Friday, May 22, 2009

Boston 28.5.92: Apples and War, Peace and Sex

Impressionist room, Boston Museum of Fine Arts: great art is not clever, but almost subliminal in its power, because it deals in commonplace themes. Gaugin’s Tahitian paintings: apples, war, peace, sex. To have the courage to keep working at the simple, make it yield more and more meaning, like Hopkins’ pressed oil—that’s the gift of the great artist. Which is the ability to believe that what one sees, what has happened to one, is worth saying. And all this with the Nietzchean seriousness of a child at play. Surely when Monet painted the façade of the Rouen cathedral twice in different lights, he did so because it was play for him to do so.

Janet Fish, “Spring Party”: a poster I liked at BMFA.

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