Ellsworth Kelly (1923-2015): American abstract artist

Learning of the death of Ellsworth Kelly reminded me of the first time I viewed one of his works. The occasion was the Metropolitan Museum’s centennial exhibition, ‘New York Painting and Sculpture: 1940–1970’, curated by Henry Geldzahler when he was but 33 years old. The exhibition displayed 408 works by 43 artists whom Geldzahler identified as the key innovators of post-war art in New York. Geldzahler’s exhibition was an epic proclamation on American culture in the middle decades of the twentieth century. And it was encyclopaedic, exhibiting works from Abstract Expressionism to Pop. It was the first exhibition of its kind at the venerable Met and it was, from my perspective, an epiphany.

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Pictorial: Meadows singers learn from masters Jake Heggie, Joyce DiDonato, and Frederica von Stade

 

Three judges
The master teachers, Jake Heggie, Joyce DiDonato, and Frederica von Stade (from left to right).

On November 3, Mezzo sopranos Joyce DiDonato and Frederica von Stade and composer Jake Heggie took time between performances of Heggie’s opera Great Scott to give a master class for singers in the Division of Music in the Meadows School of the Arts. Five students performed art songs and opera arias for the artists and a sizable audience of fellow music students and faculty. Each performer was then given feedback and comments from Heggie, von Stade, and DiDonato. Here are some of the highlights of the two-hour class. Continue reading “Pictorial: Meadows singers learn from masters Jake Heggie, Joyce DiDonato, and Frederica von Stade”

Collection Spotlight: Octavio Medellin Art Work and Papers

Medellin portrait

Octavio Medellin was an artist and teacher who was active in Texas from the 1920s until his death in 1999. He is primarily known as a sculptor but also did work in ceramics, glass, and mosaics. Born in Mexico, Medellin was heavily motivated by pre-Columbian art, mainly of Mayan origin, and he is associated with the Texas Regionalists movement of the 1930s and 1940s. The collection reflects his distinguished art career and includes art work, clippings, correspondence, documents, ephemera, negatives/slides, photographs, publicity, published works, scrapbooks, and three-dimensional objects.

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Some assembly required: Interview with artist Ryan Goolsby

Hamon’s newest update to its lobby is a pair of customized computer kiosks that were designed and built by Meadows staff member, Ryan Goolsby. We interviewed Ryan about his position at SMU, his work as an artist, and the process for creating these kiosks.

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Pierre Boulez (1925-2016): A personal remembrance

Composer and conductor Pierre Boulez, one of the most influential musical figures of the second half of the twentieth century, passed away on Tuesday, January 5. Since then, multiple news organizations have published lengthy assessments of Boulez and the manner in which he shaped and challenged notions of established concert repertoire as a stalwart advocate of new music and new compositional techniques. This post cannot improve upon the far more eloquent and precise appraisals of Boulez written in The New York Times, The Guardian, and the Los Angeles Times. I would like, instead, to offer the less celebrated work of Boulez—his work with young, aspiring musicians.

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