With hubby in hand and kids with Grandparent babysitters, I practically skipped my way from the car to the door of the Minneapolis Institute of Art. I was so excited to see some of my favorites: Chuck Close’s, Frank, Manet’s, The Smoker, and all of Jennifer Davis’ latest group show.
So thrilled was I that I practically skimmed past the ancient exhibits in search of the fresh and new, the challenging and engaging, but what I found was a bit of a surprise. Some of the most delightful and satisfying parts of the whole excursion were hidden away in those ancient sections. Truth be told, without Eddy to expound on the history and time period of each piece I really wouldn’t have grasped their amazement. We saw a venus fertility figure from 20,000 bc. That’s old, people. And the Asian rooms blew me away. Such detail, such patience. In fact, I almost missed the brilliantly sculpted bronze Celestial Horse still sporting clay from the burial tomb of its Chinese royalty(read more here), which would have been a shame.
The Close didn’t disappoint, the Manet still gave me pause, but the pieces that drove me there to begin with were the Davis paintings. They, of course, are an experience worth seeing in person. The tiny patterns and beautifully rendered creatures are so magical and express so well the struggles of an imaginative introvert. I’ve been following her for a while, so it was neat to see her style continue to deepen and mature as she almost becomes more comfortable in her renderings. Her pieces take me away and allow me to dream as I marvel at the care with which she paints them. I was also gathering insight into the sticky-tricky realm of combining painting and graphite. I gleaned much from the viewing of hers and Erika Olson Gross’ lovely simplified and graphically beautiful works. Erika also uses painting(gouache) and drawing(graphite) which gave me much joy, I practically laughed out loud(which would have been awkward as Eddy had found a bench in another room to lay down and read on and I was alone) .
There is inexplicable life in artwork, the mark of the creator, the energy of each movement or line. It is worth owning such works or at least seeing them in person.
**Artworks: Celestial Horse, unknown artist. . .Ability, Brainchild, Pivot, all by Jennifer Davis.
Side note: I will not be doing Etsy this year, so please leave a comment if you are interested in purchasing one of my pieces and I can email you a price list.