Posts Tagged 'Fernand Léger'

The Best Way to Spread Artsy Cheer

. . . is singing loud for all to hear!

With the holiday season in full swing, I’ve taken some liberties with a handful of my favorite yuletide melodies. If you know any Claymation experts who’d be willing to work their magic on a DMA-inspired stop-motion musical, please give me a call. Until then, here are a few remixed holiday songs to celebrate some of the works from our collection.

The Minotaur at C3
(to the tune of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”)

You know Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, and Robert Smithson’s
Works in the contemporary collection,
But do you recall
Marcel Dzama’s white minotaur?

The Minotaur at C3
Has a rough and stubby nose.
His face is made of plaster
And it’s covered up with gauze.

Some say he’s funny-looking
‘Cause he only has one arm,
But all the limbs he’s missing
Minotaur makes up with charm.

Half a person and half bull,
Sitting in his chair—
Minotaur, you’re quite a sight!
Drawing you is a delight.

Now you’re our favorite figure
Found in Greek mythology.
How did you leave your labyrinth?
It’ll stay a mystery.

Marcel Dzama, The Minotaur, 2008, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund © Marcel Dzama, 2008.43.2.A-E

Marcel Dzama, The Minotaur, 2008, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund, 2008.43.2.a-e, © Marcel Dzama

DMA Clocks
(to the tune of “Jingle Bell Rock”)

Tiny clocks, modern clocks, freestanding clocks,
19th- and 17th-century clocks,
Up on the 3rd floor at the Reves Salon
Is William Moore’s clock shaped like a sun.

Ball Wall Clock, Tall Case Clock, Gilbert Rohde’s Clock,
Paul Frankl’s stylish “Telechron” clock,
Check out a print with clock faces to spare
By Fernand Legér.

There’s Untitled (Perfect Lovers)
Tick-tocking side by side.
Stephen King and Barbara Kruger
Placed a clock on their book’s front side.

If you ever hope to hear the clocks chime,
You may be out of luck—
So many hands, but so few that tell time
On the DMA’s clocks.

 

I Saw A Tiger Licking Its Paws
(to the tune of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”)

I saw a tiger licking its paws
After the Museum closed last night.
It didn’t see me peek
Down the Japanese gallery.
It jumped off of its scroll
Into the hall in front of me.

Then, I saw the tiger stretch out its paws,
And let out a roar with all its might.
Oh, I’ve warned everyone I see
But no one else will believe
That the tiger comes alive at night.

Nagasawa Rosetsu, Tiger, after 1792, Dallas Museum of Art, General Acquisitions Fund, Image courtesy Dallas Museum of Art, 1972.13

Nagasawa Rosetsu, Tiger, after 1792, Dallas Museum of Art, General Acquisitions Fund, 1972.13

Happy holidays!

Paulina Lopez is the McDermott Graduate Intern for Visitor Engagement at the DMA.

Summer Reading

Whether you’ll be on a beach or in the air-conditioned comfort of your home, get some inspiration from works in the DMA’s collection and dive into a good book this spring and summer. In addition, don’t miss the upcoming DMA Arts & Letters Live authors appearing at the Museum through July.

(left) Miguel Cabrera, Saint Gertrude (Santa Gertrudis), 1763, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Laura and Daniel D. Boeckman in honor of Dr. William Rudolph; (right) The Sisterhood book jacket, source: Amazon.com

(left) Miguel Cabrera, Saint Gertrude (Santa Gertrudis), 1763, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Laura and Daniel D. Boeckman in honor of Dr. William Rudolph; (right) The Sisterhood book jacket, source: Amazon.com

Saint Gertrude the Great (1256–1301 or 1302) was a German Benedictine nun and a prolific mystic writer. The artist, Miguel Cabrera, is considered one of the greatest 18th-century Mexican painters. Saint Gertrude is sure to enjoy The Sisterhood by Helen Bryan. In this beautifully written novel, a woman’s journey to finish her thesis shifts as she uncovers biblical and art historical secrets that stretch back to the Spanish Inquisition.

 

(left) Mary Cassatt, The Reading Lesson, c. 1901, oil on canvas, Lent by the Pauline Allen Gill Foundation; (right) The Book With No Pictures jacket cover, source: EmertainmentMonthly.com

(left) Mary Cassatt, The Reading Lesson, c. 1901, oil on canvas, lent by the Pauline Allen Gill Foundation; (right) The Book with No Pictures book jacket, source: EmntertainmentMonthly.com

Mary Cassatt’s The Reading Lesson looks like a peaceful reading scene between a woman and a young child. Perhaps they need a little more excitement, and Arts & Letters Live alum B. J. Novak has just the book for that! The Book with No Pictures encourages the reader to read every word, even if it’s silly or loud!

