Friday, June 10, 2011

Museum Musings: SFMOMA

Yesterday Edwin and I went to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, my first visit. I have a very closed mind in terms of Modern Art, so there were plenty of internal giggles and eye rolls at some of the edgier displays. I'm not saying a urinal on the wall at a museum isn't art, I just find it to be stupid art. That being said, there were plenty of pieces I found interesting and enjoyed.  I know my little digital photos don't to them justice, so you'll just have to go for yourself.

Andy Warhol, Self-Portrait, 1967
Roy Lichtenstein, Mirror #2, 1970.
A re-imagining of Monet's series of the Rouen Cathedral. Roy Lichtenstein, Rouen Cathedrals Set V, 1969

Jackson Pollack, Guardians of the Secret, 1943
Painted while visiting San Francisco. Frida Kahlo, Frieda and Diego Rivera, 1935
Diego Rivera, Cargador de Flores, 1935
Max Beckmann, Woman at her toilette with red and white lilies, 1938.
Constantin Brancusi, La Négresse Blonde, 1926
The artist was inspired by an African woman he met in Marseilles, but I think it looks more like a fish.
Kerry James Marshall, Visible Means of Support, 2009

My favorite art pieces of the day were the huge murals in the atrium commissioned by SFMOMA by Kerry James Marshall.  As someone who focused on black history during my undergrad, I loved how he writes (or rather paints) slaves into the dominant narrative vision of our first and third presidents in their respective plantations. You must check the video where he explains his intention with the murals.

The distorted images of Jefferson and Washington speak to how the history of the Founding Fathers has been distorted by downplaying the role of slaves in their lives.
Each dot is a small face representing one of Jefferson's slaves.
Piet Mondrian
At the Museum's Blue Bottle Cafe, they do an amazing Mondrian Cake, read about it here (Photo: Art.21)
Henri Matisse, La Conversation, 1938
Pablo Picasso, Les Femmes d'Alger, 1955
Picasso was referencing that French class/Orientalist favorite Les femmes d'Alger dans leur appartement painted by Delacroix in 1834. I like Picasso's better.

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