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Sometimes art….

19 Feb

Editorial Disclaimer:  cas works at the MIA, but this column is in no way sanctioned or advocated by the Institute and all opinions represented herein are my own and do not represent the opinions of the Institute.

Marsden Hartley, An Evening Mountainscape, 1909

Marsden Hartley, An Evening Mountainscape, 1909

My heartrate speeds, each pulse is a uniquely articulated stroke.  The pressure moves through my chest, grasping my throat.  My lips quiver and my eyes push forward, sliding on a bed of astonished tears.  It is so beautiful.  The air is crisp in the valley, so cool and the pines stand tall, delineated by brush hairs and highlights.  Squinting across the distance, shadow has fallen on the leeward side of the mountain, the richness in the shadow, blues of cobalt, azure, sapphire, royal, royal blue; the depths move.  The final sun caught in the clouds, reflected in the lake is an ebullient exclamation, an explosion, dance in salmon and peach, wriggling through the last sky into inky night.

It is so simple, and so beautiful.  Each individual brushstroke a debt to past painters, Van Gogh and Monet.  It is so singularly placed on a wall, lavendar, in the gallery. The frame is so delicate, balsa, almost, and a thin gold wash floating around the pigment, a halo of a frame. The painitng itself is one man in time and space but the experience is hundereds of hands and thousands of miles building and piecing together to make this happen here and now with you. You travelled through history, pictorial, architectural, personal to get here to see this painting, and now, what are you going to do with yourself? Sometimes art takes you home to a place you have never been. Sometimes art is the breeze and the distance. Sometimes art lays open your valleys and hold in your suns, gives you succor, bids you rest, beautiful, rest.

Marsden Hartley’s An Evening Mountainscape is on view as part of the Minneapolis Institute of Art‘s Noble Dreams & Simple Pleasures; American Masterworks from Minnesota Collections, open now for Member Preview Days, open to the general public Sunday, February 22nd.  Noble Dreams & Simple Pleasures runs through May 3rd.  Free for members of the MIA, $8 for non-members.

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