Monday, January 10, 2005

Go van Gogh

"I often think that the night is more alive and
more richly colored than the day."
~ Vincent van Gogh

Spent all day in Atl yesterday. Chris and I met up with my lj friend tardis_chan and her boyfriend, blackwolfga at the Old Spaghetti Factory for lunch. De also joined us, and showed us where to find the half-price ticket booth at Underground, which was very helpful. For us, at least, as we bought the last of the half-price tickets for the High Museum for the day, and De and her mom had to pay full price (well, adult and student) at the door. Sorry about that. :)

The exhibit currently at the High is Van Gogh to Mondrian, and it was amazing. I've seen a few van Gogh pieces at different museums, and tried to get into the van Gogh/Gauguin exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago (I forget why we didn't see it, but I'm sure time, scheduling, or money were a factor), but I've never seen a large collection of his works all at the same time. Seeing as van Gogh is my favorite artist - I even sat through this awesomely bad movie called Starry Night because it was about him being resurrected at the Pasadena Rose Bowl parade - I was in heaven. They only had a few of his more well-known paintings: Café Terrace of Night, Olive Grove, and Self-Portrait (1887), so I still didn't get to see Starry Night. But the High was selling prints of it, along with the other paintings. So...yeah, that makes sense. Of course, they were also selling stuffed Vincent van Gogh dolls, along with Monet and Dali. And they had a box of fingerpuppet artists (van Gogh, Frida Kahlo, Monet, and Dali; you could also buy Kahlo's husband, Diego Rivera, separately), which was awesome.

Back to the art: Piet Mondrian was way too abstract for my taste - his Composition 10 in Black and White was supposed to be a pier and some ships on the ocean, but it really looks like a series of black lines. But I am totally in love with this painting, Odilon Redon's The Cyclops. And I really liked The Bride by Johan Thorn Prikker. There was another painting that caught my eye, The Harvest, but I didn't write down the artist's name and I can't find it on the HMA website. I think it might have been by Maurice Denis. If anyone knows, please comment.

We also checked out the permanent collection. I was disappointed, because Monet's Houses of Parliament in the Fog seems to have been moved. I always look forward to seeing it when I go to the High. This painting of peaches was so amazing, it almost looked like photorealism. I was also blown away by the marble statues, especially Medea Mediating the Death of her Children and the bust of Ralph Waldo Emerson. I can't imagine how someone could take a block of stone and chip away at it to make something so life-like. I had to do it once (with plaster) for a 3D art class, and it didn't turn out that well. My mom still proudly displayed it on the mantel, though, because she's nothing if not encouraging.

So...that was my day. We ended up spending a few hours at the museum, what with the lines and everything. Chris and I also went to dinner at Gordon Biersch (which was probably a little too expensive for us), and our kick-ass waiter, Ben, let me walk out with the mug my beer came in. Their Winterbock brew is excellent, by the way, and has the highest alcohol content of all their current beers. And you gotta love a beer company that uses slogans like, "Sure we could make a strawberry beer. We could put a little paper umbrella in it, too."

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