Love & War~ May 21

Hannah Höch (1889-1978)

Liebe [Love] / 1931 / Drawing, collage / 8.5”x8.25” / National Gallery of Australia

Hannah Höch was a German Dada artist. She is best known for her work of the Weimar period, when she was one of the originators of photomontage.

In the summer of 1918, while Höch and [her lover of the time, Austrian-born artist Raoul Hausmann] were on vacation at the Ostsee, they claimed to have discovered the principle of photomontage in the form of the cut-and-paste images that soldiers on the front sent to their families. This find would significantly affect Höch’s artistic production, for photomontage became the preferred medium for her shrewd social and political critiques of the 1920s.

While she may have been remembered by her bombastic Dada colleagues for her “sandwiches, beer and coffee”, her lifetime of artistic practice reveals a vital and critical woman who could magically collide disparate reproductions of needlepoint patterns, political figures, film stars, animal life and non-Western artifacts into explorations of androgyny, Aryan activity, gender roles, imperialism, race and lesbianism.

The Coquette I (1923-1925)

Hoch began the Love series as early as 1923, and worked on it intermittently through about 1931. Each of the six or seven works in this series depict sexuality in some way. My understanding is that the following pieces were in this series:

Love in the Bush (1925)
Peasant Wedding Couple (1931)
Love (1926)
Love (1931)
The Coquette I (1923-1925)
The Coquette II (c.1925)
The Large Step (1931)

 

MoMA’s catalog for their 1997 exhibition “The photomontages of Hannah Höch” is available to download in pdf format~
https://www.moma.org/calendar/exhibitions/241

Love (1926)

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Love & War~ May 20

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Maya Lin’s original competition submission for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Architectural drawings and a one-page written summary, 1980 or 1981.

 

In 1979, Congress grants a Vietnam War veterans’ committee the right to build a memorial on the Mall in Washington, D.C., dedicated to American soldiers killed in the conflict in Vietnam. The committee puts the design out for competition convening a blue-ribbon panel of architects, sculptors, and landscape architects to evaluate more than 1,400 submissions. When the winner is announced, no one is more surprised than the student architect herself, Maya Lin, a 20-year-old Yale undergraduate. The panel is moved by the simplicity, honesty, and power of Lin’s design: a V-shaped, sunken wall of black stone, with the names of those killed in action engraved in chronological order. To search out a loved one, a mourner will walk along the monument and find the name among the 57,661 listed. Lin describes the Memorial thus: “I went to see the site. I had a general idea that I wanted to describe a journey…a journey that would make you experience death and where you’d have to be an observer, where you could never really fully be with the dead. It wasn’t going to be something that was going to say, ‘It’s all right, it’s all over,’ because it’s not.” http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/cultureshock/flashpoints/visualarts/thewall_a.html

For her life’s work, Lin was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2009, and a film about the artist, Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision, won the 1994 Oscar for best documentary. Lin has served as a board member of the National Resources Defense Council and a member of the World Trade Center Site Memorial design jury. In 2016, she was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama.  https://www.biography.com/people/maya-lin-37259

Spotlight: Maya Lin~ https://www.archdaily.com/774717/spotlight-maya-lin

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Love & War~ May 19

Windsor Castle: The Quire of St George’s Chapel by Charles Wild

1818 / Watercolor and bodycolour over pencil / 9.8”x8.3” / Royal Collection

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, near London, England, Saturday, May 19, 2018. (Danny Lawson/pool photo via AP)

On May 19, 2018, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding took place in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. Prince Harry was baptised in St George’s Chapel in December, 1984.

Engraved illustration from Harper’s Weekly newspaper of the wedding of the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) and Alexandra of Denmark / Harper’s Weekly newspaper dated 11 April 1863 / Artist unknown

St. George’s Chapel was built in the 15th century and is a towering piece of Gothic architecture. It is lauded for its stone fan-vault ceilings, but the intricate stained glasswork along each of its walls, and the tall arched windows, intricate woodwork, and ironwork doorframes add to the historic feel of the grand room. The tombs of ten sovereigns also lie within the chapel, including Henry VIII and Charles I.

