Re-Opening of the National Gallery of Art-East Building

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Introducing a crowd-favorite! This giant blue chicken sculpture sits atop the balcony level of the Smithsonian’s newest renovation. The National Gallery of Art East Buidling re-opened this past week and it’s better than ever. It’s filled with beautiful, carefully constructed galleries of well-known, famous artists, and ones that fit in seamlessly. I stopped by over the weekend out of curiousity, and what I found was more than love, it’s enough to make me move in. Is that possible?

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If you’ve ever been to the American Art Museum, this beautiful pathway is a familiar sight. Many have captured it, and many will recapture it, but if you haven’t seen this glimmering beauty and traveled through it, have you really ever lived?

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Alarm Clocks (Reveils) 1960 – Arman

This image depicts a tight crop of the piece Alarm Clocks (Reveils) a 1960 by an artist named Arman. The piece itself is many old alarm clocks inside a painted wood box. What I like about it is how the alarm clocks are different sizes, colors, and use different numbers (and fonts), but the circle shape remains and they fit next to each other easily.

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Made in Japan (1964) – Martial Raysse

Pardon the reflection on the right side of the painting. When I saw this Raysse painting, I thought of paintings studied in art history of Greeks and Romans posing, but this green, alien-like twist is almost like something you would see in a modern art exhibit. Something a young artist today would recreate. Reading about what it is made of makes this piece especially unque. Using photo-mechanical reproductions and wallpaper with airbrush ink, gouache, ink, tacks, peacock feathers, and plastic files on paper mounted on fiberboard reminds makes me of modern day collages. If you look closely you can see the texture of the peacock feathers, the subtle texture change in the blue curtain and the fabrics the woman is sitting upon.

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“monument” for V. Tatlin (1966) – Dan Flavin 

This light sculpture is reminiscent of the Empire State Building in New York City, but really can represent any tall skyscraper. I really just enjoyed the simplicity of it and pictured it in a beautiful studio apartment.

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Gyrostasis (1967) – Robert Smithson

How cool are the shadows that this sculpture creates? It is like a wave and the different shadows are like the wave crashing down. Similarly, it can be seen as a monster (think: dragon), creeping closer and closer. The name of this piece actually reminds me on Pokémon, incredibly fitting.

 

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Language is Not Transparent (1970) – Mel Bochner

I found this piece incredibly powerful for it’s simplicity. It really resonated with me for two reasons: 1. Obviously as an English Literature student and a journalist, language is so important. 2. I immediately thought of the Black Lives Matter movement, of the Feminist movement, of all these movements that have used powerful language to try and bring upon change. Language is not transparent and words do hurt. You can call it over analytical if you want, but there is a decision made with every word you choose to use. There is a subliminal message with each phrase and sentence.

 

img_1756This kind of art is my jam. I love the simple black and white. I love the simple font. And as an English major and word lover, I love that this is a textbook definition. This to me is perfect office wall art, even though the size might not be too practical.

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Loving the shadows in this piece. Architectural pieces take in light so well.

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“If possible steal any one of these drawings including (this sentence).” This piece was situated next to a few other smaller drawings and I found the sentence comical.

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I saw this piece from across the room and instantly pictured it as a textile fabric. Can you imagine having a tapestry of this on your wall? Looks like a Ikea fabric, honestly, but that doesn’t mean I don’t dig it.

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I’m beginning to think light fixtures are my new obsession, especially for home decor (cc: Chiara Ferragni’s LA home). You can analyze this piece in so many different ways, but it’s aesthetically pleasing too!

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Can you sense a pattern that words are my thing? I really enjoyed how this piece was pasted above an elevator and not a traditional wall mount with other pieces. It made it look like it belongs organically.

img_1735Now this is a piece I can TOTALLY get behind. It reminds me of those foam letters you played with as a child, but in adult BOSS form. I’m going to need a version of this in my future office.

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La Tournesol (The Sunflower) 1920 – Edward Steichen

Does this piece really need an introduction? The fangirling at art begin here, FYI.

 

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Peonies (1901) – Pablo Picasso

 

 

The fangirling continued as we entered the Picasso room, full of his early works, his cubism inspired pieces, scupltures, everything. Swoon.

 

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Mountains at Collioure (1905) – Andé Derain

 

This piece was in a room with one side Picasso, one side called Matisse and his friends. Look at the short strokes, vibrant color, and fluidity of it all.

 

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Open Window, Collioure (1905) – Henri Matisse

 

Hello my dear friend. I usually prefer pieces with mute colors, but this piece just needs to be shown. This is what dreams are made of.

 

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The Houses of Parliment, Sunset (1903) – Claude Monet

 

Another one of my (and the world’s) favorites.

 

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Harlequin Musician (1924) – Pablo Picasso

 

Does anyone else remember learning about cubism and Picasso’s work in elementary school art class? I remember thinking how weird, but how cool. I still have that same simple (or childish) mentality now when looking at these pieces. But how cool is it to see them in real life?

img_1744Not the original Mondrian, sigh, but still a beauty!

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Now this is where fangirling reached maximum capacity. Say what you want, but Jackson Pollock was one of my first favorite artists. Yes this could be called a mess or “easy” to replicated, but there’s a masterful way to create chaos in art, and Pollock is the ruler. The movement he captures with pouring paint onto a cavas, the colors he used, everything about it has me mesmerized. I remember watching a video in art class of Pollock creating a piece and just being in awe.

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Another cool piece that uses words and shadows!

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Art is everywhere in this museum. Whether it’s in the most simple form, or in the most constructed complicated form, it is strategically placed all over for museum-goers to enjoy. I missed a few galleries during this visit, but I know I will be back toon to finish them. All in all, the East Buidling did not disappoint and was well worth the wait. Go!

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