Nude || Not || Naked

Celebrating the human body (but the artist’s daughters seem less than impressed).

1/
Nude Study of an Indian Man, about 1878-79
Émile-Jules Pichot (1857-1936)
Charcoal and powdered vine charcoal with stumping and lifting

Little is known of Pichot, to whose talents as a draftsman this sheet attests. The drawing’s date, however, can be determined with some precision, for the same gaunt, bearded model (possibly a Hindu ascetic or a Sikh) appears in a drawing by Georges Seurat, a contemporary of Pichot and destined for greatness.

2/
Standing Male Nude, 1866
Gabriel Ferrier (1847-1914)
Charcoal with black chalk

This accomplished nude study executed when the artist was nineteen years old, predicted a bright future for Ferrier in the official art world. Largely forgotten today, he won the French Academy’s prestigious Rome Prize in 1872 and later received prominent commissions, including decorations for the Gare d’Orsay train station (today the Musée d”Orsay).

3/
Adolescent I, about 1891
George Minne (1866-1941)
Marble

This nude, emaciated youth defiantly exposes his body while simultaneously crossing his arms in a protective embrace, indicating shame and anguish. Minne was one of the major representatives of a circle of Symbolist artists and writers based in Ghent, Belgium.

4/
Dancer, 1912
Paolo Troubetzkoy (1866-1938)
Bronze

Countess Thamara Swirskaya (Saint Petersburg, 1890-Los Angeles, 1961), the famous Russian pianist and dancer depicted here, performed throughout Europe and the United States. J. Paul Getty, who purchased this piece in 1933, may have attended one of her shows in the U.S. She posed for this lively composition in 1909 in Paris, where Troubetzkoy, the son of a Russian prince and American mother, lived between 1905 and 1914.

5/
Double Portrait of the Artist’s Daughters, 1889
Adolf von Hildebrand (1847-1921)
Polychrome terracotta

Freestanding double-portrait busts are rare in European sculpture, and this is one of the few known examples. Hildebrand’s termination of the figures above the waist and his use of subtle colours are based on Italian Renaissance portraiture. This sensitive portrayal of the artist’s daughters, Silvia and Bertel, is remarkable among the sculptor’s normally restrained official portraits and monuments.

The Getty Center

July 18th, 2017

September 11, 2001

It was Tuesday then, too. This waterfront park in the Rockaways serves as a tribute to those in the neighborhood who died because of the attacks of September 11. The park is scenic and quiet, a lovely spot for visitors and community members to stop and reflect, and to find peace.

Tribute Park was an empty lot on September 11, 2001. The Twin Towers were visible from the spot, and hundreds of local residents stood here and watched the tragedy unfold. With help from the community, this serene park was built to commemorate the day. It includes a mosaic centerpiece, a cupola, and a granite rock engraved with the names of all 343 firefighters who died on September 11.

From a walk on June 11th, 2017

San Francisco is… apparently very European

Beautiful, romantic, stunning, cool, surprising… people used many different adjectives to describe the city when I asked around, ahead of the trip. But the one remark on -almost- everyone’s lips was that San Francisco is ”the most European of all Californian cities”. How true was that?

After only one day, my European antennae were tickled by some of the Pacific Heights mansions, the Italian trams and vintage cable cars, the shifts in temperature and clouds. But these were just a few highlights, my first impressions. What is San Francisco really like?

A walk Downtown and the adjacent, city-within-a-city, Chinatown will help us find out. By the way, the Chinese population of San Francisco represents the single largest ethnic group with 21,4% of the population, concentrated mostly in Chinatown (source). One of the many faces of San Francisco, the least ”European” one of all.   July 5th, 2017

San Francisco is… history on wheels

My persistent feeling of déjà vu, when I first saw these museums on wheels rolling up and down the roads of San Francisco, increased tenfold once we boarded one; I was sure I’d been there before. It didn’t take long to notice familiar touches: the beautiful wooden details, the elegant curves, the Italian signs… and that’s when I remembered.

It was on a trip to Milan in Italy, a lifetime ago, that I had first boarded an identical streetcar (or tram to us, Europeans). I remember distinctly standing behind the driver, fascinated by the mere fact that the steering wheel and brake lever,  which seemed to have time-travelled from the roaring 1920s, actually still worked. Little did I know that, thirty years later, I would ride again on one of these gems – in San Francisco, of all places. For this street car happened to be one of the fleet of Italian cars acquired from Milan, specifically for the F Line. For all I know, it could have been the same one.

The ”Milan” tram in colour ⇒⇓

PCC streetcars are painted in honour of the many cities that operated them.
No. 1076 commemorates Washington D.C.  ⇒⇓

And, finally, the iconic cable cars. Although part of the city’s public transport system, they are always packed with tourists, which seem to render them a no-go zone for locals, at least during peak hours. ⇒⇓

July 6th, 2017

Defiant

”Fearless Girl” by Kristen Visbal.

After facing Wall Street’s ”Charging Bull” for about a year, it was decided that she be moved to her permanent spot, facing the New York Stock Exchange. Actually, the ”Charging Bull” was also supposed to have been moved with her, but I haven’t been in the area in a while to see what happened.

July 1st, 2017

summer of mischief

there were turtles and peacocks and ethereal angels,
a huge creepy face and menacing eagles,
smiling piglets and playful hounds,
proud looking stags and graceful felines –

all kinds of furry, feathered and mischievous creatures
dancing and stalking and flying –
sweeping across from wall to sacred wall
of one of the world’s largest cathedrals ”Ursus”, Dan Ostermiller


‘Sun Face”, full scale production section by Greg Wyatt, Plaster cast


”River Mates”, Tim Cherry


”Circle of Friends”, Gary Lee Price


”Trouble”, Bob Guelich


”Eagle Rock”, Kent Ullberg


”Peacocks”, Dan Chen


”Stella”, André Harvey


”High Four” and ”Tickled”, Louise Peterson


”Two Peacocks”, Greg Wyatt


”Hope”, Elwira Jarecka, La Guardia Community College


”Hidden Behind”, Chitra Mamidela, Frank Sinatra School of the Arts


”Scottish Stag”, Wesley Wofford


”Top Gun”, Stefan Savides


”Wild Instinct”, Joshua Tobey

A Summer of Sculpture was an exhibition that featured Cathedral Artist in Residence Greg Wyatt’s Peace Fountain and Animals of Freedom; A Blessing of Animals, curated by the National Sculpture Society; and the Art Students League of New York’s Model to Monument Retrospective. It ran in the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, until September 2017.

June 29th, 2017

Bear in mind

They come in peace

1/Installation courtesy of Q Florist
2/”Ursus”, the gigantic bronze sculpture by Dan Ostermiller was inviting visitors to cross the monumental entrance of St. John the Divine Cathedral. Inside, more wild creatures had taken their places all over the Cathedral in celebration of ”A Summer of Sculpture” – an exhibition that ran through September 2017.

More photos from ”A Summer of Sculpture” coming up tomorrow.

June 29th, 2017