Princess Eugenie of York and Mr Jack Brooksbank will marry in St George’s Chapel on October 12, 2018. A list of past Royal Weddings in St George’s Chapel can be found here: https://www.stgeorges-windsor.org/about-st-georges/royal-connection/marriage/

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Love & War~ May 18

Mathew Brady

Mathew Brady is often referred to as the father of photojournalism and is most well known for his documentation of the Civil War. His photographs, and those he commissioned, had a tremendous impact on society at the time of the war, and continue to do so today. He and his employees photographed thousands of images including battlefields, camp life, and portraits of some of the most famous citizens of his time including Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee.
https://www.battlefields.org/learn/biographies/mathew-brady

The Civil War as Photographed by Mathew Brady~
http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/brady-photos/

“Mathew Brady: Portraits of a Nation” by Robert Wilson~
https://www.bloomsbury.com/us/mathew-brady-9781620402030/
Portraits by Mathew Brady~ http://www.mathewbrady.com/portraits.htm


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Love & War~ May 17

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera

Among Mexico’s most captivating and provocative artists, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera had a relationship that never failed to amaze and astonish. Though they created some of Mexico’s most fascinating art, it’s the bizarre Beauty-and-the-Beast dynamic that has captivated the world and enshrouded both figures in intrigue. https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/fodors/top/features/travel/destinations/mexico/mexicocity/fdrs_feat_101_9.html

Two years after [her] accident, in 1927, [Kahlo] met the painter Diego Rivera, whose work she’d come to admire and who became her mentor. In 1929, despite the vocal protestations of Kahlo’s mother, Frida and Diego were wedded and one of art history’s most notoriously tumultuous marriages commenced.  https://www.brainpickings.org/2013/04/19/frida-kahlo-diary-love-letters/

“I did not know it then, but Frida had already become the most important fact in my life. And she would continue to be, up to the moment she died, twenty-seven years later,” Rivera wrote about knowing the adult Frida for only a few days. https://www.thedailybeast.com/what-happened-to-frida-kahlos-missing-adultery-painting

Kahlo…believed that her relationship with Rivera transcended the bodily, physical, even painterly world. “It’s not love, or tenderness, or affection, it’s life itself, my life, that I found when I saw it in your hands, in your mouth and in your breasts,” she [wrote] to him. “I have the taste of almonds from your lips in my mouth. Our worlds have never gone outside. Only one mountain can know the core of another mountain.” https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-frida-kahlos-love-letters-diego-rivera-reveal-volatile-relationship

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Love & War~ May 16

The Death of General Wolfe by Benjamin West

On September 13, 1759, during the Seven Years’ War (1756-63) [known in the United States as the French and Indian War], the British General James Wolfe achieved a dramatic victory; Wolfe was fatally wounded during the battle, but his victory ensured British supremacy in Canada.

Benjamin West, Self-portrait 1770

Benjamin West (October 10, 1738-March 11, 1820) was an Anglo-American history painter around and after the time of the American War of Independence and the Seven Years’ War.

Extremely popular among the 18th-century British aristocracy and royalty, Benjamin West’s work is primarily composed of commissioned portraits and history paintings. West is best known for his 1770 painting The Death of General Wolfe, which caused a stir when it was displayed at the Royal Academy because the figures were shown wearing contemporary clothing rather than classical garb.

Besides the original, at least four other additional versions of The Death of General Wolfe were also produced by West. The primary copy of The Death of General Wolfe is currently in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada, with further examples at the Royal Ontario Museum (Canadiana art collection), as well as the University of Michigan Museum of Art. The fourth copy produced resides at Ickworth House, Suffolk, England. Each reproduction had its own variation in the depiction of Wolfe’s death. A fifth autograph copy was commissioned by George III in 1771 and is still in the Royal Collection.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Death_of_General_Wolfe

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Love & War~ May 15

Venus de Milo / Musée du Louvre

Venus, ancient Italian goddess associated with cultivated fields and gardens and later identified by the Romans with the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite.

