The Eyes

The Eyes

Friday, June 17, 2011

This Week in Art | Brock, Martin, De Kooning, and Modigliani

Sometimes I can go through a spell where my work life takes over, and I'm devoid of art. I hate that. I just spent three days out-of-town for work, none of which allowed a single moment to go to an art museum I've never visited. Instead, it just sucked the life out of me and spit me back out at home Wednesday night.

However, upon re-entry, I walked into our home full of art and the studio space of my partner and artist, James Brock. It made me happy again. Then, a little time spent online steered me toward the things that save me from the tension and drudgery of work (for pay). I discovered Knox Martin's blog post on the Greenpeace website. It is Knox’s beautiful tale of a magnificent encounter with a whale and the symbolism and terror depicted in his soon-to-be executed Whaling Wall. It moved me more than Melville ever did!

CafĂ© Singer 

Oil on Canvas | 92.4 cm x 60.3 cm
Amedeo Modigliani | 1917
Lunchtime today led me to another love, Bill de Kooning, when the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden hosted Friday Gallery Talks. For 30 minutes, a curator discussed de Kooning’s Two Women in the Country—a wildly, expressive painting executed in 1954 as his popularity was on the rise.  It was a nice way to spend a lunch, learning something new, with a dozen others with the same interest.

Finally, on Sunday I will follow yet a new interest in the troubled and short life of artist Amedeo Modigliani. The National Gallery of Art presents the author of Modigliani: A Life, Meryle Secrest with a lecture titled, "The Unknown Modigliani." I finished reading the Secrest biography last night and it was an interesting and fast read, debunking many of the widely-known and long-held myths about him. The National Gallery holdings include several beautiful examples of the artist's work in their permanent collection. Also, worth seeing is the biopic Modigliani, starring Andy Garcia, with its terribly tragic end. 

Five days and four artists that renewed my spirit and enriched my life this week.  I'm thankful for the opportunities I have to seek out this exposure to art, art history, and the artist's who bring me back to life.