Aujourd’ui j’ai fait la grasse matinale! (That means I slept in…I don’tthink it is in the dictionary) 🙂

I met our group to go to a few galleries at 2pm. First, we went to la Musee des Beaux-Arts de Paris. It is in a beautiful building just off of the Champs-Elysees, and it is fairly small. I saw everything in an hour and a half. I am more and more impressed by the Dutch painters. It is because of all of the detail – you can tell they care alot about what they are doing, and the emotion of their subjects is always evident in great detail. It is absolutely incredible to see the perfection they are able to bring out in nature.
If you are interested… a few of the works that jumped out at me…
August Clesinger- Bacchante (19th c.)
Roll- le 14 juillet (1880)
Alaphilippe – La femme au singe (sculpture)
Jordaens – Le repos de Diane (1640-1650)
(I hate Cezanne)
Jean Carries – Grenouille aux oreilles de Lapin (Sculpture)
-Faune (sculpture as well)
**** Levy-Dhurmer – Torse de femme nu, vue de face
Carpeaux – etude de femme nu
-la confidence
Morot – Le Bon Samaritain

Apres cette musee, nous avons visite le Centre Georges Pompidou. It is a new structure full of modern art.

It was a really good experience. I realized that most of the modern art I have seen hasn’t moved me because it is not good art. Period. I went to an exhibit of Yves Klein… some of you may have heard of him. I think he created in the 60s or 70s, so he is quite recent. I was very impressed. He was one of the first people to discover that pigment could be mixed with plastics (aka acrylic paint), and especially the combination of Prussian Blue pigment with his special resin produced an amazing effect. He covered entire large format canvasses with just this color. I wish I could show you the pure pigment… if you are ever in a good art store, please ask to look in a jar of pure Prussian Blue pigment. You will be amazed. The color has endless depth.

I won’t describe all his work here because it would take too long, but his ideas included ‘architecture of the air’… he wanted to make art immaterial (thus his extended use of prussian blue, and other colors in their pure form). It is an experimental idea but I think he was genuine in his expression of truth… he is right. Truth is immaterial, as are truths. I think he missed the point, though, because I think the purpose of art is to express truth in a material way. You can’t really make art immaterial. It is an interesting idea, however. He was also a bit of a composer (I think he composed one symphony that kind of reminds me of Murray Schaeffer) and a bit of a poet …
“Je suis alle signer mon nom au dos du ciel…”
“I was going to sign my name on the back of the sky…”
I didn’t think too hard about that one, but I kind of like it.

I saw several other exhibits while I was there… some were worth it, some were not. But I was definitely moved by some of it emotionally – today marks the first time I was moved by 20th century art. And it was uplifting to see that much creativity in one place. If nothing else, one must admit that 20th century artists are very creative. It takes different eyes to see this kind of art but once you are open in just the right way, the good stuff can reach you.