A Night At the Art Museum

In Indianapolis we have the pleasure of a wonderful art museum that is free to get into. The Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) is amazing on many levels but I think what I like most about it is it a good museum to just hang out in. There are plenty of places to sit and sketch or take notes or just zone out. It is a very people friendly museum and I think that is an underestimated characteristic when it comes to public space in general.

I took my creative writing class to the museum to do some writing and while they looked for art that inspired them, I got to walk around and look at my leisure. Here are two paintings I wrote about in my journal:

Hotel Lobby by Edward Hopper

The House of the Deaf Woman and the Belfry at Erangy by Camille Pissarro

These are the journal entries about the two paintings. They’re pretty fragmented, but I think there are some poems brewing in there somewhere. From The House:

1886, Camille Pissarro, oil on canvas. When I think of Pissarro, I think of green. All different hues of green: yellow green, forest green, spring green, light (almost white) green & blue green. In this painting, green dominates. It is clearly the point. Trees, grass, shrubs, very few flowers. The woman is small, deaf to the rustling of all this green. Hunched over, knees deep in green, hands hidden. Weeding? It would be pleasant to feel if you could not hear. Could you feel young, new, sun, grass, green? Could you feel green? There is a belfry and a belfry equals  bells but she cannot hear. When she lost sound, she lost God? Is she trying to find God again in the green? Is she trying to find life? She seems so far away from the church. Isolated in this field of green.

From Hotel Lobby:

Oil on canvas. “Though this looks like a scene from a story, it’s not clear there really is one.” Two women and two men. Two older and two younger. Point of view seems to be from the doorway. Hopper’s paintings are always “busy” in terms of people but they are so lonely because the people always seem to be ignoring each other. Even in conversation they are lonely. Women are always young, blonde. There is a darkness in terms of color that seeps into the atmosphere as if something horrible is just below the surface. 

One thought on “A Night At the Art Museum

  1. How are we looking at the paintings of Mark Rothko these days?
    Is he old hat, replaced in America by more contemporary concerns? Looking at his minimal canvases and their enticing floating squares of subdued paint live at the MOMA recently, I had to stop to wonder whether he still communicates to a modern and younger audience.
    Wahooart.com, the site that sells good canvas prints to order from their database of digital images, has many Rothko prints. I ordered this one, Blue and grey, http://EN.WahooArt.com/A55A04/w.nsf/OPRA/BRUE-8BWU7F
    , that I have now hanging in my study. I can spend a long time looking at this elusive image that takes me to some other place not in this world.

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