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My Favorite Artworks at Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, Venezia

Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute in Venezia, though so-called a minor cathedral, due to its strategic location near the tip of Punta della Dogana, visible when entering the Piazza San Marco from the Grand Canal, was a natural stop for many visitors to the city. Its interior was relatively sparse, understated and unassuming, but that it didn't prevent Salute from accumulating some muted splendors.

Amongst several interesting and moving works, I cite these two as my favorites (below).

The one left me the strongest impression was an altar to Virgin Mary - centering on a brilliantly-painted ikon, a Byzantine Madonna and Child of the 12th or 13th century, known as Panagia Mesopantitissa in Greek ("Madonna the mediator" or "Madonna the negotiator"), framed by flowing baroque sculpture of the Queen of Heaven Expelling the Plague (1670), which was a theatrical Baroque masterpiece created by the Flemish sculptor Josse de Corte.  The colored painting and the bleached sculpture, the stiffness of the icon and the soft sensual line of the stone figures contrasted strongly and a sense of unexpected and fascinating surprise.

DSCN2781 _ Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, Venezia, 15 October

DSCN2781 _ Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, Venezia, 15 October

My second favorite was a painting by Titian, titled The Descent of the Holy Ghost. For modern eyes, his tableau might not be so ground-breaking; but at the time of its creation and aided with more vivid colors, the large altar piece must be breathtakingly impressive - the classical triangle composition, the seamless transition from the built columns to the painted arch, and finally the blindingly dizzying holy spirit crashing down from heaven, must be truly awe inspiring.

DSCN2771 _ Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, Venezia, 15 October


My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 101: My Favorite Sculpture at Punta della Dogana
<< My Favorite Museum Collection Series 99: My Favorite Artwork at Piazza di San Marco

List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited

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- My Favorite Sculptures in Basilique Saint-Denis (Paris)
- Basilica di San Petronio and San Domenico in Bologna
- My Favorite Art Works at Santa Maria Novella, Firenze

Posted by Matthew Felix Sun on 6/16 | tags: painting traditional




My Favorite Artwork at Piazza di San Marco

Piazza di San Marco in Venice is a marvelous museum itself, featuring valuable historical artifacts and artistic treasures, too numerous to list.

One of my two favorites is the iconic sculpture of "I Tetrarchi (The Tetrarchs)" at the foot of Basilica di San Marco, depicting four ebony colored Tetrarchs huddling together, either in fear, or treacherous congregation. Very intriguing and engaging:

8236179866_015e3e94ec

DSCN1223 _ I Tetrarchi, Basilica di San 
Marco, Venezia, 13 October

The second favorite sculpture of mine is actually a capital, which has some very peculiar looking heads sticking out of the column, some with the spirits of figureheads on a prow, others look more despondent or stunned.  Those exotic looking heads are full of personalities and though hard to notice in the vast Piazza, are hard to forgot once seen.

DSCN1214 _ view of Campanile from loggia of Palazzo Ducale, Piazza di San Marco, 13 October

DSCN1210 _ Column Details of Palazzo Ducale, Piazza di San Marco, 13 October


My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 100: My Favorite Artworks at Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, Venezia
<< My Favorite Museum Collection Series 98:  My Favorite Artworks in Palazzo Ducale, Venezia (Doge Palace, Venice)

List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited

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- My Favorite Works at Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Firenze, Italia
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Posted by Matthew Felix Sun on 5/22 | tags: venice figurative sculpture traditional




My Oil Painting - Intense "Mackerel"

I am very proud of my 2007 oil painting "Mackerel", in which I managed to capture both beautiful and sinister elements of a daily object, fulfilling a most tantalizing pursuit of mine. With its intense colors and bold strokes, this painting economically presents a sleekly fish, intently staring upwards, as if ready to confront its captor; at the meanwhile, its eye also betrayed the fish's sad resignation to its imminent demise.

The background of the painting was plain drop cloth, hatched lightly, and dominated by sickly greenish-yellow from the left and graduated to an intense blue to the right. The intense vertical blue patch also represents the deep water being turned upright, in a disorientated world.

Mackerel / 鯖魚 / Makrele  
Mackerel
Oil on Canvas
28" x 22"
Completed in 2007

This painting was just awarded of 1st 2015 ArtSlant Showcase Winner.

