Art Lovers discussion

Art Lovers News Corner > March 2011

Comments Showing 1-16 of 16 (16 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Heather (new)

Heather The Self-Invented Artist

Paintings like “Faa Iheihe (To Make Beautiful)” conformed to false Western ideas about Tahitian life.

by Holland Cotter
The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Paul Gauguin was a dreadful man who made some beautiful art. That’s the present take on him. In his craving for fame and fulfillment he dumped his family, bullied his friends, ripped off ideas and lied about his past. His book “Noa Noa,” which he advertised as an account of his life in Tahiti, was largely fantasy, mostly plagiarized. If he published it today, Oprah would be demanding an apology.

But then there’s the art. Gauguin’s South Seas paintings, with their fragrant, crushed-fruit colors — guava yellows, lime greens, melon pinks — and their opium-trance scenes of a tropical Eden, are addictively devourable. There’s nothing else like them. No wonder museums keep finding reasons to serve them up.

The latest such feast is the big exhibition called “Gauguin: Maker of Myth,” which comes to Washington from the Tate Modern in London and opens at the National Gallery of Art on Sunday. The colors are as rich as expected, but, curiously, they don’t dominate the meal. Much of what’s here, including many prints and several sculptures, is dark. Bizarre, even just plain ugly images recur. The atmosphere is tense, claustrophobic, depressed.

Part of the problem lies in the art selected.

Paul Gauguin’s “Arearea no Varua ino (Words of the Devil or Reclining Tahitian Women).”

Possibly to avoid a greatest-hits effect, the curators have left out many charismatic classics. Missing too are a half dozen paintings from Russia that appeared in London but were prevented by legal snarls from traveling to the United States. By the time you’ve reached the last gallery, though, you have a sense that no juggling of checklists could hide a basically downbeat note in this exhibition. The story it tells is, after all, of a paradise sought but never found; or if found, blighted, which paradise cannot be.

Storytelling is the show’s main theme, the specific idea being that Gauguin’s use of narrative set him apart from modernist contemporaries like the Impressionists. While they were stripping their art of symbolic and personal content to move forward toward abstraction, Gauguin was piling exactly these elements on and looking backward to old-fashioned things like historical painting, religious art and myth.

The myth that absorbed him most fully was the myth in the making of Paul Gauguin. So it’s appropriate that the exhibition — organized by Belinda Thomson, a British art historian, and Mary Morton, curator of French paintings at the National Gallery — opens with self-portraits.

Gauguin burnished his reputation as a sexual heathen with “Manao Tupapau (The Spirit of the Dead Keeps Watch),” depicting his young mistress.

The earliest of them, only recently attributed to Gauguin, was done around 1876, when he was in his late 20s and living in Paris. He had been born there in 1848 but absent for long stretches. He spent part of his childhood with relatives in Peru; as a young adult he did stints in the merchant marine and the navy.

By 1876, however, he’d settled into a position as a Parisian stockbroker, married a Danish woman named Mette-Sophie Gad and started a family. He was also buying art and becoming a presence in avant-garde circles. His own painting was something he did in private on the side.

But he did a lot of it, and he got good at it fast, so good that in 1879 Edgar Degas and Camille Pissarro invited him to be in the Fourth Impressionist Exhibition, and that was the vote of confidence Gauguin needed. Three years later he quit his desk job to be an artist full time. Then he left his wife and children. He spent months in rural Brittany, living poor and painting like mad. He shipped out to Panama and stayed on the Caribbean island Martinique.

By the time of that trip, in 1887, the bourgeois Sunday painter of almost a decade earlier was gone, replaced by an artist with a new identity and history. He was a spiritual seeker and self-proclaimed visionary. In deeply Roman Catholic Brittany he went native (his wooden clogs are in the show) and produced pictures like “Vision of the Sermon (Jacob Wrestling with the Angel)” that merged biblical scenes with everyday life.

After the Martinique sojourn he took to calling himself a savage and declared his interest in primitive subjects: Breton peasants, Caribbean blacks. Not only had he spent years in South America, he said; he also had Inca blood. He was wild, he boasted, a monster, all appetite. As if to prove it he drank uncontrollably and assaulted friends.

Unsurprisingly his self-portraits became self-dramatizations, less records of what he looked like — a kind of hippie grandee — than projections of what he felt like. In 1889 he depicted himself as a doleful, abandoned Jesus in Gethsemane; then as gimlet-eyed Satan fondling a snake; and finally, in a ceramic sculpture, as a bleeding severed head.

