THE BODY ENHANCED
SEPTEMBER 2017: WEEKENDS at 11:00am
Berlin / NY / Shanghai Time
September is dedicated to performance and the body. While this is a very distinct practice in contemporary art, for our “Old Masters” we have selected paintings in which the “performative” aspect takes center stage. We are presenting those paintings rich in storytelling, in which gestures are dramatized for narrative effect. Watch the subtle looks and hand gestures happening while a young man is being tricked and pick-pocketed, or the dramatic seduction scene of “The Bolt”, the man locking the door to violently embrace the woman who can’t escape the room. Some paintings seem to foresee a cinematic language, like in Repin’s “Death of Ivan the Terrible”, or Degas’ “Interior”. There is also the artist’s desire to capture the energy of a dance movement: Rodin’s drawings of dancers have the lines literally swirling across the paper, and Sargent’s “Spanish Dancer” is bursting with rhythm, the body almost anatomically deconstructed in movement. We end our playlist with two paintings inspired by events of their time: Turner’s “Wreck of a Transport Ship” and Gericault’s “Raft of the Medusa”. It is chilling how these paintings echo current news images, evoking a realism that hasn’t lost its power over the centuries.
© Rembrandt van Rijn, The Night Watch, oil on canvas, 1640-42, Rijksmuseum