Sunday, February 19, 2012

Albright-Knox Gallery

Rob wanted to check out the Albright-Knox gallery on Saturday.  More specifically, the Jackson Pollack masterpiece Convergence.  That piece alone was worth the drive.  I had no idea the depth and breadth of the collection - Picasso, Whistler, Kandinsky, Kahlo, Dali, Still, Rothco, Warhol, Renoir,  Pissaro....  We wandered through the spacious rooms at an unhurried pace, grabbed a wonderful lunch in the cafe and went back exploring.

What a  perfect day-trip for a grey day.

Although there were likely dark and depressing themes, they were easily overlooked.  As I made my way around it seemed the entire gallery was curated with a sense of optimism, humour and wonder. I found myself most drawn to the seemingly uncomplicated, most colourful pieces.    

A very memorable day, indeed:  the kinetic art and Op Art were entirely energizing; the Scribble Art Wall drawing was phenomenal;  the neon sign reading Only God Knows I'm Good was hung 50 feet high and seemed like a private joke between the artist and me.

A lot is resonating with me today, but I want to share these four landscapes in particular....

Each age in history presents challenges and sometimes it seems we are truly on the eve of destruction.  It seems easy to despair, it is 2012, after all.  But these artists all dream of bright and hopeful futures, of new ways of being and seeing, that are entirely rejuvenating.

I've long been a fan of Calder's mobiles and stabiles, some dance to the slightest breath.  This weekend I learned in his youth he worked on boats as he traveled his way along the coast, and when I saw this untitled painting it brought a smile - such a simple graphic depiction but to me it conjured the wind, the sun, the moon, waves, mountains and sunrise.

Calder left this untitled but to me it could be called "Who has seen the wind"

Light and movement in the dappled sunlight in a landscape from Southern France, the trees yearning up and toward the sky:
Matisse's fauvist landscapes
Joyful nostalgia in Chagall's dream landscape:
These warm, organic shapes placed against mechanical ones seemed optimistic, instead of the usual foreboding such juxtaposition usually brings to landscape.  
Delaunay - 1913

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