Thursday, April 22, 2010

Trees, arbres, sunflowers and more

Spring, Joan Mitchell is "the" artist of the season in New Orleans. Her works are displayed in three venues: the CAC. the NOMA and the Newcomb Gallery.

Starting with the CAC, downtown, the first floor is filled with lithographs and etchings.

Joan Mitchell's works can appear difficult to view at first. She is a well-known Abstract Expressionist painter who developed her own style, which can be recognized after looking at a number of her paintings. She had different periods, some darker, others more luminous. Her technique and her vision are unique. When one looks at her series on trees, we could call her Impressionist ( some may cringe). The trees are seen at different time of the day, and they appear dark, menacing with the light yellow illuminating the painting in the background. She is clearly giving an impression of the late time of the day, dusk.
The series of sunflowers could be described as dynamic, vibrant. She is not painting sunflowers. She is concentrating a lifetime of looking at sunflowers.

Uptown at the Newcomb gallery, a different set of works can be viewed, pastels and watercolors all inspired by nature. The presentation of the exhibition is well done and the bright colors of the works glow in the soft light of the gallery. The visitor can understand the different periods of the artists. One room is dedicated to a diptych which occupies a whole wall. Done the year of her death, it is an apotheosis with rich colors, movement, a story of the painter's life.
Joan Mitchell is one of the artists who, dealing with their own mortality composed brilliant pieces, like a final message, and at the same time, a hope for the future.

Joan Mitchell's works need to be looked at again and again: poetic, with impressions, colors, movements and intellectual talking about life, death.

1 comment:

Sylvie Contiguglia said...

I did go to NOMA to close the loop. It was worth the visit. A complement to the two exhibits. The NOMA presented oil paintings, the display allowed these big canvases to breath. The sight was quite impressive in the Great Hall at the entrance.
Joan Mitchell is a unique Abstract Expressionnist painter.
I did not include photographs for this blog, the viewing of these paintings is a physical experience that cannot be recreated by looking at photographic reproductions.
I hope that NOMA, CAC and the Newcomb Gallery will continue their partnership. So far,it has been a great value to the art scene in New Orleans.