Thursday, March 2, 2017

Guest Blogger art history graduate student Amanda Peters discusses a unique painting (an image of which the VMC is acquiring!)

In 2016, the Denver Art Museum exhibited a show titled "Women of Abstract Expressionism." This revolutionary exhibition was curated by University of Denver professor and DAM Curator of Modern Art, Gwen Chanzit. The story that unfolded in the gallery space embraced many artists overlooked by traditional scholarship and shed new light on a previously male dominated movement. Not only were these women an integral part of the story of art in New York and California, they created stunning works that pushed the boundaries of what could be done with painting.

An example of this innovative undertaking is Jay DeFeo's The Rose, 1958-66. While this painting by DeFeo was not in the exhibition, it is a spectacular example of one of the methods in which these artists explored the spatial use of the canvas. Whereas artist Helen Frankenthaler was exploring the use of thinned paint in a way to let the canvas surface emerge through layers that stained the canvas rather than built it up, DeFeo's The Rose was a massive undertaking of incredible amounts of coating and volume. As quoted from the exhibition catalog,Women of abstract expressionism:

"The Rose, measuring eleven inches thick and weighing about a ton--now a centerpiece of the Whitney Museum's collection--is the most famous painting to have come out of the San Francisco movement. The enduring fascination stems not from its innovative technique or media-blurring fracture, but rather from its commanding presence, enigmatic nature, and legendary history. The story of DeFeo's single-minded devotion to the painting for the better part of eight years is well documented. Removing the work required cutting a hole into a wall and lowing the piece on a forklift into a truck, an event immortalized in Bruce Conner's film 'The White Rose' (1965). What gives The Rose such power is not only its imposing size but the quantity of light, an inner, radiant light that exerts an active force on the viewer. The Rose, like all great works of art, defies definition--as critic Michael Duncan put it, the painting offers 'no closure but infinite quest,' oscillating between 'the concave and the convex, between emanation and inhalation, between transcendence and abnegation.'"

--Marter, Joan M. (ed.). 2016. Women of abstract expressionism. Denver, Colorado: Denver Art Museum; New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 55.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Virtual exhibit describes transformation to the Musee d'Orsay

Victor Laloux's train station in the 1970s, before the transformation into a museum
The Orsay train station was built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900. It stood in Paris opposite the Tuileries Gardens. By 1939, the station's platforms were too short for modern trains and the station was threatened with destruction in the early 1970s.  The building was classified a Historical Monument in 1978. Transformation into a museum specializing in art created from 1848 to 1914 was completed in 1986.

The virtual exhibit documenting the transformation uses historic photographs to showcase the architecture and art.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Fair Use and Fair Dealing Week 2017!

February 20 to February 24 is Fair Use/Fair Dealing week!

(Read more about the history of Fair Use Week on the Copyright at Harvard Library" blog by Kyle Courtney and about the events for the week on the Fair Use Week website.)

What is "Fair Use"?

Section 107 of the US copyright law explains Fair use (color added to text for emphasis by the author):

107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A [Exclusive rights in copyrighted works], the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

The Visual Resources Association (VRA) has also written a Statement on Fair Use for Teaching, Research, & Study, which can be found here (with other resources about copyright).
It is important for educators, researchers, and students to exercise their fair use rights to materials for teaching and learning!

*Fair Dealing is the Canadian exception similar to Fair Use