This past weekend found me at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s newest extension, the Met Breuer. Housed in the old Whitney Museum, the ghosts of those curators and aesthetics from the previous tenant still haunt the halls and have heavily influenced this exhibit. Nearly half of the show is dedicated to modern works of art which are unfinished. The problem with this is that much of contemporary art already appears unfinished in its final, presented state. The education offered to the observer on artistic decisions and process is very little when perusing these contemporary works when the end game is all about process.
Albrecht Durer 16th Century
I think the truly insightful revelations of this exhibit comes on the third floor where half of the show is dedicated to the strength of the Met’s collection, figurative, traditional realism. It is here that we see the artistic process jarringly and abruptly fractured. Not fractured for shock value as intended in modern works, but fractured for unknown reasons, exposing the true internal works of the artistic mind.
It is akin to comparing the examination of a real human cadaver to that of looking at a model of one. The awareness that you are observing a process truly interrupted adds validity and integrity to the experience that no lights and mirrors of modernism can duplicate.
If you are in New York over the coming months, I highly recommend this show as a pilgrimage stop. The diversity of work presented and the various levels of completion offer a wonderfully pluralistic presentation of the artistic creative process.
The Met Breuer
75th and Madison
Tuesday and Wednesday: 10 am–5:30 pm
Thursday and Friday: 10 am–9 pm
Saturday and Sunday: 10 am–5:30 pm
Closed Thanksgiving Day, December 25, and January 1
Gustave Klimt, 20th Century
Edgar Degas, 19th Century
Lucien Freud, 20th Century
Portrait of Michelangelo, Daniele Ricciarelli, 16th Century
Born in 1967 and raised in Colchester, Vermont, USA, art was always a hobby for Donato as a young man, he would steal away into the basement of his parents' home to work on drawings, create his own maps for the game Dungeons & Dragons, paint figurines, read comics, and construct model tanks and dinosaurs. His love of imaginative play dominated his childhood, both indoors and out. At the age of twenty Donato enrolled in his first formal art class, the beginning of his professional training. Immediately after graduating Summa Cum Laude with a BFA in Painting from Syracuse University in 1992, Donato moved to New York City to immerse himself in the inspired and varied art scene. Formative years in the early nineties were spent as the studio assistant to the preeminent figure painter Vincent Desiderio, and long days of study in the museums of New York. It was then that his love and appreciation of classical figurative art took hold. He continues his training even now, visiting museums regularly, learning from and sometimes copying original paintings by Rembrandt or Rubens, attending life drawing sessions with illustrator friends and constantly challenges himself within each new project. Pilgrimages to major museums are his preferred reason to travel.
Donato has released a revised hard cover compilation of his works on the theme of J.R.R. Tolkien, Middle-Earth: Journeys in Myth and Legend from Dark Horse Comics.