Archive for the ‘Picasso’ Category

Buildings and Picasso’s guitars

02/27/2008

While thinking about Steven Holl’s University of Iowa in Iowa City School of Art and Art History

and how it’s supposed to be based on Pablo Picasso’s 1912 sheet-metal-and-wire guitar sculpture:


I came across this 1914 Picasso collage of a musical instrument:


and thought it reminded me of this:


Rem’s library in Seattle.

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01/20/2007

“He don’t know his glass from a …..

Visiting a loved one tonight I saw this

glass
cutting board.

My cutting boards are made of wood, so this intrigued me. The owner is in her seventies, and lives a “modern” life. I think to her, a wooden cutting board would be too “old world.”

Alas, in my estimation, a cutting board of glass is not a great design idea. The glass does not have the bit of give that wood has when a knife blade meets it. And cutting on glass makes a devilish racket.

Which got me to thinking. In the modern era, we use glass for walls. That seems to be an appropriate use for it. But when and where do you we use glass to be “modern” when it’s inappropriate?

I seem to remember that someone, an American I think, gave Pablo Picasso a painter’s palette made of glass. And I seem to remember Picasso just laughed when he talked about this. He said something to the effect that it’s an interesting idea to make a palette out of glass, but completely impractical. I think he said that if you tried to mix your paints on it, you’d see right through it to the colors of the floor or the room and you wouldn’t know what color paint you were getting!

So now I’m wondering, to what other uses do we put glass – to be modern – that maybe we ought not? How many of these have I broken?

Well just one actually, but that’s because I never bought another one like it again. Isn’t it just asking to be broken?

And finally, when I took the top photo with my camera/phone, the woman whose house it was said, “that’s not for your blog, is it?” 🙂
I said, “yes it is” and here it is already.

And dinner was delicious. Fish on glass noodles.

Mm-mm.
-Edoardo

01/20/2007

“He don’t know his glass from a …..

Visiting a loved one tonight I saw this

glass
cutting board.

My cutting boards are made of wood, so this intrigued me. The owner is in her seventies, and lives a “modern” life. I think to her, a wooden cutting board would be too “old world.”

Alas, in my estimation, a cutting board of glass is not a great design idea. The glass does not have the bit of give that wood has when a knife blade meets it. And cutting on glass makes a devilish racket.

Which got me to thinking. In the modern era, we use glass for walls. That seems to be an appropriate use for it. But when and where do you we use glass to be “modern” when it’s inappropriate?

I seem to remember that someone, an American I think, gave Pablo Picasso a painter’s palette made of glass. And I seem to remember Picasso just laughed when he talked about this. He said something to the effect that it’s an interesting idea to make a palette out of glass, but completely impractical. I think he said that if you tried to mix your paints on it, you’d see right through it to the colors of the floor or the room and you wouldn’t know what color paint you were getting!

So now I’m wondering, to what other uses do we put glass – to be modern – that maybe we ought not? How many of these have I broken?

Well just one actually, but that’s because I never bought another one like it again. Isn’t it just asking to be broken?

And finally, when I took the top photo with my camera/phone, the woman whose house it was said, “that’s not for your blog, is it?” 🙂
I said, “yes it is” and here it is already.

And dinner was delicious. Fish on glass noodles.

Mm-mm.
-Edoardo

01/20/2007

“He don’t know his glass from a …..

Visiting a loved one tonight I saw this

glass
cutting board.

My cutting boards are made of wood, so this intrigued me. The owner is in her seventies, and lives a “modern” life. I think to her, a wooden cutting board would be too “old world.”

Alas, in my estimation, a cutting board of glass is not a great design idea. The glass does not have the bit of give that wood has when a knife blade meets it. And cutting on glass makes a devilish racket.

Which got me to thinking. In the modern era, we use glass for walls. That seems to be an appropriate use for it. But when and where do you we use glass to be “modern” when it’s inappropriate?

I seem to remember that someone, an American I think, gave Pablo Picasso a painter’s palette made of glass. And I seem to remember Picasso just laughed when he talked about this. He said something to the effect that it’s an interesting idea to make a palette out of glass, but completely impractical. I think he said that if you tried to mix your paints on it, you’d see right through it to the colors of the floor or the room and you wouldn’t know what color paint you were getting!

So now I’m wondering, to what other uses do we put glass – to be modern – that maybe we ought not? How many of these have I broken?

Well just one actually, but that’s because I never bought another one like it again. Isn’t it just asking to be broken?

And finally, when I took the top photo with my camera/phone, the woman whose house it was said, “that’s not for your blog, is it?” 🙂
I said, “yes it is” and here it is already.

And dinner was delicious. Fish on glass noodles.

Mm-mm.
-Edoardo

01/10/2007

Modernism turns 100, mes demoiselles!


“You could argue that Les Demoiselles d’Avignon is in fact a backwards-looking, unoriginal work of art, a recycling of the 19th century’s biggest cliches – “loose women” cavorting in exotic interiors.”

But this writer doesn’t.

“Try an experiment. Look directly at Les Demoiselles d’Avignon and speculate on its meaning. You can’t. You never get as far as deciding it is a painting of five women, let alone concluding that they’re prostitutes, or that it reflects male fears, or reach for any of the neat ways we customarily turn images into words. In order to interpret it, you must look away, or unfocus your eyes. Actually looking at the picture means moving constantly from one facet to another; it never lets you settle on one resolved perception.

Most of all, this is a painting about looking. Picasso looks back at you in the central figure, whose bold gaze out of huge asymmetrical eyes has the authority of a self-portrait. It’s interesting that we’re trained to see transvestite self-portraits in the art of Leonardo or Marcel Duchamp, but it doesn’t often occur to us to understand this painting in that way, misled as we are by the caricatures of Picasso as a patriarchal voyeur. What he painted in 1907 is a work of art that looks back at you with furious contempt.”

