Monday, September 7, 2009


The new wing of the famous Chicago Art Institute is where the contemporary collection is found. They call this new building "The Modern". In the past few years, I have been so privileged to spend time in some the the most famous museums in the world. The Chicago Art Institute is in that rarefied arena. It is always exciting to see paintings come to life off the pages of books I have looked at most of my life. There were two paintings that I found so much more vibrant and exciting than any printed page. One was a self portrait by Van Gogh. The gorgeous red color of his beard just glowed. There were quite a few of his other paintings, all wonderful, many very very famous. Their entire Impressionist collection is fantastic. 5 or 6 of Monet's Haystacks. The other favorite of mine turned out to be a Toulouse-Lautrec painting, very famous, with the head of a blond woman in the dance hall in extreme theatrical light painted the most exquisite color of turquoise. The beauty of that color never shows in a reproduction.

"American Gothic" by Grant Wood the "The Night Hawks" by Edward Hopper are perhaps their most famous acquisitions. To see the detail, brush strokes, edges et al up close and personal was special.

The other paintings I photographed were examples of paintings where the element of LINE dominated. I have been focused on this element lately and these paintings give me some ideas for expressing The Frenchman with LINE.
I loved the painting of the man with the beard. All the shapes were triangles! Very ingenious. There were small areas of circular shapes as a counter point to the triangles. We were being guided by a friend who was moving quickly through the galleries, so I didn't get the artist's name. I shall have to do some research and find out who he is and find more of his work.

A very special and big museum. I want to be able to return many times and see it all.


Anonymous said...

These are exciting paintings. It's always so much fun to see the paintings up close and personal. Inspiring!

Mary Paquet said...

Very exciting. I visited the museum several years ago with Bob and was just in awe. That Toulouse Latrec is something. I like the line paintings you found. More ingredients for the art soup.

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