It was also selected for exhibition at ViewPoint 2009, 41st Annual National Juried Art Competition, Cincinnati Art Club, Ohio, November 2009.

This painting was included in two-person show at Trilogy Studio, San Francisco, 2011, and it was exhibited at Artist-Xchange Gallery, San Francisco, in 2009.

Originally published on matthewfelixsun.com

Posted by Matthew Felix Sun on 3/21 | tags: fish figurative realism traditional




Allegorical Painting "Birds and Men"

I don't consider myself as a colorist; yet, sometimes, I managed to utilize some vibrant colors to create paintings with vibrant colors, bold, striking, yet harmonious, such as my 2003 oil painting, Birds and Men.

Birds and Men / 鳥與人 / Vögel und Menschen, Oil on Canvas, 30
Birds and Men / 鳥與人 / Vögel und Menschen
Oil on Canvas
30" x 40"
2003

11 Paintings Completed in 2003 (part 1 of 2)

With that painting, and several others made in 2003, I started my Apocalypse Series, intended to document human sufferings inflicted by reckless or repressive political, religious or cultural forces. The direct impetus to create such series was the impending invasion of Iraq, led by George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Tony Blair, Condoleezza Rice, and Colin Powell, et. al.

As stated in my standard bio: "Life is a harsh experience, yet it is beautiful. Art ought to be from life, and above life. To merely document surfaces is not enough: I want to grasp what is behind, which to me is far more compelling and worthwhile.

As with many artists, my early work is grounded in realism, and evolved into a style that retains a representative cast but rejects slavish naturalism. I immerse myself in the patterns and rhythms of forms, particularly the contradiction between the surface beauty and harsh subjects, and from these foci has formed a distinctive style. The subject matter of my work ranges from portraiture and landscape/cityscape, to allegories and abstraction."

Originally published on matthewfelixsun.com

Posted by Matthew Felix Sun on 2/25 | tags: animal allegory painting figurative surrealism




My Favorite Artworks in Palazzo Ducale, Venezia (Doge Palace, Venice)


DSCN1604 _ view of Palazzo Ducale from Basilica di San Marco, 13 October

DSCN9982 _ Palazzo Ducale, Venezia, 11 October

DSCN0176 _ view of Ponte dei Sospiri from the prison of Palazzo Ducale, Venezia, 11 October

The vast compound of Palazzo Ducale, Venezia (Doge Palace, Venice) is a trove of architectural and art treasures scattered around within and without the highly decorated walls of the palace, therefore it took me some concentration to choose my two favorites.

My first choice was a painting by Titian, depicting the giant Saint Christopher carrying baby Jesus on his back, across a river before the child revealed himself as Christ.  The composition was powerfully dynamic, with the Saint startlingly sinewy and serious, a personification of reliability and steadfastness.  The Child, airy, playful and full of vitality, in the lighter moment of his eventful and tragic life.  The coloration was neither flashy nor rich - time might have robbed some of its tonal splendor but the muted palette gave gravitas to the painting and a sense of timelessness.

DSCN0091 _ San Christopher, Titian, Palazzo Ducale, Venezia, 11 October
San Christopher by Titian

My second favorite artwork in the palace was a relief on the outer wall, titled "The Drunkenness of Noah".  This relief cleverly utilized the confined space about a portal, positioning Noah, barely covered of his nakedness with a cloth, on one side of the portal, turning corner from the main plane, upon which carved all his three sons, who were divided into two groups, separated by the pointed arch, with his "good sons" Shem and Japheth nearing Noah, holding the garment to cover him, while his bad son "Ham" stood far away from the rest, with a clear sense of the banishment of him, whose descendents were cursed by Noah for Ham's supposed insensitivity to his father's privacy.

A very strange story out of bible, rendered with great economy, clarify and pathos. 

