out of the loop and a figment of an art collection


renegade winter 2010 - MODify/d

it's been quite awhile. i haven't been here and i've barely been around internetland... hello hello... let's see. what occupied my time these last few weeks? getting ready for renegade for one... which i have to say was pretty invigorating and fun ! [although truth be told i was only there on sat]. in my quick walk around there were some amazing vedors .[i'll try to point out a couple favs in the coming weeks]. sharing a booth with mati and being next door to jen and katrina was the best. see more of our booth....

otherwise - there's been the whole end of the semester grade-a-thon, the frantic attempt to get holiday cards out, a bit of decorating... some habit forming, and general panic in the studio as i try to get another show off the ground !


but in other news.... i prayed at the alter of post-impressionist painting the other day at the de young's part 2 of selections from the musee d'orsay. these are paintings that generally don't leave france - but since the orsay is being renovated - they let them out. yes there are the whoppingly famous images - renoir's dance in the country, van gough's bedroom, or the STARRY NIGHT, monet's -check, seraut's - check [one that really looked like a pre-cursor to roy lichtenstein], a really lovely john singer sargeant [god i love how he paints fabric.]

and i really really forgot how good Edouard Vuillard was/is. way ahead of his time for sure... looking at these historic paintings it really struck me how connected paintings are to one another. how one student in a university somewhere struggling to figure out how to make a "plain" field of paint interesting with texture, or squinting to make a painting read from multiple vantage points, is in DIRECT conversation with these masters.

the other thing that really hit home... when you walk through an art show of any kind, any scope... you know that moment - where you spy something across the room and every fiber in your being reacts. where you stop. approach - maybe it's quick because you want to get there fast to see it, or maybe it's slow so that you can soak in every moment of the walk there... but you see it. and it sees you. and you want to take it home. sure - you've appreciated the technique of the surrounding works, perhaps you've even unconsciously sighed in wonder, or thought - wow - that is a great painting. but THIS - this is the one. this is the one you want to slip off the wall and steal. or if you have the money pay for. this is the one you want to live with forever - look at everyday in your home...

maurice denis

for me that happened with this maurice denis piece. why? [this image doesn't do it justice at all] this painting is small - i could have easily slipped it into my purse - but it packed a punch as i turned into the room. the vibrancy of the colors is amazing. i talk to my students about the power of complementary colors and this is a perfect example. the red and the green and the orange and teal hum against one another - the slight hint of outline - of white - peeking through - acts like a beautiful reminder of the artist's hand. it holds that act of drawing - to me it enhances the "innocence" of the piece. the sheer weirdness of the organic shapes that make up the landscape seem in perfect proportion to me. the slightly layered effect of quicker dry paint allowing hints of different shades and values though adds to the drama of the paint itself. but it's that figure... the lone cute but also somehow incredibly sad girl that almost disappears into that sea of red that does it for me. shoulders slumped, arms at her sides, feet melding into the ground....

in looking at the rest of denis' work - nothing else moved me the way this painting did. there were some great [and very strange] moments, but this painting... this was the ONE. 

coming home i started to wonder - what would it be like to be able to collect images from any artist - any period - any price - and put them together in a collection. an imaginary collection - the best of the bests for me. what would this look like? would people agree with my taste? why or why not? would i divide them into rooms? what i'd hang i my living room, my kitchen, my bedroom. what would your collection look like? how would they compare?

[i may just have to continue w/ this imaginary collection of mine. we'll see, huh?]

if anyone is curious about the massive orsay collection i recommend this book [thanks mom!].

see you soon. i'm going to try and catch up with everyone out there this week....


julie said…
lisa, i could listen to your thoughts on paintings for hours on end - a great insight.

Wishing you all the best for the holidays. hope its lovely xxx
Di said…
Lovely to read an update on what you've been up to, and I know exactly what you're talking about with spotting that painting that is the ONE. Wish it happened in every exhibition I went to, but when it does happen, it's like magic!
jan said…
julie is so right, i could listen to your thoughts on paintings or art, you have such a great way of expressing your thoughts.
This Denis piece seems so sad to me, yet I'm completely drawn in.
Anne Marie said…
I think that is a great idea, put together a collection of must have pieces... I will think about it and then come back to art that drwas me in.

Until then:

Merry Christmas to you and your family!!!

Esti said…
Happy New Year, Lisa!

That's a powerful painting.
Katrina said…
oh, i love reading your thoughts about this piece and also that magical moment when a piece draws you across the gallery or museum to bond with it. sigh. i love, love it.

happy new year to you. i too have been so so very out of touch in internet land. but now we're back! xoxo, k.

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