I’m embarrassed to say that despite spending two days at the MFA and several evenings at the RISD art museum I really didn’t do quite as many sketches done as I hoped. And once I got back into my groove I was so rusty I most of them weren’t very good. The lesson here, I guess is don’t take cameras to Art Museums that allow photography. Anyway this is one of the better one’s. They’re details from a roman wall from around 14 to 37 CE. The reason I say details is I kind of botched the distance between figures and to make up for it I moved everything together so there wouldn’t be any dead space.
As I said in an earlier post. I went to see the Picasso on Wednesday. I didn’t really do that much as I was just taking it all in and, no offense to all the other art lovers, I have trouble getting into my grove if there are more than twenty people in a room. Pieces were chosen mostly for lack of traffic and proximity to places to sit. Much more to come.
Well, I finally got around to getting my first look at “Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris” at the Seattle Art Museum.
I won’t pretend that I was ever Picasso’s number one fan. Even though I value his contributions as a pioneer, can’t help but be impressed by his output, and found seeing Guernica in the building made specifically for it at the Prado in Madrid… amazing… Okay so maybe I do like the man’s work more than a bit but I digress.
The exhibit consists of the artist’s personal collection with samples of his entire career.
I won’t be going into this in any great depth here today as there was a fairly good crowd and was pretty much there with the intent to go through to get a general feel of the exhibit. I intend to focus on individual pieces over the next month until the exhibit ends on January 17th.
The exhibit consists of samples from the artist’s personal collection. Many of them clearly meant to never see the light of day. Everything is set up in chronological order and because of this we are allowed to see the development of the artist; the initial exercises, experiments and half completed works where he was trying to beat out a particular idea which would work magnificently in the next and final piece.
Speaking as a former art student, I was fascinated by the several works that looked like the dozens of pieces me, and millions of other art students, cranked out by the bushel each semester, but at the same time you can see them as notes in the process toward the final ideas. Along with this we see him learning his craft and studying other artists, my favorite example of this being the one pastel piece in the exhibit, Village Dance that was clearly emulating the style of Renoir.
But what interested me the most was what these pieces told us about the artist’s thought process. This was best realized in samples of some of the concept sketches for Guernica. Many of these were even more primal and raw than the final details in the finished painting.
It’s interesting in many of these exhibits it’s easy to find certain themes and the evolution of certain styles. In the case of Picasso it was occasionally difficult to believe that this was all by the same artist. There were so many different extremes from intricately detailed etching, like in the “Frugal Repast”, to abstract sculpture that, if I didn’t know any better, almost reminded me of the work of Dave Mckean.
If there was anything that I regarded as a signature look, it was a certain profile that very much reminded me of frescoes in early Achaean art. While it was at it’s most obvious in the early realistic works but I could also see it in many of the more abstract pieces culminating in the last gallery with the painting, The Kiss.
All in all, along with showing fantastic paintings this exhibit provided a wonderful documentation of a creative journey, which I look forward to studying in much more detail.
Oops in case anyone missed it the strip was down briefly due to me installing the latest version of Comicpress and not realizing that I had to reset a few things in the configuration that are usually too obvious to notice. Most notably having to get the software to distinguish between the Comicstrip part of the page and the Blog part of the page.
Sorry for the inconvenience.
Well something resembling winter is upon us in Seattle. They say we’re going to have a real one this year, but every time I assume that we will have a real winter in Seattle it ends up lasting for only a couple of weeks.
Anyway, it certainly is cold right now. Cold enough that I thought it better to walk than bike this morning. (Though I’ll probably reassess that on once I figure out where I put my ear protectors. ) At the moment it’s still above freezing though I don’t think that will last much longer. They say it’s going to snow tomorrow (they being the weather service on Igoogle) and as I’m writing this, flurries have just started.
This has me nervous. Even after living out here for over fifteen years my biggest cause of culture shock is how Seattle handles snow. The last snowstorm crippled the city for over a week (it only snowed a little more than a day.) Even a dusting of snow, like those flurries of powder snow that is just enough to turn the asphalt grey, slows the traffic down to a ridiculous crawl. As a transplanted Yankee, I take pride in my ability to drive in snow… but it doesn’t do a wit of good if nobody else does.
To spell this out, let me describe a work related accident I had a couple of years ago… I was working for a mail delivery service. As I was doing my daily rounds the snow started coming down. Now I new my route was going to take me to the relatively steep First Hill in about an hour and this was when I made my northeastern mistake. The mistake, or more accurately assumption was as follows: “Oh, Boren is a busy street, it won’t stick.”
If Boren had been in Providence Rhode Island, I would have been correct. However, as Boren is in Seattle, this normally busy street had slowed down enough for it to cool and the snow to stick. By the time I had reached it the hill I was most concerned about, the one right before Pike Street, there was about a quarter inch of snow on the road and I found myself drifting into the sidewalk… which would have been fine if the pick up in front of me hadn’t done the exact same thing. For the next hour as we waited for our bosses and the police to show up, we watched the same accident repeat itself over and over again. Finally as an act of good samaritanism and a way to fight boredom we stood at the top of the hill, flagging people down so they wouldn’t make the same mistake.
My point is Seattleites just can’t handle the stuff. We don’t get it enough to even know how to handle the basics, like having the right amount of snow on the road, or even putting down sand. If we have more than one storm and a couple of flurries, it is going to be a very interesting couple of months.