Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Visit to the Crocker

Last week, I went to visit the Crocker art museum to see the current exhibition, a collection of Sam Francis' work. He's an abstract artist from the 1940s. While I'm not generally a abstract art kind of person, I have to say that Francis' work was very compelling. The bright, beautiful sprays of colour, the positioning on the canvas, everything was very nicely done. If I were to make abstract paintings, I would think that I would make them like his.

My next stop after the Sam Francis exhibition was the centemporary art exhibits. I think my favorite piece in this exhibit was Gottfried Helnwein's "Untitled (The Disasters of War 10)," made in 2007. I really liked this piece because it carries similarities to the Greco-Roman style of art, where it carries a strength of realism and emotion portrayed through a human subject. But, although similar, Helnwein has a unique flavor in his piece that carries a sorrow and sense of weakness that isn't portrayed in the heroes of the Greco-Roman style. The soft, melancholy colours add to the feeling of sadness that the subject feels. Inspite of the general sadness that the character portrays, the character does not seem to be completely overwhelmed by despair: she still seems to have a reserve of strength that keeps her shoulders up.

The landscapes in displayed at the Crocker are almost perfectly beautiful. The detail, the suggestion of detail, the colours, the textures pushed me to the brink of tears. They were so beautiful. A lot of the landscapes that I remember were of mountains frosted in snow. The sight is a nostalgic one for me: it reminds me of home.

Some of the most gorgeous, breath-taking pieces I saw in the Crocker were the Greco-Roman, Neo-classical, and Romantic oil on canvas paintings. All of them were filled with such vitality. The emotions of the subjects were strong: you could practically feel what they were feeling. The life-like qualities of the subjects made it easy to relate to them, to see yourself in their shoes, no matter how heroic or mundane their situation.

My final destination in my two hour, whirlwind tour of the Crocker took me to the Asian art exhibits. While the pieces didn't carry the same emotion and strength of the European oil paintings, they did carry a charm all their own. The delicate nature of some of the pieces was enchanting, as was the case for the little musicians and dancing girls. While far less enchanting and endearing, the Japanese samurai armour was a sight to behold. The strength of colour, the care of assembly, the precision of the pieces of the armour all added up to an amazing presentation. Japanese samurai have always fascinated me, so it was an exciting thing to see a suit of armour up close and in person.

My visit to the Crocker was certainly a wonderful, if brief, experience. I hope to visit there again, but plan to spend longer to maximize my enjoyment of the exhibits.

No comments:

Post a Comment