Posts Tagged ‘MFA Boston’

John Singer Sargent

Tuesday, June 29th, 1999

He was the preem­i­nent portrait painter of his day, and he gave it all up to paint land­scapes. His private life is a mystery. His brush­work is still dazzling. JOHN SINGER SARGENT seems to have walked out of the pages of a novel by Henry James, who wrote of him: “Yes, I have always thought of Sargent as a great painter. He would be greater still if he had done one or two little things he hasn’t — but he will do.”

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Winslow Homer

Saturday, March 2nd, 1996

WINSLOW HOMER spent most of his life fishing and painting, reeling in the deep, unfath­omable mystery of the sea. His pictures often show some­body gazing out to sea, concen­trating on some­thing no one else can see. Maybe it’s the light on the water, or the wind in the sails, or a boat coming home to shore, or just the flicker of a dream.

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Judy Kensley McKie

Saturday, December 2nd, 1995

Working in bronze, that most ancient and enduring of mate­rials, JUDY MCKIE’s work reveals the power of art to console and heal. Her Bird Foun­tain has the silent, soaring pres­ence of great mourning monu­ments. “The water makes you feel calm and peaceful,” she says. “It’s nour­ishing. A life force.”

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Pleasures of Paris

Friday, September 6th, 1991

in a moment, the door will swing back shut, and the cafe will disap­pear, and then the street singer will vanish, into the street, into the night, never to be seen again. Only here, in this painting, where she is forever caught in the golden net of the Paris night at the moment when she stepped out through the swinging door, onto the street, and into our dreams.

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John Singer Sargent’s EL JALEO

Wednesday, August 28th, 1991

In a dark, smoky room, a soli­tary dancer raises up her arm in a tense, ecstatic move­ment of inspi­ra­tion; her other hand clutches the skirt of her dress — a flash of white light gleaming in the dark. You can almost hear the rhythmic weeping of the guitars; you can almost feel beating of the dancer’s tumul­tuous heart.

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Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun

Friday, July 19th, 1991
Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun

Madame Vigee-Lebrun revo­lu­tion­ized the portrait. She despised the powder and stiff clothes that women wore; she let their hair down, and draped them in soft, flowing shawls and painted them looking soft, dreamy, natural, alive. Her paint­ings helped to create a new look, a new style, a new atti­tude to life in pre-revo­lu­tionary Paris.

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12th Annual Boston Drawing Show

Saturday, April 13th, 1991

GERRY BERG­STEIN’s draw­ings show scrib­bles, scrawls, cross­ings-out, angry re-work­ings, mark­ings of struggle and doubt. From this chaos of marks on paper emerge lumi­nous little still lives, marked by the process of decay: visions of a world in flux, where every­thing is changing, growing, living, dying, and being reborn.

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The Future of Art

Friday, March 1st, 1991

It is art that acknowl­edges the struggle of its own making, and conveys a sense of life as composed of frag­ments, where not every­thing is legible, and some things are irrev­o­cably ruined or lost. The past haunts and enriches the present. Memory and imag­i­na­tion are inter­twined. It is a mirror of the soul.

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The Sound Artist: Hans Peter Kuhn

Monday, February 18th, 1991

Sound art is more open and much closer to life than music. Music is a filtered expe­ri­ence. I’m not a composer. I don’t want the emotional view bound or directed in any one direc­tion. I want to keep it open. I’m always trying things out. I hear some­thing and I can pick it up and react in minutes. I’m inter­ested in every­thing that makes a noise.”

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Robert Wilson’s Vision

Thursday, January 17th, 1991

ROBERT WILSON’S VISION is struc­tured like a journey — a journey that moves from morning to night — from white to black — from the past to the future — from birth to death. A journey that has no begin­ning and no end, but all takes place in a time­less, endless present.

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The Unique Print

Sunday, December 9th, 1990

In mono­type, there is no fixed image on the printing surface. The artist paints or draws on a printing plate, makes changes, and prints again; the final proof is an accu­mu­la­tion of all the changes that have been made. Pale, faded images of past impres­sions often cling to mono­types like shadows; they are called “ghosts.”

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Barbizon

Monday, October 1st, 1990

Barbizon was a place and a style — and also a feeling — a mood — a time of day — dusk, when the forms of things soften and the edges blur, and a kind of hush falls over the world. The earth is solemn, soft, and tender, like a bed — and some­times like a grave.

