Tuesday, July 03, 2007


i've had a pretty heavy mind lately so i wandered around quite a bit yesterday and saw a number of shows. museums always seem to help me focus.

I stopped by the folklife festival, but it was a staff picnic thing and nothing was going on except the food.

so i went to the hirshhorn.
Again, i was utterly disappointed in the hirshhorns selection of shows. there was a while that i was liking every single show i saw their. not so much lately. The show by Wolfgang Tillmans wasnt the worst, but left me feeling very empty. here is a link to a slide show of his work. There were two more abstracted ( perhaps even non objective) pieces that were nice and somewhat engaging, still i get such a strong feeling of disassociation with these images, and that art of the last few shows i've seen at the hirshhorn. and its a huge show. I looked around a bit more because i always see something that draws me in their collections. I gave up and just as i was heading back to the escalators i saw a piece by Jae Ko whom i had just met last week at her and her husbands studio.

Wolfgang Tillmans
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
May 10—August 12, 2007

Sometimes looking at recent art makes me feel that the world and human emotion ended after world war II. surely someone has written eloquently about this irony and emotional disassociation that most artists ( and people ) seem to feel the need to play into. hell perhaps i do so myself. not the eloquent writing, but the irony.......

The national gallery has been my indoor respite since i moved to dc. two things i always go look at at are the Madonna and Child with Saint Martina and Saint Agnes by El Greco and The Shaw Memorial. Sometimes the frescoes, but not always.

The El Greco painting is infinitely fascinating to me. I'm not Catholic, but i really feel a religiosity in this piece. Plus i'm insanely intrigued by and in love with the little demon angel on Mary's lef( house left, stage right). Such and odd creature really. she seems more of a misplaced nymph or woodland creature, than an angel of god. maybe thats the same thing...... i feel that shes a bit sinister.
Also, the paint work of el greco was vastly ahead of his time. he has a brilliant combination of passion and a prophetically modern way of using paint. his figures are almost electric in their ethereallity. i certainly like electric...

the Shaw Memorial by Augustus Saint-Gaudens is such a beautiful sculpture... though its not currently on display, but i go by to check each time.

So i wandered around a bit more, actually taking in the entire modern painting section, which i rarely do. i had a different agenda yesterday that i usually do. i was looking for artists interpretations of their personal interactions with their subjects. i only found a few things i was looking for really. some manet pieces stuck me especially. but note all that noteworthy. perhaps i'll pursue this a bit more some other time.

I went into the Desiderio da Settignano exhibit Its a pretty good show and i would recommend going to check this out.

Also on display are the works by Claude Lorrain. lots of drawings, prints and a few paintings. except for some great etchings of shipwrecks, i was pretty nonplussed.

I did go and pay closer attention to the muses in the east hallway of the west building. i havent done really any figurative artwork in about 5 years, but have been feeling very drawn to it again.

Since i felt myself thinking that way, and suddenly having the urge to work more with the figure, actually having things to say with the figure... i thought i'd had over to the portrait gallery.

I checked out nearly every room. including every isle of the luce center. i skipped the "champions " show however.

I mostly checked out the figurative work, but i always admire the 3rd floor of the portrait gallery. and the fact that they have a balcony cafe.

i think its safe to say that i probably be doing a series of figurative works in the near future.....

as dull and old fashioned as that may be.

No comments: