Pictures from the Davis Gallery and the Blanton Museum, 12-2010

wood sculpture of Caprice Pierucci

My brother visited Austin last December, and my husband and I took him on a sightseeing tour of several great places around Austin, including a couple of places to see art.

One day, we made it over to the Davis Gallery to see the really awesome wood sculpture of Caprice Pierucci. Her work really blows me away. It’s both very labor-intensive and very organic in appearance. I love the undulations and how she makes wood appear so fluid!  Take a look:

Here’s a good little review of the whole show in the Chronicle.

Davis Gallery

Caprice Pierucci

The next day we headed over to the Blanton to see the “Turner to Monet: Masterpieces from The Walters Art Museum” exhibit, which was slightly underwhelming.  But then we headed up to the second floor to view the American and Contemporary galleries.  A lot of wonderful humongous works and a few interesting and even awesome installations.

I was hoping to see a piece by Byron Kim titled “Synedoche,” that I had seen years ago.  It’s a 20-panel piece that is composed essentially of portraits of 20 people randomly encountered on the UT campus—but each panel is a solid color— the color of their skin, representing the whole person (hence the title), with the group of painted panels representing the larger population.  I’ve seen another larger portion of this project, which I thought I saw here in Austin, and which has even more impact.   The initial work received a lot of acclaim in the 1993 Whitney Biennial.  There is a 400-panel iteration of this at the National Gallery that I would really love to see in person.

Unfortunately, this was not on display during our brief visit to the Blanton, but here is a group of photos I shot from the Contemporary galleries there.  For artists and explanations of the work, you really owe it to yourself to go to the Blanton and take a look yourself.  Many of these pieces become even more interesting when you find out the motivation and intent behind their creation.

The Blanton

Artists to Look at for Atmosphere

This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series Class Notes
Painting by Ferdinand Hodler Lake Geneva as seen from Chexbres, oil on canvas 1905
Painting by Ferdinand Hodler Lake Geneva as seen from Chexbres, oil on canvas 1905
Class notes, from Advanced Drawing Studio with Barbara Rossi, SAIC, 1991

For help with my current work, look at:

Heiderrat, India – rock formations like Enchanted Rock from National Geographic or Life.

Ferdinand Hodler for narrative.

Gauguin for composition, 4×5 ft. Especially “D’où venons nous? Que sommes-nous? Où allons-nous? (Where Do We come from? What Are We? Where Are We Going?)” 1897

Hudson River painters: Church, Cole, Bierstadt. The Voyage of Life series.

Paradigmatic – mythic poses.

Marsden Hartley
Van Gogh
Turner – for atmosphere.
Yvonne Jacquette – for cloud studies, aerial paintings, contemporary.
Chinese wash landscapes.
19th C. American landscape photographers
Balthus – “The Mountain”

Painting is Not Depicting

This entry is part 4 of 10 in the series SAIC Class Notes
Painting by Georges Braque "Still-Life: Le Jour" 1929
Painting by Georges Braque “Still-Life: Le Jour” 1929
Class notes from SAIC, 10/29/91

Christian Metz
Check into film theory (time).

Iconology and iconography.

The Banquet Years” – Roger Shattuck – mix of art and ideas.

“I no longer know how to live with everyday objects.” Braque to Shattuck, 1951.

1947 – book by Braque – quotes:

“The artist is not misunderstood, he’s barely recognized. People exploit him without knowing who he is.”

“I cherish the rule that corrects emotion.”

“Limited means engender new forms, invite creation.”

Progress – not extending one’s limits, but working within them.

Visual space separates objects from one another. Tactile space separates us from objects.

A painting is finished when one has effaced the idea. The idea is the launching cradle of the painting.

Dover edition of Braque’s book – $6.00.


Turner and Impressionism – “I paint what I see, not what I know.”
Cubists paint not what they see, but what they know. Mind + eye.

G. B. – “Art is a mode of representation.” (?)

Do not imitate what you want to create. CREATE.

The painter does not try to reconstitute an anecdote, but to constitute a pictorial event.

Hershel Chip’s “Theories of Art.”

I am more concerned with being in tune (unison) with nature than copying nature.

Writing is not describing. Painting is not depicting. Likeness is merely an illusion. Something cannot be both true and a likeness – you have to choose.

You cannot have a thing both in mind and before your eyes. Forget about things; consider only relations.

The present – the context (circumstances).


Combination of some likeness; some convention (language). Book of meditations reflecting some doubt.

“You cannot always have your hat in your hand. That’s why the hatrack was invented. Painting a nail on which to hang my ideas – that allows me to change them.”


Valerie Taglieri – Cloud paintings. Artemesia – 700 N. Carpenter, through Nov. 30th.


Distortion of the image through reproduction gives art a new meaning – 80’s.


Puryear – opposite – craftsmanship, process, diversity of materials.
(Artswager and Deacon) Minimalism led into the ’80s.

Difficult, but direct art – not easy to read. More self-contained than M. More additive, a fusion of smaller things into a whole. They all contain a space. Enclosures.

M – forbidding, couldn’t be possessed, intentionally difficult to read – challenge to viewer. Threatening, non-yielding.

Puryear – work that slows down the process of art making and art viewing. An invitation to viewer. Reserve and discretion.