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Where Did It GO?

Amazing as it seems, another year has passed, and again, where did that one go? I had a lot of fun, some very good food, traveled a bit, but most important for this post I saw a lot of art; of varying degrees of competency, but it’s all good to me.

This past weekend I saw the Grace Hartigan exhibit at the C. Grimaldi Gallery here in Baltimore and was pleasantly surprised. For some time Hartigan has been painting large watercolors and great washy dripping oils of single figures, an hommage to prominent women throughout history. Many of these works seem effortless, and that may be why I’m at times left wanting more. Hartigan’s hand is masterful; several pieces in this exhibit have some fabulous moments where areas of overlapping washes of purples, magenta, and reds are accented by strokes of white, like icing on a cake. I love icing.

It’s difficult to move on when you’ve had such an illustrious career. I’m smitten by her painting from the 50s and early 60s, such as Modern Cycle (shown above) and For Frank O’Hara which are part of the Smithsonian's collection. In those early years this feisty artist had no problem keeping up with the boys. Now she's 85 and, thankfully, still producing a steady stream of work; the boys are gone, so now it's Hartigan and Frankenthaler: lucky us.

As for my Five Favorite Shows of the Year, it's not easy and it turns out to be all museum exhibits:
  • Matisse: Painter as Sculptor, Baltimore Museum of Art. A rare gem of a show and it’s up until February 3rd.
  • J.M.W. Turner, National Gallery of Art. An amazing painter, a great exhibit.
  • Edward Hopper, National Gallery of Art. An American icon, and such a treat to see so many works at one time. I like him even more.
  • Fernando Botero, Katzen Center. This was a very difficult yet spot-on exhibit.
  • I’ve yet to see the Lucian Freud etchings or the Martin Puryear retro at the Museum of Modern Art (next week), but my 5th place goes to MoMA and the very intimidating yet strikingly beautiful Richard Serra retrospective.
Cheers to many more exhibits to post about. Congratulations to Ionarts for hitting the 3000th post in 2007. Good health, great food, and much peace to all our readers in 2008.


Anonymous said...

Hope you didn't miss the John Sloan show at the Delaware Museum of Art in Wilmington. As unsavory as the term "ashcan school" sounds rolling off one's tongue, the show was great. Sloan had the good sense to stay in the city where he found his inspiration and his work proved that even the darkest corners of a place like NY are sublimely beautiful.
Ron Pilling

Mark Barry said...

Sorry to say Ron I did miss it but I am a total Sloan fan.