Saturday, January 15, 2011

Visceral Visionaries: Yale University Art Gallery

Being the consummate weirdo that I am, I'm always on the lookout for bizarre and disturbing artwork. While others stand in museum halls swooning before Flemish still lifes and impressionistic pastiches, I'm enthralled by a bleak Bosch nightmare or ancient sculpted monstrosity. And now that I am the keeper of the Vault, I also have the opportunity to share my dark obsessions with all of you. All I need do is break out my handy-dandy Blackberry, and keep an eye out for those pesky security guards as I snap away discreetly!

Most recently (as in yesterday), I came across a treasure trove of amazing works of art right here in Connecticut, at the Yale University Gallery. And best of all, it's free--I suppose all that cash bilked from unsuspecting students and their families has to go somewhere. If you're in the New Haven area, you would do well to stop by and check out their fine collections of European, Asian and African art. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this little journey into the dark side of the Yale Gallery...

Altarpiece with a figure of Vasudhara (detail). Nepali, Malla or Shah period. Bronze & gilt brass alloy.

Headdress in the form of a female head. Nigeria, Late 19th century. Wood, hide, rattan, metal & pigment.

Mask (Gbona Gla). Ivory Coast or Liberia, early 20th century.

The Resurrection of Lazarus by Marco Pino. Italy, 1570. Oil on panel.

Male figure (Nkondi). Congo, 18th century. Wood, iron, cloth, mirror, leopard tooth, fiber & porcelain.

A Lion Attacking a Horse by George Stubbs (detail). Great Britain, 1779. Oil on canvas.

Saint Anthony Abbott Tormented by Demons, by Sano di Pietro. Italy, c.1435. Tempera and gold on panel.

Brazier with a Deity. Aztec, c.1325-1521. Ceramic with stucco and pigment.

Ash Head No. 3 by Zhang Huan. China, 2006. Ash, iron and wood.