Tuesday, January 27, 2015
While advanced math and Shakespeare combine to make a nightmare curriculum for some students, for artist Man Ray, one of the most intriguing minds of 20th century art, they were “such stuff as dreams are made on,” or at least art could be made from. A new exhibition at The Phillips Collection reunites the objects and photographs with the suite of paintings they inspired Man Ray to create and title Shakespearean Equations. Man Ray—Human Equations: A Journey from Mathematics to Shakespeare traces the artist’s travels between disciplines, between war-torn continents, and between media that became not only a journey from arithmetic to the Bard, but also a journey of artistic self-discovery. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "How Man Ray Made Art of Math and Shakespeare."
Monday, January 19, 2015
When the Philadelphia Museum of Art purchased Henry Ossawa Tanner’s painting The Annunciation in 1899, they became the first American museum to acquire a work by an African-American artist. That purchase announced a new era of recognition of African-American art and artists just as much as the painting itself announced a new style of art moving away from stereotypical “black” scenes towards a freedom of aesthetic choice. Persons of color could express themselves in any way, even abstraction, but faced the new problem of remaining true to themselves at the same time. The new exhibition Represent: 200 Years of African American Art and accompanying catalogue show how these artists faced the challenges posed to them by art and society and provide all of us with a fascinating guide to facing African-American history—tragic, tenacious, transcendent—through its art. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Facing African-American History Through African-American Art."
Friday, January 16, 2015
Football replaced baseball as the “national pastime” long ago (despite some arguments to the contrary). The hoopla surrounding the upcoming secular American holiday of Super Bowl XLIX Sunday testifies conclusively to that fact. The trickle down effect of that passion inspires younger and younger people to put on the pads and crash into one another as well as make parents shuttle their charges to practices and games and witness the conflict—all in the name of football’s educational benefits of perseverance, courage, and teamwork. But what does football really teach us? In Why Football Matters: My Education in the Game, author Mark Edmundson recounts his own high school football experience from the perspective of age and asks that very same question in a nuanced, clear-eyed way that might make you think twice about why we love football so much and what that love may be doing to us and our children. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "What Does Football Really Teach Us?"
Monday, January 5, 2015
If Mona Lisa is the smile, Madame Cézanne is the scowl. Hortense Fiquet, Paul Cézanne’s model
mistress turned mother of his child turned metaphorical millstone
around his neck, endures as a standard art history punch line—the muse
whose misery won immortality through the many masterpiece portraits done
of her. Or at least that’s how the joke usually goes. The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s current exhibition Madame Cézanne,
which gathers together 24 of the 29 known portraits Cézanne painted of
Hortense over a period of more than 20 years, tries to rewrite that joke
as it hopes to solve the riddle of Madame Cézanne, aka, The Case of the
Miserable Muse. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Madame Cézanne: The Case of the Miserable Muse."