Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Gratitude - Day Eight

I realize that it's kind of cheap to stretch this LACMA visit out to two blog posts, but posting every day is no small feat for me so I'll take what I can get inspiration wise. Annnnyway, today I'm grateful to Fr. Reboli for teaching me the very basics of art appreciation in Renaissance to Modern Art at HC all those years ago. I'm also grateful that I seem to be growing more open-minded in my old age. I used to blow past all of the abstract and modern art on my way to my old standbys, but yesterday I lingered in the 1950s to the present wing and actually appreciated some of the "weird" art displayed there. Now, I still don't get some of these big installation pieces. I mean, it's a sink basin...what am I missing? [Some of my pictures didn't come out well, so apologies for the low-res versions from LACMA's website.]

{Robert Gober - Single Basin Sink -photo © Robert Gober}  
Or this one...giant pool balls. That is literally the name of this piece.
{Claes Oldenburg - Giant Pool Balls}
Ok, I actually really like this one. It looks so happy.

{Joel Shapiro - Untitled (Dancing Man)}

This kind of stuff aside, I decided that I'm into some modern art, specifically the stuff that people are fond of claiming "looks like something my four year old could have done." I used to say that too (although, I would have said that I could have done it since I don't have a four year old but rather have the artistic talents of an average one), but then I actually tried to slap some pretty colors on a canvas and call it abstract art...not so easy. I think I also like these paintings because they look more like something I would want to hang in my home. I mean if someone wanted to give me a Monet, I wouldn't say no, but in general, I gravitate to more abstract pieces when looking for something for our apartment.

{Henri Matisse - La Gerbe}
{Jacques Villon - Portrait of a Mile Y.D. - photo © Jacques Villon Estate/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris}  

Here's another one that I had to refrain from touching.
{close-up: Joan Brown - Girl in a Chair}

{Wassily Kandinsky - Untitled Improvisation III - photo: © Wassily Kandinsky Estate/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris}
Now this one obviously doesn't fall into the abstract expressionist category, but I had never seen this Picasso before, and I couldn't stop staring at it. I love the unexpected red of the flower in her hair and I am totally transfixed by his gaze.

{Pablo Picasso - Portrait of Sebastia Juñer Vidal}
In addition to all of the treasures inside the museum's buildings, there is much to explore on the grounds. As with the treasures inside, the art outside runs the gamut in terms of style.

There was this "interactive sculpture" made of yellow rubber rope/string things.

There was a Rodin sculpture garden which reminded me of the sculptures that made me fall in love with Holy Cross's campus.

Lastly, there was Chris Burden's Urban Light installation. This work is in front of the museum, right on Wilshire Boulevard, so it has gotten a lot of attention. Apparently Burden collected and restored over two hundred 1920s streetlamps from Los Angeles and surrounding cities. The effect of all of these lights together is interesting and dramatic, but I definitely want to come back at night to see them all lit up.

All in all, it was a lovely afternoon of art appreciation. So - thanks to LACMA for the free admission, thanks to Fr. Reboli for the lessons in art history, and thanks to Mom and Dad for funding the art history (and many other) classes!

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