Saturday, July 18, 2009

Daily Art

Out of all the art I've seen in the past couple of days, the Ensor and Bacon exhibits really stood out. Today, I'm hitting galleries in Chelsea (first stops will be Nicole Klagsbrun and Matthew Marks).

Skeletons Fighting Over a Pickled Herring (1891)
James Ensor
Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/Sabam, Brussels

I knew a few of James Ensor pieces, but I wasn't prepared for just how weird his paintings were. As Dave said, "He must have been the David Lynch of his time." The exhibit was great. Lots of prints, drawings and paintings. I even ran into Chuck Close (which made me absolutely giddy!). There were so many pieces that I loved, but I kept coming back to the skeletons above. I expected it to be huge, but the painting is actually really small. Here's a review by Jerry Saltz.

Study after Velázquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent X (1953)
Francis Bacon 
The Estate of Francis Bacon/ARS, New York/DACS, London

Painting (1946) by Francis Bacon
The Estate of Francis Bacon/ARS, New York/DACS, London

I thought the Francis Bacon exhibit at The Met was pretty amazing. I'm actually not the biggest fan of his later stuff, but I find his story really compelling and tragic. I watched a documentary about him before I visited NYC and I think I would have enjoyed an evening of drinking with him, but his paintings leave me extremely angsty. It was actually hard to be in the same room with some of the darker ones. His painting Painting made me shiver. It's the same feeling I got watching the movie Hellraiser, things feel hopeless and you know they'll remain that way forever. There's something about the open mouths that made me want to scream along with them. If there is a hell, I have a feeling it would feel like that. Here's another Jerry Saltz review.


Cara said...

Hey Joey,
SAM is having a show featuring James Ensor in the spring 2010.

Sounds like you are having a great trip.


Joey Veltkamp said...

NO WAY! I can't wait. I already miss it! Thanks for the heads-up Cara.