Monday, July 18, 2016

Milwaukee Art Museum - Summer 2016

Ludwig Meidner, self portrait 1912 (age 28)

We drove up to Milwaukee this weekend to see  the Tom Benton show -- and I hated it.
The period movie snippets (especially from John Ford's "Grapes of  Wrath") looked so much better -- probably because the images were continually changing.

But I always enjoy visiting this museum -- so here is what made the trip worthwhile:


Now I'm a fan of Ludwig Meidner.  He looks a bit crazy - but he managed to survive as a German Jewish painter into the 1960's.  Very few paintings in the M.A.M. have as much impact as this one.

The face is quite expressive - even as it feels like the random drips and ash marks on a large wabi sabi jar.

Lovis Corinth, Portrait of Dr. Karl Schwarz, 1916

What a fine painting by a skilled, mature master who turned expressionist late in life.

Gustav Caillebotte, Boating on the Yerres, 1877 (detail)
What struck me here is the wind blowing through the three trees  dancing in the background

Victor Jean Baptiste Barthelemy Binet, (1849-1924)  Near Quilleboeuf, Normandy

This delightful detail seems so connected to a specific place as the specks of white flower step space deeper behind the picture plane.  
No biography of  Binet on the internet - and this piece appears far superior to most of the other paintings of his online.
This ridge could just as well be in Wisconsin as France.

Robert Henri, 1918,  Betalo Nude (detail)

What a delicious passage of pink against green.

If the above small area of detail were blown up to wall size, it would surpass anything done by the pop artists of the 60's.

Joan Mitchell, 1960

According to Wikipedia:

 During the period between 1960 and 1964, she moved away from the all-over style and bright colors of her earlier compositions, instead using sombre hues and dense central masses of color to express something inchoate and primordial. The marks on these works were said to be extraordinary: "The paint flung and squeezed on to the canvases, spilling and spluttering across their surfaces and smeared on with the artist's fingers."The artist herself referred to the work created in this period of the early 1960s as "very violent and angry

Your reaction to this painting probably depends on how much you enjoy the presence of angry, frustrated women.

Helen Frankenthaler, "Hotel Cro Magnon", 1958

The lovely expression of a rich, happy,  and beautiful young woman. (she was 30 at the time)

 Carl Spitzweg, "Harvest in the Tyrolean Alps", 1858

I would like to load a knapsack with bread, cheese, and grape juice - and then move right into this painting to stay for an afternoon.

The contrasting scale of the cliffs and the two women is so enticing.

And the space feels so cool, quiet, and majestic.  A natural cathedral.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Kipper Collection of Asian Jewelry and Ritual Objects

As a vicarious experience of exotic lands, this is a very enjoyable exhibit.

Regenstein Hall has been  filled with vitrines of jewelry and other precious objects, while its walls have been covered with photo-murals from the places where the objects originated.

So there's all of the visual pleasure of visiting Asian and Middle-Eastern countries without the expenses, risks, and hassles of actually going there.

What a gorgeous, fanciful swirl of gem stones to hang from a lady's nose.

It echoes and  complements her smile.


(post in progress)

















An amazing object.





Love these "geometric snake earrings"