tv [untitled] November 27, 2013 4:00pm-4:31pm PST
three dimensionality and not giving you anything else on the composition other than the shapes of the clouds. even though the picture was made in 1822 it is very contemporary without the space. >> and back to the point of self-curating, and i started to think as an art historic when i became aware of clouds, when i start to think about them? we did an exhibition in 2011 at the duyong new see um which some of you may have seen was drawn from the collection in vienna and i brought an essay including saint sabastian and there is a detail in the clouds where you have a rider in the clouds. and art historians have not been able to agree on exactly what this figure is it a king, is it someone from mythology,
but in any case, he has taken that childhood pass time of trying to see the shapes in the clouds and has created the shapes in the clouds of this painting. >> and some of you may have also seen our current exhibition with the girl with the pearl ear ring, there are not any clouds in this composition and i could not fabricate them and so i wanted to speak about this painting that is also in the collection of the maritz house it actually has three competitions and this was probably the most famous in the works in the collection up until the publication of the novel girl with the pearl ear ring and i will be doing a conversation with her next thursday, the 28th and that will be live google plus streamed. all sorts of fun technology. but before the publication of her book, and the subsequent film, this was probably one of the most famous compositions by
verm ere, certainly the most famous, and has three paintings and i love that the way that the clouds hang so low and it is actually much darker on my screen, but this kind of balance between the rain clouds and the white pufffy clouds and the way that they interacts with the buildings in the city. this competes with two other paintings in the exhibition and i will not say which ones they are and it competes for my favorite painting in the exhibition it is view of harlem with bleaching grounds in the foregrounds and one of the most important innovations for the 17th century, dutch landscape painters was the way that they approached the sky. for any of you who have traveled to the netherlands you know that there is a low horizon line and i have been told that the dutch people and i can be corrected. that they call their clouds the
dutch mountains because the landscape is so low that really you get these massive clouds in the sky and that is the kind of important topography to talk about. this is another example by the same artist and it is a winter scene, and as i move through these images of different paintings from various national schools. i don't want to talk too much over them but to let you feel how the atmosphere and the mood is changed by the different kinds of clouds that the artists have chosen to depict. and i wanted to also var clearly indicate it was interesting when putting together this powerpoint, i don't typically like to put any words on the images on the slides because i like the images in that way to speak for themselves, i feel like your eye competes between the words and images but i felt that it was important to differentiate between what is in our current exhibition and our permanent
collection. so this is in the temporary exhibition as well. and then i wanted to let the paintings and the temporary exhibition and our permanent collection speak to each other and i started going through the permanent collection thinking about all of the ways that the clouds are represented in paintings starting with this early 16th century paintings by an artist nameds chima and i liked the way that the cloud offers like an extension of his halo and then you have this dramatic painting where the clouds are parting and it is like he is parting the red sea in the sky in this dramatic and emotional way that the clouds are not just offering but a part of the action and a part of the drama. and then you have got somebody like el greco who uses the clouds in this really violent
and really nervous and really tense way. the clouds are vibrating with energy and they surround the figure of st. john the baptist in this very expressive way. so different than the other kinds of clouds that we were just looking at. and this is a painting by a norwegian artist named doll and i liked it because we have a nighttime scene and so you think about seeing the clouds in the daytime or the rain clouds or competitions of clouds that are over beautiful land scapes but what do the clouds do in this picture, when we are looking at the moon through the view of the clouds? and this is a painting that is particularly close to my heart. it is mid victor an artist named john martin and this painting is his depiction of the aftermath of the great biblical floods and so the clouds and waters are parting and you can't see it in this slide reproduction but in the
actual painting very far in the horizon line you have noah and the arc. but the way that the clouds almost start to take on a figural representation, it is like there is a movement of hope and promise coming in the sky and of course the skies have this long history of being associated with the heavens and mythology. and you can't talk about clouds without talking about the impressionists. also on my mind since we are planning for the impressionist on the water exhibition which opens at the legend of honor june first. and this is a painting by the very-well monet and i was thinking back to constible. clouds where you don't get a figure you have a horizon and you get more of a sense of space and it is not just the clouds. but the whole canvas is taken up by water and sky and it is very architectural wave that he
has construct td the brush work of the waiveds tossing in front of us. and then, imented to talk a little bit about the surrealist and i am about to install these paintings into what is traditionally our impressionist gallery. but they are some of the most popular paintings in our collection and when we don't have them i get people asking what have you done with them? and i think that doli's approach to many things is idiocyncratic and these clouds have a view, and they almost seemed figure all to me but they have this really expensive intention for lack of a better way to describe them. i don't know that he would have wanted me describing them. >> i really love this image,
and i think as we have heard from the other panelists, clouds and space and landscape have a personal meaning and what we project on them is very subjective and i think that in my own attempt to synthesize art history in 15 minutes and looking at clouds and skies, i came to realize that there is a personal vocabary that we project on to these images. and so i felt honored to have participated on this panel and so i feel like it is really changed the way that i look at so many kinds of paintings and i thought about creating a exhibition on clouds and trying to take this project even further and i think that there is really a lot to be said for something that we take for granted perhaps on a daily
basis, but much deeper meaning to be read. thank you to meg and the panelists and thank you to the audience. [ applause ] >> 550 years in 15 minutes. nicely done. i want to thank our panelists so much. let's give them a hand. thank you. >> i want to leave you with a few thoughts. conversation six, i don't know if many of you know this, but is our final exhibition in our current space in main gallery in the veteran's building, that whole building is being retrofit for two years. when we reopen in 2015, we will have 4400 square feet. and we have 900 square feet right now. so it is going to be a remarkable new space. and we will be doing a lot of
sort of institutional soul searching as to how we can serve the public and create an exhibition program in the large new facility that fills in gaps here in our cultural stratta and how we can serve a wide variety of artists and communities, and represent san francisco in a way that we do currently which is by showing regional artists alongside of artists from other places, developing a dialogue between the local, the national and the international. so we will carry that forward in the new facilities. in the meantime we will continue to program at city hall and at the window installation sites. so we are not going dark. we are just, we are putting on hold one of our three different programs. and i want to leave you with one final thought.
for the last week bear not has been here and i have been witnessing him make a cloud in the green room of the veteran's building which is on the second floor of that building and overlooks for a balcony that overlooks city hall for those of you who have been there for private functions. >> it is an extraordinary room, it is the american pizza hut version of the hall of mirrors one might say. it is a gorgeous room. and we were reviewing the final edit of this new piece that will enter into the nimbus series and it will be on view at the gallery in a couple of weeks and again, watch your e-mail and we will let you know when it arrives and you can come and look at it. there will be two images chosen
from this large multiday, one is a large print that will be on view in the gallery and is an addition of six. and then, we have been sort of talking about addition size and then there will be a version that is about this big. that is an addition of 30 and available for purchase at a affordable price. so let us know if you are interested in that and watch the e-mail and the funds will go to both support the artist and support the programs at the arts commission as we move forward. so sign up for our eblast and keep in touch and thank you so much for coming tonight. we will hang out for just a little bit and answer questions, and you can come by and see the exhibition wednesday through saturday, 12 to five. thank you so much.