In the ceramic piece, which echoed pre-Columbian pottery, he played the Inca card, but also cast himself as the martyred John the Baptist. Like John he felt, he was a voice crying out in the wilderness, condemning a corrupt modern Europe, embracing the ideal of non-Western cultures that existed in a state of moral innocence.

Gaugin put forth a distorted view of himself in stoneware.

Page 2....

message 2: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 1140 comments
Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?
oil on canvas, 139.1 × 374.6 cm, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Gauguin inscribed the original French title in the upper left corner: D'où Venons Nous / Que Sommes Nous / Où Allons Nous. The inscription the artist wrote on his canvas has no question mark, no dash, and all words are capitalized. In the upper right corner he signed and dated the painting: P. Gauguin / 1897. The painting was created in Tahiti.

Gauguin—after vowing that he would commit suicide following this painting's completion, something he had previously attempted—indicated that the painting should be read from right to left, with the three major figure groups illustrating the questions posed in the title. The three women with a child represent the beginning of life; the middle group symbolizes the daily existence of young adulthood; and in the final group, according to the artist, "an old woman approaching death appears reconciled and resigned to her thoughts"; at her feet, "a strange white bird...represents the futility of words." The blue idol in the background apparently represents what Gauguin described as "the Beyond." Of its entirety he said, "I believe that this canvas not only surpasses all my preceding ones, but that I shall never do anything better—or even like it."

message 3: by Heather (new)

Heather Q&A: Ed Ruscha on 'Psycho Spaghetti Westerns'
The artist discusses his new show of paintings, on view at Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills.

By Jori Finkel
Los Angeles Times

Artist Ed Ruscha's "Psycho Spaghetti Westerns" is at Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times, Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times / February 26, 2011)

Ed Ruscha's new paintings, the subject of a Gagosian Gallery show that opened Friday in Beverly Hills, look like they are haunted by the ghost of Pop Art. The canvases are filled with images of assorted objects, many branded: a tire, a Perrier bottle, a Bud Light carton.

But instead of bright, shiny images à la Warhol, the objects here are in various stages of disarray or decay. The tire is blown; the bottle is discarded; the carton is crumpled. And the dominant colors are muted earth tones.

Ruscha calls the series of 10 paintings "Psycho Spaghetti Westerns," and Gagosian bills it as the artist's "first painting exhibition in Los Angeles in 12 years." Not that anyone should worry about the 73-year-old artist's productivity. He recently major shows of paintings elsewhere and photographs here, with retrospectives abroad, and represented the U.S. in the 2005 Venice Biennale with a series called "Course of Empire."

[image error]
Psycho Spaghetti Western #3, 2010

The Times asked the Los Angeles artist to represent himself — and talk about his new work.

"Psycho Spaghetti Westerns" is a fabulous title. You also used "psycho" in some earlier work: "Metro, Petro, Neuro, Psycho." Is there something about the word "psycho" that you like?

It's supercharged, and I like that. There are no direct references to those words in any of the new paintings, except it sort of fits like a glove. I was faced with this thought of having to have a title, and that just came out of the sky. I thought, "How perfect for these paintings." There are no references to Italian movies from the '60s here, although I do like those movies, but "Spaghetti Westerns" says it all: tangled up messes like spaghetti, and we're living out here in the West, and we're all psycho.

[image error]
Psycho Spaghetti Western #4, 2010

Your new work has various objects in states of decay or disarray — blown tires, discarded mattresses, a broken construction sign. Are these objects you've been collecting in your imagination, or physically as well?

I see them when I drive. I started seeing so much debris and so many castaways, that set me thinking. And I was stopping on the highways to pick up these things. I collected this detritus. I thought they were perfect little things for paintings, and each one has its own personality. I found some debris right in Hollywood, on the small side streets. A lot of these things I found off the highways in the desert. I like to go out there — I've had a place there for 30-something years. Believe it or not, I like the nature out there. I don't like the manmade things in the desert. So many of them have been shot at for some reason.

[image error]
Psycho Spaghetti Western #5, 2010

Do you feel that the new series is specific to American wastefulness?

The whole world is so homogenous that at this point trash found in Russia or France could end up here or being from here. And I don't really make the paintings to be reflections of man's wasteful nature. These are just objects; they could be looked at as if they are brand new. They are not sad things — maybe they are brighter than they appear.

