Monday, February 20, 2012

A Phillips Kind of Revelation

The couple times I have been to the Phillips Collection have given me a real sense of revelation on my work.  I think its because the collection is manageable in size and a narrow curated vision of artists whose work I respond to anyway.  This past week I went to see the Snapshot show which featured the work and photographs of Bonnard, Vuillard and five of their contemporaries.

Edouard Vuillard, The Kitchen 1891
The thing I realized during this visit is why the 'other five contemporaries' works really did not hold my attention as Bonnard and Vuillard can.  They are all working from the same motif; the things they see, they are all working around the same time and they are almost always working in France.  

The difference is how unconventional the first two artists could make conventional life look.  They are able to take the mundane and make it into a thing viewers recognize but can't immediately process (i.e. the still life above)  To get viewers to enter a piece which references everyday life, it must be a little familiar but a lot bizarre.  Which reinforced what I know of my own work: I must continue to push the boundaries of what I see and how I paint it.


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