Today I took myself off to see the Impressionism to Expressionism art exhibition at the Musée des Beaux Arts. I really enjoyed it and amongst the Cezanne, Matisse and Kandinsky learned about an artist that I was only vaguely aware of, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Interestingly, in 1933, his work was branded as “degenerate” by the Nazis and in 1937 over 600 of his works were sold or destroyed. I came home and spent some time on line looking at more of his paintings and that way, extended my enjoyment. I am posting a couple below. In ‘Female-artist’ from 1910, the girl looks as if she could be from 2015 with what she is wearing, the way she is sitting. The ‘self-portrait with a pipe’ is one I found online that I really like.
The museum was busy, full of young and old enjoying the art, some just looking and others in deep conversation about what they were seeing. It is a reminder that there is so much to do in our city if we just make the effort. There was, however, a lady who must have arrived at the same time as I did, as we were more or less in step, who really spent no time looking at the paintings, she just went from painting to painting and photographed first the painting and then the write-up beside it. I watched her for a few moment in her quest; she didn’t really seem to take time to absorb anything.
Driving home I thought about her and it reminded me of tourists who are totally intent on taking photos of all they see but not spending much time in the moment. Yes, I often think after travelling that it’s a pity I don’t have many photos and could probably be envious that they are the ones going home with a great album of where they visited, but still don’t really get it. I keep seeing writers and lifestyle commentators saying ‘live in the moment’ and they have a good point. We need to enjoy our time to the fullest as we do things, whether it is looking at art, eating something delicious or being with people we appreciate. Not that I am overly purist about this – I just signed up for Instagram a few weeks ago, so I don’t think sharing is all bad. While at the museum, I also looked in on an Andy Warhol exhibit and there I did take a photo of something which amused me that I wanted to share. In a copy of Mademoiselle Magazine from 1960, he illustrated a diet! Really?
Two thoughts – first, he needed to make a living as a young artist before his grand fame just the same as everyone else and second, we women are still checking every diet and trying to emulate the thin models we see. It’s time to be happy with our bodies (full disclosure that I am presently on a diet trying to lose 10 pounds!!) So, as the French say ‘avec tout ce qui change, tout reste le même’ or with everything that changes, everything stays the same.