[image error]
Psycho Spaghetti Western #6, 2010

So many of your paintings and also photographs and prints, from the Standard stations and Hollywood signs (of the 1960s) to your more recent landscapes, have strong diagonal lines. What does a diagonal give you that a more horizontal image doesn't?

All of my life, I've responded to the megaphone effect: You start off small and then blast out words. The megaphone always takes the form of a diagonal. It's like a train in the distance that gets huge as it approaches. I like something that starts small and ends up larger. I guess that I really like diagonals.

[image error]
Psycho Spaghetti Western #7, 2010-2011

With "Psycho Spaghetti Westerns," are all of the paintings done in acrylic on canvas?

All except for one, the one that shows what a truck driver would call a "gator" — the retreads that fall off of trucks. The mattress in that picture is painted partly with used motor oil. Somehow, motor oil and mattresses go together — either oil or blood. You always see it on the streets. They throw oil on the mattresses to finish them off.

[image error]
Psycho Spaghetti Western #8, 2010-2011

Your "Course of Empire" work shown at the Venice Biennale took its title from the American landscape painter Thomas Cole, who did a series about the rise and fall of civilization. Was there an artist, or historical point of reference, you were thinking about with your new series?

These paintings lack a prior life. They don't follow "Course of Empire" exactly, but they do point toward age and time spent and waste. Most of my work is based on this idea of waste and retrieval: using wasted, overlooked or forgotten things.

[image error]
Psycho Spaghetti Western #10, 2010-2011

Are the new paintings about your own aging at all? Are they self-portraits, by any stretch of the imagination?

I look at these things [in my paintings] in terms of geology, and that's a good way to think about aging. You know, how mountains are actually moving all the time. My friend Robert Smithson says that one pebble moving one inch in a million years is exciting enough for him, and I agree. [But] no, the works are no comment whatsoever on my advancing age.

You once said something about art that I heard Steve Martin quote at a talk not so long ago. A bad work of art makes you go, "Wow. Huh?" A good work of art makes you go, "Huh? Wow." Do you ever have a "huh" response to your own work?

Sometimes I look at my own work and I'm abandoned at sea. I wonder what it's all about. I look at every work I make as an isolated event. I don't always know where it fits.

message 4: by Heather (new)

Heather An Artist Gets His Wish, and Wants Your Help

The New York Times

The street artist known only as JR.
Jonathan de Villiers for The New York Times

The Parisian street artist known as JR – a peripatetic figure who has made a name for himself by plastering urban areas around the world with huge photographs of the downtrodden residents who live there – became the unlikely winner several months ago of the 2011 TED Prize. The philanthropic honor gives the winner (past recipients have included Bono and Bill Clinton) the chance to make a grand wish.

On Wednesday at the TED organization’s annual conference in Long Beach, Calif., the artist revealed his wish – which the organization’s backers will help finance. And the wish, perhaps not surprisingly, is to try to turn the entire world into a socially conscious graffiti collective. The artist has started a project called Inside Out that allows anyone to upload a photo of himself (or of families or groups of people) for free to a Web site: JR and a team working with him then make those photographs into large posters that are mailed back to the senders of the photographs, with the hope that that they will display the posters somewhere in public. Whether the posters are displayed with the permission of property owners or are pasted up in a more guerrilla fashion seems to be left up the individual poster owners.

“Posters can be placed anywhere, from a solitary image in an office window to a wall of portraits on an abandoned building or a full stadium,” says the project’s Web site, which already reported 500 uploaded photographs by 6 p.m. Wednesday, just after the project was announced. The goal, JR says, is to transform “messages of personal identity into pieces of artistic work.”

“Everyone is challenged to use black-and-white photographic portraits to discover, reveal and share the untold stories and images of people around the world,” he said.

JR's Wish: "I wish for you to stand up for what you care about by participating in a global art project, and together we'll turn the world...INSIDE OUT."

message 5: by Heather (last edited Mar 10, 2011 07:44PM) (new)

Heather Michelangelo's David 'could collapse due to high-speed train building'

Michelangelo’s statue of David is at risk of being toppled by the construction of a high-speed railway line beneath Florence because of his flimsy ankles.

By Nick Squires, Rome
The Telegraph

The statue is riddled with tiny cracks, particularly in the ankles of the boy warrior, and could collapse as a result of vibrations from the 1.4 billion euro project, which is due to start in the summer.

