Wednesday, November 14, 2007

David Seymour at de Young

On Sunday N. and I went to de Young (Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco located in Golden Gate Park). I have never laughed that much in an arts museum before. Thanks ;-)

The part of de Young exhibition that both of us liked the most was dedicated to the photography of David Seymour (Chim).

David Seymour (or actually David Szymin) was a Polish-born Jew, who studied photography in Germany and France, before settling down in the US. He lived in interesting times and documented them extremely well in his capturing photographs. de Young exhibition of his photos spans through the demonstrations of French workers in the 1930s, Spanish civil war, aftermath of the Second World War in Eastern Europe, earthquake in Greece and Suez War (during which he was killed). I was very impressed with all those photos - not only they document life in those turbulent times, but they are also aesthetically beautiful and they very well capture the emotions of people photographed.

Seymour must have been very well recognized already in his own times as he was also hired to take photos of various famous people (e.g. Pablo Picasso, Peggy Guggenheim, Bernard Berenson, Arturo Toscanini, Ingrid Bergman, Sophia Loren, Kirk Douglas, Audrey Hepburn and many others) and several of these photos can also be seen at de Young's exhibit, e.g. this famous photo of Bernard Berenson, an acclaimed art historian of the Italian Renaissance admiring the beauty of the nude sculpture of Antonio Canova's Pauline Bonaparte at Borghese Gallery in Rome, Italy.

Another of his photographs that moved me a lot was this photo of Tereska, "a child in a residence for disturbed children, Poland". Explanation to this photo states that Tereska grew up in a German concentration camp during World War II and as a result of it, when asked to draw "home", she was merely able to sketch few mixed-up lines. I found that photo very disturbing and I still can not get Tereska's face out of my head.

Here is Seymour’s most famous photograph of the Spanish civil war, which by now has become an iconic image of that conflict. If you have a bit of free time, you should definitely go to de Young an check out these and others of his photos.

The other exhibit that I liked a lot (but which N. did not consider to be art at all) was entitled The Sculpture of Louise Nevelson: Constructing a Legend. I think I grew up to start appreciating sculpture to the same extent as I appreciate paintings.

Below are few pics from de Young.

One of the galleries viewed from the top:

A giant still life:

Bird's view of the gallery with the giant still life sculpture(?)/installation(?):

Yet another gallery:

I reflect in art: