Monday, June 27, 2016

200,000 Rijksmuseum Works of Art to See via Google Arts & Culture

From today the masterpieces in the Rijksmuseum can be found on Google Arts & Culture, the Google Cultural Institute’s website (also available as an app for Android and iOS). The digital collection contains some 200,000 objects. This has made the  Rijksmuseum the best represented museum in the Google Cultural Institute.

A thousand international institutions are affiliated to the Google Cultural Institute.
The website reaches more than forty million people each year. The Rijksmuseum’s own website attracts six million visitors annually.    Taco Dibbits, Director of Collections at the Rijksmuseum, says ‘We are proud that the Rijksmuseum is the largest museum in the Google Cultural Institute. The collaboration perfectly reflects our view that the Rijksmuseum is owned by everyone and is for everyone. It means that even more people worldwide can enjoy the collection.’

The exhibitions:

Jan Steen, a born storyteller, shows how he incorporated many different themes in his paintings

● The Night Watch examines the individual details of this iconic work of art

● Johannes Vermeer.  Details of his masterpieces unveiled

Rembrandt van Rijn.  An overview of this artist

Joannes Lutma A Dutch goldsmith

Vermeer is particularly well represented in Google Arts & Culture with thirty-five masterpieces in total, including the four that hang in the Rijksmuseum. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Museums march with Pride 2016

I can only support this via my keyboard - still to weak to do much walking. But if I could, I would march with with one of SF's many museums who are doing us all proud in the parade.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

'Wild West: Plains to the Pacific' at the Legion of Honor in SF

C. Obata
"Go West, young man" is a phrase often credited to the American authorHorace Greeley encouraging America's expansion westward, related to the then-popular concept of Manifest Destiny. It was first stated by John Babsone Lane Soule in an 1851 editorial in the Terre Haute Express, "Go west young man, and grow up with the country." Greeley later used the quote in his own editorial in 1865. For the next century, the west was the destination for immigrants, those seeking their fortune, those fleeing from the fall of fortune and many, many artists.

Taken from the collections of the Fine Arts Museums, "Wild West" at the Legion of Honor displays seldom seen treasures from their storehouse of art. The show explores artistic responses to the natural and cultivated landscapes of the western United States from the frontier era to the present.
More at:

Peter Hurd

Hilarie Hiller

Ruth Asawa

Thomas Moran

Images courtesy of DeWitt Chang/used with permission 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Happy Birthday Kurt Schwitters

June 20, 1887. Kurt Hermann Eduard Karl Julius Schwitters was a German painter who was born in Hanover, Germany. Schwitters worked in several genres and media, including Dada, Constructivism, Surrealism, poetry, sound, painting, sculpture, graphic design, typography and what came to be known as installation art. He is most famous for his collages, called Merz Pictures. In this image: Das Undbild, 1919, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart.

Back in 2011, I wrote about Schwitters in a show for the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive. I'd never heard of him and hard rather a hard time putting my thoughts together but here it goes (or went):

“I am a painter and I nail my pictures together,” Kurt Schwitters said to fellow artist Tristan Tzara in 1919. Throughout the 20's, the work flowed forth. He made no distinctions between his art (painting, collage, sculpture, design, installation), his writing (poetry, essays, children’s stories) and his performances. He met everybody who was anybody in that wild, creative world: Hannah Höch; Constructivists like El Lissitzky; Theo van Doesburg, a founder of the movement known as De Stijl — and collaborated with many of them. He traveled Europe nonstop, performed tirelessly, had shows and attracted collectors.

The multidisciplinary nature of Schwitters’s output and the destruction of so much in WW II, may be one of the reason why he remains an underground figure. He's impossible to categorize and while the show places an emphasis on his painting, there is so much more - a sound poem, for instance, his typography and his poetry which was unexpectedly popular.

Continued here:
Opens August 3 through November 27th. 2011

Friday, June 17, 2016

'Boundaries of the Spirit' at Nanhai Arts

Nanhai Art, a gallery specializing in Chinese art, will be opening a new show this coming Saturday. "Boundaries of the Spirit" features the work of three women artists: Lin Yan, Zhang Yanzi, and Zhou He.

From different perspectives, and with different aesthetic vocabularies, the artists probe the workings of the human spirit. They share a sensitivity to materials that enables each of them to break with conventions of Chinese painting and art.

This exhibition is curated by Julia F. Andrews, Distinguished University Professor in the Department of History of Art at the Ohio State University and a specialist in Chinese art.

Zhou He (b. 1956, Chongqing, China) has worked in the press as an art editor and illustrator for 25 years and used to be the president of preschool education press of East China Normal University before becoming the director of Shanghai children's art education research center. On the merits of her award-winning children's book designs, she was recommended by the cultural and education center of German Embassy to hold a solo exhibition in Frankfurt in 2009.

Zhang Yanzi was born in the Zhenjiang, a town of many islands in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River. Zhang refers to the river mists and evening breezes in her childhood as an inspiration for her paintings. She explores ideas of femininity and aesthetic grace based in a chant in a poem by Li Zhong of the Tang Dynasty: “the sun and moon in the kettle seem to deliberately draw the distance between hearts closer, the mist and clouds in the twilight off the island appear clearly in dreams.”

Lin Yan creates architectural installations and sculpture paintings in xuan paper. In her hands, xuan paper is not merely the submissive medium of painting; rather, it can be shaped to possess weight and layers of its own. Black and white, firmness and softness are harmoniously juxtaposed; each quality implicates the other, like the constant negotiation of void and fullness in tai chi, or the yin-yang balance in traditional Chinese philosophy. Interested in spatial and architectural forms, Lin has created many large site-specific installations. These works sustain the subtle contrast between their massive appearance and light weight.

NanHai Art exhibition hall located at:
520 Broadway
Millbrae, CA 94030

NanHai Art is a 5 min. walk from the Millbrae BART and Caltrain stations, for drivers take the Millbrae Ave. exit on US-101.

Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. -5 p.m. and by appointment. Opens June 18 through July 23.