An artist picking up his artwork from the latest exhibit in the Davis Art Gallery, In Vision: 2D and 3D Landscape, proposed an idea for an exhibition of art related to jazz music. I’m sure the aesthetic kinship that music has with visual arts has occurred to many of you before, but I never realized it’s expressed in so many different ways!
China, Seated Musician, tomb figurine, ca. 500–550 CE. Earthenware with traces of polychrome, 8 1/4" x 5 1/8" x 4 7/16" (21 x 13 x 11.4 cm). © Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. (AK-230)
Wouldn’t it be great to listen to music forever in the afterlife? During the Shang Dynasty (ca. 1523–1027 BCE) aristocratic burials were accompanied by sacrifice of family pets, servants, horses, and guards. From the Zhou Dynasty (1027–256 BCE) through the Song Dynasty (960–1279 CE), the human sacrifices were replaced by ceramic figures of familiar human attendants. I’ve always thought this is a nice way to think of the afterlife (not the human sacrifices, obviously).
Italy, Leaf from an antiphonary, 1485. Ink, tempera and gold leaf ln parchment, 17" x 11 3/4" (43.2 x 29.8 cm). © Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. (AK-1899)
Attributed to Antoin Sevruguin (1830s–1933, Iranian, born Armenia), Group of Women Musicians, 1890s? Silver albumen print on paper, 6 3/16" x 8" (15.7 x 20.5 cm). © Brooklyn Museum. (BMA-2472)
I’m loving the woman with her eyes closed because the exposure time was probably about 30–60 seconds. What I would love even more is hearing the music they are playing. Sevruguin is an interesting person in the history of photography. A painter by vocation, he gave it up for photography to help support his family. Born of Armenian-Georgian parents in the Russian embassy in Tehran, and he returned to Tehran to set up a photography studio. Although his photographs were meant to appeal to Westerners as “curiosities” about the Middle East, they have provided a valuable document of everyday life in Iran at the time.
|Vasily Kandinsky (1866–1944, Russia), Fragment 2 for Composition VII, 1913. Oil on canvas, 34 1/2" x 39 1/4" (87.6 x 99.7 cm). Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. © 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. (AK-1812knars)|
Willi Baumeister (1889–1955, Germany), Drumbeat, 1942. Oil on cardboard, 20 7/8" x 18 1/8" (53 x 46 cm). Image courtesy of the artist/Davis Art Images. © 2016 Willi Baumeister / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. (8S-724bmars)
|Arthur Dove (1880–1946, US), Primitive Music, 1944. Gouache on canvas, 18" x 24" (45.7 x 60.9 cm). Image © 2016 The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC. (PC-112)|
Robert Wesley Wilson (born 1937, US), Poster for Jefferson Airplane, 1967. Color offset lithograph on paper, 20” x 13 3/4" (50.8 x 34.9 cm). Image © 2016 Philadelphia Museum of Art. (PMA-3968)
Romare Bearden (1911–1988, US), At Connie’s Inn from the series Of the Blues, 1974. Collage, acrylic and lacquer on Masonite, 50" x 39 3/4" (127 x 101 cm). Brooklyn Museum. © 2016 Romare Bearden Foundation, Licensed by VAGA, New York. (BMA-609bevg)
Mayan People, Guatemala, Marimba Player with Two Quetzal Birds, 1972. Cotton, 24" (height: 61 cm). Private Collection. Image © 2016 Davis Art Images. (8S-21132)