Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Richter Surprise at the High


A pic of me enjoying Jackson Pollock's 1A 1948 up close for the first time in my life. I have previously only seen it in art books. Taken with Jennifer's iPhone today at the High Museum in Atlanta. This was part of the Picasso to Warhol exhibit. Seeing Pollock's work was one of the highlights of the trip for me.
All the Campbell's Soup Cans of Andy Warhol were at the High today as well. I only recently learned how many of these Warhol painted. Warhol is very popular among the artsy crowd, of course. I am non-plussed by most of his work.

I took a day of vacation today so Jennifer and I could take her parents to Atlanta as a double-birthday present. We treated them to an exhibit at the High Museum and lunch afterwards. It was fun to get out of what has been a dreadful routine of work lately and shift mind-gears into something more meaningful. For me, that something often means Art.

Jennifer, of course, was particularly taken with the featured works of Henri Mattise and we all enjoyed the Pablo Picasso pieces. But, the biggest surprise of the day, for me, was not part of the exhibit.

As almost an after-thought, Jennifer suggested that we go up one floor to a contemporary art exhibit "just to see what's up there." Well, it turns out that among the many works there were three paintings and two installations by my favorite living painter, Gerhard Richter.

Richter is a prolific visual artist who works in many mediums. Richter has recently made headlines for the prices his work is now fetching. He is certainly considered one of the world's premiere living artists and his work is in very high demand. So, finding him unexpectedly at the High today was a wonderful treat.

Richter's Blau was painted in 1988. It sold in 2002 for over $2 million. That makes it a rather minor work among his vast catalog. Chump change at today's prices.
Blau is a large painting with numerous abstracted images within the work. This is a detail. I wish I had remembered to bring a camera other than Jennifer's iPhone. But, this still gives you some idea of the visual feast to be discovered around the canvas of this large contemporary masterpiece.

The Reader is from 1994. An oil on linen taken from a photograph. This is an amazing work to see up close. Well, actually, if you initially step back you can more easily realize what you are looking at. Then as you move inward you find more and more to appreciate in this textured, defused-for-effect, painting.

After this wonderful surprise, and after appreciating a few other impressive works featured at the High, the four of us had
lunch at Murphy's, which used to be something of a hang-out when Jennifer and I first met in 1987. The place has moved across the street since then and is now considerably larger and brighter (more windows). It was a nice experience topped off by a decadently generous slice of Toll house cookie pie which we all shared.

Sure beats working.

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