Thursday, November 20, 2014

Turrell, Monet, and No Banana for Me

The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston is actually in two separate buildings with a busy street between them so they put in an underground tunnel to connect the two  A sensible idea that becomes a GREAT idea if you commission James Turrell to make a permanent installation in the tunnel, The Light Inside, made with neon and ambient light. 
The picture above is what you see as you start along the elevated walkway. The colors gradually change during the day, from blue to red to magenta, so you never know what it's going to be. The only difference in the reality as opposed to the picture is that there is always a guard posted in there to be sure you don't step or fall down off the walkway which is raised up about a foot. The pink square is the wall at the end, you walk toward it and then around it to enter the other part of the museum. 

The museum's featured show was Monet and the Seine: Impressions of a River. Yeah, we all know about Monet's water lilies but before he moved to Giverny and did those he painted scenes near where he lived. He actually painted more river scenes (over 100) than he did of water lilies.

The show grouped the paintings by site and subject matter which was interesting to see because you could compare how he changed his view and style depending on the time of day. Also, the show had gathered in paintings from many different sources, both museums and private collections. Below, two paintings of the same site, one painting from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the other from Mead Art Museum at Amherst College.

Finally, a lesson based on my life experiences. If you go to a park and sit down to eat a banana, don't set it down when you walk away to take some pictures, even if for just a few minutes. Unless you want to share it with a bird. 

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