Took myself to the art museum…

One of the best things about living in Kansas City are the art museums. There are so many open, or opening soon, that seeing them all in one day is nearly impossible. I’ve been wanting to head back to the Nelson/Atkins to take more time in the Henry Moore room and see some of the big sculptures on the grounds that I missed the past few times I’ve visited. I spent too much of the morning hanging some artwork in my new studio, then drove the 12 miles to town and sauntered through some world class sculpture.

 This Hellenic/Greek torso is over 2,000 years old. Of course, this wasn’t new information, but the reality of it’s presence as an object- the culture that produced the individual that could make such fine work, and the marauders that smashed it, and its ability still to convey an ideal of form…art is exciting in such a unique way. Not to mention that it totally kicks my ass- really a wonderful piece.

Jump forward to the 1500’s in Renaissance Italy- this portrays the Roman tale of Galatea from the Iliad- and in a manner of heightened realism not seen since Greek times. This work is huge, three times life size or so. From this angle she drops such a sly look down, including the viewer in their erotic moment. And that is her braided hair that he holds in his left fist behind her shoulder, insistently keeping her in close.

Then we have Rodin’s Adam.  This is Adam as an outcast from the Garden of Eden. The undulation and tension, the down-pointing finger, the movement of stepping downward and looking downward; a plunge past the Gates of Hell…the expressive energy of Modernism vibrates through him.

Outside, overlooking the grounds, is an enormous casting of The Thinker. Look how tiny the moon is next to his hand- and I took this shot from way down on the ground below his feet as he sits on a large dias.
Rodin created him to sit atop the Gates of Hell, so this pastoral setting creates a bit of a non-sequeter.

Then we jump up to Archipenko- with a mother and child in a cubistic manner. Then off the the Henry Moore collection to see the last real master of form deal with the figure.

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