Tuesday, June 26, 2007

John Singer Sargent

I went to the Met with friends today. More than usual I wanted to see the European painting of the 1300-1800. I definately love abstract, yet I am loving good old realism and paying attention to the styles of different time periods. The colors and figures of the 1300's are different from following centuries in a surprising way. They are saturated with bold colors - and figures are almost goofy in their cartoony way. Then as years go on things get so serious and dark. I hadn't noticed that contratst before. Towards the end of our time there when everyone else headed to the Modern Art area I decided to hunt out the early American Artist, John Singer Sargent in particular. Because of construction it was ridiculously tricky to locate, but a treat once I did.

Saturated colors, opulent materials creepy maid


While searching:

I ran into this Andy Warhol self portrait. It was towards the end of his career. The info blurb next to the photo made a descriptive statement about how Warhol had become so everywhere in his hip modern ways that these self portrait pieces were a bit unsettling and shocking when they came out. It seems like a vulnerable light to allow yourself to be seen. All the more provacative I suppose.

Finally after passing through the armory, Egyption, and decorative arts sections I came upon a stair case that lead me to the mezzanine of what little American Art they had on display.

How exciting all of that land must have been, and the freedom of doing things in new ways. I know it wasn't like that for everyone that came into this country in the 19th century, but a lot of the paintings depicted just that. Dusty colors in the west. Parks, greenery, laid back additude - that definately wasn't inherited from England.

Finally to Sargent. Throughout my art back ground Sargent was never particularly high lited by professors - so if it weren't for Chelsea, I'm unsure how aware of him I ever would have become. She has talked about him and has had books open about him since Freshmen year in college. Every time I see his work I am reminded why, I don't think I can explain it much past that. Sargent's women did strike me though. How unique and strong they are compared to the whimsical giddy ones found in Eroupe in the years preceeding. There are so many women painted either as noble, austeer, wealthy patrons, or else silly and naked. Sargent's women seem stronger. He's not afraid to show differnt emotions.

1 comment:

Lacey said...

isn't it just awesome walking through a museum and looking at someone elses art. i don't know about you, but i feel this kind of reverence when i do, like you have to be really quiet to try to feel or hear what the artist is trying to tell you.