Bronze Head of a Woman

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Image courtesy of the British Museum

Today we’re looking at this female head made from bronze and filled with lead, which might have been a mirror cover. It was found in Greece and dates back to 350-330 BCE, and now belongs to the collection of the British Museum although it’s not on display.

Many ancient cultures used mirrors, and I came across mirror lids of varying styles and shapes while doing research for this post. Most of the classical ones have scenes engraved on them, so I kept this one because I found it to be more interesting, first of all in the way it’s carved. The lids that depict scenes are relatively flat with low relief engravings, whereas this one is carved in three dimensions. Also, the subject differs significantly and this one is much more related to the use of its corresponding object. Remember the water jar? This has essentially the same context  in that it’s an image of a person, featured on an object whose function is to give an image of the person. Of course, this may not be a mirror lid at all in which case this whole argument is pointless; but you can learn more about this artifact here and formulate your own opinion.

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All Art Has Been Contemporary

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Image courtesy of the MFA Boston

This neon installation by Maurizio Nannucci is part of the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. You can check out the picture below to see how it looks like on display today. Nannucci is an artist who works a lot with neon, but this piece is particularly striking to me because it’s self referring. It’s a reflection on art by an artist, and more specifically on contemporary art by a contemporary artist. Now for the backstory, I’ve been getting more and more interested in contemporary art thanks to my current job, and I find it interesting how simple it can be while at the same time conveying some important depth. All art has indeed been contemporary, but not all art has been called contemporary. Should we have a new designation for what is understood today as contemporary art or is that the job of future generations to classify it and figure it out? A lot of artistic currents in the past were self named and it’s not all a categorization imposed by art historians. So yeah, after all, a piece of art is something that should trigger some sort of thinking; and this is working quite well here.DSC_1234

The Place Where Wishes Come True

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Image courtesy of Sena Runa

Sena Runa is a Turkish artist who quit her day job less than a year ago to dedicate herself to paper quilling. She creates small paper sculpture (this one is 30x40cm) from colored paper. Paper quilting consists of rolling and gluing pieces of paper together to create patterns.

It might not be monumental or a museum piece but I think it’s a nice example of where contemporary art  is going, with people working from their houses and getting noticed through the internet. Thank you tumblr and pinterest.

It also shows you how thin the limit between crafting and art is. I am going to keep following updates of this artist because I think she has great potential, even if she never ends up being exhibited in a significant way.

So check out her work here, she also has an etsy store if you’d like to own a piece.

Elusive Electricity

Image courtesy of re-title

I discovered Lebanese artist Ayah Bdeir while compiling a database of Lebanese artists at work. She mixes art an technology in a really cool way and you can check out her work here.

This neon cable installation created in 2011 in collaboration with Hitumi Nanayakkara and Bassam Jalgha spells out “Ejet Ejet”, which translates to “It Came, It Came” in Arabic. This sentence refers to the shortage of electricity in Lebanon. People are often asking if the electricity “came”. What is even cooler about this installation is that it dims as you get closer to it, and eventually turns off. I find it admirable that Ayah Bdeir managed to capture such an important concept of the Lebanese society in such a simple installation. Less is more I guess.

Untitled-Tara Donovan

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This monumental sculpture by Tara Donovan is composed of hundreds of Styrofoam cups glued on an aluminium structure. It is attached to the ceiling in one of the galleries of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. This sculpture is interactive as it can be perceived differently according to the space it is in and the changing light. It is very reminiscent of natural processes, as the artist says that her art “tries to mimic the ways of nature”; but at the same time it is made of a non natural material, which provokes an interesting dialogue.

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This wood and paint structure by Sol LeWitt from 1985 is currently on view at the Hirshhorn in Washington, DC. This artwork is a typical example of LeWitt’s use of simple basic units that can be associated in multiple ways. Here, he stacked up empty white cubes symmetrically to create a sort of truncated pyramid. What I find aesthetically pleasing in this piece is how multidimensional and complex it is although it is based on something really quite straightforward.

Brushstroke | Back to Basics Exhibition

IMG-20150613-WA0026This sculpture by Lichtenstein is going to be the title artwork for the Back to Basics exhibition. The older exhibitions (Metal Colors and Perceptions of Nature) will still be running; but this one is more about simple lines and shapes, monochromes, and primary colors. Back to Basics will be an exhibition with no complications.

So a little more about Brushstroke now. This one is exhibited at the Hirshhorn since 2003, was created in 1966 and is made of aluminium. You can tell it’s pretty monumental by comparing it to me on the above picture. Initially, the Brushstrokes were a series of paintings that Lichtenstein started in the 1960s. This sculpture is part of a series derived from the paintings. There are several Brushstrokes sculptures spread out around the world, from America to Spain to Japan.

Image courtesy of the Lichtenstein Foundation.

Glass Flower

Photo courtesy of Curious Expeditions on Flickr

Yes yes this flower is made of glass. And it’s part of a collection of 4000 glass flowers exhibited at the Harvard Museum of Natural History. I was so mind blown when I saw them in real life. If you happen to be in the Boston area it’s something you really shouldn’t miss. Really, I’m having trouble writing and finding pictures that do justice to how breathtaking these are. This collection is so realistic, as it was created as a study collection for Harvard professor George Lincoln Goodale by Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka between 1887 and 1936. There are 847 species of flowers in this collection, which includes every part of the flower, including some sections and fruits. Most flowers were made by heating glass, but some parts are blown glass. They are sometimes made using colored glass and sometimes painted after they were shaped. Again, I can’t really convey how cool these flowers are in a blog post so make sure you check them out if you can.