The Art History Babes

Four fresh Masters drink wine and discuss all things visual culture.

The Babes Spend an Evening With Some Old Masters

By: Ginny Van Dine

Two hundred and fifty years. That’s how many orbits around the sun it’s been since Sotheby’s last held a preview of Old Masters paintings in San Francisco, California. Sotheby’s, the international fine art auction house, has a strong presence in the States and has for many decades. However, most of Sotheby’s previews and sales in the States have been focused in New York City. New York has a larger and longer established market for fine art than California does. But with the ever expanding Silicon Valley, the tech business nouveau riche present a new more serious market for fine art patrons and clients on the West Coast. Hence, this preview of Old Masters paintings in San Francisco.  A preview is meant to generate interest in upcoming works for sale and draw in clients who ideally, will later bid on works at auction. Old Masters are European artists who worked within the general range of the 15th-19th centuries. Most commonly, these are majority male painters whose work can range from estimated prices of under $1,000 - to prices in the millions.

So how did the Babes find themselves in a Sotheby’s Old Masters preview? If you listened to our Templeton Mania episode you’ll remember our friend and art collector Alan Templeton, who was invited to this event and graciously added us as his plus fours. This particular preview came from the Otto Naumann collection and will go to auction in January. Some of the highlights included paintings by Jan Brueghel the Elder, Diego Velázquez, Canaletto, and Orazio Gentileschi (father of Artemisia Gentileschi).

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First we had time to walk through the space, one of the galleries located in the very hip Minnesota Street Project. It was a treat to view the work up close and in a more intimate space than you might find in a museum. Jen had a keen eye for the beautiful painting on copper by Jan Brueghel the Elder which seemed to be a crowd favorite and will likely sell quickly. Sotheby’s provided a talk, highlighting certain pieces in the preview which provided some cool facts. Paintings on copper, such as the Brueghel piece, do not absorb the pigment as much as canvas does, so copper paintings often maintain their vibrant color much longer, allowing the painting to look like it did when it was first created. This is evident when looking at the Brueghel painting which has tremendously rich colors even after many centuries. Another piece discussed in the talk was a still life by the Milanese female painter Feda Galizia, who worked during the 16th century. Here’s what I love about art history (well one of the many things): I have studied Italian Renaissance and Baroque artists for years and had never heard of Galizia or seen her work, she was a total surprise to me. There are always more artists to discover, even ones who have been gone for centuries. So, expect a Feda Galizia episode in the future.

The art market, as we’ve discussed on the podcast before, is a complex beast. There are many layers to it and it can be incredibly exclusive. Four fresh master’s who make an art history podcast are not the typical target audience for a fine art auction preview. But, I think Sotheby’s is onto something with presenting their preview in San Francisco as it addresses wider audiences who have the means to buy fine art, but not as much exposure to fine art sales as say New Yorkers or Londoners do. The Old Masters preview was a very fancy evening but more importantly we got to look at amazing art and hear experts talk about it: and we love that stuff, we really do.

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Art History Babes Nation! Into Making Extra $$$ Teaching from Home???

Sorry I couldn’t think of a subject line that sounded less scammy but this is 100%-legit-not-a-scam. You do not have to spend money at any point and I’m not trying to trick you into anything.

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Now that that’s out of the way.

A couple of months ago I started working for VIPKID. In case you have not heard of it, VIPKID is a long distance English tutoring service for kids in China. It’s been rated as one of the top 100 work-at-home companies, it’s super fun, and quite lucrative.

Quick run down:

You teach cute kids in China how to speak English using a combination of props, pre-loaded PowerPoint presentations, and a whole lot of smiling. You have a ton of work autonomy, you decide how much you work, and there are a many monetary incentives. The amount of money you make varies depending on the type of class and amount of teaching experience you have, but I made an average of $20/hr during my first month (and you can expect to be somewhere in the $18-$22 range at first as well). If your student doesn’t show up for their class, guess what! You still get paid. I have gotten paid for hours of reading, searching the internet, and watching Netflix, because of student no shows.

