May 27, 2011

S.F. Museum of Modern Art - SF MOMA for short

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

I am a proud card carrying member of San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art, so on Tuesday I made a pilgrimage to see the historical Eadweard Muybridge collection -- studies of the ambulation of horses and man and that sort of thing.

I also visited the Stein collection exhibit on the fourth floor; with more Picassos and other fabulous artists than-a-person-can-hake-a-stick-at.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Usually I can't get out of SF MOMA without at least once remarking that "I could have done that" had I just come up with the idea. I suppose following through with the idea is the hard part.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

The same letter, over and over and over again.

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photo by Donald Kinney

Jumbled text with a definite space problem.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

From the information next to Warhol's artwork of Elizabeth Taylor:

This image of a young Elizabeth Taylor on horese-back is from the 1944 movie National Velvet. Warhol covered the tall, imposing canvas--one of his largest--with silver paint, evoking the "silver screen", and then printed the rich, black images side by side in rows of varying length. He combined the natural manipulations so that each picture of Taylor would have it's own unique character, emphasis, and resonance. The repeated images suggest the flickering glamour of a Hollywood film, composed of thousands of celluloid stills that change only minutely from one to the next, as well as the ephemeral nature of celebrity, a subject Warhol frequently explored. The first iteration at the upper left is the most complete and photographic, while the last one at the lower right is like a faded ghost.

Well folks, that paragraph above has got to be one of the silliest explanations of the way Warhol worked. Most likely he didn't intend for the images to grow progressively weaker -- that's just the way it goes when you're doing silkscreen printing and your screen starts to clog up. Oh yeah, this was an ambitious project -- the panel is 12 feet high by 8 feet wide, with fifty or sixty of the same Elizabeth Taylor print repeated in rows and columns -- not completely filled in or finished. Anybody with a little silkscreening knowledge could have done it, had they come up with the idea and followed through with it. Again, following through is the hard part.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

The rather primitive image on the right is by Arshile Gorky, American, 1904-1948, titled "Enigmatic Combat" 1937. And again, I probably could have done that if I had come up with idea and had the motivation to follow through with it.

I'm on my way to get my head x-rayed this morning. Someone dear to me said I needed to get my head examined. I'm going to follow through with it.

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John @ Beans and I on the Loose said...

Like you, I often thought the same thing when viewing certain types of modern art only with a slightly different perspective. I'll see some art say like the Gorky piece for instance, for sale in a art gallery...$3000. I'll think to myself "Hell, I can do that. $3000? Who in their right mind would pay 3 grand for that? I'll paint you a happy face for $30." Or something as simple as a wood chair with legs 6 feet tall. And that gets placed in an art museum. I don't get it.

Don said...

Modern art- now that's a can of worms. Love it... hate it... sometimes at the same time. I think photography is a popular modern art in part because most people look at a photograph and think hey, I can do that. And they can.

photowannabe said...

HaHa...hope the x-ray explains everything....
Great shots and I'm with you. Why some of the simplest things get so much recognition I don't know.
Many things I think I could have done too, had I thought of it.
Sorry its been so long in commenting. We have just been on the go so much that Hubby and I just needed a time out.
Think we are back in business again though.

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