Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Frank Stella Exotic Bird Series

Frank Stella -born in Massachusetts 1936
-received his AB in History from Princeton University 1958
-studied art history with eminent art historian William Seitz.
-after graduation moved to New York

-his early influences were Jackson Pollack and Franz Kline (abstract expressionists)

-Stella is one of the most well-regarded post-war artists working today.

Jackson Pollack (ACTION PAINTINGS)

Earlier Jackson Pollack

Franz Kline
Franz Kline

-Stella felt the abstract expressionists used an over abundance of paint and stressed movement, emotion and personal experience. 

-He became interested in artists who were dealing with "flatter" surfaces such as Barnett Newman and Jasper Johns (Target paintings).

-He grew to view pictures as objects rather than pictures representing something of the physical and emotional world.  "A Flat surface with paint on it and nothing more."

Barnett Newman

Barnett Newman

Jasper Johns (Target Paintings)

Jasper Johns

Jasper Johns (flag paintings-encaustic)

-From 1958-1960 Stella began his series of "Black Paintings"  and achieved almost immediate success.  Critics called him the "enfant terrible"or "bad boy"

-The black paintings were painted on unprimed canvas with pinstripes in between the black bands of color.  These paintings were referencing Jasper Johns flag paintings of the time.
-Along with this series he began to use copper and aluminum paint with regular lines of color.  He also began using irregular formats like an L, N, U, and T-shapes. These shaped canvases emphasize his idea of paintings as objects.
-1960 he was selected by the Museum of Modern Art in NY for an exhibtion called "the Sixteen Americans"

Protractor Series in Late 1960's

-protractor is used for mathmatics and designs (object used to produce art as objects)

French Curve and (Exotic Bird Series, Paintings and Sculptures) Late l970's and early 1980's


-Stella was early influenced by Baroque artist Caravaggio (1571-1610)




What are the similarities in Barnett Newman's and Frank Stella's paintings (in accordance with Stella's philosophies in his early career?

How does Jasper Johns' flag painting relate to Stella's stripes paintings?

Stella's paintings became more expressive later in life.  How do they relate to  his early influences of Jackson Pollack's Drip paintings?

What are the relationships between Caravaggio's Medussa and Stella Mixed-Media Sculpture?

In your opinion how does Stella's installation relate to our current environmental trends?  How does it represent the urban environment and the concerns for ecology and saving the earth?

Caravaggio's "Narcissus"
If Carravaggio was an artist today what kind of messages would he relay in these two paintings?
(Narcissus and Bachus)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

India, Taj Mahal, Shiva, Pravati, Ganesha, Mudras, Sacred Cow

Taj Majal (marble mausoleum, jewel of Muslim Art)
The Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan dedicated the mausoleum to his third wife Mumtaz Mahal who died in 1631 after giving birth their 14th child.
The mausoleum was constructed during the time of prosperity by thousands of craftsman and artisans.,

 Shah Jahan

Mumtaz Mahal

Shiva, Pravati, Ganesha (Hindu)

Shiva is blue because he swallowed all the poison of the world for the people.

PRAVATI creating Ganesha from her body oils. 

Ganesha was created to serve as a guard for Pravati during her bathing time while her husband Shiva was away in battle.
When Shiva returned and wanted to see his wife, Ganesha refused to let him into the bath.  Shiva in his rage cut Ganesha's head off.  When Pravati discovered what Shiva had done she became enraged.  To pacify his wife Shiva went into the forest and cut the head off the first animal he found.  The animal was an elephant.  Shiva brought back the elephant head and replaced on Ganesha body and thereby restoring peace to his home. 
Ganesha is the Hindu symbol for overcoming obstacles and for artists and creative energy.
The Hindu family can be related to the Christian trinity of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus.  Ganesh like Jesus died and was reborn and serves as an inspiration for diversity and dealing with day to day problems small and large.

GREEN- HEART-(jade-emerald)
YELLOW- POWER/FEAR (amber, citrine)
ORANGE-CREATIVITY-(amber, jasper, corral)
RED-ROOT (corral, turmoulene)


Mudra Buddhi
index finger (jupiter)under thumb (ego/brain)= receptive, understanding

Mudra Guyan
index finger tip to tip with thumb= aid with concentration

Mudra Prayer
Namaste (greeting, soul to soul, being to being)
The higher the hands are raised the more deference is directed.

Cows are aloud to roam freely.  They are not eaten "sacred" because of the Hindu belief in reincarnation.  (Just in case you eat your previous relative)
Hanging out downtown......

Diety with stories of gods.

Saffron colored dresses for creativity.
1. What do you think the significance of designing a building for your loved one? If you were going to design a building for a sweetheart where would it be located and why? Also what would be the key characteristics of the building (edifice) ? (what would it have to contain for to meet your requirements and satisfaction?
2. Shiva is often portrayed as a blue figure because he swallowed/took all the pain of the Earth.  How do you feel about people taking the responsibilty for others greif and pain? How can you be empathic/sympathic without causing yourself pain either physically or emotionally? (think about your parents, President Obama, Mother Teresa, The Catholic Pope)
3. Ganesh is a symbol of overcoming obstacles and the god of creativity.  How can he also symbolize understanding people with physical and emotional differences-expressing tolerance of others?
4. Shiva, Pravati, and Ganesh can parallel the holy trinity of Joseph, Jesus, and Mary. Explain how they relate in terms of the stories we have heard about these historical/religious figures?
5. The symbol of the "Sacred Cow" in India refers to protecting these animals from slaughter and consumption because they culture believes in reincarnation.  Just in case the cow is a previous relative.  How do you feel about reincarnation? What are the possibilities of returning to life as another person, animal, or thing (tree)?