Monday, February 22, 2016

Colorful Explorations


Over a week ago, spectators gathered around a tree-trunk cage to watch Punxsutawney Phil emerge from his winter sleep. The groundhog, known famously for his shadow, forecasted an early spring. Although not scientifically supported, Punxsutawney Phil’s predictions offer hope for warmer temperatures during the dead of winter.  This winter has been especially difficult to endure given large snowfalls, freezing wind chills, and overcast skies. Yet, the colorful works of art currently on display at the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery offer much needed life to this despondent weather. In fact, broad brush strokes and vibrant colors emit from Elizabeth Osborne’s paintings, which are on display as part of Color Bloc: Paintings by Elizabeth Osborne. The exhibition showcases Osborne’s simultaneous explorations into the abstract and the specific. For example, paintings feature clear figures lost within expansive color. Ultimately, these explorations profoundly activate a viewer’s senses, allowing for powerful memories to emerge from resonating color fields.
It is difficult not to become transfixed by the glowing colors of Osborne’s paintings and the pages and stories in Coloring Pages: Works from the Corcoran Collection of Artists’ Books, which are equally engaging. Each book within this exhibition uses similarly bright hues to illustrate abstract and specific ideas like Osborne’s work. Additionally, some of these pieces tell stories completely through color such as the accordion style Le Petit Chaperon Rouge (The Little Red Riding Hood). A key on the first page of this book identifies Little Red Riding Hood, her mother, grandmother, the hunter, and le loup (the wolf) as differently colored dots. As the story progresses, the viewer notes the small red dot of Riding Hood moving through the green forest to grandmother’s house, followed by the ever-growing black form of the wolf. This clever visual re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood captivates the viewer’s color memory as he or she remembers the story along with each colored dot. 
Real Lush provides another visual narrative through design and movement. Real Lush is considered an interactive flip book because it lends itself to the act of flipping due to its tight, bolted binding. When a viewer flips the pages of Real Lush, brightly-colored images overlap and repeat in sections of the book, which results in compelling motion. Additionally, individual images reappear throughout the work; some sequences of images depict continuous movement: a man running from left to right, or a bird flying off the page. These numerous elements provide multiple narratives, which simultaneously craft a larger story about color. For example, one section of the book showcases a sweeping figure as it lunges towards its destination. The figure is depicted in red hues, which accentuates its movement throughout vast and contrasting background scenes. In addition to expansive color explorations, the author includes several details within the book in order to further stimulate the viewer’s perception. Specifically, small figures in the corner of each page vary to produce their own tiny scenes. These figures and larger scenes are shown in slow motion (see video), which allows for the book’s craft to be exhibited slowly and deliberately. It should also be noted that the book's structure lends itself to be viewed diversely at different speeds. Thus, Real Lush reveals new meaning during each viewing.

video
video

The meaning of Mikhail Karasik’s Gas Masks is evident from visual depictions of historical events. In this collection of ten prints on cardboard, Karasik illustrates the use of gas masks in the 1930s Soviet Union, where masks were available for every man, woman, child and even animals. Additionally, the back of each panel contains parts of the script of “Gas Masks,” an absurdist play written in 1923 by Sergei Tretiakov (1892-1939), in which a repairman dies from a leaking gas pipe because of a shortage of gas masks. In memoriam, his son is named Gasmask. The bold depictions of this story are passionately conveyed using equally forward colors. Ultimately, these colorful scenes illustrate the story’s deeper meaning regarding  power and refuge to the viewer.
Altogether, Coloring Pages: Works from the Corcoran Collection of Artists’ features a large collection of colorful books and stories. These stories offer a creative and lively refuge from wintry conditions and forecasts. So, until Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction becomes a reality, visit the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery exhibitions in order to delve into works featuring warm and enlivening colors.


 ColorBloc: Paintings by Elizabeth Osborne will be on view until February 26, 2016. 
Coloring Pages: Works from the Corcoran Collection of Artists' Books will be exhibited in the 2nd floor cases of the School of Media and Public Affairs building through March 25, 2016.

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Covering exhibits at the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery and giving you a peek into the Permanent Collection of the George Washington University.

