The Art Thread

By Hawkwood, in 'Non-Latin Talk', Aug 25, 2016.

  1. Hawkwood .

    • Civis


    The inverted Ziggurat form.jpg

    •Building: The Ziggurat: B'ham Central Library.
    •Architect: John Madin
    •Style: Brutalism.

    Madin wanted to shroud this building in marble but Brum wasn't prepared to foot the bill so he used concrete which led to it becoming, in my opinion, one of the major flagships for Brutalism in the UK. The main section of the building consisted of an open atrium surrounded by an 8 storey square cube. Whether you're on board with the politics behind modernist architecture or not doesn't detract from the feeling of awe when faced in the flesh with this cold and motionless ediface. Sadly the building is now demolished.

    Edit: It'd be interesting to see members fire in art that they like or dislike. Different strokes and all.
    Last edited by Hawkwood, Aug 25, 2016
    Aurifex likes this.
  2. Etaoin Shrdlu Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    There are things that I find fairly hideous, like this piece of Meißner Porzellan, and yet I don't find it incomprehensible that others like it. Regrettable, perhaps, but not incomprehensible.


    I don't think I'll ever understand why some people think acres of visible concrete are a Good Thing, and even less how others let them get away with it.
  3. Iohannes Aurum Technicus Auxiliarius

    • Technicus Auxiliarius
    Here is another Brutalist building, this time in Toronto:

    Robarts Library
  4. Etaoin Shrdlu Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    I spent the best part of a year living opposite (well, almost) that building, and recognise the snow. Leaving aesthetic questions to one side, the blasted thing acts as a wind tunnel. You'd think architects would take pesky facts like this into consideration.
  5. Iohannes Aurum Technicus Auxiliarius

    • Technicus Auxiliarius
    Which building exactly?
  6. Etaoin Shrdlu Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Robarts Library.
  7. Iohannes Aurum Technicus Auxiliarius

    • Technicus Auxiliarius
  8. Aurifex Aedilis

    • Aedilis
    My first choice for most hated piece of architecture would have to be the Hulme Crescents:

    I watched them go up, watched them decay (very rapidly), and watched them get demolished.

    My local library was in the midst of the Crescents, and we always used to have to look upwards when walking from the car to the entrance for the sly TV sets, fridges and other things that used to get hoofed off the balconies on to people below, either because residents needed to get rid of something or just for fun. Eventually many of the properties became home to squatters, but even the squatters weren't safe because of the large numbers of feral youths who would break into every flat in turn and steal anything that wasn't nailed down.

    The sickest part of it was the sense of humour displayed by Manchester City Council, who approved the naming of the crescents after four distinguished 18th century British architects: John Nash, Charles Barry, Robert Adam, and William Kent.

    For me, not one of those names will ever be synonymous with architectural elegance, but rather with gross insensibility on the part of people who should have known better, social degradation and prolific criminality.
    Hawkwood likes this.
  9. Hawkwood .

    • Civis
    To my mind, the way in which the vertical profile draws the eye upward seems to lend itself in part to English Perpendicular. I wonder if the architect was inspired by Gothic cathedrals?

    Out of those names I only know of Nash; although I might know some of the other's buildings.
  10. Etaoin Shrdlu Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    I suppose it was inevitable. There aren't any other buildings immediately adjacent to Robarts for it to clash with, so it has to do it itself.

    At least one was allowed to dislike the buildings that were demolished. I always feel that I'm supposed to like things like the South Bank and the Barbican, but it's not just that I can't – I'm unable to see how others can.
  11. Aurifex Aedilis

    • Aedilis
    People say they like them; whether they really do is another matter. Fear of appearing to have an unfashionable sense of taste or being behind the times causes people to express approval for all sorts of things, which in their hearts they may well revile.
  12. Hawkwood .

    • Civis

    Three Wally Birds made by the 'barmy' Martin Brothers.
  13. Hawkwood .

    • Civis

    Wiertz's "La Belle Rosine" 19th century. The confrontation between beauty and death.
    Adrian likes this.
  14. Hawkwood .

    • Civis
    Not to get too deep into Wiertz's dilemma but Shakespeare does indeed have a solution to this exact predicament in Sonnets 1 to 17.
  15. Hawkwood .

    • Civis
    Sod it, here's number thirteen just as an example.

    O, that you were yourself! but, love, you are
    No longer yours than you yourself here live:
    Against this coming end you should prepare,
    And your sweet semblance to some other give.

    So should that beauty which you hold in lease
    Find no determination; then you were
    Yourself again, after yourself’s decease,
    When your sweet issue your sweet form should bear.

    Who lets so fair a house fall to decay,
    Which husbandry in honour might uphold
    Against the stormy gusts of winter’s day
    And barren rage of death’s eternal cold?

    O, none but unthrifts: dear my love, you know
    You had a father; let your son say so.
  16. Hawkwood .

    • Civis

    Melancolia I by Durer. A feast for a mathematician's eyes.
    Last edited by Hawkwood, Nov 20, 2016
  17. Imperfacundus Reprobatissimus

    • Civis Illustris
    God it's hideous. Looks neo-soviet.
  18. Hawkwood .

    • Civis
    I can see that as well now.
  19. Hawkwood .

    • Civis
    Amid the broken symbols of monarchy the pitiful 'Lion of Lucerne' lies dying, a spear sits impaled in its shoulder. It's a powerfully moving piece of sculpture. Designed by Bertel Thorvaldsen 1820-21 this monument commemorates the deaths of over six hundred swiss guards in defence of the monarchy at Tuileries Palace (1792). Helvetiorum Fidei ac Virtuti.




    The Lion lies in his lair in the perpendicular face of a low cliff — for he is carved from the living rock of the cliff. His size is colossal, his attitude is noble. His head is bowed, the broken spear is sticking in his shoulder, his protecting paw rests upon the lilies of France. Vines hang down the cliff and wave in the wind, and a clear stream trickles from above and empties into a pond at the base, and in the smooth surface of the pond the lion is mirrored, among the water-lilies.

    Around about are green trees and grass. The place is a sheltered, reposeful woodland nook, remote from noise and stir and confusion — and all this is fitting, for lions do die in such places, and not on granite pedestals in public squares fenced with fancy iron railings. The Lion of Lucerne would be impressive anywhere, but nowhere so impressive as where he is.

    Mark Twain, A Tramp Abroad, 1880
    Adrian likes this.
  20. Hawkwood .

    • Civis
    Styled on Thorvaldsen's design the 'Lion of Atlanta' in Oklahoma Cemetery guards a field containing the remains of unknown Confederate dead. Carved by T. M. Brady (1894).


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