Featured Image: Apse from San Martin at Fuentidue – The Cloisters – Metropolitan Museum of Art – Courtesy of Spanish
Towering high atop the bluffs above the Hudson Heights and Inwood neighborhoods of Manhattan, The Cloisters museum is home to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s stunning collection of medieval sculpture, architecture, and decorative art.
Constructed by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., the towering ramparts of this Romanesque castle were built from the ruins of a number of French abbeys that were painstakingly transported stone-by-stone to this location on the northern edge of New York City. Situated in historic Fort Tryon Park, with its gardens and breathtaking views of the City and the Palisades, The Cloisters offers a peaceful sanctuary from city life and is itself a work of art.
Deep inside its galleries, in a small and otherwise unremarkable display, stands an ivory cross that legendary Met director Thomas Hoving considered it to be the single most fantastic and unique work of art to survive the Dark Ages. Hoving became obsessed with acquiring the cross, with its elaborate motifs and delicate figures carved in deep relief, that he would pay the largest sum of money the Met had ever paid for any single work of art at the time.
Industrial revolution advancements in printing technology – including the mass production of metal lithographic plates over the traditional limestone – provided artists with an efficient medium to apply bold colors, elaborate typography, and stunning imagery to the printed page. The Minneapolis College of Art & Design shares their remarkable collection of pre-World War I posters from artists including Alphonse Mucha, Jules Chéret, Eugène Grasset, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
The Big Art Theory Blog turns us on to art and artists with whom we may not have been familiar which is wonderful, but more than that, the talented writers help us to think about why we may like or dislike, a particular work of art. The writers act as docents, taking us on a tour through the many levels of our own emotional responses, visual associations, and contextual experiences, that a work of art may evoke in us. As if each one were an installation in the gallery of our own mind. Good stuff, not to mention we can always use a shot of culture and beauty.
For example, Anna Lucy shows us the work of artists David Hockney and Ania Luk, as well as a few of her own, in her post ‘Living in Hotel California With ‘Tiffany Twisted’ Supergirl‘. Composed by Don Felder, Glenn Frey, and Don Henley, the lyrics have been conjectured to mean quite a bit over the years since it’s 1977 release. Some of these interpretations, while little more than myth, have become part of popular culture. For those of a certain age, the song, like it or not, has become inextricably linked to images and personal memories, maybe a time or a place, or even certain smells. These associations, to a lesser degree,
The lyrics of the titular song, composed by Don Felder and written by Glenn Frey and Don Henley, have been conjectured to mean quite a bit over the years since it’s 1977 release. Some of these interpretations, while little more than myth, have become part of popular culture. For those of a certain age, the song, like it or not, may have become inextricably linked to images and personal memories, maybe a time or a place, or even certain smells that come flooding back upon rehearing the opening chords to Felder’s harmony. These associations, to a certain degree, may result from the phenomenon of synesthesia, and it is there where Anna begins our tour.
For those unfamiliar, check out The Eagles performing Hotel California in this live performance from the Capital Centre in Washington, D.C. some time in the late 1970’s. If it is blocked in the States, update your VPN
We adore this piece but you can find out plenty more about David Hockney and Ania Luk as well as work they have done and upcoming exhibits here and here, We have certainly become obsessed. We wish we would have caught Hockney’s 2011 exhibit at the ROM.
‘An artist is an art lover who finds that in all the art he sees, something is missing: to put there what he feels is missing becomes the center of his life’s work’ Romare Bearden
‘Kalispera, welcome Madame!’ – I heard the enthusiastic voice in the doorway as I arrived at the ‘Blue Beach Hotel’ in Chania, Greece. I’ve never mentioned it before but from her early childhood I knew that visiting a new place is likely to make me ‘feel’ the symptoms of synesthesia.
Let me explain you first what hides behind the mysterious phenomenon. Similarly to Tori Amos, Pharrell Williams, Marilyn Monroe, Vladimir Nabokov, David Hockney or Vincent Van Gogh, I possess the unique ability to ‘merge’ several senses at the same time. In one of the online articles I’ve read that actually 4% of our society are synestheists.