performance art

Posted in Art, Art & Archives, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

James Ensor 2.0: “Christ’s Entry into Brussels” Becomes Performance Art

Two bottle stoppers from Vive L.A Social, Mathis Collins, 2011
Vive L.A Social (details), Mathis Collins, 2011. Images courtesy of Mathis Collins

The unruly figures in James Ensor’s massive painting Christ’s Entry into Brussels in 1889 have sneaked off the canvas and into bottles across Los Angeles. They’re the cast of characters in a new performance work by French artist Mathis Collins…. More»

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Posted in Getty Foundation, Getty Research Institute

T-Minus 30 Days to Citywide Performance Art Festival

Three Weeks in May / Suzanne Lacy

The Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival opens on January 19. For 11 days, artists will be activating public spaces across the city with a variety of performances and public art. From Pomona to Santa Monica beach, these… More»

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Posted in Art & Archives, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Research Institute

It Happened in L.A.: George Herms Gets Creative for Rent Money

Announcement for “Raffle,” a Tap City Circus raffle in Los Angeles, June 6, 1965. Designed by George Herms

George Herms is known for his poetic assemblages of discarded, disheveled materials. But back in the ’60s, he had preoccupations besides art: he was “tapped out”—that is, broke and ready to tap-dance on street corners for cash—and facing eviction. His… More»

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

Zhang Huan: Beyond the Body

Family Tree / Zhang Huan

The body, being, and humanness are Zhang Huan’s primary mediums and subjects. 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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