High on Modern and Contemporary Art

Went on a road trip with mom to see the major heavy hitters of Modern and Contemporary at the High Museum of Atlanta.  From Pablo Picasso to Andy Warhol, the show started with the Spanish Cubist and ended with the American Pop Artist.  Beyond the big names, we see this evolution of fine art depicting everyday objects.  After this cut, I give you my thoughts and why I think so.

Picasso’s Night Fishing at Antibes felt very reminiscent to Guernica.  Very dreary.  Painter and Model felt full of color and almost Mondrian in its execution.  Green Still Life felt so naturalist, which shows how diverse and talented Picasso revealed in his work.  Still Life with Liqueur Bottle gave off this wild vibe in its execution.  Looking at 1908 Landscape, I could imagine Picasso’s hand.  Wide Eyed in 1901 and Self Portrait felt medieval and alive in its brushstrokes.  His Rose Period felt naturalist but the eyes from Two Acrobats with a Dog look similar to the eyes to The Women of the Avenue.  I felt this sense of sadness and a plaintive feel.His sketches range from simple to complex.  Nude Before A Statue shows how he wrestles with the simple versus natural.

The Henri Matisse section showed the artist’s diverse range of sculpture, prints, and paintings.  Male Model had thick paint that turned the man’s face into a monkey.  However, I felt that this section did not showcase his best work.   I never did like the way he handled color in some paintings.  Paintings such as Dance and Goldfish with Sculpture.  Too light and washed out for me.  Maquette for Nuit de Noël and his covers show a better handle on color.  The color scheme of Woman with a Veil and Interior with a Violin Case create this lovely and somber atmosphere.  The black birds and people left a nice touch.  When I walked to the Constantin Brancusi section, I felt great joy at seeing his work in person.  I always thought he had a knack for making beautiful shapes.  They also had Bird in Flight on display.  Talk capturing the abstract in the most exquisite and elegant way.

The Mondrian room gave me this thought.  In an alternate universe, would Piet take up a job in making maps?  Or as I think now, architectural designs?  His clean and straight lines made me consider these ideas.  His precise execution in creating His Church Facade shows cleverness with its very few curves.  The Fernand Leger section emphasized more on Still Lifes than his usual portraits of voluptuous women.  Propellers and The Baluster shows an interest in machines.  We did see Three Women, his most remembered work.  The Giorgio De Chirico section displayed his quiet Surrealist touch.  The Enigma of the DayThe Nostalgia of the Infinite, and The Song of Love depicts these beautiful but lonely environments.

The Marcel Duchamp section has his own room and the High put together a great multimedia experience with his films and prints.  We saw many variations of his LHOOQ work such as L.H.O.O.Q. Shaved.  Shaved for me represents this hilarious joke by Duchamp.  He appropriates the Mona Lisa in a hilarious way, and then tweaks it again to show how easy one can reproduce another person’s art.  These variations almost act as a precursor to Andy Warhol’s multiple prints.  I also found Sonata very pretty.  Designs for Chessmen act as a reference to his chess playing years.  In Advance of the Broken Arm continues with his theme of ready-made appropriation.  They also had a Joan Miro section.  His paintings Still life 1 and 2, Kitchen Tools, Person Throwing a Stone at a Bird and Dutch Interior 1 shows Miro’s talent for creating these warped monsters.  Now that I think about it, Miro’s style reminds me of Hieronymus Bosch.  Also, I think the use of everyday objects in art connects Duchamp, Miro, and Warhol.  I felt disappointed in the Louise Bourgeois section.  They had works such as  Quarentania and a sketch of Saint Sebastian, but I do not think this show fully captured her talents.

The Jackson Pollock section left me with mixed feelings.  They had Number 1A, 1948Gothic, Shimmering Substance, and Free Form on display and I did not know what to thinkI like his use of purple in Gothic.  I enjoy reading his life story, but not really his work.  I loved the Alexander Calder room.  He almost captures drips and it feels so playful.  It shows this interest with science.  I loved Little Creatures and Flying saucers.  Romare Bearden had his own place.  Similar to Bourgeois, he has this token status.  Not big, but they had a few of his works.  I enjoyed the Jasper Johns section.  Summer 1985 had a spectral figure surrounded by American flags and Mona Lisa.  Similar to other artists on display, they draw a fine line between kitsch icons and fine art icons.

The Andy Warhol section had its own room.  I must say, the Brillo boxes, the S&H green stamps, Before and After, and his home movies felt very personal.  I felt as though I walked around his house.

The downside? This Artclix app that allowed people to photograph the art left me with disappointment due to the sketchy availability of the wireless connection.

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