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Howard Hodgkin: Paintings - May 16, 2012

Monday, February 22, 2016

Colorful Explorations


Over a week ago, spectators gathered around a tree-trunk cage to watch Punxsutawney Phil emerge from his winter sleep. The groundhog, known famously for his shadow, forecasted an early spring. Although not scientifically supported, Punxsutawney Phil’s predictions offer hope for warmer temperatures during the dead of winter.  This winter has been especially difficult to endure given large snowfalls, freezing wind chills, and overcast skies. Yet, the colorful works of art currently on display at the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery offer much needed life to this despondent weather. In fact, broad brush strokes and vibrant colors emit from Elizabeth Osborne’s paintings, which are on display as part of Color Bloc: Paintings by Elizabeth Osborne. The exhibition showcases Osborne’s simultaneous explorations into the abstract and the specific. For example, paintings feature clear figures lost within expansive color. Ultimately, these explorations profoundly activate a viewer’s senses, allowing for powerful memories to emerge from resonating color fields.
It is difficult not to become transfixed by the glowing colors of Osborne’s paintings and the pages and stories in Coloring Pages: Works from the Corcoran Collection of Artists’ Books, which are equally engaging. Each book within this exhibition uses similarly bright hues to illustrate abstract and specific ideas like Osborne’s work. Additionally, some of these pieces tell stories completely through color such as the accordion style Le Petit Chaperon Rouge (The Little Red Riding Hood). A key on the first page of this book identifies Little Red Riding Hood, her mother, grandmother, the hunter, and le loup (the wolf) as differently colored dots. As the story progresses, the viewer notes the small red dot of Riding Hood moving through the green forest to grandmother’s house, followed by the ever-growing black form of the wolf. This clever visual re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood captivates the viewer’s color memory as he or she remembers the story along with each colored dot. 
Real Lush provides another visual narrative through design and movement. Real Lush is considered an interactive flip book because it lends itself to the act of flipping due to its tight, bolted binding. When a viewer flips the pages of Real Lush, brightly-colored images overlap and repeat in sections of the book, which results in compelling motion. Additionally, individual images reappear throughout the work; some sequences of images depict continuous movement: a man running from left to right, or a bird flying off the page. These numerous elements provide multiple narratives, which simultaneously craft a larger story about color. For example, one section of the book showcases a sweeping figure as it lunges towards its destination. The figure is depicted in red hues, which accentuates its movement throughout vast and contrasting background scenes. In addition to expansive color explorations, the author includes several details within the book in order to further stimulate the viewer’s perception. Specifically, small figures in the corner of each page vary to produce their own tiny scenes. These figures and larger scenes are shown in slow motion (see video), which allows for the book’s craft to be exhibited slowly and deliberately. It should also be noted that the book's structure lends itself to be viewed diversely at different speeds. Thus, Real Lush reveals new meaning during each viewing.

video
video

The meaning of Mikhail Karasik’s Gas Masks is evident from visual depictions of historical events. In this collection of ten prints on cardboard, Karasik illustrates the use of gas masks in the 1930s Soviet Union, where masks were available for every man, woman, child and even animals. Additionally, the back of each panel contains parts of the script of “Gas Masks,” an absurdist play written in 1923 by Sergei Tretiakov (1892-1939), in which a repairman dies from a leaking gas pipe because of a shortage of gas masks. In memoriam, his son is named Gasmask. The bold depictions of this story are passionately conveyed using equally forward colors. Ultimately, these colorful scenes illustrate the story’s deeper meaning regarding  power and refuge to the viewer.
Altogether, Coloring Pages: Works from the Corcoran Collection of Artists’ features a large collection of colorful books and stories. These stories offer a creative and lively refuge from wintry conditions and forecasts. So, until Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction becomes a reality, visit the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery exhibitions in order to delve into works featuring warm and enlivening colors.


 ColorBloc: Paintings by Elizabeth Osborne will be on view until February 26, 2016. 
Coloring Pages: Works from the Corcoran Collection of Artists' Books will be exhibited in the 2nd floor cases of the School of Media and Public Affairs building through March 25, 2016.

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Washington, District of Columbia, United States
"Found In Collection" or simply "FIC" is the way many museums classify the more mysterious items in their possession that have little or no documentation. Here at the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery of the George Washington University, we do keep extensive records of our collection, but some of the items we come across in academic buildings or our own storage can leave us wondering. This blog is an effort to showcase some of the more curious examples and their stories, and to provide a glimpse of the great variety of art pieces within the collection. To learn more about the Brady Gallery's history, recent exhibitions, or the George Washington University, take a look at the links below.

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