Neglect and Art

17 Jan

I’ve been neglecting my blog for my tumblr because it’s easier and much more brainless to use tumblr, and I can just reblog instead of having to post my own thoughts. But I figured I should really continue using this blog for the time being, and I’d like to do a post about art. In the last two weeks, I visited the Art Institute in Chicago and the art museum in Milwaukee. They both have wonderful collections from many time periods, movements, places in the world, types of artists, etc. I lavished in the art of old loves and discovered new work that caught my eye and/or made me think.

One thing I will say right off the bat is this: I like art that has texture. And I mean physical texture. I like paintings where the paint is so thick that you can see globs of it on the page. That’s probably why my favorite painting of all time is “The Starry Night” by Vincent Van Gogh. I fell in love with it the first time I ever saw it, and I don’t see my passion for the colors, the raw emotion, the texture of that painting changing anytime soon. But that’s at MOMA in NYC, so I’d rather talk about the works of art I saw at my more local art museums.

 

Reacquainted:

1. Nighthawks – Edward Hopper

2. Cow’s Skull – Georgia O’Keefe (This one always takes my breath away. A play on death and life, different shades of white, so much depth with so little color.)

3. Bathers by a River – Henri Matisse

4. The Old Guitarist – Pablo Picasso (When I look at this painting, I can feel how he felt when he painted it. The colors and the way the man sits and the delicacy of his body. Wonderful.)

 

New loves:

1. Dancing Girl – Paul Klee

2. Houses at Chatou – Maurice de Vlaminck (The color.)

3. Chakaia Booker (An installation of her art is featured at the art museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She sculpts herself on a daily basis, using her body as a way to communicate art. The sculptures at Milwaukee’s art museum, however, are made of recycled tires. Some of them are graceful and seem to dance. Some are a bit more aggressive and powerful. And some are just fun. Overall, her art has a great impact on the viewer, and speaks for itself.)

4. Betalo Nude – Robert Henri (She is beautiful, she is natural, she is glowing.)

5. The Ascent of Ethiopia – Lois Mailou Jones (Chronicles and celebrates the development of Ethiopia and the way it has impacted African American culture. Beautiful blues and yellows. Reminds me of both night and day; speaks of the city.)

6. Ana Mendieta (Known mostly for her photographic and performance art, especially incorporating the human form. Here are some images I found particularly evocative.)

 

You’ll notice that my old loves, while no less beautiful for this, are all done by white artists, mostly men, mostly European. That’s because the art I learned about growing up was by Monet, by Van Gogh, by Picasso. I didn’t learn about artists of color or artists from other parts of the world. My newer loves feature more women, more artists of color, and the art offers commentary on more diverse subjects. I was very happy to come across so many new types of art and so many new artists, and to expand my horizons. I hope museums will continue to feature artists of color and art that pushes the boundaries.

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