Artwork of the Month (September): Chess Pieces

In 1944, experimental musician John Cage produced an artwork for the “Imagery of Chess” exhibition exploring influential artist Marcel Duchamp’s interest in the game. Cage’s artwork, entitled Chess Pieces, is a painting depicting 64 light and dark squares (in the pattern of a chessboard), with a series of light and dark lines superimposed on top.Continue reading “Artwork of the Month (September): Chess Pieces”

Artwork of the Week (May 17): Mars Perseverance Rover Photos

In early 2021, NASA’s Perseverance rover began transmitting images from Mars. Although these were not the first photos we’ve seen from the planet, they remain tremendously interesting. One of the first things that struck me about the new photos was their similarity to abstract art. Most of them are directly shot from above, either fromContinue reading “Artwork of the Week (May 17): Mars Perseverance Rover Photos”

Artwork of the Week (April 26): American Progress

American Progress (John Gast, 1871) visualizes the 19th century idea of Manifest Destiny. Columbia, symbolic of the United States, is seen traveling west, dressed like a Greek goddess. Ahead of her tramp white hunters and settlers, and behind her railroads appear out of thin air. On the far left an ominous dark cloud recedes, bringingContinue reading “Artwork of the Week (April 26): American Progress”

Artwork of the Week (April 12): Abaporu

Abaporu is a 1928 painting by Brazilian artist Tarsila do Amaral. Tarsila, as she was known, was a modernist painter who often included elements of indigenous art in her work in order to create a uniquely Brazilian style. In Abaporu, she distorts the proportions of the subject’s body. The subject’s foot is enormous, while theContinue reading “Artwork of the Week (April 12): Abaporu”

Artwork of the Week (April 5th): Rhythm + Noise + Speed ​​of Car

Rhythm + Noise + Speed ​​of Car is a 1913 painting by Futurist artist Giacomo Balla. Part of a vibrant pre-WWI experimental art culture, the Italian Futurists were enamored with energy, power, and modern technology. Many of them were pro-war fascists, and although this is likely the case for Balla as well, his work doesContinue reading “Artwork of the Week (April 5th): Rhythm + Noise + Speed ​​of Car”