Posts Tagged 'Alberto Giacometti'

Artist Astrology: Libra

Whether or not you believe in astrology, it’s fun to read about your zodiac and the characteristics that are associated with your sign! As I was thinking about this fascination of my own, I began to wonder what artists shared my sign and whether their artwork aligned with the traits of their zodiac. So I decided to research the birthdays of some of the prominent artists in the DMA Collection to explore the relationship between their zodiac and their art. Tune in every month to find out what artists share your zodiac!

This first month of Artist Astrology will focus on the balanced, intellectual Libras (September 24 – October 23). Libras are represented by the symbol of a scale. They are often defined by their intellect and, as a result, make great problem-solvers. Although Libras posses great mental capacity, they are also extremely social and very communicative. They have the ability to look at a problem from multiple perspectives, often acting as mediators in a disagreement. Libras lead harmonious, balanced lives and seek to create peace and harmony in their surroundings, including their relationships. They are also creative spirits and their imaginative nature is often represented in their style, interior decoration, and hobbies. Libra’s are said to bring a bit of art into everything they do and enjoy creating new and unusual things. Some of our favorite DMA Libra’s include:

1968_9

Mark Rothko – September 25

Communication is a central element in Mark Rothko’s work. In the late 1940s, Rothko removed figural representations from his work, believing that a universal representation of human drama was better conveyed through large masses of color which for him suggested concrete human emotions. An intellectual thinker, Rothko stated in an interview with Tiger’s Eye magazine in 1949, “The progression of a painter’s work…will be toward clarity; toward elimination of all obstacles between painter and the idea, and between the ideas and the observer.” Rothko’s attention to the reaction of the viewer demonstrates his Libra sensibility for clear thought and observant social prowess.

1975_86_FA

Alberto Giacometti – October 10

Throughout his career, Alberto Giacometti primarily worked in portraiture. His mature style, as seen in Three Men Walking from 1948-49, was especially popular and hailed as a symbol of the isolation and anonymity of the post-war period. Three Men Walking is demonstrative of Giacometti’s keen ability to observe humanity from an impartial and fully-encompassing perspective. Interestingly, this period also coincided with the renewal of his relationship with his brother and marriage to his long-term domestic partner, Annette Arm, in 1949. Socially active individuals, Libras are said to only achieve peace and satisfaction through loving and supportive relationships.

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Childe Hassam – October 17

Childe Hassam is typically identified as an American Impressionist. His style features soft brush strokes and an attentive perception of the atmospheric qualities of light and air. In fact, Hassam encouraged this label and considered himself a painter of “light and air” rather than solidly an Impressionist. Paintings, such as Duck Island above, demonstrate his tendency to present his surroundings in a peaceful, harmonious composition. Interestingly, the Duck Island coast, one of the Isles of Shoals near Portsmouth, New Hampshire, was known among sea captains for its treacherous waves and dangerous reefs. Hassam avoids this dark reference in favor of a restful representation of this popular vacation spot.

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Robert Rauschenberg – October 22

Robert Rauschenberg collected the source material for his silkscreen prints from a variety of sources, including newspapers, Life magazines, personal photographs, and New York Times archives. His attraction to such various sources demonstrates his active engagement in current and past historical events. Having collected his varied materials, Rauschenberg successfully organized his images to present one cohesive, effective image. Produced for the 1964 New York World’s Fair, Skyway is emblematic of the optimism and expansionism of the early 1960s, featuring images of President John F Kennedy, the space race, urban construction, and the American bald eagle. The title is suggestive of the “New Frontier” of American expansion as space became labeled the ‘highway’ of the future.

A few other lovable Libras include Jean-Francois Millet (October 4), Frank Duveneck (October 9), Jean Antoine Watteau (October 10), and Maurice Prendergast (October 10). Tune in next month for some of our superb Scorpios!

