March 23, 2012

From Irises to Abstract

When it comes to appreciating art, most of us first learn about Monet’s lilies or perhaps Van Gogh’s sunflowers before getting to the really good stuff. I am not here to judge anyone on the account of art tastes, especially since Van Gogh’s irises are perhaps my first art memory, but I’ve been pondering art a lot lately and noticed that my tastes evolved.

First it was the palatable and easy art. Bright colors, sunny day, what’s not to like?

Vincent Van Gogh, Irises (1889) from The J. Paul Getty Museum

Then I moved on to art with a story, with characters with complex relationships with each other and their viewers. Like Toulouse Lautrec, Marc Chagall,. Or Edward Hopper. Who is this woman waiting for in the hotel? Is she sad, lonely, or merely indifferent?

Edward Hopper, Hotel Window (1955) from Smithsonian American Art Museum, their Hopper Scrapbook is pretty awesome, by the way. 

I begun to truly appreciate the Old Masters, Frans Hals, Diego Velazquez, El Greco, Ingres, after learning about oil painting process, pigments, and composition. I still have much to learn...

Frans Hals, Youth with a Skull (1626-28)

Lately, I turned another leaf and am drawn to abstract pieces. I don’t know what it means, it does not invoke any deep thoughts or meaning. But I like it. Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, Brice Marden, Lee Krasner, Franz Kline, or Emily Kame Kngwarreye.

Robert Motherwell, Elegy to the Spanish Republic 70 - at the Met
Brice Marden Vine (1991-93) from

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