
world of Dante
The Index of American Design
The National Gallery of Art is showing some amazing watercolors commissioned by the Works Progress Administration between 1935 and 1942 to document a uniquely American cultural heritage of primarily traditional folk art (and employ out-of-work artists). I thought the textile reproductions
were particularly stunning in their detailed exactitude (rendering the thread count!) and really put to shame the so-called trompe l'oeil paintings
in the east gallery :D
With a new Tracy Emin
exhibition at the Stedilijk
, who knows what an afternoon holds
Tales from the Land of Dragons.
100 years of Chinese paintings. From the overview
:- 'In China, painting is one of the "Three Perfections," linked with calligraphy and poetry as the most refined of artistic endeavors. This exhibition ... focuses on the years in which the great traditions of Chinese painting were established, during the Tang, Song, and Yuan dynasties ... '
Aperture at 50.
The great photography magazine Aperture, founded by giants Ansel Adams
, Dorothea Lange
, Barbara Morgan
, and Minor White
, is turning fifty years old. The cool part? To celebrate, they're holding fifty simultaneous exhibitions around New York City
(PDF Map here
). This is pretty fantastic for any photophile in the Northeast (or with enough cash, time, and desire to come to New York). I personally am going to try to see as many as I can.
"PETA Wins Right to Have Newest Party Animal" Judge orders
the D.C. Commission on the Arts
to allow PETA
to display an entry in an ongoing public street art exhibit featuring elephants and donkeys, entitled "Party Animals Public Art Project
A Home for Crazy Artists
- "The Haus der Künstler (House of Artists
) at the Lower Austrian Psychiatric Hospital
in the hamlet of Gugging, outside Vienna, was established by psychiatrist Leo Navratil
, who began to notice that the art produced by certain of his patients
far transcended the qualitative parameters of traditional art therapy ... The Gugging colony has exhibited throughout Europe, the United States and Japan, and is widely recognized for its pioneering integrity and quality
projet MOBILIVRE-BOOKMOBILE projet
is a collection of independently-produced books and zines traveling and exhibiting across North America in a vintage Airstream trailer. The project is accepting submissions
for the 2002 tour.
Ansel Adams at 100
-- If you liked my Coltrane link
of a few weeks ago, and you are into visual stuff as well, this San Francisco Museum of Modern Art exhibit site is a real gem. I particularly like the "where to stand, what to keep" "essay" that you get when you click on the "Frozen Lake and Cliffs" image.
In search of the real Cleopatra:
an exhaustive collection of artifacts exploring the history and the myth of the Queen of the Nile is currently on display at the British Museum. It will run through August 26. (The exhibition will travel state side and be at the Field Museum in Chicago from October 20 through March 3, 2002.)