The threat of serious damage being done to one of the world’s most famous statues has prompted calls for it to be moved to a purpose-built museum away from the construction work.

“The tunnel will pass about 600 meters (2,000ft) from the statue of David, the ankles of which, it is well known, are riddled with micro-fissures. If it’s not moved before digging begins, there is a serious risk that it will collapse,” said Fernando De Simone, an expert in underground engineering.

The cracks in the marble are mostly in David’s left ankle and in the carved tree stump which bears part of the statue’s weight.

They are thought to have developed because for more than a century the statue leant at an angle, and because the marble used in the statue was not of a high standard.

Florence is divided over plans to construct a four-mile-long train tunnel and a six-level underground train station as part of a project to improve the Tuscan city’s rail links with Rome and Milan.

Mr De Simone said the 17ft high statue was already under intense strain because of vibrations caused by the 1.5 million tourists who troop through Florence’s Accademia Gallery each year to see the work, and due to traffic in the streets surrounding the building.

“The risk of collapse... will be very high if the resonance caused by excavation machinery for the high-speed train tunnel, as well as the vibrations of passing trains, are added to existing vibrations caused by visitors,” said Mr De Simone.

He has called on Florentine authorities to move the statue from its current location to a specially-built new museum, which should be designed to withstand tremors from earthquakes.

Vittorio Sgarbi, a prominent Italian art critic, called for the train tunnel project to be shelved entirely. “Our heritage should come before everything else. The excavation work should not go ahead,” he said.

Cristina Acidini, an official in charge of Florence’s museums, said the Accademia Gallery was being tested by engineers for its ability to withstand earthquakes and that an assessment of the tunnel’s potential effect on David would be conducted at the same time.

Florence is in a region of Italy which is prone to earthquakes and has a recorded history of more than 120 tremors, although none reached more than five on the Richter scale.

Michelangelo spent three years creating the statue of David, the biblical hero who killed Goliath with a single stone from his slingshot. It was unveiled in the city’s Piazza della Signoria in 1504.

After concern that it was being damaged by grime and rain, it was moved in 1873 to the Accademia Gallery, with a replica placed in the square, outside the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence’s centuries-old seat of government.

The marble figure was commissioned by Florence’s rulers to symbolise the city state’s ability, despite its small size, to fight off bigger neighbouring powers.

message 6: by Heather (new)

Heather If You Take Street Art Off the Street, Is It Still Art?
Fans Cut Mural Linked to Banksy From Wall; One Man's Rescue, Another's Heist

The Wall Street Journal

DETROIT—Secured inside a wooden crate and locked in a warehouse is a painting that could cement this city's reputation as a showcase for avant-garde art. Or as a wasteland waiting to be picked apart.

It's a stenciled image on a 7-foot-by-7-foot slab of cinder-block wall, showing a small boy holding a can and paintbrush.

Next to the boy are the words: "I remember when all this was trees."

The painting came from the grounds of the old Packard auto plant, one of the city's infamous industrial ruins. And it is believed to be the work of the mysterious street artist Banksy, whose graffiti-like renderings adorn the lanes of London and the walls of the West Bank. His ironic urban images, or "tags," have produced world-wide fame and led him to create an Oscar-nominated documentary.

This Banksy work, close to the Archway underground stop in North London, depicts a hitchhiker with the face of serial killer Chales Manson. Last year, it was targeted by a Banksy competitor.

How the work ended up in the warehouse—was it a rescue or a heist?—is now the subject of a spirited discussion in Detroit art circles.

It's also at the center of a courtroom battle between a scrappy Detroit art gallery and the once-reclusive owner of the Packard site.

Last May, a quartet of artists from the 555 Nonprofit Gallery and Studios, tipped off by local photographer Bill Riddle, descended on a section of the Packard site strewn with rubble. After sawing the painting free, they hauled the 1,500-pound wall back to their gallery to save it, they say, from destruction. They say they hid the painting in response to threats from other street artists to deface it.

"Look at what the big picture is here," says Mr. Riddle, a 41-year-old former computer technician. "It's not a silly tag. It's a world-renowned artist who put something up in a place that is going to be destroyed."

Others here see it differently. "It seems the 555 Gallery is incapable of comprehending Banksy and committed the greatest art sin," one critic wrote on a local radio station's website. "In its attempt to 'preserve' a Banksy they have ultimately destroyed it."

