Thursday, July 2, 2015

BEAUTY: Installation--Darren Waterston

Currently on display at the Smithsonian Institute's Freer and Sackler Museums of Asian Art in Washington D.C. is Darren Waterston's installation Filthy Lucre.

The museum's website says:
"Filthy Lucre, an immersive installation by painter Darren Waterston, reimagines James McNeill Whistler’s famed Peacock Room—an icon of American art—as a decadent ruin collapsing under the weight of its own creative excess. Forging a link between inventive and destructive forces, Filthy Lucre forms the centerpiece of an unprecedented exhibition that highlights the complicated tensions between art and money, ego and patronage, and acts of creative expression in the nineteenth century and today. "

Waterston's own website says:
"Whistler’s original, Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room (1876), was the dining room of the London home of shipping magnate Frederick Leyland. It was designed to showcase Leyland’s collection of Asian ceramics, with Whistler’s painting La Princesse du pays de la porcelaine (1863-64) featured over the mantle. Asked to consult on the color scheme for the room, Whistler took bold — if not egregious — liberties while Leyland and his architect were away and in a fit of enthusiasm painted the entire room — executing his now famous peacocks over the expensive Italian leather wall panels. The collector sued the artist for the large sum of money Whistler charged to Leyland’s account, and Whistler, in response, painted an unflattering caricature of his patron titled The Gold Scab: Eruption in Frilthy Lucre (The Creditor). Conflating the words frilly and filthy, Whistler made a jab at Leyland’s own ‘peacocking’ as well as his miserliness."

Here are views of the original Peacock Room by Whistler. It is now in permanent residence at the Smithsonian Institute's Freer and Sackler Museums. See it alongside Waterston's Filthy Lucre through January 2, 2017!

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