Monday, May 11, 2009

Pop to the Present

I've been getting a full dose of modern art lately. I went to the exhibit "Pop to the Present" at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford. Admission is always free and the museum houses a great collection. I loved the 4 Lichtenstein paintings that they had on display on a wall covered with his characteristic dots. I have an even greater appreciation for his work after finding out that many of the images are carved into wood and then stamped onto the paper. I could not believe the smooth and uniform coverage of his works. There were several other lesser known artists whose work I liked at the exhibit. Peter Milton is a contemporary artist who masterfully uses the technique etching, combining old scenes with some surreal, dream like elements. You have to see his work in person to truly appreciate just how intricate and powerful it is. I also liked the work by Elmer Bischoff, about an interior with city. They had one of his earlier pieces and then compared to the later work, it was fascinating to see just how much he had evolved as an artist. I prefer his later work.

I would skip the special exhibit that they have upstairs entitled "Splendid Grief"- it is an instillation of a Victorian room of grief and it was very dark and I found it almost creepy.

I am THRILLED that they have placed on display ALL of their Rodin sculptures. They have several outside the museum and now have several rooms filled with his work. It is the largest number of pieces that I have seen in one place minus the Rodin Museum in Paris. A definite must see. I learned that Rodin was rejected three times from one of the top art schools in Paris, so he had to take classes from a more craftsman/manufacturer perspective rather than fine art. This suggests to me that you do not have to go to the very best or top programs to be extremely successful; instead, hard work, effort, and belief in what you are doing is most important. And sometimes, people might not initially recognize your abilities and talents, but if you keep learning and improving your talents, you can have success. Maybe not as great as Rodin, but success.

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