Saturday, March 26, 2016

Highlights of my visit to the Art Institute of Chicago

Lorette with Cup of Coffee; Henri Matisse
It's always great to see works of art that you've never seen before, that really grab you, especially by favorite artists, like the one above.  I totally am blown away by the close-cropped composition, and can't think of another Matisse painting like it, including the very neutral color scheme.

While I didn't get to see everything I wanted during my recent visit to the Art Institute of Chicago, and the van Gogh exhibit was so crowded that I got claustrophobic and escaped without seeing most of it, I have some pieces from elsewhere in the museum that I want to share.  But first, let me share my mola dress, that I made! My camera was missing for a day, so I had to rely on what pics I could get others to take of me.
In the left-hand image, I just completed presenting a workshop on blogging with Laura Lohmann of the blog Painted Paper, and Cassie Stephens, who has a self-named blog.  On the right is my annual colorful hair pic with a gal from Massachusetts.  I think her lovely mermaid hair really outshined my blue tips and steak this year!  I got the mola through Crizmac, and bought assorted colors of double-knit fabrics (to match the mola) from Mood, the fabric store in NYC where they shop for fabric on Project Runway.  I'm pretty pleased with the way the dress turned out!

Now, back to my visit to the art museum...  I was sure this pic below was going to say it was by Andre Derain.  But I was wrong.  Nevertheless, I love, love the colors!
House at Chatou; Maurice de Vlaminck
 And I was fooled again by these two paintings. I was guessing maybe Kandinsky.  I don't think I realized that Braque ever painted with such lively colors!
Landscape at L'Estaque; Georges Braque
Antwerp; Georges Braque
 These below, however, WERE painted by Kandinsky, who has forever been another of my personal favorites. 
Landscape with Two Poplars; Vasily Kandinsky
Painting with Troika; Vasily Kandinsky
I was tickled to discover that this lovely painting with a complementary color scheme had been painted by a woman, and she was American! 
Landscape; Marguerite Thompson Zorach
And another Matisse I've never seen before.  This painting is so expressive; I am smitten. 
Woman before an Aquarium; Henri Matisse
And this has a Matisse-ness to it, but it is NOT a Matisse.
Summer; William Zorach
Here, I might have guessed Manet, and of course I was wrong again...  Instead, it's painted by another American woman!
Shoe Shop; Elizabeth Sparhawk-Jones
Another that reminds me of Manet...
At Mouquins; William Glackens
But maybe my favorite pieces that I came across in the museum were both surprises by George Wesley Bellows.  These paintings are very different, color-wise, than the Bellows paintings I am familiar with.  They are both so rich, so vibrant! 
Love of Winter; George Wesley Bellows
When I got to the Bellows painting below, a young couple was raptly staring at it.  They turned to me and asked "Do you know where this is?"  And I was able to answer!  The Palisades are a mountain cliff area on the New Jersey side (the western shore) of the Hudson River, just north of New York City.  When we visit NYC, we usually travel there by Amtrak train, on a line which runs along the eastern (NY) shore of the river from Manhattan northward.  The Palisades are visible from the train, so this is a view I have seen many times.  The painting is lush.  
The Palisades; George Wesley Bellows
I had also never seen this painting below before.  Isn't it just spectacular?  Usually I expect to see Magritte paintings with a color scheme centered around blues, so this red-orange seems very unusual to me.  I wish my crummy museum photos did justice to the incredible richness of color in these paintings I am sharing with you.  I
The Banquet; Rene Magritte
This painting below was also alive with rich warm colors and movement.  I can hear the music playing!!
Nightlife; Archibald J. Motley, Jr.
And look at this fun Lichtenstein painting! 
Woman III; Roy Lichtenstein
I love this painting below because it just "feels" like the Maine coastline, which is probably what Marin was interpreting in this artwork. 
Movement: Boats and Objects, Blue Gray Sea; John Marin
I can't share van Gogh's Rooms with you, because, like I said, the exhibit was beyond crowded, actually shoulder-to-shoulder when I was there.  Being short, dealing with the crowd, and having a woman with a shrieking infant behind me were all too much, so instead I escaped and spent a lot of my museum time viewing Chagall's vibrant stained glass American Windows.  Here's a few pics.  The window panels represent 5 different topics: music, painting/art, theater, the American Bicentennial, and reading/literature.  I enjoyed reading about the process of their creation, as well as seeing the complete piece.   Here's a few views.
I hope you've enjoyed this little museum tour, without having to leave home! 


  1. Thanks for sharing Phyl I Love seeing everything, particularly the Matisse pieces, "Lorette with Cup of Coffee" and "Woman Before an Aquarium" (both new to me) and of course Chagall's windows. Looks like a Great time!

    1. It's a relief to me to hear that these paintings are unfamiliar to others, too. At least I know I'm not alone in this! Thanks for visiting!