Some locals sniff that what Banksy left behind has only served to promote himself.

Graffito detail

His gallery work sells for tens of thousands of dollars, though he refuses to authenticate his street art, making it difficult to value.

Detroit's gritty landscape has long been a rich canvas for street artists. But many residents are sensitive about what some art critics have dubbed "ruin porn"—works by out-of-towners that make a spectacle of the city's decaying buildings.

"Obviously, we are supportive of the artist community that has decided to make Detroit home," said Dan Lijana, spokesman for Detroit Mayor Dave Bing. "But those who are seeking to tell the same old stories using art, that's something that we don't support."

Banksy, the pseudonym of a British-born street artist who hides his identity, is thought to have created several pieces across Detroit's landscape while on tour with his movie, "Exit Through the Gift Shop." Images of two of the Detroit works—including the "Trees" painting—appear on his website, At least two other Detroit paintings have been attributed to Banksy, but those can't be as firmly tied to the artist, whose popularity has spawned many imitators around the world.

Through a spokeswoman, Banksy declined to comment.

"Most normal art is built to last, like, hundreds of years. It's cast in bronze. Or it's oil on canvas," Banksy says in his movie. "But street art has a short life span."

The "Trees" painting appeared on a jagged section of crumbling, 8-inch-thick wall adjacent to the decrepit Packard car plant, a 3.5-million-square-foot complex. Since it closed in 1956, it has served mostly as a scavenger's playground, and occasionally as a backdrop for TV shows and films, including the coming "Transformers 3."

In May, Mr. Riddle saw a photo of the "Trees" painting on a friend's website and recognized the setting. He said he received approval from an on-site foreman and reached out to 555 Gallery.

Gallery director Carl Goines convinced his father and fellow artists Jacob Martinez and Eric Froh to gather supplies to extricate the painting: an oxyacetylene torch, a Bobcat mini-tractor, a pickup truck and a gas-powered masonry saw with a new $400 blade. It took them two days in mid-May to carve out the entire section of wall.

As news of the removal spread, the building's owner, Bioresource Inc., sued the art gallery in July in Wayne County Circuit Court. It argued that the painting could be worth more than $100,000 and demanded it back.

In court papers, the artist group says it believed they had permission to remove the painting as long as they didn't attempt to purloin any scrap metal. A lawyer for the plant owner said that the foreman on site was not the owner's representative or agent.

When Mayor Bing's office learned of the lawsuit, city officials began looking into back taxes owed on the property since 2006 and seized demolition equipment from the site, a city spokesman said. A lawyer for Bioresource declined to comment, citing the ongoing litigation.

Randy Wilcox, who runs a popular Detroit photo blog called dETROITfUNK, chronicled the escapades at the Packard plant and defended 555's owners as preservationists not profiteers.

But there were critics, including Mr. Wilcox's own wife, Melinda, a local sculptor. Banksy "puts things in a place for a reason," said Ms. Wilcox, who teaches art at a suburban high school. "It's about the life of the piece. Its life span was cut short."

The gallery owners are undeterred, saying their plan to put the piece on display for free in another old building that has outlived its intended use, an old police precinct house, will keep it in context. The next hearing in the case is set for March 18.

Sculptor Larry Halbert, a Banksy fan who chairs the 555 Gallery, discounts the slogan on the work—"I remember when all this was trees"—as the voice of an outsider.

Mr. Halbert said a bit ruefully of the Packard plant, "I remember when there were jobs."

message 7: by Monica (new)

Monica | 909 comments Don't remind me.

message 8: by John (new)

John David (nicholasofautrecourt) That's an easy one. No, it's not.

message 9: by Heather (new)

Heather A Model Body
When artists and doctors work together, both sides win.

By Jennifer Fisher Wilson
The Smart Set from Drexel University

"The Gross Clinic" courtesy of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; "Model, Sphenoid Bone free-standing" courtesy of the Wistar Institute.

There was a time before the camera and the microscope, before x-rays and MRIs, when doctors and artists needed one another. Achieving insight on the body’s form and function was a truly demanding challenge, and everyone was better off for the doctor-artist partnership.

