In some ways, the visit served to remind me of things I already knew.
1. I tend to love a good Parisian bar/cafe scene. The men are smoking, the women are bored, the female attire tends toward the constrictive and frou frou/confectionary.
|detail of Cafe Scene in Paris (1877), Henri Gervex|
|Painter inclusion: Gervex lighting his pipe|
2. Portraiture: Degas beats out Renoir
My lack of affinity for Renoir nudes was brought home to me when I attended a solo exhibit in Philly years ago, but in this "Humble and Human" exhibit I was faced (hah) with a Renoir portrait next to a Degas.
|Woman in an Armchair (1874), Renoir|
|Portrait of a Woman (1877), Degas|
3. I still don't care about Seurat or Pissarro. What else to say? They are not hurt for my lack of care.
|Portrait of Postman Roulin (1877) Van Gogh|
4. I love any of Van Gogh's paintings of the Postman Joseph Roulin. I don't think I can unpack it more than this, because what I like about it is what I -- and most people I think-- like about his work -- the heavy, energizing paint strokes, the vibrant colors, representations that are realistic enough to make us believe, but which then take us beyond, into a different realm.
|Delicious hand-painted frame|
5. The annual Ofrendas exhibit is always worth a visit. And this exhibit is gaining in popularity! It used to only last 3 days and now they keep it up for almost a couple weeks -- closes on November 10th. This year brought several ofrendas honoring migrants, or those who have lost their lives attempting to get here.
|Refugee Ancestors: Descendants United in Friendship|
Touching tribute to Dr. Christopher Pfaendtner, who died at 60
|Christopher: the Healer, by Patricia Pfaendtner|
|Gentleman, Possibly of the Trivulzio Family, late 1400s|
I love his eye sockets and nose, the set of his mouth. The ridiculous out-sized shoulders and heraldic red & gold of his...tunic? What was that even called? The delicate folds of white against his skin. The gentleman's gloves which looked suitable for hawk landings, though this is probably far from true. I love that the background is so heavily painted and textured it takes on a different sheen than the rest of it. And more than all of it, I love how indifference can morph into delight, with repeated exposure to any art, how resonance ebbs and flows, highlighting the variability of our being.