March 10, 2004 |
He's not in bad shape considering he celebrates his 500th birthday this year, but Michelangelo's "David" is suffering from weak ankles. A team of art restorers, halfway through giving the white marble statue his first bath in more than a century, say they want to give David a scan to assess the damage. "The ankles are one of the most fragile parts of the sculpture; they are full of cracks," said Cinzia Parnigoni, the restorer in charge of the cleanup at Florence's Galleria dell'Accademia.
October 28, 2005 |
To tourists in Florence, Italy, Michelangelo's marble sculpture of the lad who slew Goliath is a must-see attraction at the Galleria dell'Accademia. More than a million people visit it every year. To art historians, "David" is a seminal masterpiece -- the first of Michelangelo's surviving depictions of heroic male nudes that encapsulate physical power in breathtakingly beautiful form.
December 29, 2000 |
The painting of Mao Tse-tung as a Renaissance saint was too risky for the Shanghai 2000 Biennial. The photo of a man eating a dead baby was too disturbing. The works, rejected by the Shanghai Art Museum's official contemporary art show, went on display at private galleries. That's when police raided a gallery and seized the exhibits. The two-month Biennial, with 67 artists from 15 countries, is China's bid to join the club of biannual art extravaganzas led by Venice and New York City.
October 28, 1988 |
If there be great social and political import in David Anderson's sculpture, it is largely frightened off by its coarse, Gargantuan structure. The L.A. artist brings a junk sculptor's vision to the making of oversize grotesques on Oriental themes. "Paris/Peking" is a green patinated copper pagoda rising on a schematized Chinese table until the whole rises some 9 feet. "Opium" is an equally overscaled model of a traditional Chinese vessel sprouting a bouquet of iron flowers and chains.
September 10, 2004 |
Texas artist David Adickes will tell you himself that it's massive size, more than artistic vision, that distinguishes his statues of American presidents. Paeans to history in concrete and steel, the 18- to 20-foot-tall busts fill two outdoor museums dedicated to education and civic responsibility, but they're bringing their creator no small measure of notoriety. Not everyone, it seems, appreciates a reinterpretation of Mt. Rushmore.
January 11, 2008 |
The news this week that billionaire art collector Eli Broad has decided not to give any of his 2,000-piece collection to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where a building bearing his name will open with great fanfare next month, was sort of like hearing that a terminal patient died. You know in your heart it's coming, but expectation does nothing to minimize being nonplused when it does. Sometimes reality's bluntness does that.