Monday, September 29, 2014

Expressionism - Van Gogh to Kandinsky, and Marsden Hartley at LACMA

The North County Fine Arts Group sponsored a bus trip to LACMA for this exhibit on 9-13-14. What a great day of art with old and new friends!

When I was growing up, we moved frequently and most of the towns we lived in were small. I was in my 30's when I first visited a museum. I have been to many museums since then, but LACMA is one of the finest. Their permanent collection is outstanding!

Expressionism in Germany and France: From Van Gogh to Kandinsky 

"Sheds new light on the extraordinary response of artists in Germany and France to key developments in modern art in the early 20th century. For the first time in a major museum exhibition, Expressionism is presented as an international movement in which artists responded with various aesthetic approaches to the work of modern masters such as Vincent van Gogh, Paul C├ęzanne, and Paul Gauguin."

Located outside Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) on Wilshire Blvd is Chris Burden's outdoor sculpture "Urban Light."
A blurry photo from my iPhone.

More information about this installation:


Van Gogh, Pollard Willows at Sunset, 1888


Matisse's "Open Window," Collioure

George Braque

Othon Friesz

Ernest Ludwig Kirchner

Ernest Ludwig Kirchner 

Kees Van Dongen 

Ernest Ludwig Kirchner

Ernest Ludwig Kirchner

Max Pechstein

Ernest Ludwig Kirchner

Ernest Ludwig Kirchner - later work 

Young Girl, Max Pechstein 

The start of Abstract Expressionism
Wassaiy Kandinsky - Painting With White Border 1913, 
(Kandinsky is credited with painting the first purely abstract works.)

There was an exhibit of Marsden Hartley's (another favorite artist) German paintings going on this same day just across from the Expressionism exhibit. 

1913 - 1915

"This exhibition features the work of influential American modernist painter Marsden Hartley (1877–1943). Approximately twenty-five of the artist’s seminal works from his years spent in Berlin (1913–1915) reveal the profound impact of World War I and elucidate the artist's appropriation of military symbols and Native American motifs. Hartley’s paintings from this period reflect dynamic shifts in style and subject matter, and evidence a critical moment in his body of work."

Examples of Marsden Hartley's German period paintings:

Many of his frames were painted to blend in 
with the design of the painting. Kandinsky is another artist that did this.

What fun to actually see, and walk under, "Levitated Mass!"
My iPhone battery was used up by this time, so this is LACMA's photo.

"Levitated Mass by artist Michael Heizer is composed of a 456-foot-long slot constructed on LACMA's campus, over which is placed a 340-ton granite megalith. The slot gradually descends to fifteen feet in depth, running underneath the boulder. As with other works by the artist, such as Double Negative (1969), the monumental negative form is key to the experience of the artwork.

Heizer conceived of the artwork in 1969; a drawing of the work is in the collection of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. The artist discovered an appropriate boulder only decades later, in Riverside County, California. The boulder is one component of the artwork, as is the 456-foot-long slot beneath it and the surrounding environment.

Taken whole, Levitated Mass speaks to the expanse of art history, from ancient traditions of creating artworks from megalithic stone, to modern forms of abstract geometries and cutting-edge feats of engineering."