DSCN1193 _ Details of Palazzo Ducale, Piazza di San Marco, 13 October
The Drunkenness of Noah on the 'Vine Angle' above the 1st Capital on Palazzo Ducale

My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 99: My Favorite Artwork at Piazza di San Marco

<< My Favorite Museum Collection Series 97:My Favorite Reliefs in Franziskanerkirche, Graz

List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited

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- My Favorite Paintings at Palatina Gallery, Palazzo Pitti, Firenze, Italia
- My Favorite Paintings at the National Gallery (Schwarzenberg Palace) in Prague
- Bridges in Venice, Italy
- Magical Piazza San Marco in Venice

Posted by Matthew Felix Sun on 1/24 | tags: venice painting figurative sculpture realism




Andy Goldsworthy's Stone River in a Lush Setting

The unique artist Andy Goldsworthy's installation Stone River (2001) on Stanford University campus was an amazing creation, which was, according to the University's website, "a wall-like serpentine sculpture set in about three acres of land to the northeast of the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts. It is about 3 1/2 feet high and about 4 feet wide at its base. It is made of more than 6,500 stones, including about 700 triangular coping stones weighing between 20 and 50 pounds each that top the sculpture. Each coping stone was individually shaped at a different angle to fit the wall precisely. The total weight of the piece is about 128 tons."

I have several chances to admire this giant before, always in dry seasons, and that serpentine stone wall together with the the withered meadow it sat on, generated an overwhelmingly desolate and barren atmosphere, which was deeply moving and impressive.

Last December, when I visited it again, immediately after many days' of heavy rains, and I was utterly delighted by the experience of another kind - the refreshingly green and lush meadow contrasted dramatically with the now moss-coated, though still yellow-hued stone wall, and the meandering installation left a strong impression of being a living and breathing creature, vital and larger than life.  A marvel.

DSCN9059 _ Stone River, Andy Goldsworthy Installation, Stanford University

DSCN9055 _ Stone River, Andy Goldsworthy Installation, Stanford University

DSCN9056 _ Stone River, Andy Goldsworthy Installation, Stanford University

DSCN9054 _ Stone River, Andy Goldsworthy Installation, Stanford University DSCN9053 _ Stone River, Andy Goldsworthy Installation, Stanford University

DSCN9068 _ Stone River, Andy Goldsworthy Installation, Stanford University

DSCN9067 _ Stone River, Andy Goldsworthy Installation, Stanford University

DSCN9066 _ Stone River, Andy Goldsworthy Installation, Stanford University

DSCN9064 _ Stone River, Andy Goldsworthy Installation, Stanford University

DSCN9063 _ Stone River, Andy Goldsworthy Installation, Stanford University

DSCN9065 _ Stone River, Andy Goldsworthy Installation, Stanford University

DSCN9057 _ Stone River, Andy Goldsworthy Installation, Stanford University

DSCN9062 _ Stone River, Andy Goldsworthy Installation, Stanford University

DSCN9061 _ Stone River, Andy Goldsworthy Installation, Stanford University

DSCN9060 _ Stone River, Andy Goldsworthy Installation, Stanford University

DSCN9058 _ Stone River, Andy Goldsworthy Installation, Stanford University


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Posted by Matthew Felix Sun on 1/1 | tags: installation




My Favorite Altar and Fresco at Barmherzigenkirche, Graz


DSCN8739 _ Barmherzigenkirche, Graz , 8 October

Though thee baroque monastery church, Barmherzigenkirche (Brotherhood of Compassion), in Graz, Austria, was founded by the Archduke Ferdinand and Max Ernst in 1615, the present construction was from later period - built in 1735-40, was by J. G. Stengg and it presented visitors stark contrasts between its austere though flowing architectural elements and the overstuffed, overwrought religious paintings, sculptures and altars. 

DSCN8716 _ Barmherzigenkirche, Graz , 8 October

For the latter, it was their almost naïve sincerity and the heart-felt solemnity rescued them from the disaster of complete kitsch and drew viewers' attention to elaborate splendor.

DSCN8727 _ Barmherzigenkirche, Graz , 8 October DSCN8733 _ Barmherzigenkirche, Graz , 8 October

Amongst those unusual objects, I found a huge altar centering on an ebony Madonna very intriguing and most memorable.  Underneath a seashell arch, enshrouded in beautifully decorated cloth of ceremony, which was covered with alternating dark and light patterns, this Madonna, shaped like a typical Christmas tree, embodied the universal elements, manifested by the bold motifs on the ceremonial cloth.  A tiny arm of hers held high the small head of the Baby, which, like his celestial mother, wore weighty crowns gilded in rich though subdued red gold.

