AMDG

O Most Holy Family, Jesus, Mary and Joseph

O Most Holy Family, Jesus, Mary and Joseph
In you we place all our faith and all our trust.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

National Gallery of Art: Sculpture Garden


+ JMJ +

We visited the Sculpture Garden last May 5, 2012.  It was a breezy afternoon, a perfect time to reintroduce Muddee to the works in the Garden since he was much younger when we had last visited.


"The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden is the most recent addition to the National Gallery of Art.  Completed and opened to the public on May 23, 1999, the location provides an outdoor setting for exhibiting a number of pieces from the Museum's contemporary sculpture collection."  (Source)


"It was designed to offer year-round enjoyment to the public in one of the preeminent locations on the National Mall (right across the National Archives) .  It  includes seventeen works from the Gallery's growing collection."  (Source)


 The reflecting pool and fountain refresh visitors from Spring through Fall.  In the winter, it becomes an Ice Rink.

Here are some of the works we saw:


Sol LeWitt
American, born 1928
Four-Sided Pyramid, 1999
Concrete Blocks and Mortar

"From the early 1960s to the present, Sol LeWitt has been at the forefront of minimal and conceptual art.  LeWitt's 'structures' (a term he prefers to sculpture) are generally composed with modular, quasi-architectural forms. For many of his works, LeWitt creates a plan and a set of instructions to be executed by others.

Four-Sided Pyramid was constructed on this site by a team of engineers and stone masons in collaboration with the artist. The terraced pyramid, first employed by LeWitt in the 1960s, relates to the setback design that had long been characteristic of New York City skyscrapers. Its geometric structure also alludes to the ziggurats of ancient Mesopotamia."  (Source)


 Roy Lichtenstein
American, 1923-1997
House I, 1996/1998
Fabricated and Painted Aluminum

"Roy Lichtenstein is best known for the pop paintings based on advertisements and comic strips that he made in the 1960s. He also produced a significant body of sculpture, including large-scale works designed for the outdoors. House I incorporates the hallmarks of the artist's style: crisp, elemental drawing, heavy black outlines, and a palette based on primary colors. 

Whereas most of the artist's sculpture approximates freestanding paintings in relief rather than volumetric structures in the round, some of his late sculpture, such as House I, exploits the illusionistic effects of a third dimension. The side of the house at once projects toward the viewer while appearing to recede into space." (Source)


Tony Smith
American, 1912-1980
Moondog,
1964/1998-1999
Painted Aluminum
 
"Smith's work is related to the simplified geometric forms in the minimalist art of the 1960s, but was also strongly influenced by the artist's early career as an architect. The structure of Moondog is based on the lattice motif that Smith used as the building block for a spare yet complex formal and expressive language.  Indeed, while Moondog is a logical geometric configuration (fifteen extended octahedrons plus ten tetrahedrons), from certain viewpoints it has a startling tilt, conveying an impression of instability. 

Smith compared this sculpture to a variety of forms, including a Japanese lantern and a human pelvic bone. The title itself derives from two sources: Moondog was the name of a blind poet and folk musician who lived in New York City, and Smith has also likened this sculpture to Dog Barking at the Moon, a painting by Joan Miró.  He first created Moondog in 1964 as a 33-inch cardboard model, intending to 'cast the piece in bronze as a garden sculpture,' which he did in 1970.  Smith himself planned the large scale edition of Moondog, although it was not produced in his lifetime."  (Source)


Roxy Paine
American, born 1966
Graft, 2008-2009
Stainless steel

"At 45 feet high by 45 feet wide, American sculptor Roxy Paine’s newly installed sculpture, Graft (2008–2009), stands out among the trees in the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, one-half mile from the U.S. Capitol on the National Mall. The Gallery commissioned Paine to make a Dendroid, as the artist calls his series of treelike sculptures, for the Sculpture Garden. The resulting work is the first by Paine to enter the collection, as well as the first contemporary sculpture to be installed in the Sculpture Garden in the ten years since it opened.

Graft presents two fictive but distinct species of trees—one gnarled, twisting, and irregular, the other smooth, elegant, and rhythmic—joined to the same trunk. Among its rich associations, this sculpture evokes the persistent human desire to alter and recombine elements of nature, as well as the ever–present tension between order and chaos."  (Source)

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