Monday, December 20, 2010

Cincinnati art 2

The modern art rooms of the Cincinnati Art Museum don't have a huge collection, but what they have is excellent.  On my recent visit I got to enjoy again some things by the all-star team.  Standing right next to one another were two paintings that I love, and I was taken by the dramatic difference in painting style between the two.

First is a big stain piece by Helen Frankenthaler, and then a big Robert Motherwell.  It struck me that I was spending a lot of time up close to both of these paintings, and thought you might like to see some details. 

Frankenthaler's, of course, is poured, with very dilute paint that seeps and wicks across the canvas.  I liked the effects where two colors meet.

Helen Frankenthaler, Rock Pond, 1962-63 (details below)

Motherwell's is heavily brushed, with underpainted marks that show dimly through the top layers of paint. Here are details of the alphabet-like shapes right under the black "window"  and the thin, sloppy lines and smudges around the edge of the window.

Robert Motherwell, Ochre with Black Window, 1973 (details below)

Lots more to tell you about later -- we've only just stepped into the first room!

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