modern art

Posted in Art & Archives, 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, Art & Archives, 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 Art & Archives, 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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Posted in Art & Archives, Exhibitions and Installations, Paintings, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

It Happened in L.A.: Artists Turn to Zen

Little Big Horn / Peter Voulkos

Artists’ studios aren’t generally thought of as meditative places. The stereotype is one of disarray—an image comes to mind of paintbrushes, sculpting tools, or other instruments of the trade strewn about a room, as if to signal an unruly creative… More»

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Posted in Art & Archives, Conservation, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Conservation Institute, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Gray Column Rises

Gray Column / De Wain Valentine

One of the most influential sculptors active in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s, De Wain Valentine is perhaps best known for his striking, semitransparent, and delicately colored large-scale polyester resin sculptures of simple geometric forms that interact intensely… More»

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Posted in Art & Archives, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Center, Getty Conservation Institute, Getty Research Institute, J. Paul Getty Museum

Countdown to Pacific Standard Time

Ablutions performance at Guy Dill’s studio
Ablutions performance at Guy Dill’s studio, with Judy Chicago, Suzanne Lacy, Sandra Orgel, and Aviva Rahmani (Sponsored by Feminist Art Program at CalArts), 1972. The Getty Research Institute, Gift of Art in the Public Interest and 18th Street Arts Center, 2006.M.8.42. Photo courtesy Lloyd Hamrol

This morning we launched a new website dedicated to Los Angeles art from 1945 to 1980. Here you can get acquainted with Pacific Standard Time, the region-wide collaborative project that will tell the story of the L.A. art scene and… More»

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Posted in Getty Research Institute

Frederic Tuten and Steve Martin Talk Art and Fiction

frederictuten

On October 12, novelist Frederic Tuten and actor and writer Steve Martin appeared at the Getty Center as part of the Getty Research Institute’s ongoing series Modern Art in Los Angeles. The evening was a not only a departure from… More»

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Posted in Art & Archives, Conservation, Getty Conservation Institute, Paintings

Inside the Getty Conservation Institute’s Modern and Contemporary Art Research Lab

Local conservator Chris Stavroudis and GCI Senior Scientist Tom Learner work on a painting by artist Doug Wheeler.
Local conservator Chris Stavroudis and GCI Senior Scientist Tom Learner work on a painting by artist Doug Wheeler.

I popped by the Getty Conservation Institute’s science labs this week to be met with a surprise:  a large white Doug Wheeler painting (1964, Untitled, acrylic) alongside the beakers and other scientific equipment.  Wheeler is best known for his neon… More»

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Posted in Art & Archives, Getty Research Institute, Paintings, Photographs, Film, and Video

Listening to Edward Hopper’s Silence

Edward Hopper, Arnold Newman, 1941. Gelatin silver print, 36.7 x 45.2 cm (14 7/16 x 17 13/16 in.). Gift of Nina and Leo Pircher. © Estate of Arnold Newman

How do you make a movie about Edward Hopper? The artist—famous for his haunting and enigmatic paintings such as Nighthawks and New York Movie—was conspicuously taciturn, speaking little about his work, giving few interviews, and keeping to a small circle… More»

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Posted in Art & Archives, Conservation, Getty Conservation Institute, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

What Does Plastic Have to Do with Art?

Vestito Blu, Enrica Borghi, 2005. Mineral water bottles, plastic bags, and plexiglas, 85.8 x 85.8 x 263.3 in. (220 x 220 x 675 cm). Collection Mamac, Nice. Photo: Muriel Anssens. © Enrica Borghi

Many types of plastic used in artworks are now beginning to exhibit serious signs of deterioration – discoloration, crazing and cracking, warping, becoming sticky, and in extreme cases, turning completely to powder. The sheer number of plastics available constitutes a huge challenge for the conservation profession. More»

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      A Brief History of the Fleur-de-lis in Art

      The fleur-de-lis, a familiar symbol with varied meanings and a rather obscure origin.

      If you read the labels of objects in museums bearing the fleur-de-lis (in French, fleur de lys, pronounced with the final “s”), you might notice that they were all made in France before the French Revolution of 1789. 

      What’s less apparent is that the fleur-de-lis marks objects that bear witness to a dramatic history of monarchy, democracy, and war: they speak to the inherent power of trappings commissioned for and by France’s pre-revolutionary kings.

      Adopted as a royal emblem in France by the 1100s, the fleur-de-lis can be traced to early Frankish monarchs including Clovis I, who converted to Christianity in 496, and the renowned Charlemagne. 

      A French word, fleur-de-lis translates literally to “lily flower.” This is appropriate given the association of lilies with purity (and the Virgin Mary) and given that France has long been known as the “Eldest Daughter of the Church.” In truth, the stylized flower most closely resembles a yellow iris. 

      As a heraldic symbol used in the arms of the French monarchy, the fleur-de-lis often appears in yellow or gold tones and set on a blue shield. 

      Given its intimate royal associations, the fleur-de-lis invoked the ire of revolutionaries even before the fall of the monarchy in 1792. In addition to toppling royal statues, vandals chipped away at crowns and fleurs-de-lis adorning the façades of buildings.

      Full blog post on the Getty Iris here.

      04/28/16

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