Thursday, February 8, 2018

Cowabunga Michelangelo

At the Metropolitan Museum of Art staff curator Carmen C. Bambach put together an exhibit entitled Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman & Designer. On display are a collection of over one hundred thirty drawings in addition to several sculptures, paintings, and an impressive reproduction of the Sistine Chapel ceiling. A key takeaway from the exhibit included how it highlighted Michelangelo’s pursuit of perfection. This was showcased not just through completed sculptures and paintings but also though his numerous preparatory sketches each of which were completed masterfully. His pursuit of perfection can also be found in the figures themselves, as one would be hard pressed to find a rendering of a body that was not physically magnificent. Also magnificent was Michelangelo’s ability to express emotion through the contorted body.

In presenting the sheer volume of work, the show encompasses Michelangelo’s artistic career with dramatic spotlighting that treats each work – be it a sketch or a sculpture - as a masterpiece worthy of careful examination. The exhibition has done Michelangelo’s legacy a great service. The only frustration with the exhibit was with the crowd this celebrated artist attracted. Much shuffling is required to get close enough for a good look at divinity.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with your idea that these crowd pleaser made people exhausted and frustrating. However I would still say this is really an extraordinary opportunity to see Michelangelo’s art pieces from different collections. It’s impressed to take a close look at his works and it’s easy to understand why he is titled a divine draftsman and designer. Michelangelo used his own drawing languages to create sculptures as well as his quick sketches and paintings show a sculptor’s understanding on general modeling. His works not only focus on aesthetics, but also on precise modeling and a strong sense of volume. I can clearly see the details of a body like muscles and relationship between light and shadows even on a quick sketch. Moreover, what interests me is that there is always a roughness and unfinished parts on his works. I can see him thinking and almost having a conversation with his pop-up ideas on the sheet of paper.