This collaboration reached an apotheosis in Philadelphia during the late 1800s, when the city was a center of innovation for both fields. Well-regarded artists worked within walking distance of great medical innovators, and the proximity paid off. Sculptor William Rush carved “gigantic size” anatomical sculptures of small parts of the body — the inner ear, sphenoid bone, temporal bone, the right maxilla — which anatomist Caspar Wistar used as models when lecturing in the medical school amphitheater.

William Rush, "Model, Sphenoid Bone free-standing" (1808)

Realist artist Thomas Eakins collaborated with surgeon W.W. Keen in dissecting the cadaver of a muscular young Philadelphian, and used this as the basis for detailed plaster reproductions that enumerated specific muscles, veins, and bones.

These works, and many others, feature in a current special exhibition “Anatomy/Academy” at the country’s oldest art museum and school, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. The works reveal, among other things, how artists and doctors unraveled mysteries of the body in an era limited by what the eye could see, and the hand record. Artists provided medical educators with detailed drawings and 3-D models of human body parts, and doctors provided art educators with lectures on anatomy and viewings of cadaver dissections.

Textbooks lacked photos but included beautiful flap anatomy figures, with layered drawings going levels deeper and deeper into the body. Such books were the only way to see inside the body without cutting into one. Gaining perspective on how different parts of the body related proved truly challenging. Anatomist Rufus B. Weaver, for instance, labored many months removing every speck of bone and flesh from a cadaver in order to uncover the entire stringy, spindly central nervous system — brain and nerves — for all to see. Today, this preserved dissection, which is included in the exhibition, is still fascinating to behold. Perhaps the only one of its kind ever completed, it stands head to toe like some lace-like creature with bulging eyeballs.

Today, of course, doctors and artists don’t really need one another to uncover such remarkable insights on the body. Technology can provide instantaneous images of the body in action. We can see individual nerves on an enhanced MRI, but we can now even see how nerve cells communicate, one molecule at a time.

But the fields of medicine and art continue to loop back to one another. Art students still visit gross anatomy labs at medical schools, for instance. And a growing medical humanities movement has considered how medical students might develop better diagnostic skills by looking at the body as art students do. Laboratory studies, technologically-generated images, and computer searches have advanced the practice of medicine, but along the way doctors might be losing the ability to “see” their patients. Evidence has pointed to inadequate physical examination skills among medical students, and declining teaching of these skills.

Some medical colleges are using art as an antidote to the trend. They are holding courses in which students visit museums such as the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts to observe art and devise a “visual diagnosis” through close attention to subtle details in facial expression and body language.

In one such course at Yale Medical School, medical students are asked to diagnose individuals portrayed in 19th-century Victorian paintings at the Yale Center for British Art. Students inspect a painting, and then try describing it in such as way that someone who hasn’t seen it could form a mental image. Then, in discussion with a small group, they fashion a hypothesis on what the painting is about. For instance, in one painting a young man with an ashen face lies in a contorted position across a bed. An empty vial and scraps of paper clutter the floor. From these details, students often discern that the young man is dead, and indeed they are right: the painting depicts the death of Thomas Chatterton, a poet who poisoned himself after his poems were unmasked as forgeries.

After more exercises such as this, the students put their enhanced observational skills into clinical practice, inspecting photographs of various skin conditions. According to the creator of the course, Yale medical school faculty member Irwin Braverman, the students describe the images more precisely than they did before the art training, and they also begin to see things they ordinarily would have passed over. Detecting small details, Braverman says, can make all the difference in coming up with accurate diagnoses.

The Yale program, which is more than a decade old now, has inspired similar programs at more than 20 medical schools, but it is hardly mainstream to the medical school curriculum. There is reason to believe that it should be. Research on the effects of such courses has confirmed that structured observation of artworks improves medical observational and diagnostic abilities. Furthermore, the courses appear to improve a doctor’s overall sensitivity to patient well-being.

Doctors and artists are unlikely to return to their collaborative ways of yore, when they had reason to interact regularly. But this new approach bonds the two fields together in an inspired way. On viewing Eakins’ famous “The Gross Clinic,” which is included in “Anatomy/Academy” and portrays surgeon Samuel Gross, with bloody scalpel in hand, lecturing medical students over the body of an anesthetized patient, one wonders how today’s medical students would react to the scene — and be interested to hear their “visual diagnosis.”

