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A Holiday Visit To North Carolina Museum Of Art 2012

"Abdullahi Mohammed With Mainasara, Ogre-Remo, Nigeria" C Print 2007

Pieter Hugo’s “Abdullahi Mohammed With Mainasara, Ogre-Remo, Nigeria” C Print, 2007

On December 23, my husband and I decided to visit the North Carolina Museum of Art. We especially enjoy the modern art wing. I thought I’d share a few of the works that captured my attention on this visit.

The photo above is my favorite photographic piece on display. The power of the massive hyena (with a staggering bite of 11oo PSI) is controlled by the power of the man who handles it. Man vs. beast seem equally matched here. (Sorry for the glare. As you would imagine, the photo is under glass, and there was no way for me to get a clean shot.)

A visit to the North Carolina Museum of Art. Dec 23, 2012

Aaron Douglas, “Harriet Tubman” Oil on Canvas, 1931

The tribute to Harriet Tubman’s life is apparent in this painting. The subtle white ray and circular patterns on top of the painting gives it a feeling of hope. It is an illusion of the sun and light rays shining down on the scene, like a blessing from heaven. Douglas could have omitted this white wash of rays, and the painting could still be strong, but the rays add an extra emotional punch that I appreciate.

A visit to the North Carolina Museum of Art. Dec 23, 2012

Anselm Kiefer “Untitled” Mixed Media, 1980-1986

This Kiefer painting and mixed media work is massive. It takes up a whole corner of a room in the modern wing of the museum. Each time I see it, I notice more details. The complicated textures alone make me want to get lost in it.

A visit to the North Carolina Museum of Art. Dec 23, 2012

George Bireline “Matisse Window” Acrylic on Canvas, 1964

Matisse makes me happy. Bireline’s tribute to Matisse makes me happy. The masterful use of color and pattern lead me into this window and I want to open it to see the French Riviera just like Matisse did from his studio. I adjusted the white balance in my camera to show you the purity of the colors in this painting.

A visit to the North Carolina Museum of Art. Dec 23, 2012

Lyonel Feininger “The Green Bridge II” Oil on Canvas, 1916

Feininger has always been one of my favorite painters, but this cubist canvas has to be one of his best. Again, I adjusted my camera’s white balance so you can see accurate colors. Put your finger over the yellow doorway. Without that small touch, the painting loses interest. The man knew what he was doing.

A visit to the North Carolina Museum of Art. Dec 23, 2012

A hallway in the North Carolina Museum of Art with (L to R) Gerhard Richter, Robert Motherwell, and Joel Shapiro.

This is a shot of one of the hallways leading to wings of paintings and sculptures. Below is the same hallway, facing in the opposite direction.

A visit to the North Carolina Museum of Art. Dec 23, 2012

Another hallway of the North Carolina Museum of Art with (L to R) Lee Mullican, Andy Warhol, Adolph Gottlieb, and Joseph Albers.

We planned our visit so we could have brunch at the museum restaurant, Iris. We are never disappointed with the food and atmosphere of the well-lit, clean-lined room. If you haven’t experienced the restaurant yet, you will you enjoy the quality and taste of the menu, as well as the fair prices. I had a very creative version of eggs benedict (on cornbread muffins with fresh and locally grown ingredients) and it was only $12. Keep Iris in mind for your next trip to the museum.

Brent & Gina visit the North Carolina Museum of Art and enjoy brunch in Iris restaurant. Delicious!

Brent & Gina visit the North Carolina Museum of Art and enjoy brunch in Iris restaurant. Delicious!

Internship Opportunity at North Carolina Museum Of Art

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Hey students, some of you may have seen the blog I recently posted about the North Carolina Museum of Art. I visited over the Memorial Day Weekend and was so pleased I had to share my impressions with you. I just found out that the museum is accepting applications for internships. They are not paid, but this is such a great museum, I think anyone who is looking for an internship will really enjoy the experience. Click here to link to the info page. Deadline is June 15, 2012. Good luck.

East Wing of the North Carolina Museum of Art

A Visit To The North Carolina Museum of Art – Presence/Absence Exhibit

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The east building of NCMA which houses contemporary art and special exhibitions

I spent the long Memorial Day weekend in North Carolina. It was hot and humid. Plans for hiking to search out subjects to photograph for my macro photography workshops dripped off with my makeup. On the positive side, the weather drove me to explore indoor events like visiting the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh.

Have you ever had a perfect day? Well, I had one at NCMA. A month ago, I was told by a Los Angeles curator to look up Todd Hido’s work because of similar sensibilities in our photography. Coincidentally, Hido’s photos were on display in a photo exhibit titled Presence/Absence. The 23 photos by various photographers imply the presence of people, even though none are visible. We can read the absence of people as a sort of loneliness and the results humanity has on history – whether it be personal or universal.

My favorite image is by Rob Amberg. Titled A Field Of Cut Burley Tobacco, pictured above, (Gelatin-Silver print, 1993, printed in 2002). This image is loaded with metaphor about the effects of man’s history in the United States. Amberg uses a long depth of field to tell the story of tobacco harvesting in North Carolina. But this image takes us farther back into the history of the US.

The photo depicts hundreds of stacked tobacco leaves, making strong shapes of Indian teepees (tipi) from the foreground to deep perspective in the mid-ground. The teepee shapes remind us that the land was once harvested by American Indians and their presence has been replaced by European settlers. The background shows a modern house with two trucks against a backdrop of empty hills. Another reminder of the progress of civilization; the contemporary home replaces the teepee as a human dwelling space. The separation of past and present is driven home by a streak of ambient light that slices the photo in half just at the edge of the last tobacco plants and the beginning of the farm.

Corridor, Ellis Island, Oct 1988 by David Simonton

Another compelling image is by David Simonton. Corridor, Ellis Island, Oct 1988, (Gelatin-Silver print, printed in 2004). An abandon hallway dares us to enter the worn and disheveled space. The plants and trees have broken through the windows reclaiming what was once their domain.

Jumping Tree, Haw River by Jeff Whetstone

Presence/Absence included images that were somewhat whimsical. A child’s type of fun is implied by Jeff Whetstone’s Jumping Tree, Haw River.  Strips of wood are nailed to a tree forming a step-ladder to climb and jump into the river.

Kenosha, Wisconsin – Spilled Milk by Brian Ulrich

Other images portray the manufactured spaces and the accidents humans leave behind. Brian Ulrich’s Kenosha, Wisconsin – Spilled Milk shows an impersonal big box supermarket with its harsh fluorescent lighting warning you not to slip on the puddle of spilled milk on the fake wood floor.

Once I absorbed this well thought out exhibit, I walked over to the West Building to see permanent collection. Motherwells, Klines, Frankenthalers, and more of the big names of modern art welcomed me into the many galleries. The antiquities collection, Renaissance, and Flemish paintings were impressive as well. After 3 hours, my feet were tired so I limped over to Iris, NCMA’s beautifully designed restaurant. Let me say this – even if I hated the art on exhibit, I would still go back to have dinner at Iris. The wine and food were excellent, and the free live jazz added the final touch to a perfect day.

One last piece of information. Entrance to NCMA is free. Parking is free. They have free live music on Friday nights. You can’t get a better bargain for a day full of wonderful art, music, and food. Check out the calendar for more info on films, concerts, and dance.

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