by Franklin Hill Perrell
Sculpture in the Age of Donatello: Renaissance Masterpieces from Florence Cathedral.
February 20- June 14, 2015
Museum of Biblical Art. Tuesday-Sunday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
1865 Broadway at 61st Street, 2d Floor, N.Y, N.Y., 10023
“Donatello in the cage of the wild beasts” was the famous line
coined by the French art critic, Louis Vauxcelles, to excoriate the Fauve artists, led by Matisse, on exhibition in 1905. The sculpture that set him off was not actually by Donatello, but that artist’s reputation for grace and classical refinement was an apt contrast to the then perceived roughness, even animality, of the Fauves (wild beasts) . To Vauxcelles, and his readers, the positive of traits of an earlier era were synonymous with the Italian master. We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the real thing, that is, major works by Donatello, here in NY, on loan from their permanent home in Florence.
If you don’t know MOBIA, short for the Museum of Biblical Art, you really should, especially if your travels take you to Lincoln Center or the nearby Museum of American Folk Art. Now is a particularly good time to go. After recent exhibition successes including Louis C. Tiffany and the Art of Devotion; Objects of Devotion, masterpieces of medieval British stone carving (pieces rescued in the seventeenth century from the destructive excesses of Oliver Cromwell and his cohorts); and the ground-breaking rediscovery of Hildreth Meiere, who sculpted the numerous gilt and multi-hued art-deco reliefs of Rockefeller Center; MOBIA’s new show tops them all: an absolute “must see.” Continue reading MOBIA: Sculpture in the Age of Donatello
Three photographs by Artful Circle’s Debbie Wells have been accepted in two exhibitions being held at the Salmagundi Club in NY from February 9-27, 2015. These juried shows for SC’s artist members are: “SCNY Landscape Exhibition” in the upper gallery, and “SCNY Urban Life Exhibition” in the lower gallery. The galleries are open to the public daily, Mon-Fri 1-6pm, Sat & Sun 1-5pm. Reception is Feb. 12 from 6-8pm. For more information, visit www.salmagundi.org.
(L-R): Learning Masada; Outside the Factory Walls in China
Bottom: Ancient and Modern Life in Jerusalem
Remarkable about Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs at MOMA is its revelation of a public artist who created many of the works shown not only as finished works but as maquettes to satisfy a demand for his productions of prints, illustrated books, book covers, theatre curtains, decorative fabrics including wearable art, a carpet, stained glass, ceramic tile, and architectural installations. We sense the practical resourcefulness of an artist who relied on an audience not only for financial reinforcement, but as an essential element in his artistic dialogue. Artistic production, was for him, part of an equation which required a receptive and appreciative viewer for completion. Continue reading Matisse: Cut-Outs at MOMA – Introduction by Franklin Hill Perrell
A Sketch of Henri Matisse (1869-1954) I love the image of Matisse in the 1998 film, Surviving Picasso. He appears majestic and large: notably taller than Picasso. Dressed in white, and rising with dignity from his wheelchair, Matisse greets Picasso, who twitches in a frisson of unconcealed nervous anxiety, suddenly fearful that his mistress, Francoise Gilot, may be diverted by the elderly French artist, who though seriously compromised in health, exerts a compelling attraction. The movie setting is suitably splendid: the sun drenched double salon studio of Matisse’s residence at the Hotel Regina in Nice, affording a sumptuous atmosphere redolent of Riviera foliage and light (though most likely they met at Villa le Reve, smaller and darker). While a director’s conceit, the mood and tone are correct.
Continue reading Matisse: Cut-Outs at MOMA – Part One by Franklin Hill Perrell
A Sketch of Henri Matisse (1869-1954) Matisse’s images of Eden, which abound in his work after he moved to the Riviera in the 1920’s, are a striking contrast to his youthful surroundings in northern France near the Belgian border (later the front lines in World War I). His childhood environs were damp and cool, and its visual atmosphere was grey and green. There, industry prevailed over leisure. Matisse’s family, after over a century of striving, achieved a solid middle class status by the time of his birth in 1869.
Continue reading Matisse: Cut-Outs at MOMA – Part Two by Franklin Hill Perrell
A Sketch of Henri Matisse (1869-1954) From that same exhibition, Matisse’s painting, Woman in a Hat, 1905, was purchased by Gertrude Stein and her family. It portrayed Amelie Parayre whom the artist had married in 1898. She is the Madame Matisse known to history. Enabling Matisse’s art by her earnings running a successful hat shop, she is regarded as integral to the artist’s enduring involvement with fashion. They became the parents of two sons, one being the illustrious art dealer, Pierre Matisse (who figures in the MOMA exhibition as arranging his father’s commissions from America).
Continue reading Matisse: Cut-Outs at MOMA – Part Three by Franklin Hill Perrell