Professor Michael White's Take on the #tussenkunstenquarantaine Challenge

Throughout the coronavirus lockdown, we have been entertained and amazed, as well as ‘amused’ (see Picture 2, below) by the fruits of History of Art’s very own Professor Michael White’s take on the #tussenkunstenquarantaine challenge.  In case you have been so cut off that you missed it, #tussenkunstenquarantaine (literally, ‘between art and quarantine’) started as a challenge from a Dutch Instagram account to post a photo (no touching up) of a favourite/famous artwork recreated at home, using items/family/pets/anything to hand.  It has also been taken up in a big way by the Getty (#gettyartchallenge) and other collections around the world.

Professor White’s carefully curated collection focused on an international array of modern art.  Sadly, he has finished now (for the time being?), so we thought we’d gather all the photographs together here in one place for continued enjoyment, along with the bonus feature ‘Making of…’ video.  And the reconstructions were clearly a family effort, so a shout out must also go to Renni Prelle and Jana Prelle-White.

The artworks were, in order of appearance:

  • René Magritte, The Son of Man (1964), private collection
  • Constantin Brancusi, Sleeping Muse (1910), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 
  • Giorgio de Chirico, Il Canto d’Amore (1914), MoMA, New York
  • Henry Moore, King and Queen (designed 1952; cast in bronze (5 copies) 1953, (1 copy) 1957, (1 copy) 1980s). The photograph below shows the copy at the Hirshorn Museum, Washington - see also Tate , and the Henry Moore Foundation’s online catalogue 
  • Salvador Dalì, Metamorphosis (1937), Tate
  • Francis Bacon, Study after Velázquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent X (1953), Des Moines Art Centre, Iowa
  • Roy Lichtenstein, Ohhh...Alright... (1964), private collection
  • David Hockney, My Parents and Myself (1976), The David Hockney Foundation
  • Piet Mondrian, Composition no II, with Red and Blue (1929), MoMA, New York

Here, now, are Professor White’s re-imaginings, along with their original captions.  Be inspired – there’s still time to take part!

Prof. Michael White - #tussenkunstenquarantaine challenge - Magritte

Caption: 1 April – Leading by example, our Head of Department is getting involved in #tussenkunstenquarantaine Hope you’re inspired to recreate a famous work of art too! (Prof. White is Magritte's Son of Man)

Prof. Michael White - #tussenkunstenquarantaine challenge - Brancusi

6 April – Professor White has been working hard to brighten up Monday with his latest attempt at the #tussenkunstenquarantaine challenge! He said he is hoping to a’muse’ with his representation of Constantin Brancusi’s ‘Sleeping Muse’

Prof. Michael White - #tussenkunstenquarantaine challenge - De Chirico

17 April – Professor Michael White has been at it again! Happy Friday everyone! (‘Il Canto d’Amore’ by Giorgio de Chirico

Prof. Michael White - #tussenkunstenquarantaine challenge - Henry Moore

24 April – Prof Michael White’s fans will recognise him on the left of this interpretation of Henry Moore’s ‘King and Queen’. Happy Friday everyone!

Prof. Michael White - #tussenkunstenquarantaine challenge - Dali

30 April – Metamorphosis of Narcissus by Salvador Dali, by Prof Michael White

Prof. Michael White - #tussenkunstenquarantaine challenge - Francis Bacon

7 May – Has Prof Michael White captured that lockdown feeling in his latest attempt at the #betweenartandquarantine challenge?? Study after Velázquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X by Francis Bacon

Prof. Michael White - #tussenkunstenquarantaine challenge - Roy Lichtenstein

22 May – Ohhh... Alright... we know you want more #betweenartandquarantine recreations from Prof Michael White and we aim to please! Roy Lichtenstein's 'Ohhh...Alright...', was previously owned by comedian Steve Martin and then record producer Steve Wynn before being sold at Christies in 2010 for a lot of money! Happy Friday everyone

Prof. Michael White - #tussenkunstenquarantaine challenge - Hockney

1 June – He’s back! It’s a family affair this time, with a nod of thanks to Prof White’s creative assistants (his wife and daughter) who are included in the image: ‘My Parents and Myself’ by David Hockney, 1975 (Tate). This is Michael’s penultimate reconstruction sadly, but he’d love to hear guesses or requests for the finale! What do you think it will be, or what would you like to see him attempt?

Prof. Michael White - #tussenkunstenquarantaine challenge - Mondrian

19 June – It’s the last day of term! It’s also sadly the last of Prof Michael White’s art at home reconstructions. We should have guessed that for his finale he would turn to Mondrian! Here is Michael plunging into ‘Composition no II, with Red and Blue’, 1929, from the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Have a wonderful weekend everyone