|Speed Art Museum|
The Speed Art Museum on the University of Louisville campus has a comprehensive collection that covers the major periods of art of the last
|Hans Arp Sculpture|
five hundred years. There are a couple of beautiful works by Hans (Jean) Arp and Ida Lansky in the upper level. It also presents some intriguing exhibitions, the latest being Renoir to Chagall: Paris and the Allure of Color. It runs until May 6 and it’s worth checking out. It consists of ninety pieces so it’s possible to thoroughly cover both it and the museum in a couple of hours.
|Dexter Guards the Entrance to the Exhibit|
Dancer Adjusting Her Shoes
by Edgar Degas
“Paris and the allure of color” is a misnomer. The major subjects (figures in exteriors and interiors, landscapes, seascapes, and still-lifes) and painters are all in evidence. Monet and Degas are still incredible even with only a couple of examples of their work, but Renoir is horribly over-rated because his half dozen great works aren’t on display. It’s ‘the others’ that make up the bulk of the
pieces and the focus on the also-rans is very revealing because, in their time, tastemakers and the public probably loved their work, while art historians have left it in the basement.
|Portrait of Madeleine, the Artist's Sister|
by Emile Bernard
Emile Bernard’s portrait of his sister Madeleine is both ambivalent in its attitude – he must have been both in awe of her and ticked off by her – and a precursor to Picasso’s portrait of Gertrude Stein. Gaston La Touche’s The Joyous Festival is heroic in scale and the fireworks are luminescent, almost like Day-Glo a hundred years earlier. The people in it are young, exuberant, and somehow aware that this is a moment that will pass, which was one of the main themes of Impressionism. Vuillard’s Madame Hessel in Her Room emphasizes the setting over the portrait through a technique that blurs Madame, but points up the vibrancy of the room through its intensity. Boudin and Dufy’s works are arresting. One painting leapt off the wall, though I didn’t know the artist at first. And then, almost without saying, I realized it was Matisse. On the other hand,
an artist I’d never previously seen before and who was probably more of a Salon painter than an Impressionist was Henri Latour. His realistic – almost commercially illustrative – floral and fruit paintings were lovely. That type of discovery makes an exhibition like this so worthwhile.
|Carnations in a |
by Henri Latour