Posts tagged national gallery.

Glenn Ligon, Untitled (I Am a Man), 1988, oil and enamel on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington

Glenn Ligon was born in the Bronx in 1960, attended the Walden School in New York on a scholarship, and graduated from Wesleyan University in 1982. He participated in the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program in 1985, known at that time for its language-based approach. Ligon is best known for intertextual works that re-present American history and literature, in particular narratives of slavery and civil rights, for contemporary audiences. His work engages a powerful mix of racial and gender-oriented struggles for the self, leading viewers to reconsider problems inherent in representation.
Untitled (I Am a Man) is just such a representation—a signifier—of the actual signs carried by 1,300 striking African American sanitation workers in Memphis, made famous in Ernest Withers’ 1968 photographs. Prompted by the wrongful deaths of two coworkers from faulty equipment, the strikers marched to protest low wages and unsafe working conditions. They took up the slogan “I Am a Man” as a variant on the first line of Ralph Ellison’s prologue to Invisible Man, “I am an invisible man.” By deleting the word “invisible,” the Memphis strikers asserted their presence, making themselves visible in standing up for their rights. Martin Luther King Jr. traveled to Memphis to address the striking workers; the next day, he was assassinated.
This painting is Ligon’s most important and iconic work. As the first object in which he used a selected text, Untitled (I Am a Man) is his breakthrough. He took pains to differentiate the painting from the original signs, avoiding a one-to-one relationship by reorganizing the line breaks. And while he preserved the original black-on-white of the sign, his choice to paint the black letters in eye-catching enamel calls attention to a black figure (“Man”) as a text that replaces the human form in figurative painting. Throughout his career, Ligon has used “blackness” as a trope for both personal and collective experience. As Ligon has said (paraphrasing Muhammed Ali), “It’s not about me. It’s about we.” The deliberately rough surface of the painting, which Ligon later documented by having a condition report made as an ancillary work of art, seems to index the scars and struggles of the work’s great subject. (x)

Glenn Ligon, Untitled (I Am a Man), 1988, oil and enamel on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington

Glenn Ligon was born in the Bronx in 1960, attended the Walden School in New York on a scholarship, and graduated from Wesleyan University in 1982. He participated in the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program in 1985, known at that time for its language-based approach. Ligon is best known for intertextual works that re-present American history and literature, in particular narratives of slavery and civil rights, for contemporary audiences. His work engages a powerful mix of racial and gender-oriented struggles for the self, leading viewers to reconsider problems inherent in representation.

Untitled (I Am a Man) is just such a representation—a signifier—of the actual signs carried by 1,300 striking African American sanitation workers in Memphis, made famous in Ernest Withers’ 1968 photographs. Prompted by the wrongful deaths of two coworkers from faulty equipment, the strikers marched to protest low wages and unsafe working conditions. They took up the slogan “I Am a Man” as a variant on the first line of Ralph Ellison’s prologue to Invisible Man, “I am an invisible man.” By deleting the word “invisible,” the Memphis strikers asserted their presence, making themselves visible in standing up for their rights. Martin Luther King Jr. traveled to Memphis to address the striking workers; the next day, he was assassinated.

This painting is Ligon’s most important and iconic work. As the first object in which he used a selected text, Untitled (I Am a Man) is his breakthrough. He took pains to differentiate the painting from the original signs, avoiding a one-to-one relationship by reorganizing the line breaks. And while he preserved the original black-on-white of the sign, his choice to paint the black letters in eye-catching enamel calls attention to a black figure (“Man”) as a text that replaces the human form in figurative painting. Throughout his career, Ligon has used “blackness” as a trope for both personal and collective experience. As Ligon has said (paraphrasing Muhammed Ali), “It’s not about me. It’s about we.” The deliberately rough surface of the painting, which Ligon later documented by having a condition report made as an ancillary work of art, seems to index the scars and struggles of the work’s great subject. (x)

Giovanni Bellini, Madonna del prato, 1505, National Gallery, London

Giovanni Bellini, Madonna del prato, 1505, National Gallery, London

Thomas Eakins, The Biglin Brothers Racing, 1872, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Thomas Eakins, The Biglin Brothers Racing, 1872, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Mary Cassatt, Children Playing on a Beach, 1884, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Children Playing on a Beach demonstrates Mary Cassatt’s skill at capturing the natural attitudes of children. The intent expression on one child’s face, the lowered angles of their heads, and the set of their shoulders suggest complete concentration on their activities. Especially appealing is the awkward way in which the toddler on the left grips the long handle of her shovel while holding the rim of the bucket with her other pudgy hand.
Cassatt’s interest in structure and strong sense of patterning comes through clearly in this painting. Her careful brushstrokes follow the contours of the girls’ arms, legs, and heads, creating the solid areas of color typical of her work after 1883. To keep the center of attention on the little girls, Cassatt treated the seascape background more loosely; the boats on the ocean melt into a haze of natural light. She emphasized surface pattern by repeating the accents of dark dresses under crisp white pinafores. (x)

Mary Cassatt, Children Playing on a Beach, 1884, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Children Playing on a Beach demonstrates Mary Cassatt’s skill at capturing the natural attitudes of children. The intent expression on one child’s face, the lowered angles of their heads, and the set of their shoulders suggest complete concentration on their activities. Especially appealing is the awkward way in which the toddler on the left grips the long handle of her shovel while holding the rim of the bucket with her other pudgy hand.

Cassatt’s interest in structure and strong sense of patterning comes through clearly in this painting. Her careful brushstrokes follow the contours of the girls’ arms, legs, and heads, creating the solid areas of color typical of her work after 1883. To keep the center of attention on the little girls, Cassatt treated the seascape background more loosely; the boats on the ocean melt into a haze of natural light. She emphasized surface pattern by repeating the accents of dark dresses under crisp white pinafores. (x)

Edouard Manet, Tama, the Japanese Dog, c. 1875, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Edouard Manet, Tama, the Japanese Dog, c. 1875, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Judith Leyster, Self Portrait, 1630, National Gallery of Art

Judith Leyster, Self Portrait, 1630, National Gallery of Art

fromageetalpinisme:

Light-speed.  (Taken with Instagram at National Gallery of Art - East Building)

Leo Villareal, Multiverse

fromageetalpinisme:

Light-speed. (Taken with Instagram at National Gallery of Art - East Building)

Leo Villareal, Multiverse

El Greco, Holy Family with Saint Anne and the Infant John the Baptist, c. 1595/1600, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

El Greco, Holy Family with Saint Anne and the Infant John the Baptist, c. 1595/1600, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Edmund Charles Tarbell, Mother and Mary, 1922, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Edmund Charles Tarbell, Mother and Mary, 1922, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Dosso Dossi, Circe and Her Lovers in a Landscape, c. 1514 - 1516, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Dosso Dossi, Circe and Her Lovers in a Landscape, c. 1514 - 1516, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC