Monday, June 09, 2014

Kandinsky and Cheese...

I talked with Gail Crosman Moore the other day at the show and she said that I had to see the Kandinsky retrospective at the Milwaukee Museum of Art.  It was a must see!  And so, I made a plan to visit the museum.  It's an awesome venue.  Not only is the building, situated on the lake, simply breathtaking, it houses an impressive collection... including pieces by friends and former professors.  I always enjoy going there and try to make a point to do so when I'm in town.

I made a plan to go before my train left.  I would have hours to linger and soak in the artwork.  But the last night, Cynthia and I hatched a plan.  They were headed down to Chicago to visit with their friend and fellow artist, Jeremiah Ketner, and that's where my connection was.  We decided to go in the morning together and then I'd hitch a ride with them and have a few more hours of family time.

So... we didn't necessarily get hours to soak up the art... more like a rushed 45 minute sprint.  But we got to see the show and it was so nice to finally see the paintings in real life.  I studied Kandinsky in college and saw the color plates in textbooks and in slides.  I saw some of the pieces at the Guggenheim.  But never had I seen so many together and from so many different time periods of his artistic career.  And it was just great.  I think for those who aren't familiar with his work and the context it was created in, it might not seem that spectacular.  Maybe because nowadays his techniques are taught in Color Theory 101 and by the time you're an adult, you've seen derivatives rendered on everything from menus, bathroom tiles, and modern cuisine platings.  But to see them in person and to know that they were the spark... the originals... the things that broke the mold and helped open the door to the abstraction that is so common and accepted today... it was transcendental.  I don't mean that in the pretentious way either.  Looking at the pieces is like swimming in a sea of color, broken up by islands of shape and pattern.  Brushstrokes sway with the rhythm of the tides – flowing, moving, filling up the canvases.

After the museum, we hopped on the road and of course, stopped at the Mars Cheese Castle.  We ate cheese curds, listened to music that Greg and Dwayne had collaborated on, and enjoyed spending the extra time together.

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