As part of Women’s History Month, today we’re looking at Mequitta Ahuja’s Parade.
Mequitta Ahuja’s work explores the construction of identity, including her own. Recognizing that there is always an element of invention when it comes to depicting oneself, the artist refers to her heavily manipulated self-portraits as “automythography.” The term was inspired by a genre invented by the writer Audre Lorde, who braided personal history together with mythology in her “biomythography,” published in 1982.
Ahuja’s process of self-documentation begins with photographs. Using a remote shutter control, she performs privately for the camera. Then, through a series of sketches and preparatory drawings, she introduces inventive, often fantastical elements into the resulting images. Her final works wed the real with the surreal, nonfiction with fiction.Parade captures this complicated marriage, offering in two parts the primary modes of painting: figuration and abstraction. The artist appears, poised mid-stride, on the right-hand canvas. Bright colors describe her figure and emanate from her black hair, which, as it carries over toward and onto the left-hand canvas, expands to become a dense cloud of increasingly abstract markings. The brushwork conveys Ahuja’s lively kinetic process in laying down pigment. She has referred to her interest in “the psychic proportions hair has in the lives of Black people,” which here dominates the composition, both physically and conceptually.
Mequitta Ahuja, Parade (diptych), 2007, enamel on canvas,Gift of Melanie Lawson and John F. Guess, Jr., in honor of Jeanne and Michael Klein, 2010.
Georgia O’Keeffe’s Artistic Renewal and Escape in Hawaii
So what’s the craic for this Saint Patrick’s Day? Our More Art Monday Album has gone green in celebration, but did you know that the original color associated with Saint Patrick was actually blue? Have a Happy Saint Paddy’s Day!
“Girl in Green,” c. 1925-28, Chaim Soutine
“Laminated Four Leaf Clover,” 19th Century, Artist/maker unknown, American
“Flask in the Form of a Scroll,” 1845–70, Artist/maker unknown, American
“Spectacles,” 18th century, Artist/maker unknown, American
“Man’s Hat,” mid–20th century, Beaver Hats/Jimmie Burns, Philadelphia
Congratulations to @esteban_garza, our #CuriosityWelcome grand prize winner! Thank you to our community partners, and thank you Austin for following your curiosity! #KeepAustinCurious #blantonmuseum (at The Blanton Museum of Art)
Happy birthday to William Glackens, who would have been 144 today!
In this work, a glowing cigarette ember pinpoints the center of this café scene. Tilted hat brims and strokes of dark red highlight the trio conversing in the foreground. Around them, the painter’s swift, loose brush draws extremes of light and shadow, bringing to life the buzz of social and intellectual activity in a late nineteenth-century café. Café Scene demonstrates Glackens’ early interest in defining modern art through realism—the idea that everyday events are viable subjects for painting.
William Glackens, Café Scene, 1895, oil on canvas, Gift of Mari and James A. Michener, 1991.
Happy 25th Anniversary, World Wide Web! Some of these early museum webpages really cracked me me up.
See British Museum, The Metropolitan Museum, the Louvre, the Prado, and more classics in a new Museum Nerd (>140) blog post, 10 Vintage Museum Web Pages from the 90s.
These. Are. AWESOME.
Our #SXSW panel, Museum Music: Art Galleries as Performance Space, is about to start! Tune into our twitter (@blantonmuseum) for live tweets and updates! #blantonmuseum #sxswbma (at Austin Convention Center)
Visiting my favorite room at the Blanton Museum of Art. All photos processed with VSCOcam.
Marguerite Thompson Zorach, Rites of Spring - Olympic Offerings (Recto), 1909, oil on canvas, Michener Acquisitions Fund, 1985
Dramatic and exotic figures in faraway places are common in the vivid, colorful works Marguerite Thompson Zorach favored in her early career. The figures here are engulfed in a flurry of orange, green, red, and lavender, giving the scene an other-worldly feel as the nude participants reach toward the mountain summit in a mysterious ritual.
Painted in Paris in 1909, Rites of Spring reflects Zorach’s immersion in the Parisian art world, particularly in the work of Henri Matisse, who painted similar pastoral scenes in the years leading up to Zorach’s work. Shortly after completing this painting, Zorach shifted to a different palette and a more cubist-influenced style, in tune with the wave of modernism in the Parisian avant-garde.