November 6, 2012
An exhibition at Gurari Collections, Boston, MA, is displaying various watercolour paintings of the Parthenon Sculptures by artist Wendy Artin.
People of Shambhala
Elgin Marbles given new life in watercolor exhibition
Posted by People of Shambhala on October 28, 2012
One of the most important artifacts of the ancient world — the Elgin Marbles — has come to the USA in the form of a new watercolor exhibition in Boston.
The Elgin Marbles were acquired Lord Elgin when he served as ambassador to the Ottoman court of the Sultan in Istanbulin between 1801 and 1805. The sculptures were later bought by the British Parliament and given to the British Museum where they currently reside. However, Greece has repeatedly called for the artifacts to be returned to their country of origin.
Wendy Artin, a Rome-based artist, known for her detailed and academic depictions of the Italian city, figure paintings and still lives, captures the spirit of the Parthenon, a temple on the Athenian Acropolis from which the Elgin Marbles were taken. The energy of her brushstrokes are a reminder that this cultural treasure was once a part of a living tradition — that formed the basis of our civilization — and not just an artifact in a a museum.
There may be no substitute for the real thing, but for those unable to make it to Europe to see the original Parthenon or Elgin Marbles, Artin’s work is well worth seeing.
The Parthenon Friezes, an exhibit of works by Wendy Artin, runs through November 28 at Gurari Collections, Boston.
AUTUMN 2011 EXHIBITIONS
THE PARTHENON FRIEZES by By Wendy Artin, watercolor paintings, November 4 – 28, 2011
Wendy Artin’s November exhibition entitled THE PARTHENON FRIEZES, at Gurari Collections, is a demonstration of patience, endurance, visual insight and painting mastery. Galleried at the British Museum, the Parthenon sculptures enjoy world renown for their representational beauty, conflict of a storied past, and their sheer magnitude of sculptural presence. The large monochromatic watercolor paintings in this new series are life-size in scale so as to best evoke the splendor of this ancient parade.
Undertaking the painting of the Parthenon Friezes was a long held goal of Ms. Artin’s. After many years of observation and sketching, the last two years have been dedicated to making this vision a reality. The watercolor paintings attempt to inspire the same awe that we feel when we are in front of the physical bearing of the marble reliefs. Notwithstanding, Artin works the surface of the paper so as to, in her words,“reveal the very tactile experience of wet pigment on porous paper creating an illusion that fades in and out.”
The marble stones themselves, while exquisitely chiseled at the time of their creation, have, over time, been worn into rich and delicate abstracts of what were once three dimensional and refined. Sometimes only indeterminable fragments remain. Wendy Artin allows the image to emerge from the paper with no discernable start or finish. She captures all the gradations of tone within one wet wash, quickly, before the brushstroke dies, she pushes dark in here and lifts light out there, keeping the watercolor fresh and light on the surface.
What we perceive to be the materiality of marble and the rhythmic movement of figures in relief, we experience as the elegant harmony of antiquity with the organic crumbling and stains of time. Artin wants the illusion to be almost total, for the realism to pull the viewer in at the same time that the marks remind one that this is simply wet pigment that has stained the fibers of paper.
Moving from the inanimate nature of stone, the friezes as paintings in watercolor by Wendy Artin, become startlingly alive on a papered surface. To tease out the many thousands of years of this storied work of art, and to do so in the most ethereal of mediums, allows us to experience a new presence of these fabled Parthenon Friezes.
Wendy Artin received an MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston; she also studied at the University of Pennsylvania and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. She has lived and painted extensively for the last fifteen years in Rome, and has painted in Boston, New York, Mexico, Guatemala, and France. Her work is in the collections of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Boston Public Library, Fondation Colas, Princess Caroline of Monaco, Isabele Adjani, John Guare, Adele Chatfield-Taylor, Gustavus Remak Ramsay, Steve Martin, Eric Fischl, April Gornik, Richard Leacock, Valerie Lalonde, Pierre Passebon and Jacques Grange. She has exhibited in New York, Boston, Rome, Milan and Paris. Her work has been featured in Pratique Des Arts, American Artist, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Gourmet, Elle Decoration, Cote Sud, French Vogue, Elle, Carnet, and the Boston Globe, among other publications. She has been featured on BRAVO television’s Arts & Minds.
- Watercolours from Elgin’s artist go on sale : January 16, 2013
- Talkin in Calcutta on the Elgin Marbles : February 22, 2009
- Reinterpretation of the Parthenon Sculptures : May 24, 2010
- Wallach Art Gallery exhibition inspired by New Acropolis Museum : November 30, 2009
- Traces of paint discovered on Parthenon Sculptures : June 16, 2009
- Experiments in Nashville to see how the Parthenon’s frieze would have looked from ground level : October 29, 2013
- 200 years of Life in London – being part of the Elgin Marbles, as told by a Caryatid from the Erechtheion : March 4, 2013
- Fairfield University Professor’s tour of Parthenon sculptures opens in NYC : January 14, 2014