Install Theme

The Blanton Museum of Art is one of the foremost university art museums in the country and has the largest collection of art in Central Texas.

Black Room:  South Black Room:  North Black Room:  Southeast

In honor of Earth Day, we’re looking at Peat Duggins’ Black Room, a series of tapestries created while the artist was living in Austin.

Each tapestry references a compass direction, as indicated by its title, as well as a time of day and season of the year. Duggins adds an additional, less predictable cycle to the mix: the evolving relationship between nature and man. In Black Room (South) Duggins depicts a hearty, fully-grown tree crowned by leaves and surrounded by fawns at noon on a summer day. In Black Room (Southeast), the same tree begins a transformation. Beneath pink blossoms that indicate early spring, the tree’s branches begin to turn into lumber planks. Southeast is the first step in a narrative sequence that outlines the progression from Black Room (South) to Black Room (North) and back again.  In the latter, the tree has fully transformed into a seemingly manmade wooden dome, shown standing on a snowy winter night. Originally displayed in a circular room that referenced civic spaces, Duggins alludes to medieval tapestries to give each scene historical weight. Additional tapestries narrate the fall of civilization in the artist’s ongoing narrative about the natural landscape and the forces that control it.

Peat Duggins, Black Room, 2008, tapestries, Gift of Jeanne and Michael Klein, 2009.

Grotesque mask heads, c. 1555

These most fabulous grotesque masks come from a suite of about twenty-two prints designed by Cornelis Floris, engraved by Frans Huys and published in Antwerp in 1555 by Hans Liefrinck.

The late Baroque / early Mannerist designs incorporate an abstracted zoological motif, in most cases relating to the ocean, within an auricular ornamental style.

Auricular describes the smooth, curved, rippling and pliable shapes that resemble a human ear. The prints here are very early examples of this type of ornament which was developed by goldsmiths attempting to demonstrate organic forms extruding from the surface. The style probably influenced the later Rococo and Art Nouveau movements.

We all know and love  painter Bob Ross from his 70s-era show The Joy of Painting, but writer Walt Hickey took it to a new level with his statistical analysis of Ross’ paintings. Hickey answered the hard hitting questions, like:

What is the probability, given that Ross painted a happy tree, that he then painted a friend for that tree?

There’s a 93 percent chance that Ross paints a second tree given that he has painted a first.

What percentage of Bob Ross paintings contain an almighty mountain?

About 39 percent prominently feature a mountain.

What percentage of those paintings contain several almighty mountains?

Ross was also amenable to painting friends for mountains. Sixty percent of paintings with one mountain in them have at least two mountains.

Read the full analysis here.

b4-16:

Left: The Adoration of the Magi.Hugo van der Goes. Netherlandish. Late 15th century. Right: Wiz Khalifa

Awesome tumblr alert!
B4XVI “…pairs pictures of rappers with historical sculptures, paintings, and statues from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection, tracing the swag and power poses of hip-hop artists like Young Thug and Whiz Khalifa to pre-Colombian effigies and Netherlandish paintings.” (via @hyperallergic)

b4-16:

Left: The Adoration of the Magi.Hugo van der Goes. Netherlandish. Late 15th century. Right: Wiz Khalifa

Awesome tumblr alert!

B4XVI “…pairs pictures of rappers with historical sculptures, paintings, and statues from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection, tracing the swag and power poses of hip-hop artists like Young Thug and Whiz Khalifa to pre-Colombian effigies and Netherlandish paintings.” (via @hyperallergic)