'May' Evening Dress
Dior reveled in the paradox of the natural and the sophisticated. The most telling example is his frequent self-presentation, not as a man who symbolized the authority of French taste, but rather as a simple gardener, farmer, and mill owner. In “May,” flowering grasses and wild clover are rendered in silk floss on organza. This “simple” patterning of meadow-gone-to-weed is composed of the tiniest French knots and the meticulously measured stitches of the hand embroiderer, suggesting that for Dior, it was not only that beauty resides in the most rustic, but also that the most successful artifice is a beguiling naivété.
This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast features Robert Bechtle.
Bechtle’s work is featured in "Still Life: 1970s Photorealism" at the Yale University Art Gallery. The exhibition, which is drawn from YUAG’s collection, was curated by Cathleen Chaffee and will be on view through March 9. It also includes work by Robert Cottingham, Ralph Goings, Duane Hanson, Malcolm Morley, Gerhard Richter, and John Salt. Bechtle is also exhibiting new paintings and drawings at New York’s Gladstone Gallery through February 22.
This is a corner in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill neighborhood near which Bechtle lives. He’s made both paintings and prints of scenes around these corner over the years. Two of the best are the 2000 painting Texas Street Intersection (above) and a related 2004 Crown Point Press-published print (below). Bechtle and MAN Podcast host Tyler Green discussed these two works and how and why they’re slightly different.
In 2005 Bechtle was the subject of a San Francisco Museum of Modern Art-organized retrospective that traveled to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and to the Corcoran Gallery of Art. His work is in numerous museum collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
See more images of art discussed on this week’s program.