Real talk:

The application process is a little bit of a pain in the neck. You do have to prepare and do some super awkward mock classes with a full grown adult playing the student. However, you can get through the whole process in a week if you really want.

Peak hours for class bookings are not ideal. The busiest times for classes are in the wee hours of the morning and on weekends. Therefore, this is a good opportunity if you work a 9 to 5 and you are willing to get up early a couple days a week or sacrifice a weekend every month for some extra ca$h.

Incentives:

Like I said, VIPKID offers mad monetary incentives. If you teach a trial class and the student signs up afterwards BOOM! extra $5 in your pocket. If you teach at least 45 classes in a month (classes run for 25 min. each), you make an extra $1 for every single class taught that month. VIPKID consistently runs “Gold Rush Incentives” where you are given an individual challenge that will earn you extra money if you complete it. Aaaaaaaaannnd *drum roll*

The Referral Incentive! If you refer someone and they successfully become a VIPKID teacher then you earn an extra $80 - $100, which is why I am taking time away from the Stephen King novel I am currently reading to tell you about all this.

As I said, I’m not a scammer. I’m a recently graduated Master’s student with a ton of student debt that genuinely enjoys working for VIPKID and would genuinely enjoy making a bit more money. If you use my referral code when signing up I would be happy to answer any of your questions and coach you through the process of becoming a teacher as much as possible, just DM me baby!

Link: https://t.vipkid.com.cn/?refereeId=6484261&refersourceid=a01

Referral Code: 03UZAD

Thanks for taking the time to stop and read this. Use the referral link above to start your VIPKID application process today!

Or don’t. I’m not your boss. 

*kisses*

- Corrie

Glitzy Gustav Comes to the Golden State

alliteration for the win.

By: Corrie Hendricks

In honor of the centennial of the deaths of Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) and Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), San Francisco's Legion of Honor has mounted a truly unique exhibition, Klimt & Rodin: An Artistic Encounter. This exhibition highlights the philosophical and artistic interactions between Klimt and Rodin, cleverly calling attention to that one time the two artists hung out. This is a particularly notable art event for the West Coast, as Klimt has never had a full scale exhibition around these parts. With a fascinating concept and a heavy-hitting name like Gustav Klimt, this exhibition is sure to achieve blockbuster status. In other words, the Bay Area traffic getting out to the Legion is going to be worse than usual, so plan accordingly.

That being said, there are plenty of reasons to brave the transportation nightmare.

Klimt is Kinda Having a Moment

The work of Klimt has been on trend for a minute. His paintings are all over merchandise, and us millennials eat it up with a spoon (like this A line dress in multiple Klimt designs). If you attended college recently, I can pretty much guarantee you’ve seen Tree of Life or The Kiss, as these prints have been the en vogue dorm room decor for the past decade. However, legit Klimts are not particularly easy to come by. Tree of Life is hanging out in Brussels as part of mural. Klimt's Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, the subject of a famous battle for ownership involving Nazis and the U.S. Supreme Court, now resides at the Neue Gallery in New York. And many of Klimt's most notable works including The Kiss and the Beethoven Frieze live permanently in Vienna. So unless you’ve been lucky enough to make it to Austria, chances are you haven’t had the experience of seeing a sizable amount his work in person. In other words, you should probably scadattle on over to the Legion of Honor, because this is novel.

I wasn't joking. This is me selfie-ing circa 2013 with my boy Gustav in the background.

I wasn't joking. This is me selfie-ing circa 2013 with my boy Gustav in the background.

Nat’s Klimt print is on another level. She’s got the high-quality canvas version from IKEA.

Nat’s Klimt print is on another level. She’s got the high-quality canvas version from IKEA.

Those Sexy Art Nouveau Vibes

There is no denying the glitzy allure of Klimt's work. He is known for his palette of eye-popping colors, use of sexy subject matter, and, of course, all that gold. Klimt somehow figured out a way to tap into the intense intricacies of death and sex AND appease the human desire to stare at shiny things. I mean, I can't say I'm surprised that we're loving on him at the particular time in history.

