POST-MODERN ARCHITECTURE :  images from images

The first in a series of two

The Côte d’Azur is a trove of post-modern architecture.  On the one hand, I like to document them;  on the other, I have also made images from images.  It is as interesting to select part of an image for its angles, or to apply graphic techniques.  I share some of these.

This is the Spada building on the Promenade des Anglais, Nice.  It is well away from the traditional buildings of the city.  My graphics follow.

 

 

 

This building in the L’Arenas area, given to post-modern architecture, has a daring design that I call Hole in the Wall.  My graphic follows.

 

 

This L’Arenas building has a design which I would expect in an uneasy dream.  The graphic is a reflection in a single window.

 

The Salle des Spectacles, the modern theatre in Antibes, has a design inspired by the 15th-century Fort Carré which is within view.  The graphics come from images of the theatre.

This graphic is a little abstract  –  the original image has been tipped on its side.  Anyway, I thought it worked quite well.

(c) Will van der Walt

http://www.willwilltravel.wordpress.com

Les Semboules, Antibes

May, 2018

 

Images

My photographs

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POST-MODERN ARCHITECTURE: scattered gems

The second in a series of two

Architecture is inhabited sculpture.   –  Constantin Brancusi, sculptor (1876-1957)

The images that follow are random.  In part, they document; in part, I have selected aspects of the images.

This is an aspect of the Asian Art Museum, Park Phoenix in Nice.  This building is a masterpiece of minimalist design, surrounded by reflecting pools and housing some remarkable art.

 

These three images come from L’Arenas on the outskirts of Nice, an area dedicated to post-modern architecture, well away from the traditional buildings of Nice.

 

 

 

Here is the Fondation Maeght near St Paul de Vence, north of Nice.  It is an exceptional art gallery designed by a Catalonian architect and completed in 1961.  It has breath-taking views on the valley below.

 

This is the Casino in Juan Les Pins.  This building is part of the Garden Beach Hotel.

 

The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Avenue Felix Faure in Nice, is ranked as one of the “Fifty Unusual Buildings” on the internet.  On the inside, the light through these windows creates intriguing effects.

 

The Marina Baie des Anges is one of the most remarkable buildings I have seen.  There are three huge apartment blocks organically suggesting the rise and fall of the sea.  These buildings were completed in 1961.

 

(c) Will van der Walt

http://www.willwilltravel.wordpress.com

Les Semboules, Antibes

May, 2018

 

Images

My photographs

 

See too, other related posts:

2012    15.7    Footloose at L’Arenas      12.12    Marina Bay of Angels

2013    27.2    Reflections on L’Arenas

 

 

THREE SCULPTURES :  what they are to me

Modernism, in a mere forty years, transformed Western culture.  I offer examples of three sculptures that illustrate this change,  what they mean for me.

Public sculptures were traditionally political or cultural.  The work of Henry Moore changes this.  These “Ovals”, placed in a beautiful park as public works, are for me like a chord of music.  As forms, the one echoes the other; the other anticipates one.   For me, it is an evocation of feeling and this is new in the history of public sculpture.   The symmetry of this work, though organic in form, goes beyond nature.

Constantin Brancusi is considered by some as the father of modern sculpture.  For me, he distills an essence,  seeks out an original form.  He relieves me of complexity, reaching back to what is prime, reaching forward to what is an ethereal purity.   He sheds the clutter of detail, returning to the simple, the pure.

Barbara Hepworth expressed herself in abstraction, a characteristic mode of modernism.   These forms though, do have a representative feel for me – they are somehow a gathering of beings.  The lighting lends a unifying glow, while the figures themselves are individualistic.  The rounded marble evokes a warmth, a spirit of sympathy.  It has a whiff of otherworldliness.

© Will van der Walt

www.willwilltravel.wordpress.com

Les Semboules, Antibes

May, 2018

 

Images

The sources of the images have been lost.

My photograph

My “Sleeping Head”; after Brancusi

 

 

 

 

 

“CAFÉ TERRACE, EVENING” 1888

“The night is more alive and more richly coloured than the day”  –  Vincent van Gogh, letter to his brother Theo

I have only seen reproductions of this painting, one about which much has been written.  After “Star Night”, it ranks as one of his most popular.  I share some thoughts.

This image, more than most of his work, reveals the polarity in him — there is warmth, a welcoming, about the café that glows.  Two people approach and it is probably here that Van Gogh could escape his isolation and depression.  There is more than one of these gathering places in his oeuvre.

Outside the café the buildings of the street are ominously dark, more than a symbol of his own darkness.  Still, we see the beginning of the “Starry Night” in the few stars above the darkness, rings of gold.

To think, that I, as a minor creative, have enjoyed many times more recognition than he ever had in his lifetime …

To add something, I don’t know what, I discovered that Vincent’s second name was Willem.

