Month: May 2015

  • May 30: hot wall labels at the deYoung

    Museum wall labels are generally pretty humdrum, but not in the Martin Family Gallery at the deYoung in San Francisco. Here, each label includes a poem by an elementary school student responding to the piece in question. This is new to me. Clearly, these kids had a rich experience, and we have some teachers/docents/curators/administrators who […]

  • May 23: Kollwitz and Levine whetting the scythe

        Speaking of Kathe Kollwitz and her fixation on the theme of the peasants’ revolt (as we were last week), this etching hangs in my living room. Its powerful description arises from its monumental abstract strength– like a Franz Kline, with narrative. On the wall next to Kollwitz we have David Levine’s puckish adaptation […]

  • May 17: Art meets Labor

    Vincent Van Gogh’s early work is heavy on the hardships of peasant life. As time passes, however, he becomes less involved with subject, and more with execution. Manner overtakes matter. The subject is much the same, but the dancing, suggestive brush strokes are what engage the viewer, and set a lighter tone. As opposed to […]

  • May 4: A favorite: Sempe

    The city views of Jean-Jacques Sempe manage to be lovingly observed, intriguing and complex, without getting bogged down in all the detail. Facades, roof vents, windows, cornices, traffic—rich as it is, it’s all summerized so that the eye isn’t diverted from the central point, the wonderful, intimate moment of delight. And yet that, too, is […]