Sunday, October 11, 2009

I finally understand sculptor Henry Moore!

(*UPDATE: I'm feeling a little bit sheepish now. Consider this post a vent session, which in no way reflects my actual ability to compose art historical writings. "My mom reads this, professor, I swear! It was a humorous sketch for HER alone!!! I'M SORRY I PROFANED THE NAME HENRY MOORE!")

Henry Moore was a prophet. He looked into the future, saw the convoluted mush of Lindsey C_______'s brain this midterm week, then returned to the 20th century with his new inspiration safely stowed away in his memory and chiseled it into marble and wood and stone! Quel genius!

Why no, I don't think it's narcissistic of me to discover in myself his inspiration. The man, this most famous of British Modernist sculptors, was an educator: a professor of art at the Royal College of Art in London (late 1920's-ish). Naturally, he will have had sympathy for and an affinity with students. Probably, he had to suffer through the same types of philosophical readings as I am in order for him to teach modern art correctly (hee hee hee... you all always suspected modern sculpture was just messing with your brain!! Truth be told, the philosophers messed with ours first, and that's how it all got started. Modern art can be seen as the history of intellectual dementia).

Sure, the other phD-toting art historians will tell you hum-drum stories called facts about Henry Moore. They'll tell you "he particularly admired the sculptures of ancient cultures, [and] believed in creating a visual language appropriate to the twentieth century." They'll assertively and persuasively inform you that he used his sculptures to explore and embody abstract concepts like "monumentality" and "surrealist biomorphism." Sure, those art historians might have primary, secondary, and visual sources to back up their claims. But I just feel instinctively that I am right about these jumbles of shapes mirroring the look and feel of my brain right now!!

Later in life, after WWII, Henry Moore switched to a more figurative (translation: more human looking) style. He even dwelt on the theme of family quite a bit (hooray!). This fact is quite in line with my thesis. Just as I will (hopefully) emerge from the devastation of this week's 11-hour-a-day hw sessions with a renewed desire to make myself more figurative and human-looking again, and just as I will redeem a beautiful ticket and go home to Utah and Vegas this weekend and see my family, so Henry Moore sculpted/prophesied my next week in the second half of his career (see later work at right for an example).

I state again, Henry Moore is a prophet. He knew and still knows where my mind is evolving, and put it into physical form. Genius. (Can you tell I'm a bit little cracked right now??)

I'd like to thank and acknowledge Dr. Valerie Fletcher, senior curator at the Hirshhorn, for allowing me to quote her thoughtful investigation* of this important 20th-century sculptor. And I'd also to like to remind you that my opinion is better and cooler :P I'd also like to put up a few other images that I think also accurately illustrate my mental state right now:

These images are courtesy of, Drew Shumway Should Really Stop Complaining So Much (my favorite facebook group that I don't actually belong to), and Google image search. The book I'm reviewing right now is currently trying to convince me that art historical writing is like a spiderweb: "a confusion of umbra and penumbra, a picture whose naturalism is inseparable from its internal coherence."** Hey. Author. YOU'RE a spidery confusion of coherence... trailing off.... mutter.... Ok I have to go back to work. Anyone else want to tell me what visual symbols their minds or hearts or other various appendages of import look like right now? Spencer I know might give me the picture of a blender for his brain, poor guy. Keep up the good work!

*Valerie J. Fletcher. "in depth: Henry Moore." Adapted from The Human Figure Interpreted: Modern Sculpture from the Hirshhorn Museum (1995). accessed 10/11/2009.

** James Elkins. Our Beautiful, Dry, and Distant Texts. Pennsylvania State University Press. University Park: PA. Pg. 225. This really is a good book, even if it's over my head. I emailed the author this week and asked him a question about it, which he responded to promptly and kindly! I felt like a kid who's just gotten a signature from Mickey Mouse at Disneyland.

One more note and then I absolutely HAVE to get back to work [sound of my heels dragging goes HERE]. In my art history class at BYU where we actually had to DO all the different art styles that we would soon be evaluating (awesome class!), the teacher used Henry Moore for our sculpture assignment. We were given rough blocks of alabaster and told to make something out of them that looked organic, or biological. HOURS later, my hands were rough, raw, cracked, and bleeding, and my "sculpture" looked decidedly more like a piece of rock with several edges beveled off. I have a testimony that Henry Moore was the MAN and that this was hard work! The end.


Marissa said...

Is it a bad sign that the burger and fries look SOOOO good to me right now? And yes... that is EXACTLY why I'm fat...


I'm not fat... I just really want to veg on greasy food and catch my breath.. Let's plan on doing that soon... together... to celebrate conquering the semester and the election..

Jayci said...

sorry your brain is totally fried right now - but hey! you can still make me laugh. :oP Good luck on all your midterms!

MOM said...

hehehehe! I know just how you sound when you're saying/writing all this. Can't wait to see you in 3 days!! It's been 10 1/3 months since you're tippy toes were in this house. So you can toss those dragging heels and rest that over-used head/brain of yours on my shoulder. Love you, MOM

MOM said...

Okay, that can't be a real chalk board, right? You couldn't reach that tall to write!!

Oh yeah, and I LOVE the baby face picture!! hahaha!

Grandma B. said...

LINDSEY, This is not a hoax. This is the real thing never to be repeated again. But for you I wanted you to have an email from me. Something no other grandchild has! So save this and laminate it!

I'm so proud of you. Your marvelous brain is definetly not from me. I love to read your big new words and to realize you know what they mean.

I wonder where all of this will take you. It may be to a galaxy far far away but wait awhile. I want to go to your wedding and see all of your kids, and meet the lucky and great guy who wins you. I hope you'll have a minute that we can come over and admire you and your brain!

Love Grandma Brown

Judy Anne said...

You must be a grad have even footnoted your blog!! Now, that is going over the edge! The job of grad professors is to mush so much stuff into your brain that it has to sort through and find it's passion, then hold tight to that which feeds that passion and dismiss that which detracts. The more you learn, the more you will realize how little you know. This fact makes me love the Lord so much and admire his knowledge and wisdom. He understands all of this and still loves us, his neophyte children as we stumble along. I am forever in AWE of HIM.