And lest we forget the controversy. Among the similarities highlighted by the exhibition, the most emphasized is the fact that Klimt and Rodin were both stirring up trouble around the same time. The two artists met on June 5th, 1902 during an exhibition mounted by the Vienna Secession. The Secession was formed as a response to conservatism in the arts and Klimt was running the show as one of the founding members. Rodin had already earned a reputation as a controversial, boundary-crossing artist. Unsurprisingly, he was seriously feeling their whole vibe.

Things to Look At

Replicas of panel 10 and panel 11 from the Beethoven Frieze.

Detail of Panels 10 & 11 of the replica of The Beethoven Frieze. Original by Gustav Klimt, 1902, Österreichische Galerie Belvedere.

Detail of Panels 10 & 11 of the replica of The Beethoven Frieze. Original by Gustav Klimt, 1902, Österreichische Galerie Belvedere.

Replicas of panel 10 and 11 of the Beethoven Frieze mark the entry to the exhibition. The frieze is one of Klimt’s most notable works, inspired by “Ode to Joy”. However, due to its very nature, you can’t really pick it up and take it anywhere. The replica is a particularly fitting way to kick off the exhibition, as the original work was first exhibited during the Vienna Secession’s 1902 Beethoven exhibition. As you have likely ascertained, this was the site of Rodin and Klimt’s artistic encounter (you know, the one from the title?).

I was a little giddy upon recognizing the frieze. However, replicas of this nature always leave me wondering about accuracy. I examined the details to try and determine whether it truly is a perfect reproduction of the original (as though I have some algorithmic knowledge of the original works of Gustav Klimt). My wandering mind began to ask questions about authenticity. Why doesn’t a replica give me the same warm magical feelings of an original?...and does this replica devalue the existence of the original?... and what does that say about human perception and the aesthetic experience?...and dear god what is art and what are we doing here?!!

Time to move along.

Nuda Veritas

Nude Veritas, Gustav Klimt, 1899, Österreichisches Theatermuseum, Vienna

Nude Veritas, Gustav Klimt, 1899, Österreichisches Theatermuseum, Vienna

I was drawn directly to Nuda Veritas solely because of its' hippie witch aura. There is no doubt in my mind that this work was inspiration for some sort of trippy activity circa the 1960s. But at the time of its creation, Klimt was actually making a pretty blatant statement, politely telling his critics to step back. The text situated above the personification of truth (a.k.a my witchy mother idol) reads "If you cannot please everyone with your actions and your art, you should please a few. To please many is bad.” To which I say -- Amen, brother.

The Virgin

The Virgin, Gustav Klimt, 1913, National Gallery in Prague

The Virgin, Gustav Klimt, 1913, National Gallery in Prague

The Virgin is displayed as the belle (or at least one of the belles) of the ball, situated in the center of the right wall of the exhibition's main gallery. And rightfully so, this work illustrates Klimt's signature ostentatious-but-not-really style. Your eye can't escape that whirlpool of color and ornamental pattern. And once you've been caught, it's easy to get lost in the subject matter. The primary figure ("The Virgin" or "The Maiden" depending on the translation) is supported by a group of female figures cuddling each other to create an image both innocent and erotic. 

Surprisingly, Klimt did not bring much gold with him to the Golden State. However, Klimt & Rodin: An Artistic Encounter displays the breadth of Klimt’s work in a way that has surely never been seen this side of the Mississippi. By integrating Klimt’s work with that of Rodin, the exhibition tells an intriguing story of simultaneous artistic development, highlighting the fact that Klimt and Rodin interacted (because, for real, who knew?). The creative curatorial vision and the sheer novelty of Klimt making it out of Vienna make this exhibition a must see. Plus you might learn something to justify wearing those shimmery Klimt-inspired leggings.

Can't make it out to the West Coast? Check out The Legion of Honor's Digital Story 

Klimt & Rodin: An Artistic Encounter is on view October 14th, 2017 through January 28th, 2018.

