Monday, May 26, 2014

Pushkinsky Art Gallery, Moscow

Barrett’s friend, who produces military uniforms, recommended this museum as having ‘great art’.  He really encouraged us to go.  I’m so glad he did.  We’d considered going to the sauna instead.  High art won out as it should.
I was so moved by the paintings. First there were Cezanne’s.  So many in one place. I’d studied art history at University. I’m fairly learned. I visit museums around the world.  I just haven’t seen so many of these greats in one place.  Several Paul Gaugin’s.  Then the Renoir that I bought as a poster, back in undergraduate,  and had frameless on my student digs wall.  I loved that poster. And here it was, the real thing. I had tears in my eyes.  Lots of it was nostalgia for those romantic years. That time of innocence.  Renoir is so soft and sensuous.  He gives life to the mundane.
Then came Degas. The dancer in me was thrilled by the perspective.  Van Gogh. The good stuff.  And a blue period, Picasso. I’d never seen a real blue period.  In books I’d read about it.  I saw so many of his later Cubist works in Spain. Here was the great Violin. But this blue period painting moved me.  Then Matisse flashed out at me.  I was alive in the summer fun of all that colour. Chagall took me to another place. All around Rodin Sculpture showed up as a surprise.  There were so many different paintings, different periods, but all great art.
So much.  I loved this museum. I loved this art.  I felt so blessed to see originals.  I tried to explain to Barrett the story of the Impressionists, how their works weren’t accepted in the annual referreed 1900 art exhibit, how they had to have their own show. How this show was a success and eventually we don’t know the artists who were chosen most by the ‘referees’.  But we all know these Impressionists.  The same revolution that hit art is happening all over again with the internet, self publishing, INDY music.  The middle men are being sidelined and the audience is directly expressing their preferences.  Unknowns are showing up all over just as the Impressionists once did.  They wanted to ‘see’ things ‘differently’.  And they did. Now we all see differently .  Art expands our horizons and we’re never seeing things, or knowing things,  the same .
I was moved by the art in this museum, moved as I’ve sometimes been, by the finest of art and best of exhibits. I love the curator. I love the way these paintings were placed.  I loved everything about this museum.  After I had to go to a cafe, sit, drink coffee and let it all settle, that emotional soulful shaking up.  What an experience.


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