Tuesday, June 8, 2010
I was looking through my (unfinished) travel journal of our recent trip to Chicago this morning (need to print out and add photos). We went to the Art Institute there, and I always love to 'discover' new paintings from favorite artists, or new-to-me artists, that I am unfamiliar with. There was a big Matisse exhibit while we were there. Matisse is generally not one of my favorite artists, though I do love his figures and the way he uses fabrics and color. None of those figure/fabric pieces were in this exhibit, though, as it was his work from late in his life. There was the still life above, though, that I really liked, and it's probably obvious why I liked it. The word 'Tapis" is on the magazine(?) on the table. Was there a magazine or book called Tapis (which means 'tapestry')? Was it about tapestries? I know Matisse was an avid textile collector, so possibly it is a catalog of a show or sale? I just love to wonder about these things! I have the book (catalog from another exhibit) Matisse; His Art and His Textiles, but this piece is not mentioned, probably because it does not have an actual textile in it.
Another painting I had never seen that I noted in my journal is this "Poet's Garden" by Van Gogh. It caught my eye mainly because of the tiny lavender building, almost un-noticeable, on the left by the evergreen. Did he put that there to try to soften the acidic greens and the yellow sky? And, if so, why isn't it bigger? Why didn't he repeat more of the lavender in the tree blossoms and the foreground flowers, which were pink and white, with a very few specks of lavender, which look like afterthoughts? Actually, that little building shape itself looks like an afterthought, as if it was added on top of a dry painting. Did he later see that it was needed? Or was he just putting a small lavender building there because it was there? It just struck me as such an odd artistic decision that I could hardly pull myself away from it, and that is not usually why I stand a long time in front of a Van Gogh.
This was a Van Gogh still-life I had never seen before, and I truly love it! Simply called "Grapes, Lemons, Pears, and Apples," I think it is one of my favorites of his still lifes... tho' I also love his Irises and his Apple Blossoms. His Yellow Bedroom was there, too. I have seen it on exhibit before, but it still has the power to make me cry every time I see it. I don't know why.
There were other paintings I 'discovered' that I liked, but, for some reason, the questions I have about the two at the top have kept them in my mind the longest. I guess I must love questions even more than I love perfection, which I found in several other works. And I DO love a story in a piece of art! Even if I have to make them up myself, as the viewer. Actually, those are the best kind, aren't they?