Tuesday, March 02, 2010

rediscovering art

As an artist and former art student I have plenty of favorite artists. Many were acquired through museums all over the world that I have been lucky enough to visit. But just as many originated in childhood perusal of art catalogues owned by my parents. Flipping through pages of those heavy books I first fell in love with the pastel ballerinas of Degas and the beautiful blues and flesh tones of Botticelli. But as I get older and wander through a familiar museum, a familiar collection, I can also rediscover a familiar artist. Or maybe the artist is discovering me, reaching out and revealing an affinity I wasn't aware of previously.

The latest to catch my eye has been Paul Manship. After living many years in New York, I was more than aware of Manship and his Art Deco style, most spectacularly represented by the Prometheus statue in Rockefeller Center. At a recent visit to the National Gallery of Art I was pulled again and again to his statue Diana and a Hound. It's a wonderful bronze, and my love of line work is as delighted by the overall lines of the piece as the wonderful details of the goddess's hair and the hound.

The full sculpture, also at Brookside Gardens

details from the National Gallery of Art
National Gallery West Wing

National Gallery West Wing

National Gallery West Wing

I'm strictly a 2-D artist, which may be another reason Manship appeals to me, as I always respect art that can incorporate things that I love, like line work, as well as doing things I can't do, like think in the round, in bronze. I'm not yet sure whether this rediscovery will inspire some more artwork on my part or just feed the senses. Either way, I know I'll be going back soon to take another look.


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