Wednesday, 28 May 2014

The Louvre Abu Dhabi and its exhilarant line-up

Model of the Louvre Abu Dhabi which is expected to open next year.
Many people have already heard about the opening of a museum with the Louvre name in the United Arab Emirates. The Louvre Abu Dhabi is scheduled to open in December 2015.

Bactrian princess Central Asia,
late third-early second millennium BCE
A preview of some of the most significant pieces of the new museum is currently on display at the Louvre in Paris in the show Birth of a Museum. The works are characterized by diversity and splendor. For example, a lovely small, calcite Princess statuette (around 1,000 BC Central Asia), a gold bracelet with exquisite lions incrusted at each end (around 700 BC), a marble Buddha head from India, an octagonal box inlaid with mother-of-pearl and tortoise shell (China, Tang dynasty); they are all treasures that take one’s breath away.

Japanese scrolls and Roman sculptures together contribute
to create a space of both serenity and motion
If we look to the paintings, the Western works alone comprise a wonderful collection that covers many eras and various subjects. It includes the founder of the Venetian painting Giovanni Bellini’s Madonna and Child, France’s Corot’s landscapes full of poetic sentiment, Manet’s the Bohemian, along with works by Picasso and Magritte as well as the mono-color painting of Yves Klein. The display also deserves attention. A Japanese scroll faces a statue emphasizing the shapely physical body, Indian, Turkish and Persian miniatures vie for beauty, while an art deco table is placed before a screen.

In December 2012, the Louvre opened a new wing in the former coalmining town of Lens in Northern France. Its main and very popular exhibit “Gallery of Time” allows visitors to view in one large space the history of several thousand years from the East and West, that include the Louvre’s pieces from the time of the birth of the written language to 19th century paintings and sculptures. In turn, the Louvre Abu Dhabi uses “universal” as its catch phrase and has collected works from around the world. The art was gathered under the auspices of the governmental organization Agence France Museums which is comprised of 12 national art museums and public establishments including the Louvre, the Center Pompidou, the Musée d’Orsay, the Orangerie, the Grand Palais and Versaille. France and the UAE agreed upon the Louvre Abu Dhabi project seven years ago, both banking their governments’ prestige on its success.

The two countries realize the weight of opening the Arab region’s first world-class museum under the Louvre name. (The name may be used for 30 years.) The works will be loaned from the collections of the above organizations and center around those being previewed in the Paris exhibit. If one considers the scale of the preview, we can certainly look forward with anticipation to the opening next year.

Birth of a Museum until July 28.

The Louvre
75001 Paris
Métro: Palais-Royal Musée du Louvre (lines 1 and 7)
Opening times:
every day (except Tuesday) from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Night opening until 9:45 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays
Closed on Tuesdays, Jan 1, May 1, Dec 25
Nippon Television Network Corporation has worked with the Louvre on the maintenance and display of the Louvre’s three masterpieces, the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo and the Winged Victory, and periodically jointly hosts the Louvre exhibitions in Japan.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Rosso, Brancusi, Man Ray

Fig. 1_Constantin Brancusi, La Muse endormie,1910. Arthur Jerome
Eddy Memorial Collection.
The Art Institute of Chicago. © 2013 c/o Pictoright Amsterdam /
Medardo Rosso, Enfantmalade, © 1909. Private collection /
Man Ray, Noire et blanche, 1926. © Man Ray Trust /
ADAGP - PICTORIGHT / Telimage - 2013 / Design: Thonik
An exhibit of the works of three artists who paved the way for modern sculpture, Medardo Ross, Constantin Brancusi and Man Ray, is taking place at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The exhibit focuses on the viewpoints of the artists and their creative process with a display of 40 sculptures and more than 60 photographs taken by the artists themselves.

At the beginning of the 20th century, as photography became accessible to the general public, some artists began to take photographs to record their works. Rosso, Brancusi and Man Ray also partook in this trend, striving to impart with accuracy the goals of the creative processes of their sculpturing by changing the angle or background of their photos or reprocessing them. Rosso incorporated impressionist techniques into his sculptures, using the effect of light on his works while dramatically abbreviating form and capturing a momentary expression and its surrounding atmosphere. He shot his works, which have been likened to paintings, with a soft focus and blurred outlines, making the sculptures appear as if frolicking with light. Rosso went on to cut and paste these photos into collages and write into these with ink, sometimes conceptualizing his subsequent works from this process.

Fig. 2_Constantin Brancusi, Princesse X (Princess X),
© 1930, gelatin silver print, 29.7 x 23.7cm.
Collection Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI, Paris.
© 2013 c/o Pictoright Amsterdam.
Photo Bertrand Prévost.

Brancusi, who is regarded as the father of modern sculpture, depicted abstract renderings of people and animals as simple forms. He created a dark room in his studio with the help of Man Ray whose photographer friends taught Brancusi how to shoot. Brancusi was highly protective of how his sculptures appeared, and during his lifetime refused to allow any photos of his work other than his own to circulate. Many of the photos of his bronze pieces, polished to a gold color, reflect a strong light. Some portions reveal a white color from halation. By stressing the effect of light, the photograph expresses the power of the sculpture.

The third artist May Ray was a painter as well as a sculptor but also well known as a photographer. Working outside of conventional boundaries in his subject matter, he created new pieces with combinations of existing objects and people. He also created what are known as rayographs where images are created without the use of a camera by placing objects directly on printing paper and exposing them to light. Rayography creates an elusive world even though working with animate objects.

By observing the photographs taken by the three sculptors, one can view the sculptures through the eyes of the artists. In a multimedia section of the exhibit, visitors can experience the photography techniques employed by the artists as well as load their own photos on the museum’s website.

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
Museumpark 18-20
3015 CX Rotterdam
the Netherlands
Opening times:
Tuesday to Sunday 11:00-17:00
Closed on Mondays, Jan 1, Apr 27, Dec 25