Cultural Activity National Gallery of Art

CULTURAL ACTIVITY 4

Cultural Activity

During my visit to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, I wasable to see many fine arts. The visit was on August 13 2016, and Iwas accompanied by my friends. My initial reaction upon arrival atthe gallery was that it comprised of some of the finest collections Ihad ever seen. I realized that there were so many talented people,who were able to communicate with their audience by use of art work.

Upon entering the museum, one cannot fail to notice the sculpturegarden. It comprises of so many creative sculptures. One of the mostamazing art works in the garden that caught my eyes is the Graft.It is a sculpture that resembles a tree, and has been created by RoxyPaine (2008-2009). It is made of steel, is silver in color, comprisesof thousands of components and weighs 16, 000 pounds. Upon inquiringfrom the individuals that work at the museum, I was informed that thesculpture is 45 feet wide as well as high. It is an amazing piece ofwork, and I could not help but question the sculptor’s motive increating such a piece.

The Graft is a huge trunk, which has additional segmentsattached. Each of the segments has been properly positioned torepresent different tree species. One is smooth while the other iswarped. I presumed that by combining the different tree species, thesculptor must be communicating something. The disparity in the treespecies can be compared to our unique human desires. Although we alllive in the same country, just like the single trunk in thesculpture, we have unique desires. The most practical example I coulddraw from the sculpture, about human’s unique desires, is the factthat despite visiting the museum with my friends, each one of us haddifferent art works that we found most appealing.

Another piece of art that I found equally eye-catching was referredto as Untitled. It is one of the many works of AlexanderCalder (1976). It is located in the east building of the gallery. Thepiece is also a sculpture. What attracted me to it is the fact thatit is moving. Most of the pieces in a gallery are paintings, items orsculptures that are static. It is so interesting to come across apiece that has motion. What is more appealing is the fact that thepiece does not need any additional machine to move about it rather,it moves freely on its own due to air currents. Hence, Untitledis a perfect example of a moving construction.

Other notable features of the piece are that it is long and large. Itis made of metal, which has been flattened and shaped to produce theneeded parts that make up the entire piece. Some of these parts arepainted red, while others are blue and black. As I was observing thepiece, I pondered on how it was possible for such a large sculptureto be mobile. Closer observation revealed that most of the assembledparts comprised of objects that are capable of balancing themselvesphysically. The sculptor was able to create natural movement bypaying consideration to issues such as length, surface area and theweight of the components forming the piece. I was not able to deduceany meaning from the piece, but I supposed that Calder wanted toexpress the ability to create natural motion through the piece.

Generally, I am glad that I was able to visit the gallery. It was agreat opportunity to reflect on art work. My visit was amazing fromthe beginning of the tour around the gallery to the end. Togetherwith my friends, we were lucky to meet gallery employees that werewilling to respond to our questions. I think that everyone shouldtake time to visit such places as art galleries. Many people assumethat it is a boring place, yet on the contrary it is a quiet andattractive place, which makes the experience memorable.

References

Calder, A. (1976). Untitled (Sculpture). Washington: NationalGallery of Art.

Paine, R. (2008-2009). Graft (Sculpture). Washington: NationalGallery of Art.