A lot of paintings at the National Gallery of Art (NGA) in Washington struck me as funny. I recently wrote that I found some of de Kooning’s women comical (and there is support for this in the de Kooning biography by Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan — highly recommended, by the way). I also recently found some of David Smith's sculptures playful, so maybe it's just my mood. But intended by the artist or not, I thought these paintings were a riot. See if you agree.
|Frans Hals, Portrait of a Member of the Haarlem Civic Guard, c. 1636/1638, oil on canvas, 33 7/8 x 27 3/16 inches (National Gallery of Art, #1937.1.68).|
|Sir Peter Paul Rubens, Daniel in the Lions' Den, c. 1614/1616, oil on canvas, 105 1/2 x 147 1/2 (National Gallery of Art, #1965.13.1).|
|Titian, Venus with a Mirror, c. 1555, oil on canvas, 49 x 41 9/16 inches (National Gallery of Art, #1937.1.34).|
|Giorgione and Titian, Portrait of a Venetian Gentleman, c. 1510, oil on canvas, 30 x 25 inches (National Gallery of Art, #1939.1.258).|
|Raphael, The Niccolini-Cowper Madonna, 1508, oil on panel, 31 3/4 x 22 5/8 inches (National Gallery of Art, #1937.1.25).|
And some of the East Wing installations are just plain disrespectful:
|From the left: Robert Morris, Nam June Paik and Richard Tuttle installed in a vestibule near an elevator.|
Mel Boucher's art has become decorative and more popular. Coincidence?
|Mel Bochner, Amazing!, 2011, oil and acrylic on canvas.|
|Mel Bochner in conversation with James Meyer, November 9, 2011, NGA East Building Auditorium|
|Jun ware bowl with rosewood stand, early 12th-mid 13th century, China, Jin dynasty (Freer, #F1982.14a-b).|
|Andy Warhol, A Boy for Meg, 1962, oil on canvas, 72 x 52 inches (National Gallery of Art, 1971.87.11).|
|Giacomo Balla, Futurist Flowers, 1918-25 (reconstructed 1968), wood and paint (Hirshhorn, #86.222.1-10)|
|Bernardino Luini, The Magdalen, c.1525, oil on panel, 23 x 19 inches (National Gallery of Art, #1961.9.56).|