Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Field Trip Today

Anime Queen, our lovely daughter, invited me on a field trip to the National Gallery of Art. Lovely white snowflakes fell as we drove in. Click here for a list of current exhibits. This was with her art class. They've been studying contemporary art, emphasizing artists like Jackson Pollack & Andy Warhol & photographers like Edward Weston. One of the kids' favorites was the room with some of Calder's mobiles. Click here to begin slideshow discussing Alexander Calder's mobiles.

The work that really made me think was a large piece by Anselm Kiefer mounted on a wall. It's a big piece: shades of grey and black and cream. To me it was a desolate, post apocalyptic landscape. The large work on the wall was powerful enough in and of itself, but combined with a nearby fighter jet, painted grey with dried poppies on the wings. - Well, it was amazing. Then to find out the dried plants were poppies on the wings..and that Mr.Kiefer is German, born in the last year of the WW II? It's quite a statement. Click here for examples of Mr. Kiefer's works.

Image found on Wikimedia Commons, this fresco is not seen in this exhibit.

After viewing the contemporary exhibit in the East Building, we went upstairs and walked through the Pompeii Exhibit. The sculptures are beautiful and the artifacts are amazingly detailed. There's a gladiator helmet with scenes from the Iliad on it. None of the life size figures are part of this exhibit. A gorgeous red dining room fresco glows in the soft light. The reds are soft and faded shades, but I wonder how bright and clear they might have been when they were new.

If you go to the Gallery, I definitely don't recommend eating in the 'food court' downstairs in the causeway between buildings. The food is expensive and mediocre at best. Bring your own. We brought lunch, daughter and I, salads and yogurt and Doritos and lemon water. The bookstore is nice and the shop on the next level up is wonderful.

No comments: