Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Visit to the MFA

The holidays are here and I opted to return to the Boston area a week early to finish up some lingering tasks, teach yoga to my summer students, and spend some extra time with family. Last Thursday I visited the Museum of Fine Arts with my parents and wandered into some great exhibits. Shinique Smith's mixed media "Bright Matter" is on display until March 1st and it was a fresh breath of bright colors and creativity.

Pictured (right) is the piece titled When Shadows Fall (Home) which included acrylic, ink, and layers of tulle and fabric on paper, stickers, and other mixed media. Another is Splendid, inspiried by a palette of popular product colors of the 1980's - Smith's teen years. The painting I enjoyed most was Majesty, which unlike many of Smith's other works was comprised solely of ink and acrylic. Inspired by the artist's memories of glacier walks in Iceland and views of the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis).

Splendid, 2014 

Majesty 2012

The second exhibit we viewed was National Pride (and Prejudice) a small collection of pieces by artists who tackle issues of national identity. 
"What instills pride in one citizen may be a call to protest for another, or may represent a complex combination of thoughts and feelings. The seven works in this installation take a critical look at such images to spark dialogue around provocative issues of national identity. They challenge long-held assumptions about these symbols with a combination of humor, beauty and biting commentary, highlighting the close link between politics and contemporary art."
Bullet Flag IV, 2009
My favorite of this group was Bullet Flag IV created in 2009 by American artist, David Cole. Cole states "The power in the piece for me is in the contradictions". The dark bullets in this piece were used in the United States and the bright copper ones in warfare fought abroad.

Another thought provoking pice was Guernica to Wounded Knee, a mixed media piece created in 2012 by Stan Natchez of the Shoshoni and Paiute. Natchez references the Massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890 when many Lakota fought against the U.S. army in the last battle between Native Americans and the United States.

"I paint to understand the world around me" Natchez comments.

I discovered these cuties while browsing in the gift shop...

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