Artworks shown:

  • Mark Rothko, Orange, Red and Red, 1962, Dallas Museum of Art, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated
  • Alberto Giacometti, Three Men Walking, 1948-49, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Marcus
  • Childe Hassam, Duck Island, 1906, Dallas Museum of Art, Bequest of Joel T. Howard
  • Robert Rauschenberg, Skyway, 1964, Dallas Museum of Art, The Roberta Coke Camp Fund, The 500, Inc., Mr. and Mrs. Mark Shepherd, Jr. and General Acquisitions Fund

Hayley Prihoda
McDermott Intern for Gallery and Community Teaching

A Dot That Went for a Walk

Once again, the Works on Paper Gallery on the Museum’s second level is being reinstalled. Fourteen drawings, lithographs, etchings, and engravings by some of the 20th century’s greatest artists—Henri Matisse, Alberto Giacometti, Pablo Picasso, and many more—will adorn the gray walls.

The new installation, titled Linear Possibilities in Modern European Prints, didn’t come together overnight. I’ve been working on it for the last six months, and I am now very excited (even a bit nervous) to present it to the Museum’s public. The idea came to me after looking many times through the Museum’s collection of European works on paper, which includes over 2,000 prints, drawings, and photographs dating from the late 1400s to the 1980s.

Henri Matisse, Loulou, 1914, etching, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the Wendover Fund

Henri Matisse, Loulou, 1914, etching, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the Wendover Fund, © 2013 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

I had to work with a few limiting factors before finding my final concept. The three walls of the gallery can only accommodate a certain number of works comfortably, so I had to keep the number within a range of eight to fourteen works. Also, works on paper are very sensitive to natural light. The longer a work is on view, the more damage that occurs, causing the paper to darken and certain media to fade. Therefore, I couldn’t use any work that had recently been on view. I found a few possibilities based on particular themes or artistic movements before choosing to investigate lines, one of art’s most basic elements.

Alberto Giacometti, Annette in the Studio, 1954, lithograph, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred L. Bromberg

Alberto Giacometti, Annette in the Studio, 1954, lithograph, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred L. Bromberg, © 2013 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

The idea was influenced by a great quote from the Swiss artist Paul Klee: “A line is a dot that went for a walk.” Lines appear in many types and sizes: vertical, horizontal, zigzagged, curvy, squiggly, thick, thin, long, short. When combined, lines reveal spaces or forms and allude to volume or mass. They can possess emotive qualities as well as imply movement.

Paul Klee, Hoffmanesque Scene (Hoffmaneske Szene), 1921, color lithograph, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Stuart Gordon Johnson by exchange; General Acquisitions Fund; and The Patsy Lacy Griffith Collection, gift of Patsy Lacy Griffith by exchange

Paul Klee, Hoffmanesque Scene, 1921, color lithograph, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Stuart Gordon Johnson by exchange; General Acquisitions Fund; and The Patsy Lacy Griffith Collection, gift of Patsy Lacy Griffith by exchange, (c) Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Pablo Picasso, Three Standing Nudes, at Right, Sketches of Heads (Trois nus debout, à droite esquisses de têtes), 1927, etching, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase

Pablo Picasso, Three Standing Nudes (left) and Sketches of Heads (right), 1927, etching, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase, © 2013 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

The works in the installation demonstrate how painters and sculptors of the European avant-garde turned to drawing and printmaking in a new manner, creating with nothing but lines. They explored the possibilities of rhythmic or abstracted sequences of delicate, robust, and expressive lines in their compositions of a nude, an artist’s studio, or more abstracted scenes. There is an astonishing beauty to be found in these prints and drawings by Matisse, Giacometti, Picasso, and others. I encourage you to visit the Dallas Museum of Art (general admission is free!) to see these amazing and innovative works.

Linear Possibilities in Modern European Prints goes on view in the European Art Galleries on Level 2 Sunday, March 17.

Hannah Fullgraf is the McDermott Graduate Curatorial Intern in European Art at the DMA.


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