Friday, October 30, 2015

Marbles over Warhol

Acrylic on gessoed hardboard, 8 x 10''
painting #233, 2015

Yet another instalment and tribute to Andy Warhol. This composition superimposes a postcard of Marilyn Monroe over ''Flowers, 1970'', serigraph print portfolio shown upside down from the art book, POP ART by Tilman Osterwold, published by Taschen (1990/2007).

I've just returned from a 5-day trip from Philadelphia, PA.  A beautiful city rich in architectural wonders, history, culture and art. Also, the cradle and birthplace of the United States as an independent country. I had been wanting to visit the city's impressive art institutions for the longest time and was not disappointed. Au contraire, I was awestruck by it all. A combination of wealth, philanthropy and good guidance has amassed such wonderful collections spread across four major art museums that I've had the privilege to visit. 

The Barnes Foundation alone is so impressive and has the greatest private collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and early modern art amassed by one individual, Dr. Albert C. Barnes. A total of 3000 works that include 181 Pierre-Auguste Renoir, the single largest collection of the artist in the world. Holdings also include 69 Paul Cézanne, 59 Henri Matisse, 46 Pablo Picasso, 16 Amadeo Modigliani, 7 Vincent Van Gogh, 4 Claude Monet and at least 3 Georges Seurat. 

The Rodin Museum is also the single largest collection of sculptor by Auguste Rodin's work outside of Paris, all amassed by movie theater mogul Jules Mastbaum. The museum opened in 1929, three years after Masterbaum's death. I have visited the Rodin Museum in Paris back in 1989. This was a beautiful re-acquaintance with is work. 

The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Museum and Art School was founded in 1805 and is considered the first and oldest of both in the United States. The museum only had a few people when we visited on a Sunday afternoon to witness an outstanding collection. Mostly American master painters with the likes of the Peale family, trompe l'oeil master William Harnett, Rideway Knight, Thomas Eakins, Robert Vonnoh, Cecilia Beaux, Edward Hopper, Peter Bloom, Childe Hassem, Karl Anderson to name just a few. Also on view was a magnificent solo show of recent alumni James Toogood, who's hyperrealist watercolours and pastels were new to me but did not leave me indifferent.

Last but not least the Philadelphia Museum of Art which opened it's doors in 1877, a year after the United States held it's first World Fair. It is a World Class Museum and one of the largest in the country. I ended up spending more than 3 hours but could have spent a few days easily. Opening on the day of our visit was ''Aububon to Warhol: The Art of American Still Life''. The first survey of it's kind in the past three decades. Click HERE for details. Outside the main entrance was Robert Indiana's 1998 AMOR, on view especially to honour Pope Francis on the occasion of his visit to the United States. The iconic, six-foot-high sculpture overlooking the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, site of the public papal mass which took place on September 27 in front of hundreds of thousands during the world meeting of families. 

To be exhibited in the 2015 Small Works Invitational at the 
Ober Anderson Gallery
101A West Argonne Drive, 
Kirkwood, Missouri
(St Louis, MO)

Exhibition Dates: November 6-December 31, 2015 
Public Reception: November 20, 2015