Condensation Cubes

    Possibly Etruscan horse, bronze, c. 3rd Century BCE

    Possibly Etruscan horse, bronze, c. 3rd Century BCE

    Over the summer I began writing for Arte Fuse with this review of Vapor and Vibration: The Art of Larry Bell and Jesús Rafael Soto at the Tampa Museum of Art. I quite like the show, and thought the curator was quite successful with this experimental pairing of two artists with no personal connection. It’s been so soothing to just sit quietly in the Animals in Ancient Art gallery at the TMA too, so I was sad to learn its last day is 1 July. The TMA also has a lovely collection of Etruscan mirrors.

    While at the museum I saw for the first time some paintings of birds by Hunt Slonem. I got to observe many macaws in Miami and cockatoos, a nonnative species who have crossed the Tasman Sea to make themselves at home in New Zealand, are also very familiar. I thought the two paintings shown here used some interesting techniques to get to what’s essential about these clever and beautiful members of the parrot family. The focus on the pink tones and sociability of the cockatoos and of the strong beaks and feather structures of the macaws, absent their brilliant colors, is quite thoughtful.

    Until soon. – JMC

    Hunt Slonem, Cockatoos, 2004.

    Hunt Slonem, Cockatoos, 2004.

    Mernet Larsen: Getting Measured, 1957-2017

    I have known Mernet Larsen from her role as professor as professor at the University of South Florida’s art studio department, and from her many trenchant and witty remarks on the art situation in Tampa, as well as from her kindness to students and fellow faculty. She made some very telling and compassionate comments at the small memorial for Bradley Nickels some years ago.

    Nonetheless I felt as if I could give this retrospective at the Tampa Museum of Art a fair review and was glad I took the chance to do so for Empty Mirror. Larsen’s painting are intellectually engaging and unclassifiable. Many from Getting Measured, 1957-2017 are reproduced with the article so I will let you look at it on the Empty Mirror website, and it’s also archived as a PDF at the Humanities Commons Core Depository.

    Larsen Eggs 1961

    Eggs, 1961. Oil on canvas, Courtesy of the artist. © Mernet Larsen

    Minaret New Music Ensemble Presents Frontiers of American Modernism

     

    We went to look at the American Modernism show at the Tampa Museum of Art but mainly to experience some avant garde, modernist — experimental, really — music presented by the University of Tampa’s  Minaret New Music Ensemble. One of the best parts of the event was Bradford Blackburn’s Ph.d. dissertation, Phrase and Rephrase 3/2, a concerto for Harry Partch Ensemble with live augmentation with Donald Martino on bass clarinet and cellist Lowell Adams. Our hearts were stolen, though, by microtonal guitarist, composer, and luthier Ron Sword.

    This was one of the best things we’ve seen in Tampa. The park outside the museum is very lovely too and gets a lot of use, even on a cold Wednesday night.