Symposium | Portraiture as Interaction

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on October 22, 2015

From the Yale Center for British Art and the conference program:

Portraiture as Interaction: The Spaces and Interfaces of the British Portrait
The Huntington, San Marino, California, 11–12 December 2015

marinellaThis two-day international symposium has been inspired by the important collections of British portraits at the Huntington Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art, and by an upsurge of scholarly interest in the interactive nature of portraiture—both in its intrinsic character and as a curatorial construct.

Portraiture implies an interaction between the sitter and the spectator. It often rehearses an interaction between two or more protagonists and regularly focuses on the interaction between the person(s) represented and his, her, or their surroundings. Portraits—of husbands and wives, sisters and brothers, friends, and colleagues—are often depicted by artists and arranged by curators so as to interact with each other in meaningful ways. As they are created, and once they are completed, portraits (and the figures they represent) interact with their settings: with the studio, the exhibition space, the domestic interior, the public building or square; and with the objects, people, and spaces found in those settings. The same portrait, or portraits of the same sitter, can also find themselves interacting with each other across different media—paint, print sculpture, and more.

Furthermore, curators are continually thinking about the ways in which the portraits they display—and the individuals these pictures portray—will relate with each other across and around a gallery. The Thornton Portrait Gallery at the Huntington and the galleries at the Yale Center for British Art exemplify portraiture’s continuing forms of interaction: implied and actual, pictorial and physical, and formal and figural.

This symposium, which is jointly organized by the Yale Center for British Art, the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, and the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, will use the rich collections at the Center and the Huntington and the different concepts of interaction outlined above as points of departure and return, in order to open up new approaches to the history and workings of British portraiture up to the present.

Registration details are available here»

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F R I D A Y ,  1 1  D E C E M B E R  2 0 1 5

8:30  Registration and coffee

9:30  Welcome by Steve Hindle (The Huntington)

9:35  Introduction
• Mark Hallett (Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art) “Portraiture as Interaction”

10:00  Session 1
Moderator: Cassandra Albinson (Harvard Art Museums)
• Jack Hartnell (Columbia University), “Specimen, Surgeon, Self: Three Medical Portraits and Four Hundred Years”
• Adam Eaker (The Frick Collection), “The Scene of the Sitting”

12:00  Breakout Sessions in the Collections
• Ann Bermingham (University of California, Santa Barbara)
• Malcolm Warner (Laguna Art Museum)
• Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell (FIDM Museum & Galleries)
• Melinda McCurdy (The Huntington)
• Cora Gilroy-Ware (The Huntington and California Institute of Technology)

1:00  Lunch

2:00  Session 2
Moderator: Lars Kokkonen (Yale Center for British Art)
• Caroline Fowler (The Getty Research Institute), “Raphael’s Apostles and Portraiture in the Eighteenth Century”
• Brigid Von Preussen (Columbia University), “Wedgwood’s Portrait Medallions”

S A T U R D A Y ,  1 2  D E C E M B E R  2 0 1 5

9:30  Registration and coffee

10:00  Session 3
Moderator: Catherine Hess (The Huntington)
• Sean Willcock (Queen Mary University of London), “The Politics of Interaction between British and Indian Portraits during the Victorian Period”
• Juliet Carey (Waddesdon Manor), “Faces for a House Party: British Portraits at Waddesdon Manor”

12:00  Lunch

1:00  Session 4
Moderator: Martina Droth (Yale Center for British Art)
• Petra ten-Doesschate Chu (Seton Hall University), “Interaction and ‘Interfacing’ in Lawrence Alma Tadema’s Portrait of Ignacy Jan Paderewski”
• Linda Docherty (Bowdoin College), “Encircling Robert Louis Stevenson: The Origins and Afterlife of Augustus Saint-Gaudens’s Profile Portrait”

3:00  Break

3:15  Session 5
Moderator: Mark Hallett
• Barbara Creed (University of Melbourne), “The Interactive Eye: Portraiture in Painting and Film”
• Steven Jacobs (Ghent University), “Noir Portraits: Hollywood’s Take on British Portraiture”

Exhibition | Dutch Dining: Four Centuries of Table Settings

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions, today in light of the 18th century by Editor on October 22, 2015

Thanks to Hélène Bremer for noting this exhibition (along with installation by Bouke de Vries). . .

Nederland Dineert: Vier Eeuwen Tafelcultuur
Dutch Dining: Four Centuries of Table Settings
Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, 28 February 2016

Fine dining is a form of sensory seduction. It operates not only via the taste buds, but also via the visual appeal of the food and table setting. Beautiful porcelain and silverware, glittering crystal, fine damask and extravagant sugarwork table ornaments all have a part to play. This exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag uses a spectacular display of complete table settings, complemented by drawings, paintings and liveries, to bring the history of formal dining among the Netherlands’ wealthy elite, ruling class and royal house to vivid life. The perfect place to find inspiration for that very special Christmas dinner table!

Nederland-dineert-Vier-eeuwen-tafelcultuurDutch Dining paints a fascinating picture of the way people in the top echelons of Dutch society were once accustomed to dine together. At tables laden with exquisite culinary delights and surrounded by an army of liveried footmen. The show is both a feast for the eye and a unique insight into the past. All of the objects in the reconstructed table settings are completely authentic—from the tableware to the ornaments, and even the furniture. The table linen comes from the very linen cupboard in which it has lain ever since the 18th century.

No table setting would be complete without meticulously folded napkins. The European fashion for the decorative use of table linen dates back to the Renaissance. In our own day, Catalan artist Joan Sallas is reviving this ‘forgotten art’ with his astonishingly skilful birds, fish and rabbits. The exhibition will feature ten such virtuoso constructions, all specially folded for the occasion.

