Sunday, February 1, 2015

LACMA ~ A bit of everything at the Resnick


On New Years day, I decided to catch the Hudson River School landscape show, at LACMA. I couldn't believe they were open, on New Years! I thought it would be the perfect way to start off the 2015! The exhibition was in the Resnick Pavillion, with two other exhibitions, and they could not have all been more different. 

Japanese Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection
October 19, 2014-February 1, 2015

In order the get to the Hudson River School exhibition, you had to go through the Samurai exhibition. I had known it was going on but knew nothing about it. It was fascinating! And, all the work on the armor was incredible ... so intricate and beautiful were the details, I was quite captivated!

from the LACMA website:

"For many, the word “samurai” conjures images of a stoic warrior, swift in battle, armed with his sword (katana), a powerful weapon of destruction. But essential to the samurai’s survival was his armor—battle regalia that did not sacrifice beauty for functionality. 
In LACMA’s newest installment, Samurai: Japanese Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection, viewers are invited to witness the evolution of Japanese armor from the 12th to the 19th century. As described by LACMA curator Robert T. Singer, the exhibition calls attention to “the fantasy, [and] humor of Japan’s art in a traditional, three-dimensional way.”
A walk through Samurai takes you into the majestic world of these Japanese warriors—the artistic skill and dedication evident in each suit of armor a testament to the samurai’s respected status. Visitors are greeted by the powerful presence of samurai towering over them: a set of three warriors ride atop horses, rider and steed fully clad in armor. In fact, samurai horses were not armored until the 17th century, when their attire became a symbol of prestige during ceremonial processions."

Sujibachi Kabuto and menpō
Sadao of the Bamen school, living in Toyohara, Echizen province
Late Muromachi to Momoyama period: late 16th century

Eboshi Kabuto and menpō
Late Muromachi to Momoyama period: late 16th Century

more from the LACMA website:

"Samurai armor was an art form comprised of various elements including iron, leather, and precious metals. Artisans worked in groups over a period of several months to create a single masterpiece weighing between 20 to 45 pounds total—significantly lighter than the Western equivalent. Essential components included: a helmet (kabuto), mask (menpō), and chest armor (), to be worn in combination with protective guards.
Discussing his intent behind Samurai, Singer said: “My story is not about the samurai. My story is more about the art, the idea that a samurai, a warrior class, would be so interested in such fantastic symbols and mixing together Buddhism, Shinto, and things which would not mix together outside this culture.” These symbols vary from animals and vegetation—be sure to see the eggplant helmet—to mythical figures and abstract motifs."

Quiver (ebira)
Japan, 17th century
Bamboo, leather, lacquer, bear fur, horn, and snakeskin

I find it so fascinating to see what was happening in different parts of the world, but during the same time period. Many of the exhibits in this Samurai show were created while, across the planet, the Italian Renaissance and Baroque periods were underway.

Armor of the nimaitachidō type (nimaitachidō tōsei gusoku), attributed to Myōchin Yoshimichi and Myōchin Munenori (armor), Muromachi period, about 1400 (helmet bowl), mid-Edo period, 18th century (armor), iron, shakudō, lacing, silver, wood, gold, brocade, fur, bronze, brass, leather, lacquer, 

Boy's Armor (warabe tōsei gusoku)
Japan, 19th century
Iron, gold, bronze, lacquer, wood, leather, lacing,
brocade, and silk

Warrior Dolls (musha ningyō)
Japan, 19th century
Wood, hair brocade, iron and leather  
These two figures are the legendary fifth-century Emperor Ōjin and his minister Takenouchi no Sukune, a famous warrior who was said to have lived for 280 years and served five emperors.

Nature and the American Vision: 
The Hudson River School

December 7, 2014-June 7, 2015

The Solitary Oak, 1844
Asher B. Durand (1796-1886)

White Mountain Scenery, Franconia Notch,
New Hampshire, 1857
Asher B. Durand (1796-1886)

From the LACMA website:
Drawn entirely from the premier collection of The New-York Historical Society, Nature and the American Vision: The Hudson River School features forty-five outstanding American landscape paintings from the nineteenth-century. Among the artists represented in the exhibition are the heroes of the American landscape movement: Thomas Cole, Asher B. Durand, and Albert Bierstadt, among others. Also included are lesser-known artists, some of whom helped the American landscape achieve recognition through the new democratic medium of prints and portfolios.
Arranged thematically by place, the exhibition is designed as a grand tour of the American landscape. The full range of the exhibition demonstrates that the movement extends beyond the Hudson River, with work by artists who reflect both realistic and romantic attitudes toward nature in scenes of New England, the American West, and even to South America.

