Let's Talk Off Broadway

Yvonne Korshak reviews Off-Broadway, Broadway, Film and Art

Tag: Metropolitan Museum of Art Page 2 of 3

Art Review | The Civil War and American Art | Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, May 27 – September 2, 2013

… the storm of war …

This outstanding exhibition moves ones thoughts between intimate experience and vast philosophical and artistic vision, all combining to give a vivid sense of the Civil War at home and on the front.

Gifford | A Coming Storm

Gifford | A Coming Storm

A stunning aspects of the exhibit is the insistence with which, again and again, artists looked to the landscape to express thoughts and emotions, as if humans had a cosmic partner in nature.  In the years leading up to the war, paintings of storms and phenomenal portents and storms abound, such as Frederic Edwin Church’s dramatic Meteor of 1860, and Sanford Robinson Gifford’s A Coming Storm, expressing the sense of war’s prodigious imminence.

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Art Review | Photography and the American Civil War | Metropolitan Museum of Art, April 2 – September 2, 2013

This exhibition is very interesting and also somewhat disappointing.

Inevitably, among the over 200 photographs relating to a vast defining event, the American Civil War, some are powerful in the way one would expect — photos of battlefields, of prisoners, of the injured and dead, and of the destruction the war wrought on all sides.   In sheer numbers, however, the weight of the exhibition is skewed toward studio portraits,

Captain Charles A. and Sergeant John M. Hawkins

Captain Charles A. and Sergeant John M. Hawkins (full caption below)

small tintypes and cartes de visite, as well as formally made medical photographs of ghastly war injuries.   So many “indoor” photos take away from the sense of the huge scale of events and the truth of a war fought for overarching issues by hordes of men on famous fields of battle.

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Good News! Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC will be open 7 days a week starting July 1, 2013

Good News!

Metropolitan Museum of Art to Open 7 Days a Week
Starting July 1

Will Open Mondays throughout Year for First Time in 42 Years

As of July 1, 2013, The Metropolitan Museum of Art will open to the public 7 days a week. This new schedule will go into effect at both the Museum’s main building on Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street in Manhattan and at The Cloisters museum and gardens, its branch museum for medieval art and architecture in Fort Tryon Park in northern Manhattan.

Also as of July 1, the Museum’s opening time each morning will change to 10:00 a.m. (from 9:30 a.m.). Otherwise the hours at both locations will remain the same. The new daily schedule as of July 1 in the main building will therefore be:
Friday and Saturday 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Sunday–Thursday 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

And the new schedule at The Cloisters museum and gardens will be:
March–October: Open 7 days, 10:00 a.m.–5:15 p.m.
November–February: Open 7 days, 10:00 a.m.–4:45 p.m.

Both locations will be closed January 1, Thanksgiving Day, and December 25, and the main building will also be closed on the first Monday in May.

The Metropolitan Museum has been closed on Mondays since 1971, with the exception in recent years of the Holiday Mondays program—in which the Museum has been open on a few holidays each year that fall on Mondays. The final Holiday Mondays to be observed before the new 7-day schedule goes into effect on July 1 will be March 25 and April 1 (during Spring Break), and May 27 (Memorial Day).

Full details on admission, group tours, and visitor amenities—including dining, shopping, and parking—are available at www.metmuseum.org/visit 212-535-7710.  Also visit the museum’s web site for current information and hours, since these changes will not take place until July.

About The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the world’s largest and finest museums, with collections of nearly two million works of art spanning more than 5,000 years of world culture, from prehistory to the present and from every part of the globe. The Metropolitan Museum’s main building, located at the edge of Central Park along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, and The Cloisters museum and gardens, its branch museum for medieval art and architecture in northern Manhattan, welcomed 6.28 million visitors last year. For additional information about the Museum, please visit www.metmuseum.org.

Art Review | Matisse: In Search of True Painting | Metropolitan Museum of Art, December 4 2012 – March 17, 2013

… translations …

Although this large exhibit covers most of Matisse’s painting career, it has a specific focus: to bring together examples of the many pairs, trios and series of copies and reinterpretations of notably similar subject matter and composition, such as Le Luxe I  and Le Luxe II, above.  Usually (when the order of their creation is known) Matisse’s versions move from greater realism and detail to abstraction.

In this he’s like van Gogh who called these kinds of versions of his own work “translations,” and I think that’s a profound term;  it sees “realism” and “abstraction” as different artistic languages connected by a bridge.   Since a key theme of the modern movement was a development toward greater and greater abstraction, it’s not surprising that Matisse’s versions show his fascination with exactly that:  the relationship between “realism” and “abstraction”.