© Willem van der Walt

www.willwilltravel.wordpress.com

Les Semboules, Antibes

May, 2018

 

Source and image

Website Vincent van Gogh : Paintings, Drawings, Quotes and Biography

Refer Don McLean “Starry Starry Night” on You-Tube.

“They did not listen … they did not know how” 

 

 

   

LOST AND FOUND IN NICE

A strange paradox comes into play when you get lost in a grand old city.  You’re disappointed, of course, not seeing what you planned to see.  But then, yesterday, as I strode through streets I would never visit I saw things I would never have seen.  Striking modern architecture … a large pleasing mural …

Reflections in the windows of the Acropolis,building

A mural from tiles

When I had traipsed what felt like twenty kilometres I was back on Avenue Felix Faure which abuts the Park of the Arts.

Suddenly, before me, towered a giant sculpture … a vast cube-headed god, probably five storeys high.  I wonder whether it is the biggest of its kind in France.  When I got over my disbelief, recognizing it as a sculpture that I had seen before, elsewhere in Nice, but then, a mere three metres high, I stared in amazement.  The city planners, it seems, with the Park of the Arts, want to expand Nice as the capital of the arts in the south of France, something it has probably always been.

But this figure … I will in time establish whose head, heart and hands fashioned it, but right now, I am compelled to open the duct and gush a little.

It is a strange choice.  It is a symbol of blindness, somehow, of a being locked in squareness, which could imply many things.  It was stark against the blue of the morning, braced and brooding, as tiny people scurried below it on the pavement.  Is this work a plea?  Is it a warning?  Is it an image of humanity in a post-spiritual world?

Grey and courageous, it disturbs me in its unforgiving strength.  And I have strange thoughts.  I think of Magritte’s Face with Apple.  Could this giant be smiling?  Do I see my own blindness in it, my own smile?

© Will van der Walt

www.willwilltravel.wordpress.com

Les Semboules, Antibes

April, 2018

 

My photographs

 

 

 

 

A LESSON FROM HISTORY

I have always learnt lessons from history and from Michael Nelson’s The French Riviera A History I have learnt something to share:  Always give back what you borrow.  I quote from the text.

“The French Revolution would not have been complete in Nice without a guillotine, which arrived to meet the needs of the Alpes-Maritimes on 20 November 1793.  The problem was that there was no one to execute.  So Nice lent it at the beginning of December to Grasse, which was then in the Var, which executed thirty citizens.

“They included six priests, ten workmen, four officials, five ‘bourgeois’, one lawyer, one merchant, one spinster and one nun.  Grasse returned it to Nice on 20 January, when they received their own machine.  The Nice workmen initially refused to set up the machine, but eventually it was erected on Place d’Egalité, now the Place du Palais de Justice, but without being used.”

So, really, there was no reason to change the Place d’Egalité to the Place du Decapité.  What remains for me from this story is always to return what you have borrowed.  Just remember to clean it properly, wipe the surface.  It could rust the blade.

© Will van der Walt

www.willwilltravel.wordpress.com

Les Semboules, Antibes

April, 2018

 

Source

Michael Nelson: The French Riviera A History

Notes

“Alpes-Maritime” – the county

“Grasse” – the city about 80 kms north-west of Nice

“Var” – the county that Grasse was in

 

My drawing

 

 

 

 

 

ART FELL ON ME – the work of Nicolas Lavarenne

The first in a series of two

During 2017 more than twenty sculptures of the Nice-born artist Nicolas Lavarenne took to the streets of the medieval quarter of Antibes.  As a kind of exhibition, they were placed at strategic spots, some mounted on chrome beams to raise them above the cobbles.

About his work, Lavarenne has said, “Naked as the first man who stood up to see further, my sculptures dash on their stilts to survey the time. Detached from the earth, pinned to the sky, they run from town to town and around the world … And I’m happy with them.”

Some may be tempted to speak of the sculptural style as « realistic », but it is, of course, not realistic.  Despite the accurate anatomy of the figures, they are idealized, attenuated.

It could be the energy of the figures that made me think of figures in baroque painting, but the angularity is far more stark.

Almost all the figures are gestural.  They challenge their world, leap up at it.  They are bold, defying wind, it seems. “Pinned to the sky,” Lavarenne says.

 

© Will van der Walt

www.willwilltravel.wordpress.com

Les Semboules, Antibes

April, 2018

 

Source

Official biography online – Nicolas Lavarenne

 

Images

My photographs

See also:  Lavarenne en Plensa: Kuns in die openbaar   on 

http://www.loertoer.wordpress.com    26/5/2016 

 

For Graham and Elna, who shared this with me

 

 

 

 

 

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