"Anatomy/Academy" Through April 17. Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia.

message 10: by Ed (last edited Mar 23, 2011 10:38AM) (new)

Ed Smiley | 871 comments Maine Gov. Paul LePage Orders Removal Of Labor Mural

Here's details of the controversial mural:

message 11: by Heather (new)

Heather Incredible, Ed. I can't believe what lePage is trying to do to the older working-class:

"LePage has been the target of labor protests in recent weeks, after he proposed raising the retirement age for some state workers and eventually capping cost-of-living adjustments for retirees in an effort to address the state's fiscal situation."

message 12: by Heather (new)

Heather Pope Benedict Meets Artists from Around the World in the Sistine Chapel

Written by Daniel Flynn

[image error]

VATICAN CITY (REUTERS).- Pope Benedict met artists from around the world in the Sistine Chapel on Saturday and urged them to inject spirituality into their work, saying contemporary beauty was often "illusory and deceitful." The Pope told the gathering of hundreds of painters, sculptors, architects, poets and directors, held beneath the vaulted ceiling of the chapel painted by Michelangelo, that he wanted to "renew the Church's friendship with the world of art." Against the backdrop of Michelangelo's vast fresco of the Last Judgment, which adorns the chapel's altar wall, Benedict lamented that the once-close cooperation between the Church and the artistic community had weakened.

"Beauty ... can become a path toward the transcendent, toward the ultimate Mystery, toward God," Benedict said.

The Vatican said it invited some 500 artists to the event, regardless of religious, political or stylistic allegiances. More than 250 accepted, mostly from Italy, including singer Andrea Bocelli and award-winning film composer Ennio Morricone.

Amongst the other guests were Iraqi-born British architect Zaha Hadid, whose Maxxi modern art museum has just opened in Rome, and F. Murray Abraham, the American actor who won an Oscar for his role as Salieri in the Mozart film, Amadeus, in 1985.

The Pope told them that in a world lacking in hope, with increasing signs of aggression and despair, there was an ever greater need for a return to spirituality in art.

"Too often ... the beauty thrust upon us is illusory and deceitful ... it imprisons man within himself and further enslaves him, depriving him of hope and joy," he said.

"Faith takes nothing away from your genius or art," he said. "On the contrary, it exalts them and nourishes them."

Saturday's event marked both the 10th anniversary of Pope John Paul II's 'Letter to Artists' in 1999 in which he spoke of the Church's "need for art," and the 45th anniversary of Pope Paul VI's original meeting with artists in 1964.

After a number of spats between the Vatican and artists in recent years, including a controversy surrounding writer Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, the latest overture to the artistic world is being driven by the Vatican's new culture commissar, Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi. In a sign of efforts at reconciliation, the Vatican has said it will participate in the 2011 Venice Biennale, one of the world's major art festivals held every two years.

The Pope said, "Through your art, you yourselves are to be heralds and witnesses of hope for humanity,'' he said. But he warned them to guard against "seductive but hypocritical'' beauty that creates "indecency, transgression or gratuitous provocation.''

message 13: by Patty (new)

Patty Barnett (barnettfineart) | 24 comments I added the Gauguin article to my blog. Only part of it, with a link.
May do the same with the street art artcle. my blog is informational rather than my thoughts.

Usually it is about new artwork and/or artists that I represent.
Haven't posted anything lately until today.
Never know if people read it or not. Maybe some of you will take a look and offer suggestions as what else I can add. Would really appreciate it.

message 14: by Ed (new)

Ed Smiley | 871 comments I heard this one on the radio and I tracked it down:

Civic Center Removes Painting after Worker Takes Offense

Here's the art work in question.

message 15: by Ed (last edited Apr 12, 2011 10:43PM) (new)

Ed Smiley | 871 comments Patty wrote: "I added the Gauguin article to my blog. Only part of it, with a link.
May do the same with the street art artcle. my blog is informational rather than my thoughts.

Usually it is about new art..."

It's a great site. I saw a couple of issues. Hopefully you have a web person to help you with this.

I tried to add you to my blog as a blog I follow on blogspot ( and it complained about you not having an RSS feed. I also wanted to link to one of your blog articles on Facebook, and it wanted to link to your home page, rather than the article.

The reason I bring this up is that web traffic is often driven by links, especially from places that are related to what you are known for (art).

message 16: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 1944 comments Ed wrote: "I heard this one on the radio and I tracked it down:

Civic Center Removes Painting after Worker Takes Offense

Here's the art work in question.


I read about this, too. What a silly woman. (Not the nude, but the complainer.)

back to top