modern art

Posted in Art, Paintings, Voices

Getty Voices: The Forgotten Surrealist

Wolfgang Paalen with his portrait of Andre Breton
Courtesy Museo Franz Mayer, Mexico City

“A feeling of surprise, even disbelief, that someone so unique could have remained unknown to us for so long.” More»

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Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Research Institute

The “Scandalous Life” of César Moro

Photograph of César Moro buried up to his head in sand
Photograph of César Moro buried up to his head in sand, ca. 1935, unknown photographer. César Moro papers. The Getty Research Institute, 980029, box 1, folder 20

Peruvian poet César Moro has received relatively little notice in American scholarship. His poetry, artwork, and activities within and without the surrealist movement in Paris, Mexico City, and Lima remain little examined. But the Getty Research Institute exhibition Farewell to… More»

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Posted in Getty Research Institute, Paintings

Vitaly Komar: Exploring the Lines Between Us

Where is the Line Between Us?, Komad and Melamid, and Douglas Davis

Komar and Melamid created canvases to represent the most wanted (and unwanted) visual imagery for different countries. The results were telling, and hilarious. More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Research Institute

Treasures from the Vault: The Sky Gets a Chance! Gordon Matta-Clark Works on View at the Research Library

Display case of Gordon Matta-Clark materials at the Getty Research Institute framed against the sky

A new display case about American artist Gordon Matta-Clark just opened at the Research Library at the Getty Research Institute. I selected the items in the small case—which is just past the reception desk of the Research Institute lobby—from the archive… More»

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Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

The Ordinary Becomes Mystical: A Conversation with Betye Saar

Betye Saar at the Getty Center, November 16, 2011

On a Sunday, you might find artist Betye Saar at the Pasadena College flea market, scouting for treasures. The energetic 85-year-old is still an active hunter of offbeat and unusual objects, which she combines into sculptures filled with personal, spiritual,… More»

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Posted in Art, Behind the Scenes, Getty Research Institute

Treasures from the Vault: Artwork by Richard Tuttle Discovered in the Archive of Galerie Schmela

Detail of calligraphy in a letter from Richard Tuttle to Alfred Schmela, 1968

As I was recently working on the archive of  the German art dealer Alfred Schmela, I discovered an unusual  mailing  sent by American postminimalist artist Richard Tuttle. Addressed to Alfred Schmela and his wife Monika in Düsseldorf, Germany, it was… More»

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Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Photographs, Film, and Video

All in the Family: Lyonel Feininger, His Sons, and Photography

Bauhaus / Lyonel Feininger, March 22, 1929

Many know Lyonel Feininger as an accomplished painter, printmaker, and caricaturist whose work is forever linked to the Bauhaus movement. He was Walter Gropius’s first faculty appointment to the Weimar art school in 1919, and he helped shape an artistic… More»

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Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Conservation Institute

Talking with Artist De Wain Valentine

De Wain Valentine polishing one of his eight-foot-diameter polyester Circles in his Venice studio in the late 1960s

One of the most influential sculptors active in Los Angeles in the 1960s and ’70s, De Wain Valentine is perhaps best known for his large-scale polyester resin sculptures of simple geometric forms that interact intensely with the surrounding light. Not… More»

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Posted in Antiquities, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

Ancient Art through Modern Eyes

Cycladic figures on display at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa

Have you ever come across a piece of ancient art that looked suspiciously…modern? It’s hard to believe that Cycladic figures, with their sleek minimalist outlines, were made more than 4,000 years before sculptors Constantin Brancusi and Henry Moore came along…. More»

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Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Photographs, Film, and Video

Lyonel Feininger’s Photographic Vision

Moholy's Studio Window around 10 p.m. / Lyonel Feininger

In the 1920s, Lyonel Feininger was one of Germany’s best-known artists. He painted, drew, and made prints; he sketched caricatures and composed music; he even created a miniature city that would presage stop-motion animation. But in 1928, at age 58,… More»

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