Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Just as poet William Blake asks us “To see a world in a grain of sand” in his poem “Auguries of Innocence,” painter Paul Cézanne asks us to see the world in an apple in the many still lifes that span his long career. In The World Is an Apple: The Still Lifes of Paul Cézanne currently at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, PA, we’re invited to
into the world of “the painter of apples” and come away with new eyes
that see what Cézanne called the “ambient penetration” of all things,
that living quality of even inanimate objects best captured in the still
life, or as the French would say, “Nature morte,” literally and
paradoxically “dead life.” Using one of the oldest of genres, Cézanne
set the rules for the modern art that followed him while forging a
naïve, simplistic persona the real philosopher in paint hid behind.
After viewing The World Is an Apple, you’ll come away with a
new appreciation not only of Cézanne the painter, but also of Cézanne
the visionary who saw the whole world in even the simplest apple and
wants you to, too. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "How Cézanne Saw a World in an Apple."
Monday, April 22, 2013
Few things are as painful to watch in movies as an activity you know and love being portrayed poorly. From the awkward baseball swings of athletically challenged actors to the magical creativity of thespian painters and sculptors, the typical bio-pic rankles with under-researched insensitivity to the hard work and dedication of the subject depicted. French director Gilles Bourdos’ film, Renoir (released in 2012 but only now showing in select theaters in the United States), breaks out of the bio-pic mold and forges a fascinating new way of showing an artist, in this case Pierre-Auguste Renoir, toiling at his trade in a realistic way that also conveys the aesthetic, spiritual dimension of the art. Lush, delicate, charming, and soulful, Renoir might be the greatest movie about painting ever. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Is “Renoir” the Greatest Movie About Painting Ever?"
[Image: Michel Bouquet as Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Christa Theret as Andrée Heuschling, and Vincent Rottiers as Jean Renoir in Renoir. Photo Credit: Fidelite Films and Samuel Goldwyn Films.]
[Many thanks to Samuel Goldwyn Films for providing me with the image above and other press materials related to Renoir, now showing in select theaters in the United States.]
Monday, February 25, 2013
Nothing hurts like a blown call. Baseball’s bittersweet beauty owes much to moments such as Umpire Jim Joyce’s missing a call to rob Detroit Tigers’ pitcher Armando Galarraga of a perfect game, that rarest of baseball feats, in 2010. In baseball, calls are irreversible. In the world of art criticism, however, a blown call can be reversed, sometimes years and years later. In the February 2013 issue of Art News, Ann Landi chronicles cases of art critics changing their minds. Split Decisions: When Critics Change Their Minds gently, but firmly pulls away the curtain of infallibility from the world of art critics, whether they like it or not. But more important than documenting these moments of minds changed is raising the question of what makes art critics change their minds. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "What Makes Art Critics Change Their Minds?"
[Image: Cy Twombly. Fifty Days at Iliam. Shield of Achilles, 1978. Oil, oil crayon, and graphite on canvas.]