 

(left) Vessel (itinate), early 20th century, Cham or Mwona peoples, ower Gongola River Valley, Nigeria, Africa, terracotta, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of The Cecil and Ida Green Foundation; (right) Half of a Yellow Sun book jacket , source: Mr. Kew blog

(left) Vessel (itinate), Nigeria, Lower Gongola River Valley, Cham or Mwona peoples, early 20th century, terracotta, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of The Cecil and Ida Green Foundation; (right) Half of a Yellow Sun book jacket , source: Mr. Kew blog

This vessel from the early 20th century, featuring a stylized female figure, was traditionally used in divination and healing rituals among the diverse peoples in the Lower Gongola River Valley in northeast Nigeria. This figure, were she to come alive, might be interested in reading Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel Half of a Yellow Sun, which narrates the story of five individuals whose lives were dramatically altered by the Nigerian Civil War (1967-70).

 

(left) Pablo Picasso, Bust, 1907-1908, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Joshua L. Logan, Loula D. Lasker, Ruth and Nathan Cummings Art Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Edward S. Marcus, Sarah Dorsey Hudson, Mrs. Alfred L. Bromberg, Henry Jacobus and an anonymous donor, by exchange © Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; (right) Middlesex book jacket, source: Amazon.com

(left) Pablo Picasso, Bust, 1907-08, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Joshua L. Logan, Loula D. Lasker, Ruth and Nathan Cummings Art Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Edward S. Marcus, Sarah Dorsey Hudson, Mrs. Alfred L. Bromberg, Henry Jacobus, and an anonymous donor, by exchange © Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; (right) Middlesex book jacket, source: Amazon.com

Picasso’s Bust, with its ambiguous gender and powerfully defined lines, would be enthralled by Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex. This bestselling novel, featuring an intersex main character, explores the theme of identity and the many forms that it can take.

 

(left) Fernand Léger, The Divers (Red and Black), 1942, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the James H. and Lillian Clark Foundation © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris; (right) Mrs Dalloway book jacket, Source: penguin.com.au

(left) Fernand Léger, The Divers (Red and Black), 1942, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the James H. and Lillian Clark Foundation, © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris; (right) Mrs Dalloway book jacket, Source: penguin.com.au

Fernand Léger’s The Divers shows many different views of a body as it moves and dances throughout space. What better way to explore Léger’s modernist art theories than to enjoy Virginia Woolf’s modernist writing? Set during a single June day in London, a memorable event ties multiple characters together in this mid-20th-century masterpiece.

 

(left) François Auguste Biard, Seasickness on an English Corvette (Le mal de mer, au bal, abord d'une corvette Anglaise), 1857, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of J.E.R. Chilton; (right) Paris: The Novel book jacket, Source: Amazon.com

(left) François Auguste Biard, Seasickness on an English Corvette, 1857, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of J. E. R. Chilton; (right) Paris: The Novel book jacket, Source: Amazon.com

Seasickness on an English Corvette depicts travelers, bound for France, crossing the English Channel. The woman in the middle is clearly entranced by her book, which might be Paris, written by Edward Rutherfurd. This epic narrative of the City of Lights introduces a cast of characters whose fates have been intertwined since the Middle Ages.

Madeleine Fitzgerald is the Audience Relations Coordinator, Education, and Taylor Jeromos is the McDermott Education Intern for Adult Programming and Arts & Letters Live at the DMA.

Run the DMA Marathon

It’s that time of year again, and the excitement of the Dallas PCS Marathon has arrived! Last year, the marathon races drew over 15,700 runners and 300,000 spectators. It’s expected to be bigger than ever this year, and the city of Dallas is pulling out all the stops. The Dallas Museum of Art is joining the city in welcoming runners and their friends, families, and fans alike!

As both a McDermott intern in the education department and a runner, I had the pleasure (and pain!) of gaining my Museum feet during the height of my training for the marathon. As I learned to navigate through the galleries, I discovered that the DMA has many things in common with a marathon: it’s huge, it’s inspirational, and there are lots of friendly staff members to support you along your journey. Therefore, I am thrilled to combine two of my passions–running and museums–in inviting you to embark on your very own DMA Marathon. I’ve highlighted some of my favorite artworks throughout the DMA’s galleries, hand-picked to motivate, inspire, and refuel you. So, what are you waiting for? Lace up your running shoes, and get ready to explore!

