A New Perspective

Review of Michelangelo: Public and Private and Alexander Calder: A Balancing Act @ Seattle Art Museum by Michelle K.

When one thinks of Michelangelo, they think of the crowded streets of Rome and the packed room of the Musei Vaticani, in which you can view the Sistine Chapel. However, now Seattle can proudly claim themselves as a city holding the beautiful works of the brilliant Italian artist. The Seattle Art Museum is now holding an exhibit in which one can view the works of Michelangelo and get a stunning view from personal pieces that represent the man he was throughout his lifetime.

Study of a man's face for the Flood in the Sistine ceiling, 1509–10, Michelangelo Buonarroti

Some of the most stunning work available to visitors includes his sketches figures present in the Sistine Chapel mural. Others are simple pieces that allow those attending the exhibit at SAM to see a personal side of Michelangelo: one in particular gathered my attention. It was a shopping list made by Michelangelo for one of his servants. However, servants in these times were often illiterate, so Michelangelo had to draw pictures of all the foods he needed. The simplicity and kindness of the list was touching, and didn’t only showcase Michelangelo’s talent applied to his everyday life, but his character.

Polychrome Dots and Brass on Red, 1964, Alexander Calder

Although this exhibit is a pulling factor for people to visit the museum, the other pieces are what truly made the visit to my museum an amazing experience. The Calder exhibit, showcasing his mobile-like art works were stunning, and the native African art exhibit was breathtaking: the most interesting of this section was an eight foot tall statue of an avant-garde human made completely of thrift shop sweaters.

Perfect for a rainy Sunday afternoon, or a lazy evening on a weekday, the Seattle Art Museum will certainly surprise and astound, and give Seattleites a new perspective on the art community that they so luckily inhabit.

- Michelle K.
October 25th, 2009

Michelangelo: Public and Private runs through January 31st, 2010
Alexander Calder: A Balancing Act runs through April 11th, 2010
For more information on these or any SAM exhibit, visit
seattleartmuseum.org

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