Monday, August 9, 2010

Head, Heart, Gut

Just read this article on art:21 by Museum Nerd (@museumnerd on Twitter) about how he (he? this is an anonymous entity) looks at art, and the criteria by which he decides if he likes it (I'm just going with he), employing "head," "heart," and "gut."

Off the top of my head, here are 3 works of art that for me combine all three of these factors to produce a genuine "wow" feeling when I saw the artwork:

1. Vision of Spain by JoaquĆ­n Sorolla y Bastida at the Hispanic Society of America. This is the most recent - just saw it in June. I caught a glimpse of it from another room and practically ran to it. It surrounds the room and is quite overwhelming, but in the best way. (Note that no reproduction I've seen of this does it justice.)

2. The Boxers II by Carl Moore. I actually gasped when I saw this. Maybe not right away, but when I realized what was happening in the painting, I really did gasp. I love everything about this painting - the subject matter, the action, the simple lines, the composition, the colors, the fact that I didn't see the action right away.

3. A Love Supreme (Summer) by Sedrick Huckaby. I saw this at the Studio Museum of Harlem in January of 2006. When I think of a well-painted painting that immediately calls to mind a hundred different references, but is also just a gorgeous thing to look at, this is it.


Mrs. Katherine said...

What is happening in #2? Is it an arm with a boxing glove, knocking someone out?

I can't believe #3 is a painting. Beautiful!

Elizabeth Alley said...

Yes it is!
Yes it is!

Museum Nerd said...

Cool post!

Those Sorolla murals at the Hispanic Society are quite an amazing feat! Every person is a distinct personality. How can you not be blown away?

Thanks so much for reading my article. Writing doesn't come easily for me, but the response has made it all worth it.

Elizabeth Alley said...

Those murals - they are just amazing. There are people in each one just staring right at you. I read after my visit that the murals had just been reinstalled at that level. I can't believe I happened to go just a few weeks after they returned to the museum and I can't imagine them installed higher than that because the viewer would lose so much of that experience.

The man who was working there was also so nice and helpful, though he did admonish me for not going to Sorolla's house while in Madrid. I said, "But I just discovered him! Just now!"

Great job on that article - I could not have put into words what it is like to look at art.