Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Big Baby Heads



If you've been following my sketch blog, you'll know that when I was recently in Boston, I visited the MFA. I went specifically to see the Zhang Daquian exhibit but just happened to show up the day after the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Fenway Entrance. On either side of this newly reopened north entrance, the museum installed the first (of three) edition of Antonio López Garcia's El dia y la noche (Day and Night). These magnificent bronzes were purchased with funds provided by Gail and Ernst von Metzsch. What a fabulous way to spend money! The first photo above shows Day while a cloud passed over the sun. Below is Day directly lit ...



and Night up close and personal.



See a photo essay of the delivery and installation.

The State Street Fenway Entrance opening and installation of Day and Night coincides with an extensive show of Garcia's drawings, paintings and sculpture. His work is extremely subtle but very deep. I breezed through the the exhibit on my first go round and then, after photographing the baby heads, went back for a closer inspection. If you're anywhere in the neighborhood while the show is still up over the next ten days, I recommend a visit.

The Artist's Magazine ran a recent article on Garcia and you can find a July 02, 2008 post about him on their artists network blog and slate.com published a slide-show essay on his work.

A few days after I saw the exhibit, I realized that I'd watched a Victor Erice film on Garcia about 15 years ago at the MFA Boston Friends of Film screening. The film demanded an enormous amount of patience as it followed the long and slow development of Garcia painting a quince tree in the courtyard of his studio. But I'm glad I stuck it out because it was a rare and true examination of the process of making a painting. I'm also glad that I saw it when I did because it's next to impossible to find now.

I'll post a clip from that film on Friday. Meanwhile, here's a clip of Garcia talking about his work. It was very good for me to watch this as I had been painting at a very fast clip that I found, in some ways, dissatisfying. Maybe it was the pressure to perform for daily blog posts. Or maybe it was that I need periods of reflection in between periods of intensive output. In any event, as I take a break from making a painting every day (I used to spend weeks, sometimes a month on one painting), it is encouraging to consider a painter who spends long stretches of time on one piece. Even more, it's a gift to hear a mature artist speak about his work (or almost anything).

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