Friday, October 22, 2010

Art in the Library

If one walks through the PAC they will notice that we have a wonderful and prolific art department at Union and the art hanging on the walls and in the galleries really beautifies the hallways. I thought it would be nice to see some of that art here in The Summar Library and so thanks to Haelim Allen for hanging us some pieces. We plan to have labels with information about the work and tha artists but in the meantime I thought that I would comment on the two pieces that are on the wall directly across from the information desk. Both are copies of classic works.

The painting below is a copy of a wood carving that is part of a series called, "Thirty-six views of Mt. Fuji" by Japanese artist Hokusai. It is a depiction of a great wave as seen below.

Hokusai, Katsushika. The Great Wave at Kanagawa. c. 1831-33. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.  22 Oct .2010,

Here is how the Metroplitan Museum art experts have explained the original painting. 

"The preeminence of this print—said to have inspired both Debussy's La Mer and Rilke's Der Berg—can be attributed, in addition to its sheer graphic beauty, to the compelling force of the contrast between the wave and the mountain. The turbulent wave seems to tower above the viewer, whereas the tiny stable pyramid of Mount Fuji sits in the distance. The eternal mountain is envisioned in a single moment frozen in time. Hokusai characteristically cast a traditional theme in a novel interpretation. In the traditional meisho-e (scene of a famous place), Mount Fuji was always the focus of the composition. Hokusai inventively inverted this formula and positioned a small Mount Fuji within the midst of a thundering seascape. Foundering among the great waves are three boats thought to be barges conveying fish from the southern islands of Edo. Thus a scene of everyday labor is grafted onto the seascape view of the mountain."

Below is the black white copy done by Union's own, Kate Byrd and now hanging in the Library.

The painting below is a work by AndrĂ© Derain, a french Fauvists painter who painted "Boats in the Harbor" around 1905. Derain art is modern and progressive early in his career and moved to a more traditional or classical mode of painting later in life.  "Boats" was painted during Derain's earlier career and represents the port town of Collioure in southern France where the Fauve french artists would meet. You can read an interesting perspective by art critic, Andrew Graham Dixon about "Boats in the Port of Collioure" here

Derain, Andre. Boats in the Port of Collioure. c. 1905. University of California, San Diego. ARTstor. 22 Oct .

Below is the copy that was done by Megan Thompson in the Art 2-D course at Union.

Both copies are very well done and we are fortunate to have them hanging in the library. They are located just across from the circulation desk. Look for more student artwork to come.

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