In Roman mythology, Venus was the goddess of love, sex, beauty, and fertility. She was the Roman counterpart to the Greek Aphrodite. However, Roman Venus had many abilities beyond the Greek Aphrodite; she was a goddess of victory, fertility, and even prostitution.

Venus de Milo, the ancient statue commonly thought to represent Aphrodite…was carved from marble by the artist Alexandros* about 150 BCE. It was found in pieces on the Aegean island of Melos on April 8, 1820, and was subsequently presented to Louis XVIII (who then donated it to the Louvre in 1821).

*Alexandros of Antioch (Greek: Ἀλέξανδρος) (2nd-1st century BC) was a Greek sculptor of the Hellenistic age. His dates of birth and death are unknown.

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What Happened to the Venus De Milo’s Arms?
http://mentalfloss.com/article/62722/what-happened-venus-de-milos-arms
The Mystery of What Venus de Milo Was Once Holding
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/3-d-printing-offers-guess-what-venus-de-milo-might-have-been-holding-180955176/

Richard Avedon: May 15, 1923-Oct 1, 2004

The Misty Miss Christy

Mr. Avedon revolutionized the 20th-century art of fashion photography, imbuing it with touches of both gritty realism and outrageous fantasy and instilling it with a relentlessly experimental drive. So great a hold did Mr. Avedon’s fashion photography come to have on the public imagination that when he was in his 30’s he was the inspiration for Dick Avery, the fashion photographer played by Fred Astaire in the 1957 film “Funny Face.” In 1978 he appeared on the cover of Newsweek while a retrospective exhibition of his work was on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
https://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/02/obituaries/richard-avedon-the-eye-of-fashion-dies-at-81.html

MoMA Collection~ http://www.moma.org/collection/artists/248?=undefined&page=1
International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum~ http://www.iphf.org/hall-of-fame/richard-avedon/

American Masters~ http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/richard-avedon-about-the-photographer/467/
The Richard Avedon Foundation~ http://www.theavedonfoundation.net/

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May 15, 1970~ Tragedy at Jackson State

The Misty Miss Christy

The shootings at Mississippi’s Jackson State University still linger in the shadow of Kent State. Less than two weeks after Kent, two black students were killed and 12 others wounded by state troopers on May 15, 1970.

The incident started after student demonstrators, protesting the Vietnam War and seeking more rights at the historically black college, responded to an order to disperse by throwing stones and bottles. It ended as police opened fire outside a women’s dormitory.

Phillip Gibbs, 21, a junior preparing for law school, who had a child and a pregnant wife, and James Earl Green, 17, a high school track star on his way home from his job at a grocery store, were killed.

A presidential commission later found the shootings at Jackson and Kent “completely unjustified.” No one was indicted.
May 15th, 1970: 2 Black Students Killed & 12 Wounded by Police During Vietnam Antiwar Protest~

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Love & War~ May 14

Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller
“Peace Halting the Ruthlessness of War”

1917 / Bronze cast sculpture / 14”x16 3/4”x9”/ Private collection

Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller (June 9, 1877-March 18, 1968) was…a multi-talented artist who wrote poetry, painted, and sculpted but was most noted for her sculpture. Warrick was a protegé of Auguste Rodin…Warrick is considered a forerunner of the Harlem Renaissance.

In May, 1917, Meta Warrick Fuller took second prize in a competition under the auspices of the Massachusetts Branch of the Woman’s Peace Party, her subject being “Peace Halting the Ruthlessness of War.” War is personified as on a mighty steed and trampling to death numberless human beings. In one hand he holds a spear on which he has transfixed the head of one of his victims.

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Download a pdf file of “AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN The Life and Art Of Meta Warrick Fuller” here: http://www.danforthart.org/assets/forms/meta_fuller_catalog_1984-5.pdf