Posted: Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Piero della Francesca: Personal Encounters, a new catalogue by Keith Christiansen—the John Pope-Hennessy Chairman of the Met's Department of European Paintings—is the first publication to explore the private devotional works of one of the Renaissance's great masters. Published in conjunction with the eponymous exhibition (on view through March 30), the appropriately small book matches the intimate exhibition, which focuses on one of the gems of the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice: Piero della Francesca's Saint Jerome and a Supplicant, a work that has long mesmerized Christiansen, and has never before left Italy. I sat down with him to discuss this work and why he felt compelled to put this show and publication together.
Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Last year, in preparation for the exhibition Tibet and India: Buddhist Traditions and Transformations (on view through June 8), I traveled to India to see about a dozen major museum collections. (In 2010 I conducted a similar survey in Tibet, which will be the subject of my next post.) While I was in India I also had the opportunity to study many of the major tenth- to twelfth-century Buddhist sites in the northern part of the country—sites made sacred by the actions of the Buddha. I spent most of my time in Bihar, but I also visited Buddhist centers in Odisha on the east coast.
Posted: Monday, December 23, 2013
With less than a month left to see the exhibition Balthus: Cats and Girls—Paintings and Provocations at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, I sat down with Sabine Rewald—Jacques and Natasha Gelman Curator in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art, and author of the accompanying exhibition catalogue—to discuss her many years of fascination with Balthus, as well as her latest research that has brought such a renewed richness to the artist's subjects.
Posted: Monday, November 18, 2013
Though we tend to associate globalization with the modern, Western-dominated world of capital goods, in reality it began long ago with textiles. The current exhibition Interwoven Globe: The Worldwide Textile Trade, 1500–1800 is the first major exhibition to explore this international exchange of design ideas through the medium of textiles.
Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2013
The panels on view in the exhibition Feathered Walls: Hangings from Ancient Peru were created by the Wari peoples of southern Peru. Their makers hand-knotted blue and yellow macaw feathers one by one onto cotton and camelid hair using slipped overhand knots. The strings of feathers were then sewn in horizontal rows onto large cotton panels.
Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2013
Many questions surround the beautiful feather panels, created between about 600 and 1000 by the Wari peoples of Peru, that are currently on view in the exhibition Feathered Walls: Hangings from Ancient Peru. The simplistic juxtapositions of color and painstaking care put into them tantalize the mind and make one wonder what purpose the panels served.
Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2013
As a preface, I would just like to ask that you not take my excitement about the work above to be some kind of authoritative perspective on it—in other words, that you'll visit the Museum, see this piece and have a great, transcendent epiphany with the swelling baritone of a hallelujah chorus behind you. Perhaps it's just me being overzealous and getting unnecessarily pumped up about something as usual. But, for a second, let's be indulgent and allow me to express how this piece requires you to reconfigure your mind, and just how weird and interesting it is. Let's break it down for a second, shall we?
Posted: Thursday, August 15, 2013
What happened here? Did someone spill paint on these tiles? Is this supposed to be blood? Is there blood all over the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art?!
Posted: Thursday, August 8, 2013
Upon first seeing Imran Qureshi's installation on the Museum's roof garden, I was immediately struck by how effectively it subverts one's expectations. Along with the rest of the Teen Advisory Group, I was simply informed that we would be visiting a "rooftop installation," which immediately brought to mind the kind of monolithic modernist sculpture that seems to be increasingly ubiquitous in outdoor art installations these days. Surprisingly, though, we were greeted with something much more subtle and thought-provoking.
Posted: Thursday, August 1, 2013
Sudden violence in the United States, especially when unpredictable, triggers an immediate and mass reaction. This is hardly so in the case of Pakistan, however, a country where violence is the norm and not the exception. At the Museum's roof garden this summer, contemporary Pakistani artist Imran Qureshi challenges American viewers to immerse themselves in the bloodbath of civilians killed in sectarian conflicts far away from our own shores.