Thursday, July 25, 2013


I have a large appreciation for art. I love impressionism. I also love modern art. I like not understanding what I'm seeing and getting a feeling from what I'm seeing. It started at a young age. I can remember being in the Dixon Gallery with my Dad fixated on the tiniest paintings that were so detailed. I was probably 5 years old.

As I have grown up, I've visited many museums. And, I like seeing studies of other larger pieces of works. I get to cross reference and try to remember where it is that I saw "the big one." So, today I went to the Des Moines Art Center. It's main focus is modern art. The center had one particular exhibit that I wanted to see, E'Stamped Originial. These are the old standard lithograph/printings of artists mainly from France. Manet, Degas, Delacroix aka Cross, Pisarro, Matisse, as well as some others. The prints were in poster format and they were just incredible. I  particularly enjoy reading the excerpts, but Ryan doesn't really enjoy that so much.

I also saw a Picasso today, and it was a lamp. They had one painting from his black and white exhibit which I saw at the Guggenheim last fall.  The lamp was intriguing because it was a woman's face, bulbous around the girth of the base. It was comical. I laughed when I saw it.   On our honeymoon, we stayed a block from where Picasso's apartment was, and we didn't go see it. I wasn't a huge fan of Picasso- still get a dark feeling from most of his work... but it's growing on me. He had very different periods; some with color and some without. Ultimately, I just don't know how to feel from what I see.  However, he's so widely known. He made so many paintings that it's rare for someone to not recognize his work. That is impressive.

On our honeymoon we stayed in downtown Paris near the Centre de Pompidou. It's also an modern art museum. There is graffiti outside the building, and the center itself is crazy colors with an industrial feel.

I find myself gravitating to see those things where ever I am. And, I seek out free ones. Today was no different. Minneapolis has a sculpture garden and we visited- the Cherry and Spoonbridge. Des Moines has the Western Gateway Park. I posted a picture from there yesterday on facebook.  St. Louis has Laumeier Park and CityGarden. In the winter at Christmas time, CityGarden is one of my must go places.

I was fortunate to have parents that influenced this love of art. It's fun to look at and to contemplate. Why does that look that way. Why is that art? St. Louis Art Museum has a particular piece that is a color wall. It's single, huge canvases painted one color lined against the wall in the ROYGBIV fashion. It's not the art that's impressive- it's what happens to you when you watch it start to move. Oh, wait, you are moving... you are the one walking by it.

I do hope to instill a similar love of art in the other members of my family too. Adam loved the Louvre. We have been to many exhibits at the SLAM (St. Louis Art Museum), and he's been fascinated by most of the ones we've made a priority to see. The japanese screens (ancient art) visited a couple of years ago, and that made a lasting impression. I can usually get him to come along with me.

So, If I make it seem fun... Can I get Ryan to think it's cool too? I'd love to own some famous art work, but for now, I'll just appreciate it when it's available to me. Go to an art museum... see if you like it. I surely do!

Here's an artist I saw today-- She's pretty fantastic.... Phyllida Barlow. She uses fabrics, steel, paint, rocks... Check her out on wikipedia.

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