Any artist, any period, any place, any genre. It’s all right there, squeezed to fit on screen in tiny illuminated pixels.
I’ve always found that I experience a very particular, joyous thrill upon seeing a work of art in person that I’ve seen reproduced countless times in books, online and in popular culture. Seeing the marks of labor that made a painting, it’s size, the very construction and craftsmanship of the thing — it’s so much more satisfying and affecting than any digital facsimile can ever be. Getting up close and personal with an artwork grants an opportunity to experience the emotion and passion of the artist who created it.
This past Friday, Cindy and I took a trip to the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke where we had the pleasure of viewing the 50 Great American Artists exhibit. The collection consists of fifty artworks (paintings, etchings and sculptures) from fifty artists from the nineteenth century to the present.*
“Part of the joy of looking at art is getting in sync in some ways with the decision-making process that the artist used and the record that’s embedded in the work” ~ Chuck Close
Paul Cadmus “The Fleet’s In!”
30″ x 60″ Oil on Canvas, 1934
Robert Riggs “The Brown Bomber”
31″ x 41” Tempera on Panel, 1938
Bottom line…if you truly enjoy art, take many opportunities to visit museums and galleries to see original artworks. Experiencing art in reproduction and in person is as different as a picture of a grassy field and actually taking a walk outside.
* Some of the other artists featured in the 50 Great American Artists exhibit: James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Winslow Homer, Andrew Wyeth, Norman Rockwell, Robert Riggs, Andy Warhol, Thomas Hart Benton, Edward Hopper, Wayne Thiebaud, Reginald Marsh, Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, Charles Demuth, Charles Burchfield, Maurice Prendergast, Richard Diebenkorn.