Thursday, August 14, 2008


Yesterday I immersed myself in glorious art exhibits. Living in the San Francisco Bay area provides some rare cultural opportunities. Right now there are three major at each of the main museums. I went with some friends and managed to see two out of the three. Next, I will find a time to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art.

We started out at the DeYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park for the Dale Chihuly art glass exhibit. At one time way back in the day, I thought about learning how to create art glass but realized I did not posses the physical strength for this type of work. I am not totally in love with all of Chihuly's work but knew there would be much to inspire me. When we first arrived we passed a room with a video of how the work was created. It was so crowded we decided to come back and headed off to the exhibition rooms. In retrospect, I think that was a mistake. When you see how it is made, you appreciate what you are looking at so much more. I have posted a few of the many, many photos I took. I very much appreciated the opportunity to photograph. The lighting was challenging in the darkened rooms for my people watching photos but the glass photos are excellent. I decided to find abstract compositions among the work to photograph for future painting reference. This is a really fun way to approach photography. I will probably never get to it, but it can't hurt to have it in my files. I loved the video the most. I could have sat there all day watching it. I was dragged away sooner than I would like. How magical liquid glass is! I was mesmerized watching them work. The most startling thing to discover is that Chihuly doesn't even touch the glass at all!!!!! He makes a quick drawing and then these master glass artists interpret his idea....they do all the work! It is an interesting collaborative process but the glory is not equally shared. I'm curious if the riches are equally shared as well. Somehow I doubt it.

Entrance to the DeYoung gives you same day entrance to the Legion of Honor so after lunch we headed off to see the 4 Women Impressionists show. Unfortunately, photography was a no no here. Too bad. I was aching to photograph the people in the museum more than the work itself.

There was an extensive exhibit of Mary Cassatt's work. She is the most well know of the 4. Berthe Morisot is also well known but Eva Gonzales and Marie Bracquemond are much less recognized. Besides wonderful work, the thing that struck me the most is how difficult it was for women to be able to devote themselves to art during that period. Everything I have been reading and listening to on tape lately has the recurring theme of women's societal restrictions impacting their ability to live the life they would chose for themselves. It has only been in the last 40 years that we have real freedom of choice and equality. I am trying not to squander the opportunity and deeply appreciate my good fortune.


Mike said...

Chihuly WAS a glass blower . . .trained in Venice, Italy . . .and he was extremely good, until he lost an eye in a glass blowing accident. Thus, his minions do with for (with) him.

We saw much of his work in Tacoma, where his studio is . . . .about two years ago. The colors and shapes are simply astounding!

meera said...

I stumbled upon your website and blog by accident -- thanks for the inspiration. I am trying to get unblocked and start painting again -family obligations and depression have taken its toll --and decided to surf and see some paintings to get me motivated. I am glad to have come across this website. Hope to keep checking it :)

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