Everything is Contemporary

Posted in Art by akacocolopez on August 24, 2009

This summer while in Venice I met with Prof. Maurizio Pellegrin director of the global M.A. program at NYU. At one point during our meeting he told me, “Everything is contemporary.” And with that I suddenly had a new way of seeing everything that met my eyes. This week I went to the Met to check out The Lens and the Mirror exhibit, Michaelangelo’s first painting, and Francis Bacon (again). The old soul photographer in me was happy to use a stereograph for the first time in the Napoleon II and Paris photography exhibit…after all the technology I’m used to it still gave me chills to see a “3-d” image.  After checking out special exhibits at the Met I usually make the rounds to see a few of my favorite pieces. The first three images below I always visit no matter what, especially Regnault’s Salome. I’m convinced it’s a portrait of me! Seems like this time around plenty more works made it to my list. It’s kind of interesting to see everything lined up like this. Turns out I’m attracted to the figure way more than I thought (Or maybe there’s just an abundance of the figure everywhere in the Met lol)! With many of the portraits I’m reminded of race’s quiet influence in deciding what can or cannot be “Art” on and beyond the canvas. Here are my favorites from the Met:

Portrait of the Boy Eutyches, A.D. 100-150; Roman Period, Egyptian

Salome, Henri Regnault, 1870

The Figure 5 in Gold, Charles Demuth, 1928

Virgin and Child Reliquary, ca. 1175-1200; French, Auvergne

Garden Landscape, Tiffany Studios designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, ca. 1905-1915

The Struggle of the Two Natures in Man, George Grey Barnard, 1892-1894

Mexican Girl Dying, Thomas Crawford, 1848

The Libyan Sibyl, William Wetmore Story, 1861

The Night, Aristide Maillol, 1907-09

Standing Buddha, Northern Wei dynasty, mid 5th century, China

Feline Altar, 1st cent. B.C. – 1st cent. A.D.; Mexico, Izapan

Pair of Ear flares, 3rd – 7th century; Peru, Moche

“Baby” Figure, 12th-9th century B.C.; Mexico, Olmec


Lady of the Lake, Horace Pippin, 1936

Woman of Venice, Alberto Giacometti, 1956

Self Portrait, Leonora Carrington, 1936

Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, Umberto Bocciono, 1913

Concord, Barnett Newman, 1949

Lilith, Kiki Smith, 1994

White Flag, Jasper Johns, 1955

Stepping Out, Roy Lichtenstein, 1978

The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, Damien Hirst, 1991

Odalisque in Grisaille, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and Workshop, ca.1824-1834

Hanging with Theatrical Subject, Unknown, 19th century, Qing Dynasty, China

La Berceuse, Vincent Van Gogh, 1889

The Storm, Pierre-Auguste Cott, 1880


Ancient Rome, Giovanni Paolo Panini, 1757

Saint Maurice, Lucas Cranach the Elder and Workshop, ca. 1522-1525

The Adoration of the Magi, Hieronymous Bosch, ca.1470-1475

Vanitas Still Life, Edwaert Collier, 1662

Magic Scene with Self Portrait, Pieter van Laer, Il Bamboccio, 1638-39

Double Virginal, Ludovicus Growelus, 1600

I wish I had a better way to end this..but alas I don’t.




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