Tuesday Tunes: A Playlist for Adolph Gottlieb

Taking inspiration from the major theme of music in Ten Americans: After Paul Klee, we paired 11 staff members with 11 works from the exhibition and asked them to create a playlist in response to their individual artwork. Laura Hoffman, Manager of K–12 Digital & Educator Initiatives, created this playlist in response to Adolph Gottlieb’s “Labyrinth #1.”

Adolph Gottlieb, Labyrinth #1, 1950, Oil and sand on canvas, 36 x 48 in., Collection of the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, New York © Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

The theme of my playlist is eclecticism to reflect the wide range of symbols and techniques employed in Adolph Gottlieb’s Labyrinth #1. Gottlieb once remarked, “The surprise in a painting is not the surprise of discovering some kind of a story or myth, it’s the surprise of finding a clear statement about something that you felt and then to see it, to see this feeling become materialized in paint, then it really exists.” My inspiration drew from delving into the terms “labyrinth,” “alchemy,” “pictograph,” and “symbol”; looking at what music was playing at the time of this painting in 1950; and music-based mash-ups. I would recommend playing this on shuffle to reflect the surprise Gottlieb describes.

Laura Hoffman, Manager of K–12 Digital & Educator Initiatives

Feeling inspired? Create your own playlist based around works in the exhibition and send it to us at communications@phillipscollection.org and we may feature it on our blog and social media.

Bandonéon Basics with Phillips Music

Street Tango. Buenos Aires, La Boica 2011

I love when Phillips Music gets its hands on a musical instrument we’ve never featured before! This Sunday, we will have classical guitarist Jason Vieaux performing with Julien Labro, who is proficient in playing the accordion and bandonéon. Naturally this raises the question, to most of us, what is a bandonéon?

A bandonéon, in fact, is a type of concertina. Similar to the accordion, it is played by holding the instrument between both hands and pushing in or pulling out, while pressing the buttons with the fingers. Unlike an accordion, however, these buttons all correlate to individual notes, and so chords are played by pressing combinations of buttons at the same time. Bandonéons are often square or hexagonal in shape with beveled edges and unusually long bellows. I’ve found a decent photo of one (caption below) and a video with a very familiar refrain—La Cumparsita (when I think of tango, this is what I hear in my head).

Kathryn Rogge, Manager of Academic Programs & Phillips Music

Exploring the Seine

Each week for the duration of the exhibition, we’ll focus on one work of art from Renoir and Friends: Luncheon of the Boating Party, on view October 7, 2017-January 7, 2018.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, The Seine at Chatou, 1874

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, The Seine at Chatou (La Seine à Chatou), 1874. Oil on canvas, 20 × 25 in. Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection

As early as 1869, Pierre-Auguste Renoir was exploring the banks of the Seine River west of Paris, seeking subjects for his developing Impressionist style, often painting outdoor landscapes with his friend Claude Monet. His mother lived near Louveciennes, not far from Chatou, where he would frequent the Maison Fournaise with its restaurant, lodging, and boats for hire. The Maison Fournaise would become the backdrop for his masterwork Luncheon of the Boating Party (1880-81), with members of the Fournaise family serving as models. In this lively rendering of a gusty day on the water, Renoir includes a sailboat, signaling in his painting the growing popularity of the sport.