Can You Drown in Art?

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March 13th 2009
Published: March 19th 2009
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Matisse and The SerfMatisse and The SerfMatisse and The Serf

A photo of Henri Matisse and the 1908 bronze casting of "The Serf".
We spent today, Friday the 13th, exploring the Baltimore Museum of Art during the grown-up version of a field trip with people from Seth’s work. A couple of art students had volunteered to give us a tour of the museum and discuss some of the pieces on display, but the formal tour soon dissipated into occasional casual conversations, mostly due to people like me who become easily distracted and wander off. I wandered from painting to painting and sculpture to sculpture, photographing whatever caught my interest.

There were numerous intriguing items exhibited, and though I enjoyed the more traditional landscape paintings the most, the strange concoctions in the Contemporary Art section inspired the most critical discussions. And I spent a great deal of time touching and floating through and swimming about in the blue and silver "Untitled (Water)" exhibit by Gonzalez-Torres (see photo): a piece from 1995 displayed in the Contemporary Arts section and very strongly resembling the beaded curtains that hung in everyone’s doorways in the 1970s. And I was quite drawn to the Miniature Rooms because all those miniature “rooms” on display were pretty much expensive doll houses.

We had lunch at Gertrude’s Restaurant inside the museum, near the glass wall bordering the cold sculpture garden, overshadowed by scraggly trees desperately trying to regain life in this stilted spring. I savored a fantastic cream of crab soup - it’s Maryland, you know, so crabs are a big thing here - but sometimes I have a bad reaction to seafood, like today (bad luck??), and I was ill for the rest of the day. Other than that, though, it was a wonderful trip and we really enjoyed visiting the museum. Got some cool photos, too.

Additional photos below
Photos: 15, Displayed: 15


Fancy a Swim?Fancy a Swim?
Fancy a Swim?

Me in "Untitled (Water)" by Felix Gonzalez-Torres. 1995. Part of the Contemporary Art exhibit.
"On the Oise""On the Oise"
"On the Oise"

A beautiful painting by Charles-Francois Daubigny, 1868.

"The Thinker" by Auguste Rodin. (Bronze, 1904-17)

Detail of "The Thinker" by Auguste Rodin.

Detail of "Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen" by Edgar Degas. 1919-21.
Seth with a Nice FigureSeth with a Nice Figure
Seth with a Nice Figure

...thanks to Aristide Maillol and the "Torso of Summer," 1960.
"Man Pointing" and His Shadows"Man Pointing" and His Shadows
"Man Pointing" and His Shadows

By Alberto Giacometti. Bronze, 1947.

The "Flower Observatory" by Olafur Eliasson (2004) with Andy Warhol works on the walls.

Okay, I try to stay open-minded in the presence of so-called "contemporary art" ... and usually do a pretty good job. But this one eluded me. "Untitled (Light Chromium Yellow Plank)" by John McCracken, 1980. ...before my time, I guess. :)

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