These two following pieces were my two favorites, outside of the Italian landscapes. They were smaller plein air works, and so lovely in person.

Summer Twilight, a Recollection of a Scene 
Thomas Cole (1801-1848)
in New England, 1834
Oil on wood panel

Autumn Twilight, View of a Corwary Peak
(Mount Chocorua), New Hampshire, 1834
Oil on wood panel

This next painting was enormous! 
These guys often liked to work big.

View of Yosemite Valley in California, 1865
Thomas Hill (1829-1908)
Oil on canvas

Cayambe, 1858
Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900)
Oil on canvas
This was painted after his second trip to S. America. I zoomed in a little. The details were pretty incredible.

The Course of Empire, c. 1834-36
Thomas Cole, (1801-1848)
Oil on canvas

Italian Scene, Composition, 1833
Thomas Cole 
Oil on canvas

Detail of the above painting, Italian Scene

Favorite piece in the show, next up! (Italy, of course. Love the Roman pines in the moonlight!)

Castle of Ostia Seen from the Pine Forest 
of Castel Fusano, 1881
William Stanely Haseltine (1835-1900)
Oil on canvas

Pierre Huyghe

November 23, 2014-February 22, 2015

I came in the back way, which I don't think helped my whole understanding of this exhibition. I was also running out of time on my meter, so I just sort of took it in on a sensory level, which was pretty cool.

There were a couple of films in the show, one included this dog (I think an Ibizan hound), which was walking around the exhibition. This particular bread happens to be that thin, so you don't have to worry. ;)

"Human" lying on a fur coat

This exhibition marks the first major retrospective of the work of Pierre Huyghe (b. 1962, Paris). Huyghe creates films, installations, and events that blur fact and fiction, reinvent rituals of social engagement, and use the exhibition model as a site for playful experimentation. Organized thematically, the exhibition covers more than two decades of Huyghe's career, with a focus on cinema as both model and matrix. By filming staged scenarios, Huyghe probes the capacity of art to distort and ultimately shape reality through methods that are filmic, spatial, or social.
In keeping with the artist’s desire for a non-hierarchical presentation, the exhibition is designed as a single, extraordinary environment, like a park or garden: a public sphere where a visitor can walk, reflect, and take in a variety of attractions through participation, thoughtful immersion, or simply as a passer-by.

Detail, L'Expéddition scintillante, Acte 3

You can see below that it was "snowing" outside the glass windows, as part of the exhibition. 

L'Expédition scintillante, Acte 1 (weather score) 2001
Snow, rain, and fog, programmed precipitation 
Artist note: Climatic variations noted in the logbook 
written by the main character in Edgar Allan Poe's novel 
The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (1838).

"Human" standing in front of
L'Expédition scintillant, Acte 3 (Black Ice Rink)
libretto, 2002; broken black ice rink

This next piece was so strange and surreal ...
There was a huge heavy rock that was brought in by crane but it floated in
water. Then these little sea creatures were hanging out underneath it ...

Precambrian Explosion, 2014;
live marine ecosystem

In a dark room there were two exhibits. One was this cool smoke and light system, with beautiful classical music. And then , the other was a film called The Journey that Wasn't, 2005.

While I was in there, the dog came in with a guy, in kind of ... a light helmet. I'm sure there is a name for it but I don't know what it it is.

Museum goers were captivated by this dog, and followed the man and dog into the room. You can see the silhouettes of the people, below, taking pictures with the film happening behind them. 

It was pretty entertaining watching people freak out over the dog. Not sure how much was of it was that the dog was in one of the art pieces (a film) or the strangeness of seeing an animal cruise around an art museum, (pure white with a hot pink leg, no less0 but it was fascinated watching everyone. 

It was all pretty cool and kind of strange, but I didn't have time to get it all figured out. I had to head to my car because I wasn't sure if they'd be ticketing on January 1st! Anyway, I left inspired and ready to start of the year!

Hope you are all finding ways to get yourselves inspired, this year!

There is a fountain of youth: 
it is your mind, your talent, 
the creativity you bring to your life 
and the lives of people you love. 
When you learn to tap this source, 
you will truly have defeated age.
~ Sophia Loren

Blessings and light!


UIFPW08 said...

Beautifull reportage
Hi Lucilla

donna baker said...

I can't thank you enough, Lucinda, for taking me along to the museum. I have always loved the samurai culture and am so interested in it. One of my favorite movies is The Last Samurai. I just love the history of it and the Ronin too.

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