“BURRILL” 2x4” wood beam resting on two 2x4” cut into squares and placed at either end of the beam; signed on top “Richard Nonas Jan 1974.”
“Nonas’s feel for materials and sense of proportion are the essential qualities of a sculptor in Herbert’s [Vogel] judgment. ‘He can lay down a simple steel bar and when you look at it—looks right’: the ultimate test of a work of art. ‘My work,’ Nonas says, ‘is about placing objects in space, to make a room feel different than it did before…. Actually, to make objects feel like places, I like the massiveness of the steel bars, the sense of weight as they rest on the ground. And I want to point out the possibilities of slightly different perceptions and feelings about space, or ways that spatial perceptions affect our feelings.’” (cited in Bret Waller, Works from the Collection of Dorothy and Herbert Vogel exh. cat., University of Michigan Museum of Art)
A checkered gold brocade foregrounds five fragments of textile: a square in the middle surrounded by four cornerpieces. Each textile has a different design, some with butterflies, birds, and other floral motifs.
Nishiki is a generic term for a multicolored patterned weave, but usually it refers specifically to twill weave created by passing color weft threads over or under two or more warp threads. According to one legend, nishiki first came to Japan in the second century from China, when the King of Wei made a gift of it to Empress Jingû. By the eighth century, Japan was able to manufacture nishiki domestically. Kinran nishiki, shown in the center of the panel, refers to brocade woven with narrow strips of gilt paper.
A vessel of bleached wood. From a narrow base, the vessel widens gradually. Near the top it begans to narrow gradually then narrows quickly on a nearly horizontal plane to a very small mouth. The surface, apart from the smooth lip of the mouth, is finely textured with vertical scoring.
light-colored wood vase with textured hatching across surfaces
Visual and tactile interplay of form and surface, and the contrast of different textured surfaces. The artist is interested in creating singular, finished art objects that do not necessarily convey the materiality of the medium.
This bronze plaque features a pair of oxen pulling a four-wheeled wagon with six passengers. The seated driver holds a rod in his right hand and a two-tined fork in his left. An older figure holding a flaming vessel stands behind him, followed by a seated figure wearing classical drapery and a laurel wreath. The next figure, seated in the middle of the cart, is an older female, nude to the waist, who holds a cornucopia full of fruit and raises her left hand to point skyward. Two smaller standing figures appear next, one holding a bowl of fruit. The final figure is a reclining female nude holding a flower in the crook of her right arm.
This bronze plaque depicts a cart with several nude allegorical figures symbolizing natural fertility and abundance accompanied by their attendants who stand beside them. The plaque formerly belonged to a series of six plaques, each representing a different allegorical triumph that together decorated a casket, lampstand, or some other article of furniture.
A small, biomorphically abstract sculpture of bronze grows from a wooden base. Bulbous at the bottom, the shape stretches and narrows in the middle and then expands into a larger shape from which two rounded points rise.
An example of Jean (Hans) Arp's interest in biomorphic abstraction. In its attention to basic, generic biomorphic shapes the piece is a kind of study of primordial organic forms, forms suggestive of all manner of life but not representing anything specifically.
In this large scroll Gao depicts a duck swimming among aquatic plants in the shade of a cluster of lotus.
Gao Qipei was an accomplished painter with an unusual technique: instead of using a brush, he painted with his fingertips, nails, palms, and the backs of his hands. The lively execution, harmonious washes, and untrammeled, variegated effects—impossible to achieve with a brush—demonstrate Gao’s consummate skill in finger painting.
This silver ball spoon consists of a round bowl joined to a stem composed of a flattened section and a twist stem that terminates in an ornamental ball knop. An incised six-petal flower surrounded by bands of geometric ornament decorates the interior of the bowl. The flattened section of the stem is adorned with vegetal ornament.
The ball spoon, named after the ball-shaped knop at the end of the stem, was a common type of tableware developed in the sixteenth century. This elaborately decorated example demonstrates how gold- and silversmiths throughout Germany and Scandinavia could transform such quotidian utensils into objects of display for the tables of the affluent middle class.
A bulbous vessel with narrow mouth and base. The wood is burned and cracked and circled by three gold bands, two of which overlap.
burnt wood vessel with gold
A turned wood vessel that addresses relationships and time--togetherness, loss, and death. The loose ring of gold represents the artist's wife, from whom the artist separated before her death. The two overlapping rings represent the artist and his daughter.
36.7 cm x 100 cm x 70.49 cm (14 7/16 in. x 39 3/8 in. x 27 3/4 in.)
The rectangular table has shaped aprons and a reveal-moulded top above tour squared cbriole legs. The red/brown lacquer finish is heavily inlaid in mother-of-pearl, tortoise shell, two colors of shagreen and brass wire. It is also decorated with gold dust. Motifs on the top include writhing dragons, Taoist yin-yang symbold and a border with repeats of auspicious objects. The aprons repeat the symbols of the borders.