Monday, 3 March 2008
art is love
I went to the National Gallery in London on February 22 to look at the work of the French Impressionists from the 19th century. I had to go for my Parisian Art World module, but nobody had to drag me there. These guys are my favorite. I was blown away, and my brain felt like it was overloading because of how much I saw and how much I liked it.
Degas was incredible. I stared at After the Bath, Woman Drying for several minutes. It was realistic, but if you looked closely, you could see little squiggles in colors like orange and blue everywhere. He creates such a soft yet electric image, stimulating the aesthetics of the mind.
Let's not even get started on Claude Monet. I bought a little waterlilies journal for five pounds. The guy working at the museum shop told me to go to the Somerset House if I like Impressionists. He said it's on The Strand.
Pissaro's Boulevard Montmartre at Night was magical, with color and depth and imagination. What I like so much about the impressionists is that they brush work is wild yet tame, realistic yet cloudily stylistic. Those deliciously obvious brush strokes and foggy depth continually cause me to wonder what is beyond the painting. I immediately feel like I am part of their world. I enjoy the use of unlikely or "unpretty" color in landscapes like mustard yellow, or pasty Pepto-Bismol pink or greyish yellow-green.
Among my favorites were Cézanne's Landscape with Poplars, Van Gogh's A Wheatfield with Cypresses, Renoir's The Umbrellas, Seurat's Bathers at Asnières, and of course Monet's The Water-lily Pond. Even the paintings of that Japanese bridge at his home in Giverny as he was going blind are fantastic. I keep saying that he had so much vision and even faith in himself to dash blobs of unusual color and shape and size in order to create a pond. If I tried the same process, I would fear I was ruining my painting, but I guess sometimes I try to oversimplify things. If only I could be Claude's apprentice.
You can find some of the images I'm talking about at the Nation Gallery London website: http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/collection/features/impressionists/default.htm .