The term public art refers to works of art (in any media) that have been planned with a specific site in mind – usually installed outside and visible to all.
The need to display art in a public place is usually driven by the ego of a local authority or prominent business or public figure within in a community. Placing grandiose statements within a town or city is seen as a way of increasing the importance of a place. There is a misconception that art elevates and rejuvenates an area – this is incorrect. There is more bad public art than there is good – out of proportion statues of footballers for an example.
The public art I like is the simple three-dimensional representation of company logos – signage is great public art.
The term public art is especially significant within the art world, amongst curators, commissioning bodies and practitioners of public art, to whom it signifies a particular working practice, often with implications of site specificity.
The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is housed in the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, in Venice. Peggy Guggenheim, a former wife of artist Max Ernst, purchased this building in 1949. Although sometimes mistaken for a modern designed building, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni is an 18th century palace designed by the Venetian architect Lorenzo Boschetti.
The palazzo was Peggy Guggenheim’s home for thirty years and was opened as a gallery in April 1980 after her death in 1979. The garden in the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni is now called the Nasher Sculpture Garden, which has a varied collection of objects. There is some interesting stuff in this intimate space but…
Three Standing Figures, 1953
Bronze, 73.2 x 68 x 29 cm, including base
I have always associated Henry Moore as being a sculptor who created ‘blobby’ organic forms that have weight and feminine curves.
This spiky bronze has derivative influences varying from African art and to the Surrealist sculpture of Pablo Picasso and Alberto Giacometti. If you get close to the sculpture there are redeeming features but the static poses of the figures and the clumsy references to an eclectic range of styles really exposes the failures of this piece – not a great sculpture – if you compare it to the Giacometti that stands nearby…
This is one of those paintings I needed to see – it was an important turning point in art history. The bold use of colour was deep rooted and part of the bedrock of the Synthetist style of modern art – an extension of the pioneering vision of other artist including Emile Bernard.
Vision after the Sermon (Jacob Wrestling with the Angel) is an oil painting by French artist Paul Gauguin in 1888. It is now in the National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh. It depicts a scene from The Bible, where Jacob wrestles an angel. A vision or hallucination that the Breton women experience after a sermon in church. Painted in Pont-Aven, Brittany, France – the inherent spiritality of subjects in this painting, the influence of the cloisonnist style, all point towards a great painting and a break through in 19th century art.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is a private luxury train service that travels from London to Venice. Traveling on the Orient Express across Europe is a romantic, nostalgic and luxurious experience.
The craftsmanship that went into creating the original carriages would be very difficult to replicate – inlaid wood, frosted glass reliefs and chromed fittings. These wonderfully engineered pieces of railway rolling stock date back to the 1920s and 1930s. The whole ensemble oozes history.
The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express
The original company was founded by James Sherwood of Kentucky, USA, in 1982; five years earlier, in 1977, he had bought two of the original carriages at auction when the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits withdrew from the Orient Express service, passing the service on to the national railways of France, Germany, and Austria. Over the next few years, Sherwood spent a total of $16 million purchasing 35 sleeper, restaurant and Pullman carriages. On 25 May 1982, the first London-Venice run was made.
It is currently owned by Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. The company owns 50 luxury hotels, restaurants, tourist trains and river cruises in 24 countries.