This week’s #FrameFriday features the scrolled edges that encase Bartolomeo Guidobono’s “Holy Family with the Young Saint John the Baptist,” circa 1680-85. #blantonmuseum (at The Blanton Museum of Art)
Happy International Cat Day!
(Which, let’s be honest, is basically every day on the internet.)
Takahashi Hiroaki (Shotei), Published by Fusui Gabo,Cat Prowling Around a Staked Tomato Plant, 1931, Woodblock print, 20 7/8 x 13 7/8 in., The Museum of Fine Arts Houston Gift of Stephanie Hamilton in memory of Leslie A. Hamilton.
Happy Birthday to Emil Nolde, born on this day in 1867!
Unusual in Emil Nolde’s oeuvre, the female nude served as the focus of ten prints executed between 1907 and 1908. Before this, Nolde’s print production consisted of boldly carved woodcuts, a medium he embraced for its references to the origins of printmaking and for its seeming naïveté. For similar reasons, he chose iron rather than copper plates for his etchings: the earliest etchings were made by German artists using iron plates. The quality of the metal lent a coarseness to the line that may have been problematic for Renaissance artists, but this kind of primitivism was exactly what Expressionist artists sought. That this impression is so rare—there were only about 18—signals the experimental nature of the artist’s efforts.
Unusually large, Nolde’s Liegendes Weib emerges from the gray tone of the ground to confront the viewer. Unlike the conventional nude, she does not offer herself in a pose of abandon, but leans forward on her folded arms and makes eye contact with the onlooker. Exploiting the crudeness of the line produced in an iron ground, the figure’s contours are sharp, irregular, broken, and discontinuous, seeming to violate the murky tone from which they have materialized.
Emil Nolde, Liegendes Weib [Reclining Nude], 1908,Etching and aquatint on iron, Jack S. Blanton Curatorial Endowment Fund, 2002.
Have you ever wondered who the photographers are behind your textbook photographs? Berenice Abbott teamed up with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to create stunning images of the principles of physics, as in this photo of light refraction.
”Beams of Light Through Glass,” 1958–61, by Berenice Abbott
Josh Kline’s “Skittles,” part of the group exhibition Archeo, is an industrial refrigerator containing smoothies produced by the artist using unconventional and poetic combinations of ingredients, including kale chips, squid ink, sneakers, phone bills, and pepper spray. Each smoothie stands as a portrait of a different contemporary lifestyle. When grouped together, they evoke a landscape of aspiration, taste, and – at times – deprivation in a metropolis like New York City.
Learn more about the ingredients:
It’s #TextureTuesday, and we’re looking at a visitor favorite: El Anatsui’s “Seepage,” made up of hundreds of aluminum wrappers from local Nigerian-brand liquor bottles. Echoing the pattern of kente cloth—a Ghanian fabric used for religious and ceremonial occasions and made by male weavers such as Anatsui’s father and brother—”Seepage” links traditional and modern African life. #blantonmuseum #elanatsui (at The Blanton Museum of Art)
A scan of both sides of a flash card illustrating how to say “museum” in sign language. This 1979 card set, which was scavenged from a dumpster at the Art Institute of Chicago about ten years ago, features an enjoyable collection of rudimentary drawings that attempt to convey the most basic essentials of the museum and the field of art, in addition to providing a lesson in signing. Click here to download a PDF of the entire set.