Monday, May 7, 2012

I'd been looking forward to yesterday ever since my husband told me he had to go to Milwaukee for work,
and said I could go along for the ride.
I got to venture out and spend a few hours at the Milwaukee Art Museum!

My mother-in-law was also in Milwaukee yesterday, so together we toured the majority of the museum and had a terrific lunch at the museum restaurant.  Yesterday was the last day for an exhibit called "Accidental Genius", a collection of works by self-taught artists.  We enjoyed reading the brief artist biographies and began to notice a pattern after awhile...insanity, madness, institutionalization and downright tragedy in the lives of most of these artists!  Now for the good news...most of them didn't discover their artistic talent until well into their middle age; some were even in their sixties.  Proving that one is never too old to begin.

It's super fun to recognize art and artists I studied in my old college Art History classes.  Textbook photos and overhead projections just can't compare to seeing a piece live in person.  I love to get up real close (actually, I HAVE to get up real close these days...) to soak in every brushstroke and color detail.

Here are a few of my very favorite pieces I saw yesterday at the art museum.

Barend Cornelius Koekkoekva
La Valee de l'Ahr, 1841
This looks just like a photograph!  Such vibrant colors!
I had to get REALLY close to this one to study the details.
John Steuart Curry
(American, Wisconsin) !!
Landscape with Grouse, 1941
Hey, he's a Wisconsin homeboy and I didn't even know it til right now!
I'm attracted to the contrast between the cool blues and whites and the warm golds and oranges.
And the simplicity of the whole thing.
Head of a Noble Woman
96-100 A.D.
Ok I'll admit...I mainly just like the name.

Marsden Hartley
Northern Seascape, Off the Banks, 1936-37
The nautical theme makes me happy, the shapes make me happy, the colors make me happy.
Wish I was on a boat right now.

Marc Chagall
The Horseman, 1966
Gosh, I wish this picture would have turned out better.
The thickness of the paint.
The brushstrokes.
The little teeny tiny details that can't be captured in a photo.

Pablo Picasso
Le Coq de la Liberation, 1944
This reminds me of traveling to tropical locations,
where there are always chickens roaming the streets.
What up wit dat? 

August Macke
Geraniums Before Blue Mountain, 1911
Blooming flowers on a porch railing,
green trees, blue skies and a mountain,
a fire blazing in the fireplace.
What's not to like?

Alexej von Jawlensky
Pale Woman with Red Hair, 1911-12
Wish I was better at painting people.  These guys make it look so simple.
Maybe I'll give it another try.

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Street Scene, 1926
Just makes me wonder where they're going in their fancy hats and high heels.
Nobody's really smiling.
Maybe they don't want to go wherever they're going.

Gabriele Munter
In Schwabing, 1912
I have a new crush.  Her name is Gabriele Munter.

Gabriele Munter
Road in a Multicolored October, 1959
I immediately felt a connection to her paintings.
Now I know what it means when other people say that.

Gabriele Munter
Staffelsee, 1920
This collection had a nice representation of her work.
Lucky me, lucky me.

Gabriele Munter
Boating, 1910
OMG, and there's a black Lab in the boat!

Gabriele Munter
The Green House, Murnau, 1911
Well then Gabriele Munter, German painter...
I'll be googling you in the very near future.

Georgia O'Keefe
(American, born in Wisconsin) !!!
Poppies, 1950
Another homie from WI.

Alex Katz
Sunny #4, 1971
I love goofy stuff like this.
Love.  Love.
Who says art has to be all stuffy and stuff anyway?

Harry Bertoia
Dandelion, 1970
Normally sculpture doesn't do much for me, but there was something about this one
that made me stop and take a closer look.
See Lake Michigan in the background?

Maurice Brazil Prendergast
Picnic by the Sea, 1913-15
Now for my very favorite piece of the whole day!
Wow, is this an awful picture of it though.
We weren't allowed to use a flash in the museum,
and I'm terribly nervous when my camera is set on anything but Automatic mode.
The colors are lovely.
You'll have to just use your imagination.

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