Friday, April 20, 2018

Women / Impressionism 6

One last post from the exhibit at the Speed Museum.

Whenever my friend Marti and I go to a museum we play a game at the end: which piece do you want to take home with you?  It requires us to take one last walkabout, reminding ourselves of everything we've seen, and to discuss why this one is our favorite.  (It's an exercise that I recommend to any serious art viewer, making sure that you haven't just looked without seeing and thinking.)

Here's Marti's favorite, which we both thought screamed "Vermeer" for its gorgeous light coming in from the side window.

Anna Ancher, Young Woman Arranging Flowers, ~1885

It struck me that hardly any of the paintings showed those classic Impressionist subjects of landscape or still life.  Those have always been my favorite Inpressionist genres, and I had a hard time choosing my favorite from the few possibilities.

Fanny Churberg, Waterfall, 1877

This artist got no respect from the Finnish art world: they called her paintings "strange" and "abnormalities." Unsurprisingly, she gave up painting.
Marie Cazin, Evening, 1884-88

The dramatic smoke plume made me think of all those paintings of trains, especially inside the huge open-air railroad stations. 

Helene Schjerfbeck, The Door, 1884

Anna Bilinska-Bohdanowicz, Unter den Linden in Berlin, 1890

This was my favorite, reminiscent of all the Childe Hassam paintings of New York street scenes with flags flying.  I loved the way the precise detail of the architecture dissolved into hazy radiance.

Well, maybe not my absolute favorite -- how about a tie between that one and this beautiful still life of pink satin shoes.  Not only do I love the painting, I sure wish I had a pair of shoes just like it.

Eva Gonzalès, The Pink Slippers, 1879-80

And that's all, folks!  You still have a couple of weeks to see the exhibit, "Women Artists in the Age of Impressionism," which closes May 13.  As the Michelin Guide says, it's worth a detour.  Maybe even worth a trip.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Women / Impressionism 5

Almost done with my report on the "Women Artists in the Age of Impressionism" show at the Speed Museum in Louisville.  Most of the work in the show was portraiture, and there were several that called out to me.

Cecilia Beaux, Sita and Sarita (Woman with a Cat), 1893-94

You come upon this painting from a far distance, and I didn't even see the cat until I got a whole lot closer.  But how much the portrait sings when you do detect the cat among the shadows of her dark hair.

Amélie Beaury-Saurel, Into the Blue, 1894

Scholars think this is probably a self-portrait, which makes two strikes against Amélie -- a smoking artist!!!!  Scandalous!!!!!!

And finally, this exciting picture of a young girl, which was chosen for one of the poster images to advertise the show. 

Ellen Thesleff, Echo, 1891

Let's all imagine what she's shouting, what powerful words are echoing back to her.  I hope it's something more important than just calling the cows home.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Women / Impressionism 4

A couple more posts about the exhibit at the Speed Museum about women painters in Paris during the late 19th century.

First off, a mea culpa -- I said incorrectly in earlier posts that the exhibit would close last week.  Good news -- it's actually open through May 13, so if you're anywhere in the vicinity of Louisville, you still have time to drop by and enjoy this engaging show.

I'd like to show you my favorite pictures from the exhibit.  Today, three paintings of mothers and children that hung right next to one another, which made me realize how all three of the mothers have the identical expression:

Cecilia Beaux, The Last Days of Childhood, 1883-5

(makes you wonder if childhood has been redefined in the last 135 years...  I would think it lasted a whole lot longer....)

Paula Modersohn-Becker, Nursing Mother in Front of Birch Forest, 1905

Elizabeth Nourse, A Mother, 1888

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Crabby three times from the same story

Yesterday I was crabby about a woman who looked really old to me being described by the police as "55 to 60 years old."  I submitted photos of women who are actually 55 to 60 years old, arguing that you can be that age and still look pretty damn good.

One of my readers took exception to my post, saying "I was not in the least offended by her being categorized as 55 to 60.  I WAS rather offended at you trotting out photos of 55-60 year old movie stars and celebrities as the benchmark for what that age range looks like.  Not my reality."

You're right, I should not have suggested that movie stars and celebrities should be held up as role models or reality benchmarks.  So I have gone back and amended my post.  No more celebrities.  Instead, U.S. Senators and governors.  You may want to go back and see how good they look. 

And Idaho, thanks for keeping me honest.