Crocker Museum Highlights Diebenkorn's Early Years

Co-written By: Natalie De La Torre & Corrie Hendricks

Richard Diebenkorn, Untitled, 1952-1953, Watercolor and ink on cardboard

Richard Diebenkorn, Untitled, 1952-1953, Watercolor and ink on cardboard

Prior to last Friday, my only exposure to Richard Diebenkorn was a reference from a 2003 episode of Gilmore Girls & the YouTube video I watched immediately before leaving the house. After spending the morning with Scott Shields, the curator of Richard Diebenkorn: Beginnings, 1942-1955, I have come to discover that Diebenkorn was an intriguing abstract expressionist painter and an acclaimed contributor to the Bay Area Figurative Movement. His work heavily engaged with the history of art, drawing inspiration from everything from cave paintings, to the Bayeux Tapestry, to the experimental works of Henri Matisse. He gained notoriety within the art world at a young age, having his first solo show at San Francisco’s Legion of Honor in 1948, at the tender baby age of 26. Richard Diebenkorn: Beginnings, on view at Sacramento’s Crocker Art Museum, focuses on his early years, charting Diebenkorn’s rise to artistic maturity.

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By focusing on his early work, the Crocker aims to highlight  Diebenkorn’s lesser known period of production. Many of the paintings and drawings shown have not been available until recently. The exhibition is the result of a collaboration between the Crocker and the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation. Scott Shields worked with the foundation and selected works from their collection to represent the earliest years of Diebenkorn’s artistic career.

Upon exiting the elevators, there is a giant black and white photograph of a young Diebenkorn adorning the opposite wall next to a quote by the artist:

“I think what one is about now has intimately to do with what one did yesterday, ten years ago, thirty years ago. Just as you can continue that progression, what somebody else did, forty years earlier, a hundred years earlier, I think that’s what one as an artist probably is.”

This quote is the appropriate teaser for the exhibition you are about to enter, reminding the viewer that the process is often more important, and intriguing, than the finished product.

Entering the gallery space, one is met with deep red walls which serve as the backdrop to the show. The exhibit is kicked off by three framed studies: one of a bedsheet, another of a row of houses, and the third of an image of staggered buildings from his art school days. These images illustrate Diebenkorn’s technical training and remind viewers that regardless of where their work takes them, many artists begin by learning the same basic skills. By opening with a study of a sheet–a motif any fine art student will immediately recognize–it becomes clear that this exhibition differs drastically from other’s on Diebenkorn. Rather than elevate him, Shields hopes to explain how his origins eventually led to the creation of his better-known paintings. One may consider a simple depiction of a striped sheet in watercolor and graphite unappealing, but trust us, this one is surprisingly enticing. 

Scott Shields discusses the early sketches of Richard Diebenkorn at the Crocker Art Museum.

Scott Shields discusses the early sketches of Richard Diebenkorn at the Crocker Art Museum.

These early figurative works were produced while Deibenkorn studied at Stanford University in California. He made it through three years before enlisting in the Marine’s shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Shields explains that his reason was not spurred by nationalism, but instead the promise that the rest of his schooling would be paid for upon his return.

Around the corner, we are met with sketches reminiscent of his military days. For example, a sketch of a sleeping soldier (Untitled, 1944) was drawn while Diebenkorn was training to become a Marine. This humble portrait, drawn on cardboard with ink, shows a soldier snoozing in uniform. The sketchy style in tandem with the man’s posture make him look surprisingly childlike. The serene look on his face and intertwined hands show vulnerability juxtaposed with his soldierly uniform.

Richard Diebenkorn, Untitled, 1944, Ink on cardboard

Richard Diebenkorn, Untitled, 1944, Ink on cardboard

Fortunately, Diebenkorn never had to go to war, but he also never received the promised compensation for school. He finished up his senior year at the University of California, Berkeley (go bears!) before moving to the East Coast. It wasn’t long before he started to hear rumblings in the art community that “representational painting is dead,” and began experimenting with more abstraction.

