Sunday, September 27, 2015

Week 5: Thinking About Art

This week has blown by, and now it's Sunday and I realize that I haven't written anything! I know that I'm hitting a groove when I find that I have little to say about the school week and begin thinking about non-school things like watching Downton Abbey (again), and art, and playing the guitar, all of which are in the forefront of my mind at the moment.

On Friday the 18th Molly and I went into the city to see the Gustave Caillebotte exhibit at the National Gallery of Art. It was incredible. Add him to the list of my favorite artists. I had the opportunity to really observe how my daughter interacts with great works of art. She appreciated Rembrandt and the Dutch Masters and the big, showy works of the Neo-Classical era. We walked through those galleries without much emotion. Then we came to the galleries that housed religious art and icons from the middle ages. We found that section to be a tad creepy. I suppose I always have, and Molly was not at ease with them, either. Right after that we walked into the gallery that houses the major impressionists, and Molly's mouth dropped open and she just stared. She walked over to this painting and stood looking for a bit. I walked up beside her and she said, "Now THAT'S art!"

Girl With a Watering Can
Pierre-Augste Renior
I'm not entirely sure why this was the painting that caught her eye, but after that we looked at all the Impressionist paintings carefully, and she was awed by them. Then we went to the Caillebotte exhibit and the first thing I saw walking in was this painting:

Something in me jumped, then felt as if I had just arrived home from being gone for a long time, and I knew I had seen that painting somewhere before. Walking up to it, I realized that its home is the Chicago Art Institute, and of course--I had been there quite a few times when I was in my last months of single life--a poor grad student wishing that I could live a care-free life as an artist and writer. I love this painting. 

But then we turned our attention to this one, and this was the one I really had wanted to see:

We stared at it long and hard when we first went into the exhibit, then toured the whole gallery, then came back and observed some more. Cumulatively we stared at this painting for about 30 minutes, is my guess. If it wasn't that long, it sure felt like it. We were both captivated by it and fascinated by the play of light and the colors and the delicate attention to detail. Molly asked to return to the exhibit after exiting several times, just for one last look. I obliged, of course.

We both agreed that this one was not our favorite. 

Yuck! I'm not entirely sure why he felt compelled to paint that, but apparently it has enough of that je ne sais quoi to hang in the museums of the world. Okay, moving on. I love art, don't get me wrong. I don't like raw meat. Fine art and raw meat cancel each other out. This should not exist based on that little corollary.

Now I am informed that the last edition of the Apostle's edition of the St. John's Bible has just gone exhibit at the Library of Congress. This is a trip we need to take, and will do, ASAP. I have waited to see this for years. I cannot wait!

The Seven Days of Creation Illumination, St. John's Bible

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely trip to the museum! That painting of the floor being done is amazing. I can see why you would stand and stare at it for a while.


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