Monday, July 11, 2011

The GOTHIC SPIRIT of John Taylor Arms at the National Gallery of Art

The Gates of the City, John Taylor Arms

I was enamored by Arms' images of New York, where he began by about 1916 to transition from working as an Architect to an Architectural Artist, re-presenting the gothic structures that fascinated him with the precision and understanding of an architect. I've just finished reading The Great Bridge.

Cobwebs, John Taylor Arms

An American Cathedral, John Taylor Arms

But, he moved on...
"I can admire the skyscrapers of New York, that unbelievable city which is a very gold mine for the architectural etching but I do not love them and I cannot etch what I do not love." GOTHIC Europe.

Towers of San Gimignano, John Taylor Arms

Stockholm, John Taylor Arms
Venetian Mirror, John Taylor Arms

I was not too disappointed my friend was late to meet me at the National Gallery of Art because I needed a lot of time to absorb the drawings and etchings of John Taylor Arms. I had to stand two or three inches from the work in order to even see all of the miniscule lines that create such depth and texture in Arms' compositions. I can't fathom how he drafted/drew the Grand Canal on site in Venice with such accuracy and precision at such a small scale.

Helen Keller visited Arms' studio and, in his guestbook, wrote of the "Luminous and artistic minds" she encountered there. Light to the blind.

You cannot see the luminous detail online, so you MUST go to the John Taylor Arms Exhibit at the National Gallery, west wing, and bring your magnifying glass.

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