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Massacre at Dinant. 1918, oil on canvas, 49 1/2×83 in (125.7×210.8 cm) Greenville County Museum of Art, Gift of Minor M. Shaw, Buck A. Mickel and Charles C. Mickel, and the Arthur and Holly Magill Fund

Art Review | George Bellows | Metropolitan Museum of Art, November 15, 2012 – February 18, 2013

Stag at Sharkey’s, 1909, oil on canvas, 36 1/4×48 1/4 in (92×122.6 cm), The Cleveland Museum of Art, Hinman B. Hurlbut Collections, c. The Cleveland Museum of Art

Stag at Sharkey’s, 1909, oil on canvas, 36 1/4×48 1/4 in (92×122.6 cm), The Cleveland Museum of Art, Hinman B. Hurlbut Collections, c. The Cleveland Museum of Art

As I began to walk through the George Bellows exhibition, I felt this is the greatest American painter ever!  That’s how powerful the early paintings are.  In front of those large and powerful canvases such as Stag at Sharkey’s, it took awhile to even start thinking of his powerful competition among American painters … including Thomas Eakins who had a great influence on him. 

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Art Review | Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years | Metropolitan Museum of Art

Andy Warhol | Big Campbells Soup Can

… a popular artist …

This is a fascinating exhibit, stimulating for its irony, humor, kaleidoscopic glimpses at American culture in the last 50 years, and interrelationships between artists with Warhol the creative, generating the fulcrum. The overall impression is busy and dazzling. The 150 works, about a third of them by Warhol himself, hold surprise, even for those familiar with “Pop Art” and its variety of spin-offs.  Some of the surprises are owed to the intelligence and imagination with which the curators juxtapose Warhol’s paintings, sculptures and films with those of other artists, forming insightful connections.  (Full information on photos at bottom of page.*)

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Art Review | Cloud City by Tomas Saraceno — on the Roof … and above it – | Metropolitan Museum of Art Roof Garden, through November 12, 2012 (weather permitting)

Tomas Saraceno | Cloud City

Tomas Saraceno | Cloud City | Roof of the Metropolitan Museum Summer 2012

Cloud City is a shimmering, spacious delight that plays with space and gravity and takes you to a new place.  What an adventure!

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Art Review | New American Wing | Metropolitan Museum of Art | With Thoughts on Washington Crossing the Delaware

Albert Bierstadt, The Rocky Mountains, Landers Peak, 1863, oil on canvas, 73 1/2 x 120 3/4 in. 186.7 x 306.7 cm

Albert Bierstadt, The Rocky Mountains, Landers Peak, 1863, oil on canvas, 73 1/2 x 120 3/4 in. 186.7 x 306.7 cm (for other paintings, see full captions with dimensions at end)

The MMA’s New American Wing is a feast of paintings.  There are so many, and they are so fine and varied, and worth seeing for different reasons.  The overall effect is to give a sense of the strength of the American painting tradition, placing it on a par with the European traditions.  That’s clearly what the designers of the new wing intended, and they succeeded.  And why, evidently, the galleries are “a contemporary interpretation of 19th-century Beaux-Arts galleries,” according to a Museum description.  The general sense is familiar great.  It engenders a sense of pride in the accomplishments of American painting in the circumscribed period the Wing covers, from the 18th Century to 1920.

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Art Review | Anthony Caro on the Roof | Metropolitan Museum of Art | April 26, 2011 – October 30, 2011, (weather permitting)

Midday, 1960, Anthony Caro, painted steel, 7' 73/4" x 37 3/8" x 12' 1 1/4" (233.1 x 95 x 370.2 cm), collection of the Museum of Modern Art, NY, photo: MMA

Midday, 1960, Anthony Caro, painted steel, 7′ 73/4″ x 37 3/8″ x 12′ 1 1/4″ (233.1 x 95 x 370.2 cm), collection of the Museum of Modern Art, NY, photo: MMA

There are two ways to think about a sculpture exhibition on the MMA’s roof — the pleasure of being there, surrounded by rosy sun-lit skyscrapers in one direction, Central Park in another, the big sky and fresh air.  And then there are the sculptures themselves that are set against this gorgeous backdrop.

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Art Review | Rooms with a View: The Open Window in the 19th Century | Metropolitan Museum of Art

… observations and interpretations …

The exhibition includes 57 works of art by 40 artists, small oil paintings and works on paper.  Works are divided into three groups:  quiet rooms with figures, artists’ studios, and paintings without figures in which windows are the major motif.  The title is grander than the exhibit (at the risk of seeming “picky” — the windows aren’t always open, nor are there always views).

But what’s missing from this exhibition is a real view — that is a point of view — an insight that could emerge if the works had been brought together through a strong organizing vision.  The exhibition gives us the chance to see first hand a number of works not otherwise readily available but it’s a one by one kind of exhibit, lacking synthesis, and the leap into enlarged understanding.

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