Registration: DMA Atrium
The DMA has free general admission (every day!), so you don’t need to pull out your wallet for this race. But please do hit up the Visitor Services Desk to sign up for the DMA Friends program. With your shiny new DMA Friends membership, you’ll be able to check in at various locations in the Museum and earn points toward exciting DMA rewards such as free parking, sneak peeks at new exhibitions, and exclusive Museum experiences. The Atrium is also a great place to grab a pre-race bite in the DMA Cafe, use the line-free bathrooms, and get in your stretches in front of Robert Rauschenberg’s breathtaking Skyway or Rufino Tamayo’s iconic painting El Hombre (Man).

Robert Rauschenberg, Skyway, 1964, oil and silkscreen on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Roberta Coke Camp Fund, The 500, Inc., Mr. and Mrs. Mark Shepherd, Jr. and General Acquisitions Fund

Robert Rauschenberg, Skyway, 1964, oil and silkscreen on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Roberta Coke Camp Fund, The 500, Inc., Mr. and Mrs. Mark Shepherd, Jr. and General Acquisitions Fund, (c) Rauschenberg Estate/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Rufino Tamayo, El Hombre (Man), 1953, vinyl with pigment on panel, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association commission, Neiman-Marcus Company Exposition Funds

Rufino Tamayo, El Hombre (Man), 1953, vinyl with pigment on panel, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association commission, Neiman-Marcus Company Exposition Funds, (c) Estate of the artist in support of Fundacion Olga y Rufino Tamayo, A.C.

Resist Temptation and Find Your Pace: Level 4: Ancient American Art and American Art
The starting gun goes off and you head up the stairs to Level 4, where you will come face to face with Tlaloc, the DMA’s rain god. But no need to worry about rain inside the Museum, Tlaloc was also a war god and will send you off with blessings of stamina and power!

Head of the rain god Tlaloc, Mixtec, Late Postclassic period, c. 1300-1500, ceramic, tufa, stucco, and paint, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Marcus in memory of Mary Freiberg

Head of the rain god Tlaloc, Mixtec, Late Postclassic period, c. 1300-1500, ceramic, tufa, stucco, and paint, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Marcus in memory of Mary Freiberg

As you make your way by Crawford Riddle’s bedstead, deemed “The Big Bed” by our younger visitors, try not to be distracted with thoughts of putting your feet up so early in the race. You’ve worked hard to prepare for this moment, and this bed should serve as a reminder that some well-deserved relaxation awaits you at the end of this journey!

Crawford Riddell, Bed, c. 1844, Brazilian rosewood, tulip poplar, and yellow pine, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of three anonymous donors, Friends of the Decorative Arts Fund, General Acquisitions Fund, Discretionary Decorative Arts Fund, and the Boshell Family Foundation

Bedstead, Crawford Riddell, c. 1844, Brazilian rosewood, tulip poplar, and yellow pine, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of three anonymous donors, Friends of the Decorative Arts Fund, General Acquisitions Fund, Discretionary Decorative Arts Fund, and the Boshell Family Foundation

Also, I know how easy it is to let the excitement of the race throw off your timing. Gerald Murphy’s Watch is a great reminder to check your pace and adjust your gallery viewing speed if necessary.

Gerald Murphy, Watch, 1925, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the artist

Gerald Murphy, Watch, 1925, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the artist, (c) Estate of Honoria Murphy Donnelly

Dodge Obstacles and Find Inspiration: Level 3: Arts of Africa, Asia, and the Pacific, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection
Head down the stairs to Level 3, where you will come face to face with sculptures, jewelry, and artifacts from Africa, Asia, and the Pacific. You may want to pick up the pace when you spot the coffin of Horankh in the Ancient Egyptian gallery. We have several Egyptian coffins (including one with an actual mummy inside!), and although they are beautiful, they are rumored to look a little too alive at times!

Coffin of Horankh, Late Period, c. 700 B.C., Thebes, Egypt, wood, gesso, paint, obsidian, calcite, and bronze, Dallas Museum of Art, the Cecil and Ida Green Acquisition Fund

Coffin of Horankh, Egypt, Thebes, Late Period, c. 700 B.C., wood, gesso, paint, obsidian, calcite, and bronze, Dallas Museum of Art, the Cecil and Ida Green Acquisition Fund

Before you leave the third floor, loop around to the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection for some inspiration. Vincent van Gogh’s Sheaves of Wheat is a breathtaking sight that should not be missed!

