Saturday, March 16, 2013


We had visited the Phoenix Art Museum last March, and I decided to make another visit this year.  My general impression of the museum is that it is a little light on traditional art for a metropolitan as large as Phoenix's and focuses on interesting contemporary art in part to compensate for this relative lack.  Having said that, the museum has a lot to offer.

I decided that this time around I would emphasize photos that I thought were interesting or that I especially enjoyed taking.

The main entrance provides a nice surprise--hundreds of models of butterflies glued to the walls . . .

including around some of the museum's exhibits.

A nice touch, I thought.

I did take some photos of the two-dimensional wall art.

Note that I included the card including the name of the artist and work in the above shot, something I am trying to remember to do.

I think the Christ child in the above painting looks a bit mature for his infant size.

My primary interest, though, has been in photographing three-dimensional art, as in the following.

The museum included an inviting courtyard that included a number of sculptures.  Here are a couple of the photos from that courtyard.

Most museums have a policy of allowing photos of items in their permanent collection but prohibiting photography of temporary exhibits.  As soon as I came back inside from the courtyard, a guard informed me that I should not have been photographing any of the sculptures.  Oh, well.  One of the best sections in the museum included contemporary art from Latin America.  Unfortunately, before I could take any photos of it, a guard reminded me that the exhibit was off limits for cameras.

Although much of what I photographed was representational (i.e., recognizable) a lot was pretty much abstract, including the following.

This item was actually much larger--and more of the same--and I chose to show just a portion.

The following, though quite abstract, appears to represent an eyeball.

The "Blob" was one of my favorites.  It consisted of some sort of amorphous plastic against which a video was projected, as shown below.

Here is a close-up of a palanquin.  Here I was more interested in showing some of the detail of artwork covering the palanquin than in showing the entire exhibit.

I chose to take this with a wide-open aperture of f/4 to eliminate background distractions.

The following is an installation by artist Cornelia Parker.  It consists of charred remains of a Texas church that had burned down after being struck by lightning.

The following item was quite large, perhaps eight feet high, and nearly black.  It was interesting but very difficult to capture.

My reflection is visible in the portion on the right and can also be seen--upside down--in the portion on the left.  It had some of the same characteristics as the "Bean" in Chicago's Milllenium Park.  Here is another shot of this object taken from a different angle.

The following item was interesting in large part because it was situated in front of another installation whose vivid colors added greatly to the overall effect.  The background object consisted of hundreds of thousands of index-card sized pieces of colored paper that are shown on edge

Finally, I found myself taking shots of some of the museum building's architectural details, including stairwells.  The following shot was of an open staircase that was faced with a clear reflective plastic panel.

The last three steps, which are at a right angle to the main staircase, along with a railing, are being reflected in the clear side panel.  This shot appeals to my sense of abstraction.

When I compared this post with my post from a year ago, I realized that there were many items in the prior post that I didn't see this year.  I thought I had pretty much covered the museum, but either I missed a large section or a number of items from last year were no longer on display.   But of course there were a lot of new items this time around as well.

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