As the exhibition goes on to illustrate, Diebenkorn used a variety of mediums during his experiments in abstraction including oil, ink, gouache, watercolor, and collage. I found his collage work to bring something particularly significant to the table. For example, Untitled (c. 1946-1947) is at once organic and geometric. Through the use of pasted construction paper and crayon, Diebenkorn develops a multilayered (literally) composition. He inserts powerful reds and blacks within a calm palette of blue, pink, and beige. The rough edges of the layered pieces of paper add a visual dimension to work, while also expressing Diebenkorn's process in a raw, unpolished way. These collage works bring attention to the manner in which Diebenkorn's abstract shapes so often seem to fit together like a crudely constructed puzzle, ultimately expressing some form of cohesive chaos.

Richard Diebenkorn, Untitled, 1946-1947, Pasted construction paper, pasted tracing paper, crayon, gouache, and graphite on poster board

Richard Diebenkorn, Untitled, 1946-1947, Pasted construction paper, pasted tracing paper, crayon, gouache, and graphite on poster board

In addition to the expansive collection of his early work on display, the hallway immediately outside of the gallery is lined with work by teachers and contemporaries of Diebenkorn. Works by many including George Stillman, Lilly Fenichel, and John Grillo provide a larger picture of Diebenkorn's direct influences. Additionally, these works help to paint a picture (bad pun intended) of the overarching artistic ethos of Bay Area artists at the time.

Richard Diebenkorn: Beginnings, 1942-1955 provides a focused and fascinating evolution of Richard Diebenkorn as both a man and an artist. As was remarked of him in the gallery, "He was just, like, a cute little guy." As a cute little guy, Diebenkorn achieved great success and helped shape the development of the California art scene. Ultimately, this exhibition provides captivating visual material for any AbEx lover, as well as inspiration for young artists that are unsure that their process may ever develop into something substantial.

What a cute little guy!

What a cute little guy!

Richard Diebenkorn Beginnings, 1942-1955 is on view at The Crocker Art Museum from October 8th, 2017 until January 7th, 2018.

Upcoming Solar Eclipse: a Stellar Time for Art & Science

By: Corrie Hendricks

In case you haven’t heard, those of us in the United States are a week and a half away from a super-important-once-in-a-lifetime celestial event—a total solar eclipse. On the morning of August 21st, 2017 our precious moon will glide past the sun, blocking its rays for just long enough to produce a stunning visual spectacle and send a chill across the country (physically and metaphorically speaking). If you’re not yet stoked on this upcoming cosmic happening, I get it. There seems to be a super-important-once-in-a-lifetime celestial event every other month, whether it’s a rare meteor shower or a super harvest blood moon eclipse (Yes, that happened, and it was dope.) So why should you get excited about this one, you ask?

1. Astronomers Are Jazzed

A total solar eclipse has not been visible from coast to coast since 1918. That’s right, the contiguous United States has not been graced by a total solar eclipse in almost 100 years. In fact, this particular solar eclipse has been eagerly anticipated by astronomers since 1932. Just before a solar eclipse on August 31st 1932, professor of astronomy Samuel Alfred Mitchell was quoted in the New York Times, stating, “…there will not be an opportunity to view a total eclipse of the sun from the continent of the United States, under conditions that are really favorable and promise scientific success until August 21, 2017; 85 years hence.” To say that this event has been long-awaited is an understatement.

Not to mention, solar eclipses are exemplary times for scientific discovery. The ring that is exposed when the moon overlaps with the sun? That’s called the corona. The corona is the outermost part of the sun’s atmosphere, and it is only observable when the sun’s blinding light is obstructed. As it turns out, an eclipse is the only time scientists can accurately examine the innermost part of that ring. This means two things: 1.) An eclipse is our only chance to examine the innermost part of the outermost part of the sun’s atmosphere and 2.) You should stock up on Corona if you are having an eclipse-watching party. Stay on theme people.

Still not impressed? Maybe take a second to consider how surreal a solar eclipse is. The moon is approximately 400 times smaller than the sun. The only reason it blocks out the sun is because it is approximately 400 times closer to the Earth. How god damn serendipitous is that?!

