So I was pretty excited to go to the Minneapolis Art Institute’s art museum over Spring Break, and excited to get a good grasp on some of the changes and fads that came out during different eras of art. The first piece that caught my eye was the Portrait of Paris von Gutersloh. It was created by Egon Schiele, back in 1918. It is an ‘unfinished’ painting of his friend, because Schiele died in that same year, 1918, during the influenza epidemic. Although it is technically unfinished, under the category of Austrian Expressionist portraits, it still is considered a masterpiece.
I really liked how his eyes lured you in, something about the eyes definitely interested me. The colors, and the overall design of the painting reminded me of something you would see in a dream. The next piece I would like to talk about is called Le Petit Dejeuner. It is a painting by Fernand Leger. I chose this one because it shows contrast, because it was created in 1919, a year later than the last one, created in 1918, and is completely different in style.
While my mind attempted to wrap itself around all the different objects in the painting, I found myself staring at it, trying to ‘solve’ it, but attracted to it. I think that’s half of the attraction right there, yearning to ‘solve’ it. The next one on my list of items is Catskill Mountain House by Jasper Francis Cropsey in 1856. I thought this was a beautiful painting of landscape. I loved the clouds rolling through the mountain, with the background landscape fading in the misty air. The almost leafless tree, halfway lit up by the rising sun on the left.
Tucked in the middle of the mountain was the Catskill Mountain House, a hotel built on the south mountain, approximately 2200 feet above sea level, which was a focal point for many artists, but I think this painting does the justice better than the rest. Now to switch it up, I went for a sculpture rather than a painting. This piece is called Gubbin’s Return, and is created by Richard Shaw in 1981. This piece of work caught me completely off guard, because I thought it was just a bunch of things stuck together, but after reading about it, it’s all made from porcelain!
The amount of detail put into the box, the wine bottle, the pieces of wood, its ridiculous how real it all looks. Really awesome piece of work. I wanted to write about something older, so I chose the Water Pitcher from the 18th century that was on display in the special exhibitions area. Just to think that this beautiful piece was used as an everyday water pitcher, but has so much character carved into the bronze. Comparing it to a water pitcher that you and I would use today is almost a slap in the face.
And it was a large piece as well, and being made of bronze I’m sure it was quite heavy. Perhaps it was a water pitcher that was brought out on special occasions, or for the king or leader of a civilization, which is why it is so intricate. Keeping in the older items, the next piece I am writing about is called Plate, from the Sung Dynasty(~1000 AD). It really caught my eye, because it resembles a smiley face. But it was awesome to be that close to a plate that someone was eating on over a thousand years ago.
My next piece was by Johann Heinrich Roos, called Roman Landscape with Cattle and Shepherds. It was created in 1676, and is a very realistic painting showing the animals and the people relaxing on the landscape, watching the sun either rise or fall in the distance. The painting has great work with shadows and sunlight on the different shapes throught the picture, and a lot of attention to detail. I moved on to a platinum print called Gathering Waterlilies. It is created by Peter Henry Emerson in 1886.
It is an awesome picture, showing a woman picking waterlillies from the water, while the man rows the boat and watches her. It gives me a warm feeling, as if the two are a couple in love, showing good times while dating. I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to the Minneapolis Art Institute, I brought my wife with me and she had a great time too. It is nice to broaden our horizons in the art world by seeing what the past has brought us, and how everything has evolved over time, what different fads have come and gone, and where we stand now.