March 2011

Wayne Thiebaud at Museo Morandi – Bologna Italy

 The Museo Morandi contains the works of Giorgio Morandi (1890 – 1964) who is often thought of as the most important Italian painter of the twentieth century.  Although he was deeply ensconced in Italian art history, his work was contemporary and was composed often of eccentric still life compositions. Wayne Thiebaud (1920-) was originally a cartoonist and designer and art teacher in California and New York. He spent time in New York studying and working where he was influenced by Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. At a 1962 Sidney Janis Gallery exhibition – that officially launched Pop Art – he received national recognition.

The exhibit of Wayne Thiebaud’s work at Museo Morandi consisted of 15 of his smaller works and were shown alongside 11 of Giorgio Morandi’s works. For example, Morandi’s ‘Natura’, a painting of simple crockery pieces beside geometric blocks of cheese, was next to Thiebaud’s ‘Cheese Wedges’ which has blocks of cheese set on a deli counter with plastic price tags attached to them.

The exhibit was interesting in that the pairings had similarities of subject matter and there were also similarities in the flat color backgrounds creating indistinct environments.

However, there were also obvious differences, the use of color set the two drastically apart. Thiebaud used bold enamel colors; not in a bold way, but in a craft manner like a glass blower would delicately lay a line of molten color. The textures were reflective of the object painted almost providing a relief feel to the paintings.

Morandi also used color and texture. His use of texture was much broader than Thiebaud’s and covered greater expanses. While his use of color was much more limited than Thiebaud’s staying in a muted range of grays.

April 2011

Mauro Lovi  at the Otto Lougo dell’Arte in an effort to familiarize myself with the contemporary art galleries in Florence I visit any new openings. The Otto Lougo dell’Arte is a small gallery with good foot traffic and located in an area with other art and antique dealers.

The first artist exhibited was Mauro Lovi.  His work is based on natures inspiration, this show featured a birch grove feel. Colors and composition reflected  this visually, most pieces were small in scale and hung in groupings helping to create a sense dappled light and leaves in a forest. 

Gallery visit May 2011

Galleria Poggiali & Forconi, Via della sacla 35a Florence Italy

I have been familiar with this gallery since I first arrived in Florence seven years ago. Our first apartment was a few doors away. This is one of the best know contemporary art galleries in town. It usually shows large scale works by known or semi’known contemporary artists. It has also had several successful openings with multimedia artists. I was particularly impressed by the clean expansive exhibit space. An opening of a David Bramente exhibit with a series of large scale photo prints showed well, there were a few smaller pieces that displayed in an alcove keeping them from getting lost in the bigger rooms, Bramente’s work focuses on layered city images reflecting on his travels and experiences living in large urban centers. Further info.


The gallery is a good source for the free art related papers and magazines featuring contemporary art such as – ‘Onpaper Exhibart” an Italian journal of contemporary art published in Rome.  Mousse’an Italian contemporary art magazine published in Milano  and ‘i.OVO’ arte e cultura contemporanea.

June 2011

EX3 – Contemporary Art Gallery – Florence Italy

Contemporary art galleries in Florence are rare, so finding this one by accident was quite a surprise. EX3 is relatively new as it opened in the summer of 2009. The gallery consists of a large lobby with bar area leading to a expansive (auditorium sized)central space. There are various smaller side space exhibit rooms. The facility can feature three to four exhibits at one time.

Marzia Migliora, RADA was the first installation  I saw in the cavernous central space. It took its inspiration from the graphic on the flag which, in the International Code of maritime signals, means “Stop what you are doing.” The space was crisscrossed with 3 meter wide blue planking forming a traversable dock like structure eliminating from the front door of the room. The four rectangular areas not covered by the planking were filled with a scattering of scrap white marble to cover the floor. The layout and colors were true to the maritime flag. The strongest attraction for me was the scale of the piece and how it utilized the expansive space of the room.

July 2011

Enzo Pazzagli  Art Park

I have attended several events at this park on the edge of Florence, created by sculptor Enzo Pazzagli in 2001. The park consists mostly of pazzagli’s sculptures that represent a good blending technology and astectics using steel, iron, glass and colored plexiglas. Large scale and heavy pieces dominate the landscape. Some space is allocated for visiting outdoor installations but does not seem to be updated on a regular basis. An interesting aspect of the park are the cedar trees that crisscross the property. They help to separate the numerous sculptures and when viewed from an arial perspective, the trees form “La Trinitata” two profiles and a face that extends over the 15,000m square meters. PIC

More info.

Sept. 2011 Attended an Art therapy course,

Art Therapy in Florence  

Course Objectives
Art therapy gives you the chance to use creative processes to express and learn about yourself, giving you tools to help you clarify your life goals and true desires, identify blocks and strategies to jumpstart motivation, help you identify and manage your emotions in a positive way, reduce stress, help build self-esteem and support self-love, and help inspire you.

Using art therapy approaches helps you liberate your creativity without the pressure or self-judgement about your skills or your artistic products, teaching you that the creative act itself is life-enhancing and can bring insight and even healing.

Working individually as well as in groups, the artistic process can help you connect with yourself and also give you opportunities to share with others.How the course works

During the course we will explore themes such as the primary human need to create and art’s role across cultures & history back to prehistoric times, and what this teaches us about what art can do for us; the bridge between art and spirituality, and how art can be used as a vehicle to connect with the self and the world.

During the course we will understand:
– the power of the creative process and how to best support it;

– how to apply creativity to enhance self-knowledge and thereby also personal and professional effectiveness;

– enhance self-esteem and self confidence through engagement with the creative process;

– build empathy skills through group work and sharing;

– support and engage emotional intelligence;

– learn how to bring benefits of art therapy into one’s personal daily life;

– understand the potential for art as therapy to be a tool in self-realization, relaxation and stress relief, and interpersonal communication.

December 2011

Train trip Nuremburg Germany,

The museum is a four-story building with toy exhibits ranging from the Middle Ages to the present time. As you walk floor to floor the influence of technology and the prevailing culture are visually apparent. The earliest toys are from medieval times and are primitive attempts at scaling down common objects and hand crafted doll and animal reproductions.

The early industrial age brought mass production and finer detail metal molding. Branded lines were beginning to develop.  Marketing campaigns were broadening toys visibility while international distribution expanded markets.

The museums display of world war toys asseen from the German perspective exhibits the same obsession with military toys. Within the museums limited exhibit the detail and engineered craftsmanship are of high quality. Does simply wearing the losing side’s logo add to the obscurity of these items?

Modern digital toys are represented here by early computer quizzes and educational oriented mass-produced plastic objects. Communication and creativity are encouraged.

Mass production added to the detail and realism of toys, and changed the way toys were marketed. Toys are not just craft items, they can add to a child’s development

Web pages researched during 1st year.
Art Crimes — The Highlights
Louis Carosello – RiartEco 2008

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