Monday, March 30, 2015

Audley Mansions

Audley Mansions, Mount Street, Mayfair, London
Audley Mansions, Mount Street, Mayfair
London, September 2014

See also: Tall and Brickish

Sunday, March 29, 2015

30 Hudson Street

Goldman Sachs Tower, 30 Hudson Street, Jersey City, New Jersey
30 Hudson Street or Goldman Sachs Tower
Hudson Street, Jersey City, New Jersey
(Seen from the Staten Island ferry)
New York, September 2007

“If you stand on Eleventh Avenue in the upper Thirties and look south, the new forty-story Goldman Sachs building in Jersey City, on the other side of the Hudson, appears to be at the end of the street. The intimate connection created by the optical illusion (Manhattan starts angling eastward at about Twenty-third Street) works both ways. If you stand at the corner of Grand and Washington Streets in Jersey City, a couple of blocks from the waterfront, the river has pretty much disappeared, and the Woolworth Building looks as if it were just a short walk away. The Goldman Sachs tower, which was designed by Cesar Pelli, is the tallest skyscraper in New Jersey, and, with its graceful profile and elegant glass façade, the most beautiful. You could also say that it is one of the most important new pieces of architecture in lower Manhattan. To just about everyone except the tax authorities, the Jersey City waterfront is a part of New York. Pelli's tower is the anchor of a new city, a kind of Shanghai on the Hudson, that has sprung up over the past decade on what was once industrial land. It is an enormous complex—by far the largest cluster of skyscrapers in the region outside Manhattan.”
(Shanghai on the Hudson by Paul Golderberger, The New Yorker)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

La Prudence

Allegory of Prudence by Aimé Millet, Comptoir national d'escompte, BNP Paribas, rue Bergère, Paris
Allegory of “La Prudence” (The Prudence) by Aimé Millet, 1882
Former Comptoir national d'escompte de Paris, now BNP Paribas
Rue Bergère, 9e arrondissement
Paris, July 2014

See also: Apollon, la Poésie et la Musique

Friday, March 27, 2015

Hercules and Cacus

Hercules and Cacus by Baccio Bandinelli, Piazza della Signoria, Florence
Hercules and Cacus by Baccio Bandinelli, 1534
Piazza della Signoria
Florence, October 2013

“Late nineteenth-century critics, devoted to the academic concepts of idealization, harmony and decorum, often saw in the Hercules and Cacus the opposite extremes of ugliness and brutishness. Charles Perkins condemned the statue's ‘vulgarity, pretentiousness, and bad modelling’ and John Addington Symonds referred to it as ‘the wrestling bout of a porter and a coal-heaver.’ This negative approach to Bandinelli's statue is still in force. Nearly every mention of the work in recent art historical or topographical literature is accompanied by a reference to or recitation of the statue's alleged failings, no matter how gratuitious those remarks might be. Kenneth Clark says that the statue is ‘certainly the ugliest Hercules in existence,’ and Franzsepp Wiirtemberger calls it a ‘weak, botched work.’ Even the normally laconic Touring Club of Italy guide to Florence refers to the statue as ‘poco felice.’ While some critical judgments of Bandinelli's statue, such as those byJohn Pope Hennessy or Creighton Gilbert, are undoubtedly due to real evaluations of the work, I suspect that a greater number result from routine repetitions of earlier prejudices.”

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Returning to Embrace

Returning to Embrace by Jon Buck, Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, London
“Returning to Embrace” by Jon Buck, 1999
Cabot Square, Canary Wharf
London, September 2014

“Jon Buck’s sculpture appears to show a couple locked together, gazing into each other’s eyes. Closer examination reveals a strange fusion of forms, their bodies so far intertwined as to have become a single organism. Central to Buck’s work is an interest in our connection to the natural world and his figures depict not only men and women but also Man and Nature. Long fascinated by art outside the Western tradition, particularly African sculpture, in recent years he has been involved in the Ruwenzori Sculpture Foundation and its foundry project in Western Uganda.”
(Returning to Embrace by Jon Buck, Canary Wharf Group PLC)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Palazzo Valentini

Europa by Sandro Chia, Palazzo Valentini, Via IV Novembre, Rome
“Europa” by Sandro Chia, 2005
Palazzo Valentini, Via IV Novembre
Rome, September 2010

“The Palazzo's art treasures include the statue of ‘Ulysses’ by Ugo Attardi, as well as works depicting ‘Aeneas and Anchises’ and ‘Europa’, made by Sandro Chia to commemorate the 135th anniversary of the provincial administration of Rome, now located at the entrance.”
(Palazzo Valentini, Wikipedia)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

CNAM

Main entrance of the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, rue Saint-Martin, Paris
Main entrance of the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers
(National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts)
Rue Saint-Martin, 3e arrondissement
Paris, July 2012