Saturday, August 16, 2008

Cycladic Fun

Martha introduced me to Cycladic art when we visited a museum devoted to it in Athens some years ago. Cycladic art comes from the Cycladic Islands in the Aegean Sea. These highly stylized figures, most not more that two feet tall, are thought to be funeral accoutrements, added to a person's burial artifacts. What makes these figures so fascinating is their link into our day. Archeologists discovered this art form in the early 20th century, bringing these images to public awareness at the same time as the first modern artists (Picasso) were emerging. Can you see the borrowed imagery? Don't they look far more modern than ancient? At the Getty Museum in Malibu, that the staff visited last week, I entered a room completely dedicated to Cycladic art, and I had such fun! In fact, I think I once served on a committee with a woman very much like the one in the lower picture!


At 5:20 PM , Anonymous karen@mtnimage.com said...

What I see in this woman is one hurting - her arms across her body is a stance psychologists tell us is of someone who has her defenses set against the message she hears or she thinks she may hear. Her face is blank - she no longer believes that she will be understood and her defense is to no longer to reveal what she thinks. Her arms, breasts and knees are pointed to self-protect but her vagina and breast are open - a belief that she can no longer protect herself or that anyone else will either. So what was your take on the woman on that committee, Don? One other comment - the arc across the top of her head - does it indicate a closed mind or a glass ceiling?

At 8:46 PM , Blogger donnjohnson said...

I absolutely love Cycladic figures. I see them more hopefully as images of fertility and vibrancy and not exhaustion and depletion. They were totems of good qualities to take along into the afterlife. I hope to go back with Martha and linger longer.


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