Friday, January 3, 2014

We Three Art Lovers

I had a few days off over New Year's, so what did I do with my break from the gallery? Went to an art museum with James and a good friend. Maybe it seems weird that I'm surrounded by art all day every day and then I choose to spend my day off surrounded by art, but I don't think it does. I couldn't imagine a more relaxing day.

Our trio drove to The Getty with the aim to spend the entire day looking at art and having a leisurely lunch at The Restaurant. Mission accomplished, my friends, mission accomplished.

A relatively clear day in Los Angeles

Late afternoon at The Getty
The first exhibit we took in was Canterbury and St. Albans: Treasures from Church and Cloister. A series of stained and painted glass windows have been de-installed from Canterbury Cathedral in England and displayed temporarily in this show. The windows are hung backlit in a darkened room so you can get the full force of color and design, and they're also hung much lower than they are when installed at their home in the cathedral so you can see the detail. Only one of these windows has ever been seen outside of the cathedral before. When you look at all the tiny pieces of glass and realize that they have survived intact from the 1100's, it's hard to imagine undertaking the task of removing them and transporting them from one country to another across an ocean!

Jared, from the Ancestors of Christ Windows, Canterbury Cathedral, England 1178-1180 (Getty postcard)
 The second part of the exhibit was made up of pages from the St. Albans Psalter that had been temporarily unbound and displayed in cases. The details in these illuminated manuscripts were really incredible, and the colors were still so bright and vivid, even after hundreds and hundreds of years.

The Fall, illuminated manuscript from St. Albans, England, about 1130 (Getty postcard)
 This show in only on until February 2nd, so go and see it while you can!

No day out at The Getty would be complete without spending a little bit of time outside.  The outdoors is just as inviting as the indoors, and the hilltop setting practically begs you to admire the views of Los Angeles from above. Plus, being LA, there is pretty much perpetual sunshine.

James and Ryan

Me, Myself and Ryan
If you hurry, you might just catch Abelardo Morell: The Universe Next Door (on until January 5th). If you're into photography, you'll probably like his work. If photography's not your thing, maybe skip it, because you probably won't like his work. I happen to be into photography, and I liked Morell's work very much. Some of his photographs involved turning whole rooms into a camera obscura and photographing the room's interior, complete with projected imagery from the camera obscura.  The results are disorienting, with your eye trying to make sense of what it's observing.

Santa Maria della Salute in Palazzo Bedroom. Venice, Italy, 2006 by Abelardo Morell
The above was one of my favorite images from the exhibit. I'm also a fan because I know that the images weren't created with the use of Photoshop or other similar digital programs. And at this point, you might be asking yourself, "What is a camera obscura?" And here, courtesy of Wikipedia, is your answer:

"The device consists of a box or room with a hole in one side. Light from an external scene passes through the hole and strikes a surface inside, where it is reproduced, rotated 180 degrees (thus upside-down), but with color and perspective preserved. The image can be projected onto paper, and can then be traced to produce a highly accurate representation." Basically, how your camera lens works, only a bit larger, and with your camera, the image is recorded onto film or as a digital file. 

Abelardo Morell also used this sort of process to take out into the landscape to create his "Tent Camera" series. This time, the camera obscura image appears on the ground, and that is what's photographed. These images were some of my favorites from the entire day - I loved how the ground added texture to the image of the landscape, and how the landscape became a part of the ground and vice versa. So thank you, Getty, Art Institute of Chicago and High Museum of Art in Atlanta for putting together this exhibition!

Tent-Camera Image on Ground: View of the Golden Gate Bridge from Battery Yates, by Abelardo Morell
We three art lovers spent the rest of the day in a happy haze of paintings, photography, and delicious food. If you're in or around Los Angeles, definitely plan to visit The Getty, and plan for an entire day because there is just so much to see, including these crazy trees and funky water features:

Crazy trees

Getty Water
Happy New Year! May 2014 be a year filled with happiness and adventure for all!

No comments:

Post a Comment