MoMa: A Day with Albers, Kahlo, Picasso

2011/07/12 § 8 Comments

More beautiful works at the Museum of Modern Art

Picasso.  Those cubist women scared me when I was young. I thought they were ugly and distorted.  It took a long time for me to see the light.  That bright, southern light infusing most of Picasso’s painting.  And to appreciate the angles.  After which, all art seem drab, dull and mannered beside.

Matisse.  It is easy to like Matisse paintings.  There is nothing so jarring in them nor conceptually difficult.  The blocks of colors are quite lovely, in fact.  The pinks and the greens in the painting below contrast so wonderfully with the black.  And the second is just so evocative of Paris.  Those railings…

Monet.  Another one of those artists whose fame I didn’t understand until I saw his works in real life.    None of those blurry paintings I saw in books called out to me.  Then I went to  Giverny.  It was the height of summer.  The garden was in bloom.  Lush and ripe.  I still didn’t see how the paintings depicted the perfect clarity of those waterlilies and the pont japonais in view.  I had to see more.  I spent an afternoon at Musee Marmottan.  Staring.  From a distance.  And then I started seeing undulating waves.  Sunlight streaming through haystack needles.  Black singular strokes turning into men with hats and women with umbrellas.  Briskly walking.  I couldn’t get over the movement in the paintings.  And I started to covet.  I finally understood why people paid hundred millions for these…

Josef Albers.  I first saw these series of squares in an interior design magazine.  The featured home owner collected them.  And I couldn’t figure out why.  What was so great about squares superimposed upon another?  But they become more intriguing and interesting as I saw more of them and each painting’s different color combinations.  Some squares seem to advance in space or recede.  Some colors and some frames seem to float.  Albers was supposed to have worked on the exact mathematical dimension of each square to achieve the optical effects.  I’ve loved them since and never tire of looking at them.

Frida Kahlo.  One of the many self-portraits of this beautiful, talented and storied artist.

More art – sculptures by Alberto Giacometti…

Figurengruppe by German artist Katharina Fritsche at the sculpture garden…

Finally, drinks at The Modern to cap the wonderful day with visiting friends…



Wisteria and Lilac

2011/05/14 § 8 Comments

I am in love with these pink and purple hued blooms.  One from a trailing vine and the other from a tree/bush.

I don’t recall when I first saw Wisterias but I remember it most from my trip to Giverny many, many years ago.  Le Pont Japonais was fairly groaning under its weight.  Masses and masses of it adorned the trellised roof and trailed down in a riotous curtain of lavender blooms.  The green japanese bridge with the lavender veil amidst weeping willows and bamboo wood is the loveliest sight from across le bassin aux nympheas (the waterlily pond).

I have since been longing to have a garden with a gazebo, or a bridge or an archway covered in it…

As for Lilacs – I used to live by a big, beautiful park by the river and would walk around whenever I can.   Come springtime, I was arrested by a sweet and powdery fragrance.  It took me a while to realize that it came from the beautiful pink and white and purple lilac trees.  When I did, I made sure to go and tarry under the trees as often as I could to inhale the fragrant air.

It’s the wonderful, wonderful scent of spring.

There are no wisterias or lilacs where I live now…so was quite happy to linger amongst the blooms at the the Botanical Garden last weekend.


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