The shock of the new (with new note about Gorky) | Rock Candy

The shock of the new (with new note about Gorky)



Claes Oldenburgs Alphabet/Good Humor
  • Claes Oldenburg's "Alphabet/Good Humor"

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art unveiled a new website today that reveals a few new acquisitions (including the very 1970s Oldenburg above), allows the purchase of a membership online and includes information on its library and educational programs. Sadly, most of the other acquisitions on the old website have been removed from the new one. The museum will publish a catalogue of the works, which will be on sale in the gift shop.

Memberships — students $35, individuals $55, dual family $75, associate $250 and so forth — are on sale starting today. If you live in Bentonville, you can go to the square and buy a membership at one of the CBMAA tents there. There will be sales at farmer's markets tomorrow in Fayetteville, Rogers, Springdale and Bentonville. The rest of us will have to use the Internet.

There will be two more interviews with founder Alice Walton in the national press, to keep things hot until the Nov. 11 opening (there should be no problem with the weather cooperating).

More art here, including Arshile Gorky's "Composition (Still Life)," about which I just read this interesting bit of information on Hollis Taggart Galleries' "Art Report":

In his catalogue raisonné on the artist, Gorky scholar Jim M. Jordan noted that the “issue of the naturalistic did not exist as such for Gorky.” That is, the artist’s sources were derived from direct observation, personal associations, and his own imagination. Ultimately, Gorky did not make distinctions about where he found interesting shapes or silhouettes, only that they suited his compositional goals.
As Jordan has described, in Composition (Still Life), forms such as the vase of flowers on the right and the tabletop below are drawn from nature. But when the painting is turned ninety degrees clockwise—on its right side—the composition resembles those of Gorky’s paintings of his Armenian hometown, Khorkom, that he created in the 1930s. [my emphasis] (The painting’s previous owner, artist Ethel Schwabacher, recalled that Gorky insisted that the painting be hung vertically.)
For instance, when rotated, Composition (Still Life) shares with “Summer in Sochi,” Black Sea (1936, private collection) a horizontal wedge along the bottom, a horn-like triangle in the upper right, and a bulls-eye shape in the center. As Jordan notes, Composition (Still Life) thus draws both from nature and from the artist’s own personal iconography.¹ This painting also combines two important subjects for the artist: still life, which he explored regularly throughout his career; and his Armenian roots, which were examined in the important Kharkom and Garden of Sochi series.

Here's Gorky turned clockwise:


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