The Stolen Kiss (1780s)
Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg
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A composite of four images from the Met website which I color corrected a bit to more accurately reflect what I felt was the startling luminosity of the alabaster figures.[PR] "The Mourners from the tombs of the Dukes of Burgundy are deeply affecting works of art. Beyond their evident visual and narrative qualities, we cannot help but be struck by the emotion they convey as they follow the funeral procession, weeping, praying, singing, lost in thought, giving vent to their grief, or consoling their neighbor. Mourning, they remind us, is a collective experience, common to all people and all moments in history."
London-born, Berlin-based artist Tino Sehgal constructs situations with people that defy the traditional contexts of museum and gallery environments, focusing on the fleeting gestures and social subtleties that define lived experience rather than the material aspects of conventional art making. His singular practice has been informed by his studies in dance and economics, yielding ephemeral works that consist only of the interactions among their participants and are not visually documented. Organized as part of the Guggenheim's 50th-anniversary celebrations, Sehgal's exhibition comprises a mise-en-scène that will occupy the entire Frank Lloyd Wright–designed rotunda. One facet of the artist’s practice, quasi-sculptural choreographed movement, will transform the ground floor of the rotunda into an arena for spectatorship. On the spiraling ramp, another aspect—direct verbal interaction between museum visitors and trained participants—will predominate. Sehgal's works expand the concept of what constitutes a contemporary art object, offering the viewer an immediate engagement with the realization of the work presented.[Guggenheim PR]