Have you ever gone to an art museum and found yourself incredibly touched by a piece of art? So much so that you cannot seem to pull yourself away and the other viewers are intimidated to come up and view it? Have you ever found yourself on the brink of tears by looking at something? Well, all of the above happend to me on Wednesday when some co-workers and I went out to the Kimball Art Museum, Modern, and Community Arts Center in Fort Worth.
Here are a few of my favs from that day:
(My fav from the Western Art permanent collection)
(fav from the Western Art permanent collection) This piece had a very touching back story, which inevitably brought me to tears much to the chagrin of Museum Employees and fellow companions alike.
“Shoki, the subject of this painting, is the Japanese name of a Chinese popular hero, Zhong Kui, who lived in the seventh century. Unjustly defrauded of a first-rank grade in his civil examinations, Zhong Kui committed suicide on the steps of the imperial palace. The emperor then ordered that he be buried with high honors in a green robe reserved for the imperial family. Out of gratitude, Zhong Kui’s spirit dedicated itself to protecting the empire from demons.
Shoki the Demon Queller became a popular subject of Japanese painting in the Edo period, and Shohaku painted it in many versions, always with humor and imagination. Though executed in ink with strong and forceful strokes, his paintings are never extreme in their exaggerations but marked by a refinement of brushwork that lies at the core of his achievement.” (credit to the Kimball Art Museum’s website)
I like lonely compositions I suppose.
I could just relate to this painting.
This one has been in the Kimball’s permanent collection for the longest time, and whenever I see it there it’s like revisiting an old friend. It always manages to make me smile when I turn the corner to see it. I LOVE the textiles and how thick the paper maps look, and the angelic, placid look on the girls face. Love it.
Also loved the back story of this one- “James Ensor was one of the most original painters of the late nineteenth century. Populated with masks and skeletons, his macabre images are morbid commentaries on the human condition, his hometown of Ostend on the North Sea, Belgian history, and his own mortality. Human bones were regularly uncovered in Ostend well into the twentieth century, residue of the carnage there during early seventeenth-century warfare, and Ensor retained childhood memories of their exhumation. In 1888 he made a little etching of himself as a reclining skeleton in slippers, entitled My Portrait in 1960 (that is, at age one hundred).
Belonging to a group of closely related paintings from the late 1880s, the enigmatic Skeletons Warming Themselves is among the artist’s masterpieces. He has placed three dressed-up skeletons in the foreground around a stove on which is written “Pas de feu” and under it “en trouverez vous demain?”—“No fire. Will you find any tomorrow?” The skeletons are accompanied by a palette and brush, a violin, and a lamp. Presumably Ensor intended these items to symbolize art, music, and literature. If so, the probable implication is that artistic inspiration, or patronage to support it, has expired. Understood as a scene in an artist’s studio, Skeletons Warming Themselves resembles a vignette from the popular medieval and early Renaissance print cycles of the Dance of Death, each print portraying skeletons as an allegorical comment on the vanities of a particular profession or social type. X-radiographs reveal another finished picture beneath this scene. It is a bust-length portrait of a young girl, probably painted before 1883. Ensor’s reuse of an earlier canvas may reflect his own difficult economic condition in 1889.”- (credit to the Kimball Art Museum website)
Also, a very interesting person. Read about Schiele here.
So, after letting all this art inspiration mull around in my head for the remainder of the week, I came home after work on friday and started a drawing (of completely unrelated subject matter.)
The style of this painting was an experiment for me in the style of Yoshitaka Amano, an anime artist (of all things) who has dazzling pattern work in most of his paintings.
Sorry this post was a bit all over the place, but I have been very scatterbrained the past few days (which I think is actually a trait shared by most artists.) Anywho, next time you find yourself perusing online galleries, or in a museum take the time to look closely at a peice that resonates with you and think about why it speaks to you. You’d be surprised at how much insight you can gain from a work of art someone else painted over 500 years ago.
Have a good one,