Well, if you haven’t read the first part of this post then I recommend that you do, namely because I explore the history of the nude, and also how the concept changed in the early 20th Century as we moved from the public to the private space. The other thing is that I am running through is the idea of where the line is drawn, and what we would consider offensive. One idea has suggested as to whether the image is sensual or not, yet there are works of art hanging on the walls of art galleries for everybody to see that are incredibly sensual. The other thing is that we are probably much more relaxed with regards to the naked body that the British of the Victorian era were, who were renown for being rather prude.
There is probably very few things more controversial in art than the idea of the nude. Sure, artists have been painting, sculpting, and creating nude images for millenia, yet there is always this debate over whether it is right to display the unclothed human body, and whether we should prevent the young from being exposed to such images. The question always comes down to where one draws the line between art and pornography. Mind you this line is actually a pretty subjective line, and is also a line that isn’t necessarily set between gender identities – there are women who consider pornography to be fine, while there are men who are absolutely appalled by the industry.
The annoying thing about my trip to the Leibeighaus (which happens to be the home of Frankfurt’s Sculpture museum) is that I didn’t end up seeing any of the permanent sculptures. Mind you, they did have a major exhibition here, and I didn’t actually make any effort to go and look for the permanent collection, and it wasn’t until afterwards that I discovered that there was more to this museum than the exhibition that I ended up seeing (actually, now that I found the photos, I realised that I did see the permanent exhibition). Mind you, it isn’t a huge collection and the only reason that people go to the museum is to see one of the temporary exhibitions – but then again that is the main drawcard for most museums, though the other drawcard is the tourists (and it can be annoying when you travel all the way to Europe only to discover that all of the Renoirs are out on loan).
One of the things that I have discovered about the Singapore Art Museum is that it doesn’t seem to have a permanent collection. Well, I did find a couple of rooms with some artwork that could be considered permanent, but it wasn’t anywhere near as large as some of the other art galleries (or Art Museums) that I have visited. Actually, as a side note, it is interesting that they use the word ‘museum’ as opposed to ‘gallery’, which is what you tend to expect in the English speaking world. However, after travelling around Germany and France for about six weeks, was that the French and the Germans (and I suspect the Dutch as well) consider them to be museums since a gallery is where you go and purchase art (which is also the case in the English-speaking world, it is just that a Museum tends to focus on the natural world while art galleries focus entirely upon art).
Okay, some might object to my title in the belief that John Lennon deserves that claim to fame much more than does Warhol, however considering that the Beatles only hit the scene in 1960 where was Warhol had begun displaying his art in the 1950s he, at least in my humble opinion, is much more deserving. Anyway I have generally found Warhol in the past to be fairly hit or miss with his artwork considering that the only one that I (and probably quite a few of us) are familiar with is his painting of the Campbells soup can. However, when I learnt that an exhibition of his artwork was on display at the NGV (the National Gallery of Victoria) I knew that I had to go and check it out. To say that I was pretty much blown away is probably an understatement. What I can say though is that I seriously underestimated Warhol’s brilliance as an artist.
I guess the problem when it comes to the Rijksmuseum is that I didn’t actually walk through it in any particular order, and never really noticed whether there was any particular order until long after I left. However, I should mention that the museum itself is huge. Well, not quite as big as the Louvre (which happens to be the biggest museum in the world) but it is still pretty massive. We didn’t actually get to explore all of the Rijksmuseum either, though I’d say that we saw about 90% of the place, and the rest of the 10% we simply rushed through trying to find the way to get to where we wanted to go.
Look, I’m probably not going to suggest that this is the largest art gallery in Australia, but it is certainly larger than the Art Gallery of New South Wales (or at least has a much larger collection) and this is only the international collection (I believe the Australian art is located elsewhere). The other thing that stands out is that the NGV is not a traditional art gallery.
At first I thought this was just going to be an collection of Greek statues, and I also had the impression that I wouldn’t be allowed to take photos, but that didn’t matter because I’ve got tonnes of photos of Greek statues, such as these which were taken at the Vatican Museum: