Friday, July 06, 2012

Lichtenstein at the Art Institute

I'm seeing primary colors everywhere this summer!  The corner of Adams and State is currently engulfed in color and if you like that, keep walking east to the Art Institute, where the first oeuvre exhibit of Lichtenstein is being presented.

We all know him for his large, over-the-top, two dimensional, dotted works on mundane subjects which had his audience questioning the meaning of art.  I admit to not being very moved by his works but I did experience more appreciation for him today when seeing his works laid out like I did.

A few of the highlights for me:

Reclining Nude in Brushstroke Landscape, 1986

Modern Sculpture with Glass Wave, 1967
I thought this looked like a musical instrument

Cubist Stillife, 1974
"The Old Guitarist?"  Cute.

Washington Crossing the Delaware

The exhibit is fun, not too serious or large, and quite accessible.  I'd recommend going!  Then check out the Italian Renaissance and Baroque drawings on the lower level.  Lots of red chalk drawings and some really amazing detail!
And if you want to meet me at the corner of Adams and State for anything besides the Art Institute, we can go shop at Anthropologie and then get a vodka flight at Russian Tea Time!

How do pastels work?!

Today, at the Art Institute of Chicago, I found myself fascinated by pastel technique.  Cross between painting and drawing, pastels give an artist a lot of control over the look and the lines of a work - usually portraits, from what I can tell.

Here are some of the highlights in my opinion:

Charles-Antoine Coypel
"Portrait of Philippe Coypel and his Wife"

Look at the fine detail of the lace, the sheen of the pearls and the texture of the woman's skin.

Rosalba Carriera
"Young Lady with Parrot" 1730
wet chalk and pastels

This is more what I think of when I think of pastels - all the blending, but even still - so much life is able to be put into a pastel work - why don't more people use them?!

Joseph Wright of Derby
"Self Portrait in Fur Cap" 1765/68
 This looks like a photograph to me.  I'm amazed at what the artist was able to achieve here with monochromatic pastels (grisaille).  This is one of my favorites.

Edgar Degas
"On Stage," 1879-81

Confusingly, the plaque next to the painting says that Degas used pastel and essence over monotype on cream laid paper.  Any idea what this essence might be?  Artists out there?  The essence of genius?  I wonder if I can get some of that in powder form - like pixie dust.

In other news:  Consumers can't do math; Financing for the first high-speed rail in the US has been approved; and you might be able to teach yourself synesthesia!

Happy Fourth of July, Everyone!