One of the things I enjoy the most is art appreciation. To lose track of time walking surrounded by art is a way for me to motivate myself and pick my brain.
It’s been a while since I visited a big museum and that’s for sure something I’m planning to do in the very near future once the weather warms up. Not having immediate access to a large museum such as the MET or MOMA, does not mean I don’t have access to quality art; fortunately, there’s the Bruce Museum, which is literally minutes away from where I’m located.
On my last trip to the Bruce, I got to once again appreciate their exhibit on the work of French Impressionist Alfred Sisley. I visited that exhibit on a previous occasion, so this was my second time; and this time, I wanted to once again analyze his brushwork and compositions. I particularly enjoyed his painting “The Route from saint-Germain to Marly”, painted in 1872. That painting speaks to me on a personal level because it reminds me of the Colombian landscape. I also take away from my walk into this exhibit a sense of reassurance that his compositional elements and subject matter somehow foreshadows a flair of things I recognize in post-impressionist painting, such as the cool shadows and use of angular, manmade shapes.
Before entering the main gallery to view Sisley’s work, I spent a good amount of time viewing their exhibit “Canvas and Cast”, which presents pieces from the museum’s own collection. I was particularly drawn to a painting called “The Broken Flower Pot” by artist Jan C. Verhas. What I love about that particular painting was the use of tone, the thin layered paintwork in contrast to the detailed areas certainly makes that painting worth to be seen again. The scene, which depicts two children in a corner looking at a smashed planting pot projects motion and reaction, I love how the artist illustrated the idea of motion as he placed the girl with her twisted foot in contrast to the static little boy on her side as if caught by surprise. Another work that captured my attention was an incredible bust by artist Hiram Powers titled “Proserpine ” which depicts the Greek goddess of grain and agriculture, best-known for the myth surrounding her abduction by the god of the Underworld. Looking at that sculpture up close served me with the opportunity to once again appreciate craftsmanship, it also reawakened my interest in classical mythology as a source of inspiration.
I couldn’t leave the Bruce without first stepping into their photo gallery, which to be honest, was also another reason why I wanted to visit the Bruce in the first place.That said, it was very interesting for me to experience photography on a physical, tangible way. I mean, as someone who consumes photography in great quantity on a daily basis through a digital device, to see a printed photograph made me realize that technicalities such as sharp focus, low noise/grain and all that… pretty much goes out the window, or so it was my impression in the context of their photo exhibit “Street Smart: Photographs of New York City, 1945-1980”, where the photographs I saw stuck with me not because they were immaculately sharp, but rather because they were rich in context., such as my two favorites “Women Crossing the Street and Talking” and “NYC, 1967” both by Garry Winogrand. These photographs were very interesting to me because as I tried placing myself in the shoes of the photographer, I kept wondering what may have been his strategy to be in such proximity from the subject and capture ‘that’ decisive moment.
On a last note, another thing I enjoyed a great deal was looking at people interacting with the artworks and with one another as they were surrounded by art, that, I realized, serves with wonderful opportunities to pull out my phone and take pictures that record expressions and their overall interaction with the environment that they’re in.