modern art

once
twice
thrice
a needle spins and
a bowl of rice
will make a feast of
color to thrill and
suffice in a stream of
impressionistic but not
impressionable
eyes. What is color and
form, blank canvases
on a wall, the hue of
Modernity?

I found this scribbled on a scrap of paper, my thoughts after visiting Centre Pompidou for the first time in February. It’s basically the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) of Paris, and contains all sorts of delightful things, like this awesome technicolor room (you can also look into it through these rainbow panes of glass which you can see in the reflection!)

IMG_8647

and this car smashed into a rectangular prism (ok some people might question this but I think it’s cool)

IMG_8650

but also pieces that confound my artistic senses completely, dull and inexperienced though they may be, such as these three completely blank white canvases attached to the wall, also white:

*Edit: this picture disappeared from the internet, but basically it was the work below with someone standing in front of it.

I didn’t take this picture. I didn’t take a picture, period, because it would have looked boring, and even whoever took this picture knew that and had to put a person in front of it so that you could even tell what you were supposed to be looking at. I couldn’t find another picture of this work online either, except for this, the official one from the museum website:

https://i2.wp.com/www.centrepompidou.fr/media/imgcoll/Collection/1A/02/1A02494_normal.jpg

Except I didn’t like it because it looks like one of those pictures I accidentally took of the wall, or of my hand, while trying to put my phone away. I remember reading the caption in the corner about this “piece,” and it said something about appreciating the canvas for itself and for its relationship to the wall to which it is attached…

I’m taking an art history class now for the first time in my life and I really love it (it’s focused on modern to contemporary art in Paris, from Picasso and Matisse through Surrealism and now we’re moving into the post WWII years); I find a lot of the anti-figurative, anti-classical pieces interesting, especially after hearing their background stories that justify considering them as art, usually not for any aesthetic factor but for the artistic ideas behind them. I am now prepared to write essays defending the ideological worth of a good variety of completely random, often aesthetically vulgar looking objects, like Marchel Duchamp’s urinal/”Fountain” (in fact, I did actually write my midterm paper on this), and believe 90% of what I’m saying about them too (I mean, it took Duchamp almost 50 years to convince people that this was art, so it’s the least I can do)

However, I simply cannot understand the fact that someone paid hundreds, or more likely thousands, of dollars to hang these three blank squares on the wall in this museum. Who knows, I might learn about it in the next half of the semester though, I’ll let you know if I change my mind.

To end on a happier (prettier) note,

Claude_Monet_042

This is Monet’s Régate à Argenteuil, one of my favorites! I love it because it was my introduction to impressionism–my second grade teacher showed us a picture of this painting for one minute, then turned it around and had us paint it from memory (or our “impression” :P. I miss art class haha. And playing with watercolors!).

 

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One thought on “modern art

  1. aw I love Monet! And I liked the Centre Pompidou. Have you been to musee de l’orangerie? It’s one of my favorites. I do know what you mean about some art being like wtf I can’t believe this is art… but also so much of art, esp recent / post-war / art-for-arts-sake art, is up to interpretation and you could BS anything really…

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