I really love the primitive feeling of this particular Virgin Mary.

DSCN8724 _ Barmherzigenkirche, Graz , 8 October

DSCN8724 (detail) _ Barmherzigenkirche, Graz , 8 October

DSCN8724 (detail 2) _ Barmherzigenkirche, Graz , 8 October

The second memorable piece in Barmherzigenkirche depicted a typical sacrificial scene of a certain saint.  It was a fresco on a side wall near an alter of the theme of the Lamentation.  What struck me most of this side fresco was the beauty of the subtle coloration, and the elegance of the postures, therefore, the rather terrifying scene was beautifully presented and such dichotomy generated a high drama of its own.  Furthermore, one could see that a sculptural lamenting cherub from the altar cast his sight on this painted scene, thus bound those two elements tightly together, forming a continuous narration from altar to the side wall and then back.

DSCN8734 _ Barmherzigenkirche, Graz , 8 October

DSCN8734 (detail) _ Barmherzigenkirche, Graz , 8 October


My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 97: My Favorite Reliefs in Franziskanerkirche, Graz
<< My Favorite Museum Collection Series 95: My Favorite Sculptures at Schloßberg, Graz

List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited

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- My Favorite Sculptures in les Jardins du Ranelag, Paris

Posted by Matthew Felix Sun on 11/21/14 | tags: traditional figurative




My Favorite Sculptures at Schloßberg, Graz


DSCN8905 _ Lion: Major-Hackher-Denkmal, Bastion of Schloßberg, Graz, 8 October

The hill in the city of Graz, Austria, Schloßberg, boasted many monuments, on the ground of the fortress destroyed by the conquering Napoleon's army, such as the Lion: Major-Hackher-Denkmal, Bastion of Schloßberg (above).

Amongst many memorable sculptures, my favorite one was a large relief, titled Untersteiermark unvergessene Heimat (Lower Styria Unforgotten Home) (Graz 1945), whose poignantly depiction of displayed people by the raging war.  In regardless of political situation, the horrible effect of war on people were just deplorable.

DSCN8931 _ Untersteiermark unvergessene Heimat Graz 1945, Schloßberg, Graz

My second favorite sculpture was titled Furchtlos und Treu - INF.RGT.27 - 1682-1918 (Fearless and faithful).  This stone sculpture of a noble-looking man holding a heavy sword, looking straight forward in the most steadfast fashion. Its effect was enhanced by the fact that it was mounted on a red-brick wall of a fortress, dramatically draped with ivy leaves.  The heroism of the sculpture though had a disturbing taste of the nationalist fervor, much appreciated in totalitarian states, such as Nazi Germany and the Soviet Unions.  Austria was the right place to reflect on ambiguity and contradiction.


DSCN8973 _ Furchtlos und Treu - Fearless and faithful - Inf.RGT.27 - 1682-1918, Schloßberg, Graz


My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 96: My Favorite Altar and Fresco at Barmherzigenkirche, Graz
<< My Favorite Museum Collection Series 94: My Favorite Artworks at Stadtpfarrkirche zum Hl. Blut, Graz

List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited

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- My Favorite Sculptures in les Jardins du Ranelag, Paris

Posted by Matthew Felix Sun on 9/22/14 | tags: figurative sculpture




My Favorite Artworks at Stadtpfarrkirche zum Hl. Blut, Graz


DSCN8658 _ Katholische Kirche Graz-Sanktdtpfarre zum Hl. Blut, 8 October DSCN8641 _ Katholische Kirche Graz-Sanktdtpfarre zum Hl. Blut, 8 October
 
The Graz parish church, Stadtpfarrkirche zum Hl. Blut (Parish Church of Holy Blood), nestling quietly in the the busiest street of the city, Herrengasse, had a wonderful baroque façade containing my favorite sculpture of the church, a scholar or a clergyman in a distinctive long robe and cornered hat, holding a large folio and a paper roll. Face serene and intelligent, pose determined and a bit defiant, the figure was shrouded in a slight mystery.  The outline and the coloration of the figure and the background were so cleanly delineated that the sculpture was worthy of a drawing by the incomparable John Flexman

DSCN8659 _ Stadtpfarrkirche, Graz, 8 October

My second favorite art in the church was two large panels of stained glasses behind a large crucifixion.  These two panels were noteworthy, mostly for depicting the heinous Hitler and Mussolini watching the Taunting of Christ (left panel, right column, fourth pane from bottom).

