I have embarked on a year long journey with over 60 women from around the world committed to working through the transformative book The Artist’s Way. One of the basic principles of the book is to take yourself on an artist date. This is done alone spending time with your little artist nurturing and having fun. So – I took Little Vickie with me to the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.
So, off we went to see the exhibit Fast Forward, Modern Moments 1913 – 2013. I am a regular museum goer, but it had been A LONG time since I have gone with just Little Vickie.
Just a note, the name The High Museum does not refer to “high” art, but for the High Family that donated the land for the museum.
This exhibit is organized by six pivotal years in the world of art and this blog will be about the first two, the years of 1913 and 1929.
- 1913 – New Art for a New World
- 1929 – New Visions
- 1950 – Action and Abstraction
- 1961 Art and Life
- 1988 Constructing Identities
- 2013 The Near Present
Probably the biggest change during this time was new technologies in travel, most remarkably the airplane. Flight became a widespread symbol in paintings, drawing, music and literature. This was also the year Charlie Chaplin signed with Keystone pictures, the first Armory Show in New York was held, the Panama Canal was opened and the Model T was introduced. Take a look at some of the paintings from this year.
“An artist must possess Nature. He must identify himself with her rhythm, by efforts that will prepare the mastery which will later enable him to express himself in his own language.” Matisse
“Every true artist has been inspired more by the beauty of lines and color and the relationships between them than by the concrete subject of the picture.” Mondrian
I can’t look at a Mondrian painting and not think about music and rhythm. Did you realize he was quite an accomplished dancer? Click HERE for a short video of art historial Kermit Swiller Champa talking about Mondrian’s interest in dancing and the boogie woogie. The above painting is consider analytic cubism.
This painting is synthetic cubism, which grew out of analytic cubism. Developed by Picasso and Braque, they discovered through the repetition of analytic signs their work became flatter. This was the beginning of collage, when real pieces of paper and music began replacing depictions that were painted.
This is considered a Futurist sculpture. Don’t you love the movement of this apparent human form in motion that suggests speed and power? An interesting fact about this piece, the lack of arms is an homage to Rodin’s Walking Man
Juan Gris studied mechanical drawing. He also designed ballet sets for Diaghilev and his famous Ballets Russes. “You are lost the moment you know what the result will be”. Juan Gris (originally known as Jose Gonzalez-Perez.
Not only did the stock market crash in 1929, but it was also the year of both the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and the year Stalin took power. The Vatican became a sovereign state and Hemingway published A Farewell to Arms.
Salvador Dali had his first solo exhibition in Paris. Andre Breton, considered the founder of surrealism, said of the show “It is perhaps with Dali that for the first time the windows of the mind are opened fully wide”.
The title “Illumined Pleasures” is thought to refer to the “luminous” objects projected into the theaterlike boxes. Dali’s painting are extremely detailed, but many of them are very small. (this painting is a mere 9 3/8 x 10 3/4). “Have not fear of perfection, you will never reach it.” Dali.
Magritte shows us two images in this painting, one of the sky and the other with the word Ciel, which is the French word for sky. The word and the image are the same in their meaning. “An object never serves the same function as its image – or its name.” Magritte.
I loved this painting. Forests and birds are subjects Max Ernst returned to over and over again. In fact, Ernst had an alter-ego Loplop, who is a birdlike character that reappears in many of his works.
Georgia O’Keeffe is one of the few women represented in this show. I liked the lines and the simplicity of this painting. “I know now that most people are so closely concerned with themselves that they are not aware of their own individuality… and it has helped me to say what I want to say… in paint.” Georgia O’Keeffe
Gerald Murphy probably painted less than 20 paintings in his lifestime. This painting is one of his last, and is considered a mix of the styles of Cubism and Art Deco. Murphy and his wife Sara were ex-patriots living in both Paris and the French Riviera. They are remembered for their salons, attended by Picasso, Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. In fact, he and his wife are the models for Nicole and Dick Diver in Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night. I plan on learning more about this artist and his life.
This is part of Equivalents, which is a series of over 200 photographs primarily of the sky without a horizon, and mostly without hills, trees, buildings, making them among the first abstract photographs. He said of this series “I know exactly what I have photographed. I know I have done something that has never been done…I also know that there is more of the really abstract in some ‘representation’ than in most of the dead representations of the so-called abstract so fashionable now.”
I think this enough for now! I will write about the years of 1950, 1961, 1988 at a later date.
So, what did I and Little Vickie learn? I learned by going alone to the museum I could take the time to really look, read and listen to the audio.
What in an exhibit gets your attention?