An exclusive peek inside the royal porcelain and silverware cabinet will transport visitors right to the heart of the Noordeinde Palace. Stars of the show are two complete table services—a silver one of modern design and its more traditional porcelain counterpart—on loan from the collection of the Dutch Royal House. Both services were presented to Queen Wilhelmina and Prince Hendrik on the occasion of their marriage in 1901 and the exhibition discloses which of the two found most favour with the royal couple.

The design of the exhibition is by Maarten Spruyt and Tsur Reshef. The lavishly illustrated Dutch-language catalogue, Nederland dineert. Vier eeuwen tafelcultuur, offers the first ever reliable survey of four centuries of Dutch table settings and contains historical essays. For the museum’s youngest visitors there is also a children’s picture book and a related exhibition in the children’s gallery. The Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and the Netherlands Nutrition Centre (Voedingscentrum) are joining forces to organize a range of activities during the Dutch Dining exhibition.

The exhibition includes items generously loaned by the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam Museum, Museum Van Loon, Kastelen Middachten, Amerongen, Twickel and de Haar, Fundatie van Renswoude Utrecht, Koninklijke Verzamelingen Den Haag, RCE/Jachthuis St. Hubertus, Huis der Provincie Arnhem and private collections.  

Nederland Dineert: Vier Eeuwen Tafelcultuur (Zwolle: Waanders, 2015), 320 pages, ISBN: 978-9462620575, €34.50.

Koken en eten hoort als vanzelfsprekend bij het leven. Veel esthetiek komt hier in eerste instantie niet bij kijken. Maar zodra gezamenlijk wordt gegeten, wordt eten een sociale bezigheid, een middel tot communicatie, tot representatie, tot onderscheid. Voor dit boek is een keur aan specialisten op zoek gegaan naar de specifieke eetcultuur van Nederland. Aan de hand van een tiental authentieke ensembles van eetvertrekken van verschillende landgoederen en paleizen met daarbij bewaard gebleven voorwerpen, wordt het dineren in de afgelopen vier eeuwen geïllustreerd. Laat u betoveren door de verhalen rond de maaltijd en de uitstraling van volledig opgetuigde tafels, gedekt met tafellinnen, porselein en zilver, decoraties van suikerwerk en bloemen, van de bijbehorende meubels en het dienstpersoneel in livrei.


Exhibition | Bouke de Vries: War & Pieces

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on October 22, 2015


Bouke de Vries, War & Pieces, 19th- and 21st-century porcelain and mixed media, 2012 (Photograph by Tim Higgins).

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Complementing the exhibition Dutch Dining: Four Centuries of Table Settings at the Gemeentemuseum (with thanks to Hélène Bremer for pointing out both) . . .

Bouke de Vries: War & Pieces
The Holburne Museum, Bath, 1 September — 2 December 2012
Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, 17 October 2015 — 28 February 2016
The Harley Gallery, Welbeck, Nottinghamshire, 4 November 2017 — 7 January 2018

A nuclear bomb seems to have been dropped in this installation by artist Bouke de Vries. The eight-metre table, with a mushroom cloud as its centrepiece, is the scene of a fierce battle: thousands of fragments of porcelain mixed with parts of modern plastic toys. De Vries’s huge War & Pieces is a contemporary interpretation of the decorative sculptures that adorned 17th- and 18th-century banqueting tables. Specially for the Gemeentemuseum de Vries has for the first time designed cutlery, producing his ominous-looking set entitled Kalashnikov. His work is an interesting contrast with the reconstructed table settings in the museum’s Dutch dining exhibition—opening at the same time—that gives a unique insight into the history of dining culture in the Netherlands.

In previous centuries an extravagant ball or banquet might be held on the eve of a major battle—notably that given by the Duchess of Richmond the night before the battle of Waterloo in 1815, exactly 200 years ago. The decorative sugar or, later, porcelain table sculptures at such events might depict classical allegories, temples of love, or perhaps even the impending battle. War & Pieces is Bouke de Vries’s (b.1960) contemporary response to this old tradition. Besides war, chaos and aggression, the installation also features humour and beauty, undermining classical symbols in a satirical and critical way. By mixing contemporary references and objects with historical ceramics, De Vries builds a bridge between the past and the present and creates his own visual language.

In his work as a restorer, Bouke de Vries became moved by the beauty of imperfection, of deconstruction. Six years ago he started producing artworks using broken ceramics that were beyond repair. “A beautiful 17th-century soup dish with a small hairline crack has almost no market value. Which is strange, because it is still lovely to look at. Rather than hiding the cracks, I emphasise the imperfections and give the piece a new life,” he explains. He never deliberately breaks objects to use in his work. Instead, he sources his old ‘bits and pieces’ online, through auctions, and at antique markets such as Portobello Road near his home in London.

War & Pieces, the largest work in the exhibition of the same name, is a travelling installation that de Vries adapts to each new location. Originally created in 2012 for the Holburne Museum in Bath, it has also appeared at Charlottenburg Castle in Berlin, Chateau de Nyon in Switzerland and at the Taiwan Ceramics Biennale. The exhibition at Gemeentemuseum Den Haag also features a number of his smaller sculptures, including a series of ‘memory jars’—in which broken pieces of Delftware are contained within glass jars made in the shape of the original object—and a ceramics map of the Netherlands entitled ‘Homeland White’. In this collage, de Vries uses shards of 17th- and 18th-century Dutch white domestic Delftware recovered from archaeological digs.

Bouke de Vries, Memory Tobacco Jar 2, 18th-century Dutch Delft drug jar and glass, 2015 (Photograph by Tim Higgins).




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