2. Historically, People Have Been Jazzed.

For millennia, people all over the world have gazed in awe at eclipses, attributing the moon’s blocking of the sun to everything from an angry god to a famished star-beast. With such fascinating mythology surrounding the event and a natural beauty that is both ethereal and minimalist, it is unsurprising that artists throughout history have explored the subject of eclipse in their work.

If you are interested in the history of eclipse-related expedition, documentation, and art-making you must visit the Princeton University Art Museums’s online exhibition, Transient Effects. In a union of art and science, Transient Effects explores the visual history of the solar eclipse through a myriad of fascinating images and educational resources. Delving into the science-y side of the things, Transient Effects examines human perception of eclipses and explains how the solar eclipse helped prove Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. For all my wonder junkies out there, this is total binge-worthy material. For my art purists, you're going to want to head to the tab titled “Eclipses in Art”.

As the name suggests, “Eclipses in Art” showcases artwork influenced by the solar phenomenon. The collection spans various styles and times periods and includes work by artists such as Egon Schiele, Alma Thomas, & Roy Lichtenstein. The eclipse is artistically depicted through a number of lenses, expressing everything from the intensity of spiritual experience to the excitement of natural observation to the silliness of outer-space cartoon characters. The eclipse as religious calling is made manifest in Cosmas Damian Asam Bavarian’s Vision of St. Benedict (1735), while George Méliés’ 1907 film, L'Éclipse du Soleil en Pleine Lune depicts the eclipse as a charmingly funny romantic relationship between the sun and moon. Ultimately, this collection provides a snapshot of the endless ways we may choose to creatively express such an event.

L'Éclipse du Soleil en Pleine Lune, Georges Méliès, 1907

Transient Effects is an all-encompassing presentation of the numerous aspects of the eclipse-viewing experience. What I found most captivating, however, is the biography and work of the exhibition’s shining star, Howard Russel Butler (1856-1934). Butler, an artist I was unfamiliar with before this exhibition, is an essential name in the history of visual representation of celestial events (a.k.a. Space Art). Most importantly, he created some of the most significant depictions of eclipses in history. Not only are Butler’s eclipse paintings visually stunning, but at the time of their creation they were a valuable scientific tool. Photography was not yet able to capture a detailed image of an eclipse—at least not one that did much justice to human perception of the event. With his paintings, Butler captured some of the more nuanced visual effects of an eclipse such as subtle lighting and color. Butler’s Eclipse paintings of 1918, 1923, and 1925 were eventually mounted as a triptych above the entrance of New York City's Hayden planetarium, depicting a beautiful celestial event and serving as an homage to the union of art and science.

3. Artists Should Be Jazzed

The solar eclipse is a stellar (pun intended) opportunity for scientific and artistic observation, and an even better time to explore the relationship between the two. If you are unsure where to start in your celestial art making journey, NASA has initiated six eclipse-inspired art projects, appropriate for artists of all ages and skill levels. You can decorate a pair of eclipse glasses, produce a video of an eclipse-inspired interpretive dance, or use your painting skills to predict the corona of the eclipse.

And just in case that isn’t enough inspiration for you, there’s more! Be on look out for other eclipse-related happenings while making your art, doing your science, or simply appreciating the experience. Cool things to look out for include: shadow bands, confused animals, crescent images in the shadows of trees, and the diamond ring effect. Visit Astro Maven’s blog for more info.

In conclusion, eclipses are cool. Celestial events are cool. The moon is cool. Enjoy it.…and if you happen to do any cool documentation or art-making be sure to send it to us at arthistorybabes@gmail.com. We’d love to gush about it on an upcoming episode of the podcast!

The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is not in fact, in the state of Louisiana, but rather a thirty-minute train ride outside of Copenhagen in Denmark. I was previously unaware of the museum, originally an estate home dubbed the “Louisiana” during the nineteenth century by the owner who had coincidentally married three women named Louise during his lifetime. The estate was later purchased and converted into a Modern Art museum, blending old and new aesthetics as the building presents both ivy lined brick and sleek glass.