DSCN9249 _ Hitler & Mussolini, Stadtpfarrkirche, Graz, 9 October

DSCN9252 _ Hitler & Mussolini, Stadtpfarrkirche, Graz, 9 October

DSCN9251 _ Hitler & Mussolini, Stadtpfarrkirche, Graz, 9 October

A rightful posture of apology from Austrian people.


My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 95: My Favorite Sculptures at Schloßberg, Graz

<< My Favorite Museum Collection Series 93: My Favorite Altar Pieces at Mariahilferkirche, Graz

List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited

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Posted by Matthew Felix Sun on 9/18/14




My Favorite Altar Pieces at Mariahilferkirche, Graz


DSCN8692 _ Mariahilferkirche, Graz, 8 October DSCN8705 _ Mariahilferkirche, Graz, 8 October

DSCN8704 _ Mariahilferkirche, Graz, 8 October

DSCN8710 _ Mariahilferkirche, Graz, 8 October

There are many interesting churches in Graz and one of them I visited in 2012, Mariahilferkirche and cloister, impressed me very much with its startling altar pieces.

DSCN8693 _ Mariahilferkirche, Graz, 8 October

The most striking one was an altar of Pietà, whose particularity was that there was a sword piercing into Maria's breast.  It was a very disturbing and moving image and hard to forget.

DSCN8700 _ Mariahilferkirche, Graz, 8 October

I happened to have seen quite a few similar images during that trip; in the very same church, on the side wall, I also saw this standing alone Maria pierced by a sword.  In other church, I even saw a Maria pierced by seven swords!

DSCN8701 _ Mariahilferkirche, Graz, 8 October

The second favorite altar in Mariahilferkirche featured a dead scene of a saint, perhaps, Maria. 

DSCN8696 _ Mariahilferkirche, Graz, 8 October

The strong contrast between the splendidly colorful angel and the bleached dying Maria were very striking, and their postures echoed each other, and formed a broad and comforting embrace.  Very moving.

DSCN8696m _ Mariahilferkirche, Graz, 8 October (detail)


My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 94: My Favorite Artworks at Stadtpfarrkirche zum Hl. Blut, Graz
<< My Favorite Museum Collection Series 92: My Favorite Sculptures at Institut für Klassische Archäologie, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz

List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited

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Posted by Matthew Felix Sun on 9/13/14 | tags: religion church figurative realism surrealism




My Favorite Sculptures at Institut für Klassische Archäologie, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz


DSCN9102 _ Universität Graz, 9 October

As I reported shortly after my trip to Graz in 2012, I was delighted by my visit to Institut für Klassische Archäologie at Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, for its collections of many classical Roman and Greek marble sculptures and reliefs.  According to the university, "the Institute is home to significant archaeological collections of ancient vases of Greece, objects from local sites as well as casts of ancient sculptures."

There were many beautiful sculptures to admire, many of the had incredible ethereal beauty in their wonderfully proportioned forms and polished details, such as these works below:

DSCN9113 _ Universität Graz, Graz, 9 October

DSCN9137 _ Institut für Klassische Archäologie, Universität Graz, 9 October

DSCN9149 _ Institut für Klassische Archäologie, Universität Graz, 9 October

Yet, pressed, I had to name the Niobe below as my favorite - it was not the most polished piece to behold and the deliberately clumsy posture of the grief-stricken queen was rather ungainly, yet more moving for that.  What moved me most were her stunned facial expression and the terrified face of her little daughter clinging to her, trying desperately to avoid the fury of the gods, who had just killed all her eleven siblings, provoked by the boasting, now belatedly repenting Niobe, a moving subject also propelled me to make an abstract installation last year.

