A blog named BETTY

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Feeding the Art Geek

I had one of those life-changing experiences yesterday. Hubby and I went with our dear friends Paul and Merrie to the Monet to Dali exhibit at the Utah Museum of Modern Art (that's UMFA, or even uuummmmpha for those of us too lazy to pronounce five extra words) (me). This is a traveling expedition from the Cleveland Museum of Art. (You'll have to ask a Clevelanite to find out what lazy people there call it.)

I SAW REAL ART!!! Not that all art isn't real art, mind you--it's just that when I see actual objects I studied about in college, I get a little excited. Okay, A LOT excited. There was hyperventilation...I kid you not. When I stood next to Rodin's "The Thinker," I literally teared up. (It's one of several casts done of the sculpture, of course, but still...) Paul and Merrie had already been once to the exhibition, and Hubby...well, Hubby obviously connects with masterpieces much more quickly than I do. So they all gave up on staying with me by the 5th painting. Therefore, I was alone (which was fine--less pressure). The problem was, I kept forgetting that I wasn't totally ALONE, and strange noises kept escaping from my mouth. I'm sure a few people thought I was possessed. Maybe I was, but I'll embrace that demon every day! I just could.not.believe what I'd find around every corner, so those little gasps and foreign sounds were completely out of my control.

Here's a sampling of just a few pieces I saw:

Of course, Rodin's "The Thinker" (and many more of his works--amazing):

Picasso's "Harlequin and Violin 1918":

Dali's "The Dream":

and Van Gogh's "The Poplars at Saint-Remy 1889." No print I've ever seen could do this one justice. It was SO VIVID in real life.

Oh, and I can't leave out the Mondrian I saw! I was in total awe of that, a lot because it's so widely printed and imitated in modern life. But none of the reproductions show the actual brushstrokes, and that gave me chills. Sometimes it looks like a 1st grader (or a computer) could do the same simple thing, but when you see the small, deliberate brushstrokes he used, you see the care and patience it must've taken. I stood with my face 2 inches from the painting for a long time. (Between that and the noises, I think people were starting to give me a wide berth!) So, here's "Composition with Red, Yellow, and Blue 1927"(The biggest image I could find, unfortunately. Good luck seeing those brushstrokes!):

And remember--these are just a mere fraction of the masterpieces I saw. All of those artists had many more works on display, plus there were numerous works by Matisse, Monet, Gauguin, Seurat, Renior, and on and on and on. I was literally breathless when I met up with my toe-tapping party (not really--they were very patient). It took me 10 minutes to feel like I wasn't going to pass out. I'm gonna go back with my kids next week, if my health can endure it. Maybe an oxygen tank is in order.


The Crabtree Chronicles said...

That is exactly how I feel when I see art that I have studied. It would be so fun to go with you sometime....wait....we'd probably make more of a scene. Jumping up and down and squealing while we hold hands....oh those museum guards would love us. :)

Tiffany said...

Todd and I love to visit art museums, we went to the Seattle art museum a few different times to see certain exhibts. It's amazing to me the talent some were given and feel fortunate that we can enjoy it today. To bad the art museums here don't quite live up to those standards we're use to. Glad you could enjoy it! Enjoy it for me next time you go.

Malinda said...

I totally get it Erin. I would have been right there with you. When I lived in NY I would go to see art around town and I would just stand and be amazed. Of course there were the ones that I said "I could do that" I have those moments too. How cool that you can take your kids. I woder if that same group is comming to Washington?

Becky said...

Jealous. Jealous. And, oh yeah, jealous! Kyle is going to see it next week. sigh I'm going to go watch a slug crawl around.

Jen said...

Ditto Becky. I remember seeing the Van Gogh exhibit in Washington DC and it was the first time I'd seen anything real. I cried the whole time. They really are a million times more amazing in real life! Yay you for getting to go!