Read it all, in the Guardian of course, here.

01/10/2007

Modernism turns 100, mes demoiselles!


“You could argue that Les Demoiselles d’Avignon is in fact a backwards-looking, unoriginal work of art, a recycling of the 19th century’s biggest cliches – “loose women” cavorting in exotic interiors.”

But this writer doesn’t.

“Try an experiment. Look directly at Les Demoiselles d’Avignon and speculate on its meaning. You can’t. You never get as far as deciding it is a painting of five women, let alone concluding that they’re prostitutes, or that it reflects male fears, or reach for any of the neat ways we customarily turn images into words. In order to interpret it, you must look away, or unfocus your eyes. Actually looking at the picture means moving constantly from one facet to another; it never lets you settle on one resolved perception.

Most of all, this is a painting about looking. Picasso looks back at you in the central figure, whose bold gaze out of huge asymmetrical eyes has the authority of a self-portrait. It’s interesting that we’re trained to see transvestite self-portraits in the art of Leonardo or Marcel Duchamp, but it doesn’t often occur to us to understand this painting in that way, misled as we are by the caricatures of Picasso as a patriarchal voyeur. What he painted in 1907 is a work of art that looks back at you with furious contempt.”

Read it all, in the Guardian of course, here.

01/10/2007

Modernism turns 100, mes demoiselles!


“You could argue that Les Demoiselles d’Avignon is in fact a backwards-looking, unoriginal work of art, a recycling of the 19th century’s biggest cliches – “loose women” cavorting in exotic interiors.”

But this writer doesn’t.

“Try an experiment. Look directly at Les Demoiselles d’Avignon and speculate on its meaning. You can’t. You never get as far as deciding it is a painting of five women, let alone concluding that they’re prostitutes, or that it reflects male fears, or reach for any of the neat ways we customarily turn images into words. In order to interpret it, you must look away, or unfocus your eyes. Actually looking at the picture means moving constantly from one facet to another; it never lets you settle on one resolved perception.

Most of all, this is a painting about looking. Picasso looks back at you in the central figure, whose bold gaze out of huge asymmetrical eyes has the authority of a self-portrait. It’s interesting that we’re trained to see transvestite self-portraits in the art of Leonardo or Marcel Duchamp, but it doesn’t often occur to us to understand this painting in that way, misled as we are by the caricatures of Picasso as a patriarchal voyeur. What he painted in 1907 is a work of art that looks back at you with furious contempt.”

Read it all, in the Guardian of course, here.

01/08/2007





Magdalena Abakanowicz’s sculpture, Agora, in Grant Park. Is it supposed to rust like that? I know it’s cast iron, but, it doesn’t look good. And it’s even running onto the concrete.

I’m told initial rusting like this is normal for iron and that it should stop, and that the cast iron will stabilize as brownish (with some red, but not bright red) surface.

This all reminds me that years ago, when Chicago was on the way down, we put up the Picasso statue, in Cor-Ten steel. Made to rust. As the city was doing. But now Chicago’s beaming and the Kapoor “bean” in radiant stainless steel is our symbol. So why this?

Maybe Claes Oldenburg should design to erect nearby,
a large enough tube of ?

Non-rusty thoughts on Abakanowicz’ gory ‘Agora’ by clicking here.

01/08/2007





Magdalena Abakanowicz’s sculpture, Agora, in Grant Park. Is it supposed to rust like that? I know it’s cast iron, but, it doesn’t look good. And it’s even running onto the concrete.

I’m told initial rusting like this is normal for iron and that it should stop, and that the cast iron will stabilize as brownish (with some red, but not bright red) surface.

This all reminds me that years ago, when Chicago was on the way down, we put up the Picasso statue, in Cor-Ten steel. Made to rust. As the city was doing. But now Chicago’s beaming and the Kapoor “bean” in radiant stainless steel is our symbol. So why this?

Maybe Claes Oldenburg should design to erect nearby,
a large enough tube of ?

Non-rusty thoughts on Abakanowicz’ gory ‘Agora’ by clicking here.

12/22/2006

The Gary, Indiana Picasso

A model of Chicago’s Picasso stands in Gary, Indiana, in a career center. It’s made of wood, and served as a reference for the American Bridge Company, a division of U.S. Steel, as they built the big one.

The wooden model was donated by the American Bridge Company in 1970 to the to Gary Public Schools. Today some people there want to sell it to raise money for the schools.

How much would you get, a few hundred thousand?

What’s wrong with a little sculpture? Couldn’t the town use some wonder? It has to stay in Gary. I think they should just display it more prominently, where more people can see it.
It’s a part of their past they should be proud of, this connection to the great Chicago Picasso, and all their steelworkers could do.

The Chicago Picasso, as it is generally referred to, was unveiled in the Civic Center Plaza on August 15, 1967. Executed from Picasso’s 42-inch steel model, the finished sculpture is 50 feet high and weighs 162 tons.

The material for the sculpture is of the same type of steel as was utilized for the exterior of the Civic Center building and this steel, after sufficient exposure, will gradually achieve a similar patina. Fabricated by the United States Steel Corporation under the supervision of the Civic Center architects and engineers, the sculpture was completely pre-assembled in Gary, Indiana, disassembled, shipped to the Civic Center, and reassembled in its final form.

The model should stay in Gary like the Eakins painting “The Gross Clinic” should stay in Philadelphia.

If it matters, and I suppose it does, Picasso was influenced by African art.

Chicago Public Radio ran a story on this, which I edited. It’ll be posted online soon.

top photo by the Post-Tribune of Northwest Indiana