DSCN9209 _ Institut für Klassische Archäologie, Universität Graz, 9 October

My second favorite was a huge head of a noble horse, with its lean bones, fiery eyes and flaring nostrils, looked supremely eloquent and elegant:

DSCN9152 _ Institut für Klassische Archäologie, Universität Graz, 9 October

My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 93: My Favorite Altar Pieces at Mariahilferkirche, Graz
<< My Favorite Museum Collection Series 91: My Favorite Paintings at Neue Galerie, Graz, Austria

List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited

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- Rodin and Richard Serra in Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University
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Posted by Matthew Felix Sun on 9/5/14 | tags: graz Austria greek University figurative sculpture realism traditional




My Favorite Paintings at Neue Galerie, Graz, Austria

The other important museum I visited in Graz, besides Kunsthaus, was Neue Galerie, which housed many important Austrian art.

DSCN9534 _ Neue Galerie, Graz, 9 October

DSCN9528 _ Neue Galerie, Graz, 9 October

My favorite painting there was, again, by Egon Schiele (1890, Tulln an der Donau, Austria - 1918, Vienna),  titled Stadtende (Häuserbogen III) (City End, Houses Arc III). It depicted a jumble of houses in various shades and shapes and the whole composition was quite dynamic, full of contrast and movements. Despite the many colors employed by the artist, the painting was also very harmonious, predominately in various shades of gray, accented by stripes and patches of brilliant blue, red, and green colors.  It was a lovely painting, beautiful, a bit unsettling and menacing, mainly due to some very angular and irregular outlines of those houses.

DSCN9492 _ Stadtende (Häuserbogen III), um 1917, Egon Schiele, Neue Galerie, Graz
Stadtende (Häuserbogen III), um 1917, Egon Schiele

My second favorite piece was by a Graz artist, Axl Leskoschek (1889, Graz -1976, Wien), Der Doppelgänger (The Double).  It was a somewhat spooky painting, monochromatic and enigmatic.  It featured actually not two, but three figures - the doubles and an image reflection in a mirror, looking out of the frame, as if mocking at the live two, in their fancifully dinner jackets, with intriguing postures and facial express warranted endless interpretations.  It was an unforgettable piece.

DSCN9485 _ Der Doppelgänger, 1945, Axl Leskoschek, Neue Galerie, Graz, 9 October
Der Doppelgänger, 1945, Axl Leskoschek (1889, Graz -1976, Wien)

My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 92: My Favorite Sculptures at Institut für Klassische Archäologie, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz
<< My Favorite Museum Collection Series 90: My Favorite Artworks in Kunsthaus, Graz, Austria

List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited


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Posted by Matthew Felix Sun on 8/24/14 | tags: citiscape Austria graz Neue Galerie painting figurative landscape




My Favorite Artworks in Kunsthaus, Graz, Austria

The ultra-modern museum, Kunsthaus, in Graz, Austria, was a distinctive architecture and its attraction is itself.

DSCN8995 _ View of Kunsthaus, Graz from Schloßberg, Graz, 8 October

DSCN9414 _ Kunsthaus, Graz, 9 October

DSCN9402 _ Kunsthaus, Graz, 9 October

That said, I did see some very interesting works in this museum during my 2012 visit to Graz.  My favorite item was an installation - a wooden forest flourishing under several intense circular florescent lights, suggesting a giant incubator, or an solemn, almost spiritual outer space, where several stars or planets converging upon alien soil.  Very intriguing.

DSCN9371 _ Kunsthaus, Graz, 9 October

My second favorite was a 30 minutes video, titled True False Else, white outlines of ever-morphing objects continuously expanded and contracted against a dark background, reminiscent of the famous William Kentridge's drawing animation.  Mesmerizing.

DSCN9349 _ True False Else, 1992, Constanze Ruhm, 30 min., Kunsthaus, Graz, 9 October
True False Else, 1992, Constanze Ruhm, 30 min.

My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 91: My Favorite Paintings at Neue Galerie, Graz, Austria
<< My Favorite Museum Collection Series 89: My Favorite Artworks in Schloss Eggenberg, Graz, Austria

List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited


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Posted by Matthew Felix Sun on 8/19/14 | tags: Kunsthaus graz Austria installation video-art modern




My Favorite Artworks in Schloss Eggenberg, Graz, Austria


DSCN8852 _ Schloss Eggenberg, Graz, 8 October

Schloss Eggenberg in Graz, Austria is a magnificent Baroque palace and in 2010 was included in the listing of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites.  In 2012, when I made a brief stop at Graz, though I was not able to visit the museum housed inside the Schoss, Universalmuseum Joanneum, I was able to tour the building and its lovely garden ground.

