Friday, April 11, 2008

Juan Gris (1887-1927): Anything But Grey

Pears and Grapes on a Table. 1913

Teacups, 1914

Fantomas (Pipe and Newspaper), 1915

Guitar and Score, 1915

Still Life, 1915-16

Still Life with Flask of Bordeaux, 1919

Guitar and Clarinet, 1920

The Mountain (Le Canigou), 1921

The Open Window, 1921

Guitar and Music Paper, 1926

'In aesthetics, as in all areas of philosophy, one can begin almost anywhere - with the objects of nature or the objects of art; with aesthetic production or reception; with aesthetic judgement or artistic imagination; with concepts of things or concepts of signs; with the existential, cognitive, or ethical meaning of aesthetic states. However one begins aesthetics, the important thing is to consider the interrelatedness of these and other phenomena. This also applies when when we are concerned predominantly with special phenomena - that is, in aesthetics, with literature or film, ornament or design, monochrome painting or minimal music. One type of aesthetic object enjoys its distinctiveness only in relation to other types, against which it stands out, to which it is related, with which it is in a process of exchange. Ultimately, this holds even for every individual aesthetic object - for this landscape, this building, this installation. Each enjoys its particularity in contrast to other (types of) objects. Theory can support this particularity (and thereby fulfil its most important task) only if it shows in what more general relations this particularity is located. It is only together with a sense of the general that the sense of the particular is there; only together with a concept of this general that it is possible to have an understanding of the multiplicity of aesthetic objects and opportunities. No matter how one begins aesthetics, what always matters in the end is to have a sense of the richness of aesthetic states.'

From Aesthetics of Appearing by Martin Seel

Eine Kleine Nachtkunst

Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684-1721) - Love in the Italian Comedy, 1714

'Life is a lot like jazz . . . it's best when you improvise.'

George Gershwin

Verso IV

Aztec Sun Stone, late-1400s

'The Aztec Sun Stone (Piedra del Sol) is in Room 7 (Sala Mexica) of the museum. The 12-foot, 25-ton intricately carved basalt slab describing Aztec life is one of Mexico's most famous symbols. The stone was carved in the late 1400s; it was discovered buried beneath the Zócalo in 1790. It was originally thought to be a calendar, and for a brief time, a sacrificial altar.

In the stone's center is the sun god Tonatiuh. The rest of the carvings illustrate Aztec cosmology - the Aztecs believed that prior to their existence, the world had gone through four periods ("suns") of creation and destruction. Four square panels surrounding the center image represent these four worlds and their destruction (by jaguars, wind, firestorms, and water, respectively). The ring around the panels is filled with symbols representing the 20 days of the Aztec month. Finally, two snakes form an outer ring and point to a date, 1011 AD, when the fifth sun (the Aztecs' current world) was created.'

National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City