Tuesday, February 24, 2015

aesthetic arrest

This morning my Arts Class did the session on Palm Avenue - a gallery walk with our instructor, Judy Levine. As usual, it was an interesting morning and as usual, I learned something new.  so let's get into the information- what I learned today was the term "aesthetic arrest" which is apparently the name Joseph Campbell gave for that moment when we go along viewing art and suddenly are stopped by something that "speaks" to us. This concept is brilliant because, to me, it encapsulates the essence of why I will LOVE something absolutely LOVE it- MUST have it, and my husband will be either only neutral - or worse- dislike it.

Case in point- a painting I bought last year that I LOVE and he really doesn't like. (I feel somewhat vindicated by the fact that friends of ours reacted in the same way to the work that I did.)  It is large 43x 52 (Phil thinks it is too big) and bold- but the minute I saw it I knew it was mine...LOL - I felt it was perfect for city-dwellers like ourselves who live in a house on a city lot 25 feet wide...LOL everything in our lives is vertical...like the painting- so it hangs in the stairwell, a compromise location.... but I get to enjoy it each day we are in Chicago.

Cityscape by Stuart Yankell, 1988

so I learned that term this morning at one of the four galleries we visited - and I have to say I had my moments this morning - and had I not promised Phil I would stop collecting - well I may have come home with two things that "spoke" to me.  We met near the Dabbert Gallery and because I was early I had a few minutes to take a few photographs of Palm Avenue...

the last photo was some art on the side of a bank building and had no nearby plaque to identify it...

so Judy gave us an update on some of the events around the area and then the Gallery owner came to welcome us into his wonderful gallery...he spoke to us about pricing for art work- and commission structure and gallery space and representing artists... all very informative.  I really liked his selection of artists/works exhibited - and here are things we saw- 

 and another - whose work I really really really liked- LOL

and the above painting is one that called out to me- and I commented to classmates that it is hard to stop collecting once you start- and I laughed at myself - when I got home- yes of course I loved "Sentinel" (above) because it was reminiscent of a Keith Oehmig painting I bought called "OGUNQUIT BEACH"  The first Keith Oehmig (born in Tennessee, now residing in Brunswick, Maine) we purchased ten years ago on a visit to Maine.  Oehmig's works are infused with light and color, and his impressionistic style is well suited to capturing the natural landscape throughout Maine, as well as the Florida beaches and French and Italian countryside, all of which he paints. And when I saw this one (below) on the website of the gallery (which thoughtfully had kept up with me - LOL) I fell in love with it and called to ask about its availability. So here is my similar sized version of the blue sky white cloud beach painting - now hanging in our Florida living room...

so despite my desire to make Sentinel a part of my own collection- I kept my promise to Phil... at that gallery...

we went on to another - 

This gallery had amazing glass works and bronze sculptures and several very appealing artist working on canvas and aluminum.  Then we ventured on to the Allyn Gallup Gallery where I had a weak moment- and even went so far as to inquire about the Jean Blackburn paintings they held in their inventory...but pulled myself together LOL-Their current exhibit was of Lynn Davison.

 then on to Art Uptown- 

I escaped the gallery walk without breaking my promise to not buy anything- LOL but went home to some of my favorite works as a consolation LOL- two large format paintings- 

I learned the one below "MOMENTUM" by Diane Reiger has what they call gallery wrap - the canvas is painted on the side so as to hang it without framing - which I have done.  But the above one I did have framed with a gallery level framing - it is called "NEAR POINT CARMEL SURF"  the cresting California surf by Helen Gleiforst (1903-1997). Gleiforst is a listed California impressionist whose teachers included Nicolai Fechin, George Melcher, and John Hubbard Rich. Dedrick Stuber influenced her landscapes and Nell Walker Warner influenced her floral paintings.

another favorite- "EVENING, RIO DEL MAR BEACH, 2004" A substantial modernist oil coastal landscape showing a view of Northern California's Rio Del Mar beach softly illuminated by a lilac and cornflower-blue sunset. Signed lower right, "C.W." for Colin West (American, 20th century).

You may not have "aesthetic arrest" about these paintings- LOL but that is why art is in the eye of the beholder! And I hope you find some art that "speaks" to you at some point- whether in a gallery on Palm Avenue or a local museum or when traveling the world...  

Last year President Obama got into trouble for dissing the Art History majors in liberal arts education but both my husband and I were art history minors (and yes that is part of the reason we went to law school :-( ) and just last week we were discussing how much a knowledge of art has enriched our lives. We have a couple of trips planned for overseas destinations this year that are focused on art and museums we want to (re)visit.  It is a part of why we travel.  So visit a local museum or gallery and find your own "aesthetic arrest"....  for next week's class a visit to the Circus Arts Conservatory- now that should be super fun! 

And tonight we saw a kick-butt play at the Asolo "Good People" which I will tell you more about tomorrow.  And tomorrow, I am scheduled to see "Both Your Houses" (again at Asolo) which I saw last fall in a Chicago production...  So more - of course - always more..... 

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