Friday, March 05, 2010

terracotta army

The current show at the National Geographic Museum, Terra Cotta Warriors, should not be missed. It isn't a huge show, but to paraphrase Spencer Tracy, what's there is "cherce." The pieces are all amazing to look at, from 2000 year old arrow tips to the detail of the hair, incised on both individual warrior figures and even their horses.

But my favorite part of the show was a frieze-like set of miniature clay figurines showing the process of making the warriors. Cameras were forbidden while we were there, but there are some wonderful images in the flickr pool.

Reminiscent of work by sculptor Tom Otterness. In a very good way.

For some fun pop culture riffs on the warriors, you can see them come to life in the very silly latest Mummy movie. Angelina Jolie also does battle with sculptures that come to life in one of my favorite guilty pleasure flicks, in Lara Croft, Tomb Raider. It's not China, but Cambodia's Angkor Wat, but it's still fun to watch if you're in a sculpture-as-monster mood . . .


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