I enjoy going to museums I know nothing about. The mystery can often make for a rich museum-going experience. I was first struck by the architectural variety and beauty of the building itself. The façade of the main entrance is covered in ivy but once you enter you’re inside a modern, bright, and expansive gift shop. I’m accustomed to the conspicuous placements of gift shops in museums, but I have never encountered one that sells racks of artsy clothing and cool shoes. After contemplating buying a set of ceramic mugs I have no need for and deciding they wouldn’t travel well in my budget airline sized suitcase anyways, I moved onto the exhibits.

I entered the world of performance artist Marina Abramović* to the sound of recorded machine gun fire. Abromovic has a prolific and often controversial career and the exhibit played well to the strong emotional responses Abromovic has evoked with her art. The Louisiana is exhibiting a large collection of the artist’s work titled The Cleaner until October 2017. The exhibit stretches through multiple rooms and up multiple levels, spanning from Abromovic’s early work such as preparatory sketches, to her more recent work such as The Artist is Present (2012). Drawing, photography, video, audio, live performance, and mixed media made for a highly stimulating experience.

After watching a video of Abromovic cutting a shape of a star into her abdomen and listening to her and former partner Ulay yell rhythmically at one another on film, I stepped into Yayoi Kusama’s installation Gleaming Lights of the Souls. I admire Kusama’s oeuvre and love her style with bright colors, loud polka dots, and hypnotizing lights. Stepping into this small exhibit which entails a small dark room with mirrors on all the walls and water on either side of a narrow platform, felt like stepping into a serene galaxy. Only four people are allowed in at a time, so the crowds as well as sights and sounds of the other exhibit fell away. For a maximum of five minutes you can watch the hundreds of hanging light bulbs change colors from blue, to green, to red; transitioning you gently from cool to warm color schemes.

Once I stepped out of Kusama’s exhibit the Abromovic exhibit resumed, picking up with more of her performance art including the video of her and Ulay’s The Great Wall: Lovers at the Brink which if you haven’t seen watch it here. Two of the three people I went to the museum with do not work in the arts, which is always interesting to see what grabs them and what doesn’t. One friend got queasy watching some of Abromovic’s videos while the other lagged behind us some twenty-minutes because she was so enthralled with Abromovic’s oeuvre and story. Abromovic’s work has this incredible ability to both engage and repel, forcing you to have an emotional response to the content in front of you.

The Louisiana has a fantastically eclectic collection including an impressive room of American Southwest pottery and an extensive permanent exhibit of the works by Danish contemporary artist Tal R. Beyond the building itself is a sprawling sculpture garden with lush grounds that face out towards the water and Sweden in the distance. If you’re in Denmark I recommend making the trip out to the Louisiana, maybe you’ll be drawn to an artist you’ve never heard of before, or buy a pair of locally made trendy shoes-either way it’s worth the trip. 

-Ginny

*I could not for the life of me figure out how to insert the c with the accent mark in this entry, forgive me

Book Recommendations

A list of the book recommendations we gave during the Cube Your Enthusiasm Part Two episode

Davis, Ben. 9.5 Theses on Art and Class. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2013.

Grigor, Talinn. Contemporary Iranian Art: From the Street to the Studio. London: ReaktionBooks, 2014.

Botton, Alain De. The Architecture of Happiness. New York: Pantheon Books, 2006.

Charney, Noah. The Art of Forgery: The Minds, Motives and Methods of Master Forgers.

Gamboni, Dario. The Destruction of Art: Iconoclasm and Vandalism since the French Revolution. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997.

Arnason, H.H., Elizabeth C. Mansfield. History of Modern Art. Pearson, 2012.

Harrison, Charles, Paul Wood. Art in Theory 1900-2000: An Anthology of Changing Ideas. Blackwell Publishing, 2002.

O'Doherty, Brian. Inside the White Cube: An Ideology of the Gallery Space. University of California Press, 2000.