Sunday, October 18, 2009

Video Killed the Radio Star

By Alexander Jarman, Public Programs Manager

Nope, its not a blog posting about the Buggles or their amazing track from 1979. This is however, a posting about film, video and art. Tomorrow night, Monday, we are having an incredible lecture here at the Museum by Neil Kendricks. He will begin by presenting three very short films by Stan Brakhage, an avant-garde filmmaker whose works we have in our permanent collection. Then Neil's going to show you how Brakhage's works from the 1960's would impact the next generation of short format filmmakers who would go on to make music videos.

Brakhage's films are beautiful but also interesting to dissect technically. This guy would tape, collage and paint on top of and scratch directly into film in order to achieve different effects (the above picture is an example of Brakhage taping natural materials onto his filmstrips). Often when you watch one of his films you are really witnessing a moving painting. But you'll want to stick around for the music videos and short films by Floria Sigismondi, Chris Marker and Mark Romanek (he did the Nine Inch Nails music video, Closer).

This is going to be one of our best lectures this fall and I hope all of you will be able to come by the Museum for it.

Guest Lecture Series

Neil Kendricks: Brakhage and Beyond

Monday, October 19, 7:00 p.m.

James S. Copley Auditorium

$12 members/$15 nonmembers/$7 students

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Installing Now: American Artists from the Russian Empire

Next up at the Museum of Art: American Artists from the Russian Empire. We're installing the show this week, and it opens on October 24th. America is a melting pot, of course, and so is American Art... or, to use another cliche: this exhibition explores the Russian slice of the American pie. The exhibition explores the work of Russian immigrants and ranges from the social realism of artists like David Burliuk or Ben Shahn to the European-styled modernism of Max Weber, Archipenko, Lipchitz, and Gorky; from the surrealism of Pavel Tchelitchew on to the hard-edged modernism of Bolotowsky and Louise Nevelson. The culminating note of the exhibition is the group of five paintings by Mark Rothko, beginning with a figurative work of the 1930s (signed with his original name, "Rothkowitz") and continuing on to two of his classic color-field paintings of the 50s. That alone would merit the price of admission (although of course if you've signed up and joined The Gallery you have unlimited admission), but beyond Rothko, there are fascinating glimpses of the closely-knit Russian artist community in New York (note the portraits by and of Burliuk, Soyer, Nina Schick, and Nicholas Roerich), or of the broader development of minimalism and of color-field painting (two large color-field canvases by Jules Olitsky hang near those by Rothko).
American Artists from Russia will also be the featured exhibition at our next Culture and Cocktails on October 29th. For details about a special tour of the exhibition in the hour before Culture and Cocktails begins, see our webpage.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Calder in Context

Coming up this Saturday, October 10th, at 2 PM...
Calder in Context: A Multisensory Exhibition Walkthrough
Join a curator, an actor, and a jazz saxophonist for an exhibition walkthrough of Calder Jewelry. Participants will learn about the influence Calder had on contemporary jewelry designers and discover how poetry and jazz influenced his own work. Listen to excerpts from Calder’s diary, hear live jazz from the 1940s and 1950s, and see one-of-a-kind, handmade jewelry from one of the twentieth century’s most important artists.
The program is free for those who have paid Museum admission, and of course, those who join The Gallery get unlimited Museum admission for two adults as part of their membership benefits.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Touched by Art

It only makes sense for me to share a follow up post to the recent "Please Don't Lick the Art" issue with this gem from the ONION.
Struggling Museum Now Allowing Patrons to Touch Paintings has now been crowned my top favorite Onion article of all time (well, it's probably a three-way tie). Museum humor? Maybe. Worth sharing? Most definitely.
Museum officials confirmed that many new visitors have given donations to the museum to get special member benefits, such as being allowed to remove works of art from the walls and sit down with them while enjoying food or drinks in the café. {Excerpt from the ONION}
Okay, we're all down with the rules: no food or drink in the galleries, don't touch the art, no umbrellas, no sharp sticks, check your bag, no photos, no video, no pens...Perhaps it's time to consider the things we CAN do in a Museum. Ponder. Discuss. Hum. Sketch. Hold hands. Meditate. Study. Learn. Create. Listen. Make art. Meet people. Laugh. Discover. Think...

-Sarah Beckman, Associate Director of Development at The San Diego Museum of Art