So, I realized that I never wrote about the exhibitions I saw while in D.C. last weekend. Having the flu really screwed up last weeks posts, huh? Well, back to business! Aside from visiting my good friend Sophia, one of the things I was most excited about doing on our road-trip was seeing three specific gallery shows: Paint Made Flesh at the Phillips Collection, and the William Eggleston retrospective William Eggleston: Democratic Camera, Photographs and Video, 1961–2008, and Maya Lin: Systematic Landscapes both at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Now, I know I wrote a bit about these shows already, but I wanted to write a bit more! Paint Made Flesh was amazing, it had such a fantastic assortment of artists that spanned the decades after WWII. Two artists I was most excited to see were John Currin and Jenny Saville.
Advisory: Some (most) of Currin's work is explicit in nature.
Google Image search at your own risk. You've been warned.
This is art, people.
" The Hobo" By John Currin
What Draws me to Currin's work is his use of the female figure. His lighting and colors are soft, yet his subject matter is often pornographic. He's taken the traditional renaissance style of painting- which has been so revered in the art world- and flipped it on it's head. How can you not love a man who painted a topless portrait of Bea Arthur?
"Hyphen" by Jenny Saville
Next we have Jenny Saville. Saville paints on the large scale, her paintings can be measured in feet and meters, rather than inches. She pushes her subject matter in the viewers face and forces them to look at her- often deformed- subjects straight on. She uses large swabs of oil paint on her canvasses, making her figures look as if they are covered in butter or frosting.
Now, on to the Corcoran Gallery of Art!
I love William Eggleston. I love color photography. William Eggleston is the father of fine-art color photography. Seeing a retrospective of his work was like my holy grail. I left this show so inspired to create more work and experiment with my processes!
"2x4 Landscape" by Maya Lin
And finally Sculptor and Architect, Maya Lin. Growing up with a mother who is a land surveyor, I was constantly exposed to different kinds of maps- including topographic- and soil composites. I think this is what drew me to Lin's work. I am able to connect to her landscape inspired work through the knowledge that my mother instilled in my uninterested child's brain. Fun Fact: Maya Lin also designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in D.C.
One of the most important things I took with me from art college was that it is imperative that you as an artist expose yourself to as many different kinds of art as possible. See what other artists are creating, and explore how you as an artist can employ those methods with your own work. This year one of my main resolutions was to do more of that, go to more gallery shows, and more museum exhibitions.