Sunday, August 24, 2008

Monet to Picasso

It's posts like this when I wish that I was an eloquent writer, because I know that I will not be able to put into words this experience......

Thinking about it now I am getting a little emotional.

The Utah Museum of Fine Arts is doing a special exhibit until Sept. 21. Aaron, the kidlets and I had the opportunity to go last Saturday. I paid $40.00 for our whole family to go. When the lady told me the total I looked at Aaron and said, "Do you still want to do it?" He said "yes," and I am so glad he did. After I paid and we were walking into the exhibit, Aaron said to me, "When are we ever going to get to experience this again?"

We each got this telephone looking thing. Some of the paintings had numbers next to them, some paintings had two numbers next to them. The ones that had two numbers next to them had one number that said "family" next to it. So, you would punch the number into your telephone thingy and a narrator would tell you about the picture and the artist and the story behind the picture. If it was a painting with "family" next to it, a narrator would do the same thing, only in a way children would understand it.

This is when it all started. Original paintings from some of the greatest artists of all time. I had two favorites. "The Red Kerchief: Portrait of Mrs. Monet," by Monet. And "The poplars at Saint Remy" by Van Gogh. Aaron's favorite artist is Dali, there was only one painting by him, "The Dream." The kidlets really enjoyed themselves also, they were so well behaved and so "into" the whole experience....I was so proud. Piper also really liked "The Poplars and Saint Remy" and Teague like the Dali one because "it has ants." They both really like Picasso's cubist paintings.

"Red Kerchief: Portrait of Mrs. Monet:" I have always liked this painting, however I don't think I knew that it was his wife, or if I did, I forgot. I don't think I even knew the full name of it, I thought it was just called "The Red Kerchief." I found the following description at I tried to describe it in my own words,but I gave up and found it here. In fact, I think this is the exact wording that the narrator used. The Cleveland Museum of Art is the Museum that is sponsoring the exhibit.

In its early stages, this composition contained two figures seated inside the room on either side of the window. Monet radically altered the composition by painting over the figures. They were replaced by an image of the artist's favorite model---his wife Camille, who passes outside the window in a red cape. Intense light---reflected from the snow-covered landscape---floods the room, obliterating details along the walls and floor. The off-center window frame and the blurriness achieved through sketchy brushstrokes suggest the scanning movement of the artist's eye as he viewed this scene. Contrasted with cold blues and silver whites, Camille's red cape draws the viewer's attention through the glass and into a swift exchange of glances, registering a brief moment in time. This painting evidently held special meaning for Monet, for he kept it with him until his death in 1926.

I just found this so sweet. It got me all choked up. I have heard all kinds of rumors about Claude Monet being a terrible husband and fathering a child with another women while he was married to Camille etc...but this painting made you think of his love for her and nothing else. At least that's what it did for me.

"The poplars at Saint Remy:" I never in a million years would have thought that this painting would have caught my eye. I HATE poplars, I've got 11 in my backyard that I wish would disappear. But, I digress. I stood in front of this painting in awe. I got all choked up and nearly cried, why? I don't know, there was just something about it, I can't even begin to explain. I watched my little Piper listen intently to the description and get excited about it too, so there really must be something. This is what The Cleveland Museum of Art had to say about it, again, I think this is the exact wording that was narrated.

Van Gogh painted this small but intensely powerful landscape at Sainte-Rémy, a small town in southern France, in October 1889. He referred to it in a letter to his brother Théo: "I have a study of two yellowing poplars against a background of mountains and a view of the park here, an autumn effect." At the time, Van Gogh was living at the asylum where he had voluntarily committed himself that spring. After a period of working from memory, he resumed painting outdoors. This painting expresses the full power of Van Gogh's mature style. The trees twist and lean to produce an excited, dynamic effect. Intense color is applied with heavy, charged brushstrokes to express his emotional reaction to the subject.

And finally, Aaron's favorite, "The Dream:" I learned that Dali use to fall asleep sitting up holding a key, the key would drop to the ground waking him up and he would proceed to paint the dream that he was having. This is what The Cleveland Museum had to say about this painting.

This painting gives visual form to the strange, often destrubing world of dreams and hallucinations. ants swarm over a mouthless face with bulging eyelids. The seated man with a bleeding face and amputated left foot (also holding a golden scepter symbolizing access to the unconscious) refers to Oedipus, the tragic figure from Greek mythology who unknowingly killed his father and married his mother.
Sigmund Freud interpreted this myth as symbolic of a child's conflicting attitudes toward his or her parents, known in psychoanalytic theory as the Oedipus complex.
The column sprouting from the seated man's back turns into the bust of a bearded figure, a reference to the Freudian father as the punishing superego who condemns the sons sexual fantasies.
In the distance a clothed man and a naked man embrace, while another naked figure reaches one arm into a large red form to penetrate the surface.

Please, if you live in Utah, don't miss out on the amazing exhibit, it is truly and experience I will never forget. I am so grateful that we were able to do this as a family, I hope my kidlets always remember it too.


salvadordaliexpert said...

Nice to see this type of post. Art is the answer for sure.

Jenny in Utah said...

Looks like you have convinced me to bite the cash bullet and take the fame to the exhibit. It sounds wonderful. Although, as for Aaron's comment of when will we get a chance like this again, - I was always hoping to use that as an excuse to take the family to Europe!!!:)

Valerie said...

I have not been to this yet, but plan on going. Karlynn, you descibed your emotions perfectly. I was so appreciative of the change to go to the art museums in Zurich and Paris... and I did stand there and cry in front of some of the paintings. They were just so emotionally beautiful.

Tara said...

Sounds wonderful! I will have to check it out.