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Pierre Bonnard: Prints

Saturday, September 1st, 1990

BONNARD’s art is an art of nuance and sugges­tion. His friend, the Symbolist poet Paul Verlaine, wrote:
“You must have music first of all,
and for that a rhythm uneven is best,
vague in the air and soluble
with nothing heavy and nothing at rest.”

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Martin Puryear

Monday, July 9th, 1990

His falcons are elegant objects, yet they are also birds of prey. They are chained to a perch, dreaming of flight; perfectly at rest, yet poised to spread their wings and reach for the sky. His art conveys a sense of scraping away and discarding every­thing that is not essen­tial — of trav­el­ling light, like a nomad, and soaring high, like a bird.

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Robert Rauschenberg

Tuesday, May 22nd, 1990

Great art cheats death of its victory by trans­forming memo­ry’s fragile frag­ments into some­thing lasting, precious, and incor­rupt­ible. The ghostly white porch is a window to a world beyond flesh and paint — a world without sorrow or substance, color or weight. It is cool, pale, and white as a bone.

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Shaker Spirit Drawings

Tuesday, May 1st, 1990

In the nine­teenth century, women in Shaker commu­ni­ties recorded their visions of heav­enly gardens in “spirit” or “gift” draw­ings — simple gifts that speak to the heart. The words, written in tiny, spidery hand­writing, are faded and almost illeg­ible, but the little birds and hearts and flowers make the feel­ings clear.

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Monet in the ’90’s: The Series Paintings

Monday, April 30th, 1990

In painting after painting, the earth moves and the water swoons and the sky tumbles and all the blues and pinks and purples and reds and oranges dissolve into one. Earth and water come together, again and again, and explode in a symphony of light and color and air.

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Textile Masterpieces

Thursday, February 8th, 1990

Rugs and blan­kets, shrouds and shawls: textiles touched the lives of the people who lived with them. Slum­bering in store­rooms, rolled up and protected from light, these textile master­pieces have kept their vibrant colors and some­thing of their human warmth. Now, unfurled, they look like magic carpets, poised to rise.

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The Grand Tour

Sunday, January 28th, 1990

Light as a whisper, these elegant images, in the deli­cate style known as ROCOCO, convey the “sweet­ness of life” before the Revo­lu­tion. Some­thing of the warmth of the artist’s hand still lingers in all the little jabs and touches of chalk or ink that make up these deli­cious little 18th century draw­ings and prints.

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Weston’s Weston: Portraits and Nudes

Sunday, January 21st, 1990

WEST­ON’s portraits of friends and lovers are so intense that their souls seem to flicker through their sensi­tive faces and expres­sive hands. But West­on’s Nudes are seen in name­less frag­ments, as cool and smooth as marble. You see their bodies, but their faces are turned away.

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American Screenprints

Tuesday, September 26th, 1989

Many of the most memo­rable images of the sixties were silkscreen prints: Andy Warhol’s soup­cans, Mari­lyns, and Jackies, Roy Licht­en­steins’s day-glo brush­strokes on Ben-Day dots, Sister Cori­ta’s Flower Power messages, Robert Indi­ana’s LOVE, and Ed Ruscha’s dazzling 1966 Stan­dard Station, radiant and gleaming in the Cali­fornia light.

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Imperial Taste

Monday, July 24th, 1989

In the 12th century, the Emperor Quian­long, who was a also a poet, said, “I want color”. He got color: exquisite pale blues and greens that seem to float on the surface of the bowls’ smooth surfaces like clouds; purple splashes called “the sky at dusk”; and a pale cobalt blue that seems distilled from a serene and cloud­less summer sky.

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Mary Cassatt

Friday, July 14th, 1989

In many of the prints, a woman’s face is partially obscured, either because of the way she has turned her head, or because she is holding some­thing in front of her face ‑‑ a hand, a letter, a child. This conveys a sense of mystery, a feeling that there are secret mean­ings and moments of tragedy and what Virginia Woolf called “ecstasy” — hidden in the texture of a woman’s daily life.

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Radio Days

Sunday, October 13th, 1985

Some­thing magical happened when the micro­phone was turned on: all my doubts disap­peared. I devel­oped the habit of reading every­thing out loud, so my writing became more natural and tuned into my voice. I had a huge audi­ence. For the first time in my life, people were listening to what I had to say, and I loved it.

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Kush: Lost Kingdom of the Nile

Tuesday, December 1st, 1981

Red Sea shells and polished stones from the pyramid tomb of Queen Khensa — “great of charm, great of praise, possessor of grace, sweet of love” — and other trea­sures from KUSH, Lost Kingdom of the Nile. A medi­ta­tion on Art, Time, and the ancient river.

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