Moon Art

I saw an exhibition today devoted to the history of artists’ engagement with the Moon, from the Romantic era to the post-war period. My attention was captured by numerous works of art – some of them very atmospheric, as is fitting for the subject. Here is my subjective list of what to me appeared as the most outstanding pieces of the exhibition.

1. Darren Almond’s photographs of 4000-year-old Scottish standing stones. The stones are positioned in a way that suggests a thorough knowledge of the moon cycles. The caption describing these photographs said:

“The mysterious beauty of these stones quite understandably evokes associations with the rocky deserts of the Moon. Although water is considered to be the origin of life, it is primarily rock that tells us the origin of the universe and thus of life.”

Darren Almond, “White Cube”

 

2. Photographs by Edward Steichen which used the moon as the source of light were really outstanding.

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3. Marianne von Werefkin, a Russian- German-Swiss expressionist painter, is undeservedly less famous than other (male) Expressionists such as Munch or Kirchner. Her life was marred by a toxic love affair with Alexej von Jawlensky, who was also a painter, though much less talented than her. She is quoted as saying, “so that he wouldn’t feel jealous as an artist, I hid my art from him.” To find out more about this outstanding and sadly forgotten figure, look here:

https://www.theartstory.org/artist-von-werefkin-marianne-life-and-legacy.htm

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Marianne von Werefkin, “Police Sentinel in Vilnius”

 

Marianne von Werefkin, “Ice Skaters”

 

4. Max Ernst, “The Twentieth Century”

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This is quite a haunting image, as the Moon is the only natural object there. Although the description under it said that it is in fact a tribute to the technological progress, it does not feel like one.

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7 Responses to Moon Art

  1. Thank you for sharing these! Such an interesting observation that it is rock that records the origin of the universe and its evolution of life. Also love the Von Werefkin paintings. I’ve been a fan of hers for awhile. The Ice-skaters were my favorite.

    • Thank you and yes, the comment about rocks stopped in my tracks – so deep and so true. I am also always happy to discover new painters and Werefkin was one for me. Now I have a reason to go to Ascona.

  2. Tom says:

    Hello Monika

    Your outstanding eyes and detailed insights have made for another wonderful post.

    This is my absolute first time to witness the art of Von Werefkin. Many thanks for highlighting her work and supplying a link to her biography.

  3. lampmagician says:

    Though the article for Moon in the German language is masculine (der) I am sure she is feminine 😉 always fascinating 🙂 Thank you 🙏💖

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