I don’t know what the hell is going on here

Tacos? Underware? Is that the White House with the Mexican Flag on it?
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Today’s Pick

Untitled (Rockefeller Center)
Andreas Feininger
American (born France), 1906–1999
gelatin silver print
19 11/16 x 15 3/4 in. (50 x 40 cm)
Place depicted:
Rockefeller Center, New York, New York, United States
on verso, l.r. corner, in black ink: A. Feininger
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Today’s Pick

Alexander Rodchenko
Advertising Poster for the state airline ‘Dobrolet’
Collection Merrill C.Berman
© A Rodchenko & V Stepanova Archive / DACS 2009

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They flee from me that Sometime did me Seek

They flee from me that sometime did me seek
With naked foot, stalking in my chamber.
I have seen them gentle, tame, and meek,
That now are wild and do not remember
That sometime they put themself in danger
To take bread at my hand; and now they range,
Busily seeking with a continual change.

Thanked be fortune it hath been otherwise
Twenty times better; but once in special,
In thin array after a pleasant guise,
When her loose gown from her shoulders did fall,
And she me caught in her arms long and small;
Therewithall sweetly did me kiss
And softly said, “dear heart, how like you this?”

It was no dream: I lay broad waking.
But all is turned thorough my gentleness
Into a strange fashion of forsaking;
And I have leave to go of her goodness,
And she also, to use newfangleness.
But since that I so kindly am served
I would fain know what she hath deserved.

– by Sir Thomas Wyatt

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There is a pleasure in the pathless woods

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal.

– Lord George Gordon Byron

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Today’s Pick

The Sterberg Brothers.
The Traitor.
Offset lithograph.
39 3/4 x 28 3/8″.
Batsu Art Gallery, The Ruki Matsumoto Collection, Tokyo.

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Andy Warhol

Double Elvis, 1963/1976
Silkscreen ink, synthetic polymer paint on canvas
Andy Warhol
American, 1928 – 1987
Each panel: 82 1/4 x 59 1/8in. (208.9 x 150.2cm)

Double Elvis, 1963, consists of two large panels covered with silver paint. One of the panels bears a full and a partial silk-screened photographic image of Elvis Presley (1935-1977), dressed as a cowboy and holding a gun that he points at the image’s viewers. The other panel is blank. Warhol decided to add the blank panel several years after the first image was created. The partial silk-screened photo is suggestive of Elvis appearing out of and disappearing into the blank panel, as if he were a ghost figure. The full image is cut off slightly on the bottom left corner, which suggests the continuation and repetition of the image beyond the borders of the canvas. Several versions of Double Elvis exist in private and public art collections worldwide, although each version is slightly different. In the version of Double Elvis in the Tate Modern’s collection in London, for example, the silk-screened image appears intact in a single panel. Warhol was inspired by Elvis Presley’s successful 1960 film “Flaming Star,” in which the singer-actor played a half-white, half-Native American struggling between two cultures.

The Double Elvis in SAM’s collection is a prime example of Warhol’s early photographic silkscreen technique. The artist began to experiment with silk-screens in 1962, producing primarily a contemporary take on still-life subject matter, namely Campbell soup cans and Coca-Cola bottles. Warhol continued his exploration of the subliminal powers of advertising and commercial imagery through repetition and by placing common objects out of context.


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Robert Indiana

Robert Indiana
oil on canvas
71 7/8 x 71 7/8 in.
In this painting, four red letters affectionately touch, spelling out the word “love.” This symmetrical, hard-edged composition belongs to a series that Indiana developed between 1964 and 1966 and that comprised Christmas cards, paintings, posters, sculptures, felt banners, eighteen-karat gold rings, silk tapestries, and album covers. After pirated versions of LOVE began to appear in various contexts, Indiana tried to copyright his unique work, but the federal government rejected his application, arguing that no one could copyright a single word. Indiana’s signature emblem became one of the most reproduced and highly recognizable art-historical images of the post-World War II era. In 1970, Indiana made a twelve-foot Cor-ten steel LOVE sculpture, now in the IMA’s permanent collection. Some critics believed it manifested the artist’s desire to reclaim his “stolen” design.
Born Robert Clark in New Castle, Indiana, the artist changed his last name when he moved to New York City in 1954. Although he has claimed frequently that the idea for his series came from the Christian Science motto, God is love, which he saw in church as a child, Indiana’s work also resonated with the 1960s counterculture. Stylistically, LOVE most often has been characterized in relation to Op art because of its repetition of bright, vibrating, simple forms and to Pop art because of its appropriation of sign painting, an important by-product of consumer culture.
“LOVE was a watershed in Indiana’s career, and it became a motif that he has never abandoned.”
-Art historian Susan Elizabeth Ryan, 1999
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Painting grenades

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Mark Tansey

Soft Borders

Mark Tansey


With wit and irony, this painting reveals Mark Tansey’s fascination with the nature of time, space, and painting itself. Against a mountain backdrop he painted four interrelated scenes: a small tribe of native Americans, an expedition of 19th-century surveyors and photographers, a group of tourists taking photographs and home movies, and a toxic waste-removal crew in protective clothing. Each scene is depicted from a different perspective. Shown here in the orientation preferred by the artist, the canvas can be hung in any of four positions. Tansey describes Soft Borders as a “short history of the West from four different points of view.”

Tansey is an avid reader and collector of visual information found in magazines, newspapers, and illustrated books. His knowledge and reference library of reproductions shape the many preliminary drawings and collages he makes before producing a final composition. Once the planning is finished, the time actually spent painting is brief—several days to several months. Tansey’s palette is restricted to one color applied over a gessoed (plastered) canvas. He manipulates the paint with brushes and a variety of scraping tools, removing pigment until the white of the ground is visible, much like daylight shining through the fog. The overall effect has the spontaneous quality of a snapshot, but the world depicted is invented and subjective.


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