Month: February 2016

  • Feb 27: portraits of Adowa

    PORTRAITS OF ADOWA On January 23 we looked at images of density in battle, one of which was a present-day representation of the Battle of Adowa, fought between Italy and Ethiopia in 1896. I return to it here because the Wikipedia article included photos of the winner, Emperor Menelik II, and loser, General Oreste Baratieri. The […]

  • Feb 20: Warhol’s Mao

    WARHOL’S MAO We Americans didn’t have to live under Mao Tse Tung, so we find the fawning propaganda extolling him merely ridiculous: Not that we in the West were waiting around for the Chinese to teach us about fatuous imagery and gross sucking up: But even if it can’t compete with Rubens, Mao worship was […]

  • Feb 13: Close Favorites

    CLOSE FAVORITES I find the work of Chuck Close very up and down. Many of his big portraits seem to have nothing much going for them but their bigness and the mind-boggling complexity of his grid method. But when he cuts loose, pieces like “Lucas II” or “Roy” go off in fascinating directions. The outlines and diagonals […]

  • Feb 6: Schoengeur’s artful St. Anthony

    SCHOENGEUR’S ARTFUL ST. ANTHONY One of the challenges of making a work of art is deciding exactly what it’s about, focusing on what is relevant, and excluding everything else. Below we have two groups of figures in which different objectives determine how the surrounding space should affect the group. In the Rembrandt, the group is only part of the action. […]