DSCN8785 _ Schloss Eggenberg, Graz, 8 October

Though I couldn't go inside many marvelous rooms, I was able to see this wonderful triptych below through the window and though it was medieval in style, the coloration and rendering of its figures were reminiscent those of the great Jan van Eyck.

DSCN8795 _ Schloss Eggenberg, Graz, 8 October

My second favorite in the Schloss was a bearded figure with a heavy crown, a Kaiser, I assume, holding a model of a town with some effort, looking imploringly heavenwards.  A pious figure, seemingly suffered under the weight of his charges, almost pathetically tragic. Hard to forget.

DSCN8842 _ Schloss Eggenberg, Graz, 8 October


My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 90: My Favorite Artworks in Kunsthaus, Graz, Austria
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List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited


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Posted by Matthew Felix Sun on 8/13/14 | tags: graz castle schloss painting figurative sculpture realism traditional




My Favorite Artworks in the Mausoleum, Graz, Austria

DSCN8637 _ Dom (Katharinenkirche und Mausoleum), Graz, 8 October

Graz is an ancient Austrian city, whose Renaissance cityscape is dominated by the complex of Mausoleum of Emperor Ferdinand II and the Dom and the Katharinenkirche (right, left and middle).

DSCN2226 _ Kaiser Leopold I. Mausoleum, Graz, 8 October

In 2010, I visited Graz and saw this impressive tomb, a minor St. Peter's, designed by Ferdinand's court artist Giovanni Pietro de Pomis.  The interior was both grand and intimate, magnificent and humble.  I found the center shrine (above) very impressive, dark and somber, topped with the Emperor's proud eagle standard, beneath a brilliantly colored scene of coronation in the heaven.

The crypt itself was a small round space, and atop of the tomb, there were two effigies of the royal couple, carved in earthy red stone, almost crudely simple, like medieval chess pieces, tiny and humble, and very pious indeed, despite all the pomp above their resting cellar.

DSCN2233 _ Kaiser Ferdinands II. Mausoleum, Graz, 8 October

DSCN2234 _ Kaiser Leopold I. Mausoleum, Graz, 8 October

My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 89: My Favorite Artworks in Schloss Eggenberg, Graz, Austria
<< My Favorite Museum Collection Series 87: My Favorite Artifacts at Jüdisches (Jewish) Museum, Vienna

List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited


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Posted by Matthew Felix Sun on 8/7/14 | tags: medieval painting figurative sculpture realism traditional




My Favorite Artifacts at Jüdisches (Jewish) Museum, Vienna

Jüdisches Museum Wien (Jewish Museum) in Vienna has many artifacts highlighting the past and present of Jewish culture in Austria.  When I visited the museum in 2012, I was astounded by the huge quantities of items they put on display, some beautiful, some ethereal, some kitschy, and some poignant.

I was particularly taken by artifacts emphasizing the folksy Jewish tradition and heritage, such as the two figurines in the picture below.  These two figures, in traditional eastern European Jewish attires, with their endearingly exaggerated open-arm gestures - a sort of Jewish self-parody, I hope - invited viewers to enter their now long-gone time and location specific sphere.

DSCN1670 _ Jüdisches Museum, 6 October

I was also very taken by the almost medieval-looking metal spice boxes, see picture below. I was particularly taken in by the far left one, which reminded me of a moving tent, or with a little more imagination, a knight errant in full armor, who ironically roamed the lands of Europe and the Middle East where many Jewish people, Muslims and Pagans constantly being threatened by sword and fire, and worse.  It was hard not to see violence and suffering even in these seemingly most innocuous objects.

DSCN1672 _ Jüdisches Museum, 6 October


My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 88: My Favorite Artworks in the Mausoleum, Graz, Austria
<< My Favorite Museum Collection Series 86: My Favorite Artworks at Augustinerkirche, Vienna
List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited


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Posted by Matthew Felix Sun on 7/31/14 | tags: Decrotive silver figurative





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