Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Infinite Art Tournament Round 1: Marini v. Martin!

Marino Marini
1901 - 1980


John Martin
1789 - 1854


Vote for the artist of your choice! Votes go in the comments. Commentary and links to additional work are welcome. Polls open for at least one month past posting.

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Songs of the Fifty States: New Mexico

(What is "The Songs of the Fifty States"?)

Art in New Mexico is inextricably connected with Georgia O'Keeffe; here is
her Black Mesa Landscape, New Mexico.

New Mexico!
Size: 315,194 km2 (5th)

2014 Population: 2,085,572 (36th)

Statehood: 1912 (47th).

American Human Development Index: 4.52 (40th)

Art Mecca: Where is the art hub of New Mexico?  I asked a current resident, who replied that "I don't think we have any must-sees. Plenty of fresh galleries though."  I believe that this is generally true, but as you know, I like to be thorough.  So, I also asked an actual professional artist who was trained at the University of New Mexico, but she didn't get back to me. 

Talking about art in New Mexico is a bit quirky, anyway, in that maybe more than any other U.S. state it's got its own indigenous fine-arts culture.  There are Native American traditions, there are various gradations of "Southwestern Art" -- some of which aren't at all tacky! -- and there is the "artists' colony" of Taos, through the stucco halls of which an impressive array of 20th century modern artists passed. 

The combination of the happening local arts scene and the relative newness of most cultural institutions in a late-to-urbanize state mean that the art museums of New Mexico aren't your typical regional collections of obscure works by famous European masters.  The closest you'll get to that sort of thing is the University of New Mexico Art Museum, which has a scattering of Old Masters stuff and quite a bit of Early Modern Art.  Up I-25 in Santa Fe, meanwhile, is the New Mexico Museum of Art, which by all appearances is a bona fide, robust regional art museum that straight up doesn't give a damn about East Coast and European painting.  I'd kind of like to check that out.

Which museum is more important?  NMMA has about 8500 Facebook likes, whereas the UNMAM seems refreshingly oblivious to the whole social media thing.  What the heck, they're only 60 miles apart.  Let's visit both of them!

Michael 5000's New Mexico

First Visited: June 1, 1997 (33rd)
Most Recently Visited: July 25, 2014 (5th)

First Run In: May 25, 2013
Best Run: 4.04 miles, Raton, 5/25/13

Have Admired the Visual Arts In: No.
Have Geohashed In: No.
Have Slept Overnight In: Yes.

Counties Visited: 7/33 (41st)
% Complete: 21.2% (39th)

Mrs. 5000's Counties Visited: 17/33 (23rd)
% Complete: 51.5% (19th)
Mrs.5000 First Visited: Unknown
Mrs.5000 Most Recently Visited: May 26, 2013 

Atlas of All Roads Travelled

The little green bit was added in May 2013.  The red stretch was added on a hot July day in 2014.

Plans and Aspirations

It would be fun to drive around in New Mexico.  But maybe that's just the seasonal affective disorder talking.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Infinite Art Tournament, Left Bracket Second Round: Bonnard v. Klimt!

Pierre Bonnard
1867 - 1947

Tied with Richard Parkes Bonington in his initial Round 1 outing, in March 2012.
Lost to Banksy in Round 1.
Ousted 20th Century artist R B Kitaj in First Round Elimination.

Gustav Klimt
1862 - 1918

Beat Franz Kline black and blue, mostly black, in Round 1.
Lost badly to Paul Klee in Round 2.

Vote for the artist of your choice in the comments, or any other way that works for you. Commentary and links to additional work are welcome. Polls open for at least one month past posting, but likely much longer.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Wednesday Post

It's Army Day in Armenia!
And the 23rd anniversary of the founding of the Armenian Ministry of Defense!

If you live in Armenia, enjoy your day off! Everybody else, back to work.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Infinite Art Tournament, Round 3: Kupka v. de La Tour!

Frantisek Kupka
1871 - 1957
Czech; worked in France

Defeated Wilfredo Lam in an unusual Cuban/Czech IAT Round 1 pairing.
Beat beachcomber Andres Amador in Round 2 by a single vote. YOUR VOTE COUNTS!

Georges de La Tour
1593 - 1652

Trounced Peter Lanyon in Round 1.
Walloped animal specialist Sir Edwin Landseer in Round 2.

Vote for the artist of your choice in the comments, or any other way that works for you. Commentary and links to additional work are welcome. Polls open for at least one month past posting.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The New Monday Quiz V

Wasn't that a great weekend?  Don't you wish it had lasted just one more day?  Well, at least you have the New Monday Quiz...

1. This painting is by an artist who broke with the abstractions of Byzantine style in favor of an expressive realism, helping to kick off the Italian Renaissance and the subsequent development of Western art.  Do you know his name, punk?  Well?  Do you?

2. The third of its four parts is "A Voyage to Laputa, Balnibarbi, Luggnagg, Glubbdubdrib, and Japan." What's the title of this 1726 novel?

3. The movie ranked second on the imdb best films list, trailing only The Shawshank Redemption, begins with a wedding.  The marriage will not go well.  What's the name of the movie?

4. John Calvin, who might not have been completely unbiased, thought he was the "last good pope." In office from 590 to 604, he strengthened the power of the Papacy, dispatched Augustine of Canterbury to envangelize the English ("Non Angli, sed angeli"), and substantially revised the practice of Christian worship. His efforts at improving and standardizing sacred music was an influential step in the development of Western music.  Name that Saint!

5. Here's a map showing the provinces of what country?

6. Element #79 is soft and easy to shape, and is very nearly heavy as Element #82, Lead! In fact, it's actually denser than lead, which makes it heavier for practical purposes. It's one of the least reactive metals on the whole periodic table. A terrific conductor of electricity, it is for some reason never used in wiring. What's its name?

7. One of your least important internal organs -- you could probably live without it with no ill effects -- it collects the bile from your liver and then squirts it into your small intestine on demand. What is it?

8. His 29 lines include
Heavens make our presence and our practices
Pleasant and helpful to him!

The Queen, your mother, in most great affliction of spirit
hath sent me to you.

My lord, we were sent for.

What, my lord?

My lord, I cannot.
He's arguably one of the most famous unimportant characters in all of theater. Who is he?

9. Oops, I accidentally blurred a spot on this postage stamp!  For many years, this was a postage stamp from a country that no longer existed, but that's not true any more.  What country might you have used it to send a letter from?

10. "His use and development of Norwegian folk music in his own compositions put the music of Norway in the international spectrum, as well as helping to develop a national identity, much as Jean Sibelius and Antonín Dvořák did in Finland and Bohemia, respectively." You are most familiar with some incidental music he wrote for an Ibsen play. Name that composer!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Infinite Art Tournament Round 1: Marc v. Marin!

Franz Marc
1880 - 1916


John Marin
1870 - 1953


Vote for the artist of your choice! Votes go in the comments. Commentary and links to additional work are welcome. Polls open for at least one month past posting.