Thursday, November 25, 2010

Call for Submissions for the December Issue of the Art History Carnival

The December issue of the Art History Carnival  will be posted on December 1, 2010. You can submit articles for inclusion in the carnival until 48 hours before the issue comes out (in this case, November 29, 2010). 

What kind of blog articles will be included? 
Posts covering all periods and art mediums are welcome, as are posts discussing art criticism, architecture, design, theory and aesthetics. All submissions will be carefully reviewed. 

What is a Blog Carnival? 
According to Wikipedia, a blog carnival is "a type of blog event...similar to a magazine, in that it is dedicated to a particular topic, and is published on a regular schedule, often weekly or monthly. Each edition of a blog carnival is in the form of a blog article that contains permalinks links to other blog articles on the particular topic." 

Blog Carnivals are a great way to help your blog reach a new audience and to make new friends in the blogosphere! 

Who can submit? 
Anyone, as long as you have a blog! And If you don't blog, you can submit one of your friend's articles (except they better be good--I'll be reading them!). 

Can I host a carnival? 
Absolutely! Please let me know if you'd be interested in hosting the next issue of the carnival. 

How to submit articles
You have two options:

1. Send me an email. Include the title and permalink URL of the post you are nominating for inclusion in the carnival, along with the name of the blog. Please put "Art History Carnival" in the title of your email to help me recognize it in my inbox!

2. Use the submission form provided by Blog Carnival (this is probably the easiest!). 

One final thing to keep in mind: 
To keep things current, posts should have been written after the date of the last Carnival.

Thank you for your participation! Share the news if you know someone who likes to write about art!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Did the Pre-Raphaelites Suffer from "Blurred Vision?"

This morning I came across a less-than-enthused review of "The Pre-Raphaelite Lens" in the Washington Post. In the article, Andy Grundberg criticized what he termed the "blurred vision" of the Pre-Raphaelites. And while Grundberg retained some admiration for the work done by Pre-Raphaelite landscape artists, he condemned the Brotherhood with broad strokes, arguing that "its members claimed to be interested in realism and truth" but were "far more taken with notions of fiction and theatricality."

Grundberg was a photography critic for the New York Times for many years, so it's not surprising that he prefers the Pre-Raphaelites landscapes and photography to their paintings. But his criticism of the PRB is pretty standard. Many modern viewers can appreciate the work of artists like John William Inchbold (whose photograph-quality painting of Anstey's Cove is pictured here), and even Ford Maddox Brown, but remain perplexed by the romanticism of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones.

I was particularly struck by Grundberg's backhanded compliment that Julia Margaret Cameron and Henry Peach Robinson had "managed against odds to transcend their subjects' goofy origins in Arthurian legend." So now it's "goofy" to be inspired by myths and legend? Greek myth has inspired countless artists and is (quite rightly) not regarded as a "goofy" source of inspiration. Why should ancient British myths be seen differently?

Mythology is such a rich source of inspiration for artists, and it saddens me to see it dismissed off-hand. Many members of the PRB were actually very interested in a "modern" approach to art and design. They recognized that British art had become mired in convention and instead attempted to use the classics as a foundation to build from that would allow them break free from traditions that had become oppressive to artists. Even William Morris, whose passion for the middle ages is well-known, was not attempting to imitate medieval design, but to use it as a source of inspiration to create a better future.

Apparently, people today are confused that a a group that claimed to be visionary would lean so heavily on mythology and the classics for inspiration. Contemporary artists and (and their adoring critics) have the hubris to claim that they have re-invented the wheel, or are totally unencumbered by the influence of others from the past (the Young British Artists come to mind). And while this unfettered arrogance is intriguing, and can sometimes produce fascinating work, it also runs the risk of alienating the public with its hollow promise of unbridled innovation. A connection to the past and an understanding of our collective unconscious is not "goofy" - it's a fundamental part of the creative process.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Henri Matisse: A Celebration of Light and Line at the Art Gallery of Alberta

From now until February 13, 2011, the Art Gallery of Alberta will be featuring an exhibit of the works of Henri Matisse. The exhibit contains over 170 of Matisse's works, with a special emphasis on his work in printmaking. The exhibit combines works from the collection of The Baltimore Museum of Art with others from Matisse as Printmaker: Works from the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation, a traveling exhibition created by the American Federation of Arts and the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation. Many of the pieces from the Baltimore Museum of Art are recent gifts to the museum, and this will be the first time that they have been available to the public.

I'm extremely excited to see this exhibit - I can't wait to take my daughter! It's been so interesting to see what art she responds to the most. Sculpture and colorful paintings definitely seem to thrill her the most so far (she was in love with the ballet dancers from the Degas exhibit we went to earlier this year - and she was just a few months old!).   Oh, and of course she loved the AGA's "Art of Warner Bros." exhibit! Matisse's works is so colorful that I'm pretty confident it will catch her eye (now that she's a little bigger, the challenge will be getting her close enough to see, but not too close!!).

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to put up any photos of Matisse's work due to copyright restrictions (Matisse died in 1954 - so it has been a little less than 70 years since his death. As a result, there are some copyright issues since his works are not in the public domain). So, to see a few samples of works that will be included in the exhibit, visit the Art Gallery of Alberta's website for the exhibit: Henri Matisse: A Celebration of Light and Line.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

November Issue of the Art History Carnival

I'm afraid I'm a day late (time is just flying by these days!), but I just wanted to remind everyone that this month the Art History Carnival is being hosted at Alberti's Window. There are some great articles in this issue that are not to be missed, so be sure to visit!