Vincent van Gogh, Sheaves of Wheat, July 1890, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection

Vincent van Gogh, Sheaves of Wheat, July 1890, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection

Beat “The Wall”: Level 2: Ancient Mediterranean and European Art
Trot down the stairs to Level 2, where you will glide between athletic bodies featured in the Greek and Roman statues, busts, and antiquities. Pat yourself on the back; after this race, you will be able to rank yourself among these talented athletes!
At this point in the race, it is common to hit “the wall,” and you may be starting to feel like the characters in Fernand Leger’s Divers or Picasso’s Guitarist in the European galleries, but keep going–you’re almost to the end!

Fernand Léger, The Divers (Red and Black), 1942, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the James H. and Lillian Clark Foundation

Fernand Léger, The Divers (Red and Black), 1942, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the James H. and Lillian Clark Foundation, (c) Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris

Pablo Picasso, The Guitarist, 1965, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Art Museum League Fund

Pablo Picasso, The Guitarist, 1965, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Art Museum League Fund, (c) Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

The Light at the End of the Tunnel: Level 1: Contemporary Art
Your heart is pounding as you head into the final stretch of the marathon. Your final leg will take you back up the Museum Concourse to the finish line in the contemporary art galleries. You can hardly believe your eyes when you catch a glimpse of Mark Rothko’s Orange, Red and Red and wonder if you are seeing a mirage. But it is real, and the finish line is surrounded by gorgeous contemporary works. Take in the sights as you relish this moment–you did it!

Mark Rothko, Orange, Red and Red, 1962, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated

Mark Rothko, Orange, Red and Red, 1962, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated, (c) 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

It’s been my pleasure to take you along on the DMA Marathon. We hope that you are able to join us during marathon weekend and experience the Museum firsthand! Best of luck to all of my fellow runners; see you at the finish line!

Amelia Wood is the McDermott intern for family & access teaching at the DMA.

Picasso and African Art

Our Picasso masterwork Bust is normally considered in the context of early 20th-century modernism. Its home is in the European galleries alongside the works of Picasso’s cohorts like Matisse, Braque, and Léger; however, a recent installation in our European Galleries offers up a new reading of the painting—that it has footings not only in European modernism but also in African art.

Picasso is known to have been captivated by African art. He frequented the Trocadéro, Paris’s famed ethnographic museum, to study its holdings. He was also an avid collector of African objects and amassed over one hundred statuettes, textiles, and masks, all of which he stored in his studio.

Picasso in his studio at the Bateau-Lavoir, Paris, 1908, Musée Picasso, Paris,
Photo Credit: Réunion des Musées Nationaux

Although these so-called “primitive arts” held little monetary value—most were seen as mere trinkets and lined the shelves of curio shops, flea markets, and bistro tablescapes—their alien forms and dramatic abstractions were invaluable inspirations for Picasso. He carefully studied African works, mimicked them, and even openly copied them. He found them to be complex, conceptually sophisticated, and emotionally charged because their abstractions expressed the “unseen” and “unuterrable” in visual and quantifiable terms. Throughout his career, Picasso struggled with trying to represent the unknown or unrepresentable, and African abstract forms gave him a clear visual language to express what he couldn’t before.

In the case of our painting Bust, he appears to have lifted the entire compositional makeup of a kifwebe mask and translated it into a two-dimensional painted form:

Pablo Picasso, “Bust,” 1907-08, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Joshua L. Logan, Loula D. Lasker, Ruth and Nathan Cummings Art Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Edward S. Marcus, Sarah Dorsey Hudson, Mrs. Alfred L. Bromberg, Henry Jacobus and an anonymous donor, by exchange, 1987.399.FA, © Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Democratic Republic of the Congo, Songye or Luba Peoples, Helmet mask (“kifwebe”) and costume, late 19th to early 20th century, wood, paint, fiber, cane, and gut, Dallas Museum of Art, The Gustave and Franyo Schindler Collection of African Sculpture, gift of the McDermott Foundation in honor of Eugene McDermott, 1974.Sc.42

The stylistic resonances between the two works are truly striking. Both have the same facial configuration—a convex forehead contrasted by a concave facial plane—and the same facial features, from the almond-shaped downcast eyes, to the broad band bisecting the foreheads, to the fine-lined surface relief.

Through painting a female subject in the likeness of an abstract kifwebe mask, Picasso saw himself as able to visually articulate the invisible aspects of her nature—a feat not possible through a mere depiction of a human form. Moreover, he saw this abstract representation as a “real” representation of a person; for him, reality was something beyond our eyes, so representing someone’s internalized and invisible nature meant he was representing who someone really is. Through abstraction, Picasso was able to make the female figure’s spirit not only visible but real, living, and tangible; through African art, Picasso was able to eclipse old modes of representation and was, in his words, “freed.”


Andrew Sears is the McDermott Curatorial Intern for European and American Art at the Dallas Museum of Art.



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