Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Prehistoric Sculpture

Sculpture is one of the oldest forms of art – prehistoric people even carved sculptures before they painted. But only a few objects remain to display what sculpture was really like thousands of years ago. From surviving prehistoric pieces, we can determine that sculptures were not originally made to be visually appealing; they were instead used to provide spiritual support.
Sculptural work from the Paleolithic period consisted mainly of figurines, beads and decorative objects constructed with stone, bone, ivory, clay, and wood. Most sculptures from this period were found in caves, as they were commonly the locations for ritual gatherings. The caves also helped to protect these items over time.

The oldest known prehistoric piece of sculpture art is the Venus of Berekhat Ram, found on the Golan Heights, which dates back to the Acheulean culture. Made of volcanic rock, the sculpture is intensely primitive in style. The sculpture is one of many Venus figurines found in Europe, dating from the Upper Paleolithic period. They were quite small, only measuring between 4 and 25 centimeters, an ideal of beauty from that time. They were oval shapes, lacking hands and feet, with large bellies, breasts and wide-set thighs. Although initially thought to be symbolic of fertility, the true significance of the Venus figures remains obscure, similar to a vast amount of other prehistoric art.

Selecting the Right Sculpture for Your Home

Selecting art for your home can be challenging. After selecting the pieces that appeal to you most, you’ll need to consider how they will fit with the rest of your home’s interior design, and how to exhibit it in the best way possible.

Make sure to keep size in mind when selecting a sculpture – A sculpture that is too large may overwhelm the area, and if too small, could go unnoticed. Find an appropriate space for the sculpture, and determine the size sculpture that would fit best. Make sure it will not reside too close to another piece of art to avoid overcrowding.

Keep color in mind when selecting your art, too. If you’re in a room with brown walls, a bronze sculpture may not go as noticed as it would in a white-walled room.

If you feel none of the rooms in your home are suiting your new piece of art, try making some changes. Something as simple as removing some decorative wallpaper or rearranging furniture could be all you need to accommodate your sculpture. It could take some work, but the effort will be well worth enjoying your new piece of art.

Jean Jacques Porret is a proud artist known for his breathtaking metal sculptures, and is honored when you consider his work to be part of your home or office. To learn more, contact J. J. Porret today.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Preserving Outdoor Bronze Sculptures

Beautiful outdoor sculptures decorate parks and federal buildings and stand as memorials to those who have come before us all across this great land. Many are made of durable bronze which is meant to withstand the elements and exposure to sun, rain, wind, sleet and snow. But, over time, the harsh weather and environment can start to take its toll on the sculpture. Light and heat can fade pigments and break down protective lacquers. Dirt can build up in crevices, hard water can cause unsightly streaks and wind and rain can wear away wax coatings.

Taking proper care, including regular maintenance of your outdoor bronze sculptures will ensure they are kept in good condition. Here are a few tips to keeping your sculptures looking as beautiful as the day they were created.

  • Inspect and photograph annually.
  • Look for signs of corrosion around the base. Are there stress craps or rust? Structural issues are critical and should be addressed promptly.
  • How does the coloring look? Excluding coloring that is intentional, green or white streaks are a sign of corrosion or mineral build-up. Corrosion should be addressed immediately before it permanently damages the sculpture, and mineral build-up can be removed to improve the appearance.
  • Pay attention to surface conditions. All areas should have a consistent sheen of an even protective coating.
  • Once you’ve inspected its condition, it’s time to clean the sculpture. Use a regular pressure hose, a soft nylon bristle brush or sponge and non-ionic detergent to remove dust and debris.
  • Finally, add a layer of wax to protect the surface.
  •  If during your inspection and cleaning you found any structural damage or corrosion, it is important to contact a conservator for repairs.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Art: At the Heart of Mankind

Since the beginning of mankind, humans have attempted to demonstrate their feelings of love, life and religion by creating art. Whether it is a painting, sculpture art, architecture or cave drawings, art has been at the heart of man all along. Art has allowed us a glimpse into the life and times of those artists - viewing the world as they saw it then and as they see it now. 

As technology has progressed and techniques have been created and passed on to a new generation, art history has been divided into periods based upon those techniques and trends. Take a step back through the evolution of art through their periods, exploring their characteristics and chief artists. 

1900-1935 – Fauvism and Expressionism            
Characteristics: Harsh colors and flat surfaces (Fauvism); emotion distorting form
Chief artists:  Matisse, Kirchner, Kandinsky, Marc
Historical Event: Boxer Rebellion in China (1900); World War (1914–1918)

1905-1920 – Cubism, Futurism, Supremativism, Constructivism, De Stijl
Characteristics: Pre– and Post–World War 1 art experiments: new forms to express modern life
Chief artists:  Picasso, Braque, Leger, Boccioni, Severini, Malevich
Historical Event: Russian Revolution (1917); American women franchised (1920)

1917-1950 - Dada and Surrealism
Characteristics: Ridiculous art; painting dreams and exploring the unconscious
Chief artists:  Duchamp, DalĂ­, Ernst, Magritte, de Chirico, Kahlo
Historical Event: Disillusionment after World War I; The Great Depression (1929–1938); World War II (1939–1945) and Nazi horrors; atomic bombs dropped on Japan (1945)

1940s-1950s – Abstract Expressionism ; 1960s – Pop Art
Characteristics: Post–World War II: pure abstraction and expression without form; popular art absorbs consumerism
Chief artists:  Gorky, Pollock, de Kooning, Rothko, Warhol, Lichtenstein
Historical Event: Cold War and Vietnam War (U.S. enters 1965); U.S.S.R. suppresses Hungarian revolt (1956) Czechoslovakian revolt (1968)

1970-Present  - Postmodernism and Deconstructivism
Characteristics: Art without a center and reworking and mixing past styles
Chief artists:  Gerhard Richter, Cindy Sherman, Anselm Kiefer, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid
Historical Event:  Nuclear freeze movement; Cold War fizzles; Communism collapses in Eastern Europe and U.S.S.R. (1989–1991)