Art Comments by Albert Fried-Cassorla
***** = Loved it and recommend it **** = Enjoyed it *** = Decent ** = Dull * = Why did I bother?
This page was last updated 4-7-05.
"Dali" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, February 16 - May 15, 2005. Info at http://www.philamuseum.org
I am fairly certain that this exhibit was the largest ever assembled of his work, apart from the Dali museum in Spain. What came through was his extrordinary vision, his unique way of seeing the world and observing the unconscious. Also, his fine skills as a painter amazed me throughout.
"Degas and The Dance" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, February 12 - May 11, 2003. Info at http://www.philamuseum.org/
This extensive Degas exhibit was sweet, gorgeous, not saccharine, full of carefully observed nuances of female beauty... including tired dancers, chaperones, ballet instructors. young dancers whose favors were sold by their mothers to well-heeled subscribers called abonnets...
What an enchanting way to spend an afternoon! Our $65 yearly membership practically got us in for free and earned us a free mug.
Degas is de man.
"Van Gogh: Face to Face" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, December, 2000 - January 14, 2001. I always associated Vincent van Gogh with his Sunflowers and Starry Night paintings. Simplified, his power was in dramatically emotional color and vision. So his portraits were a revelation to me.
I found, first, that van Gogh was a great humanist. He portrays everyday humble people, with great regard for their souls.
Second, I was amazed at the beauty and power of van Gogh's use of color. This was particularly impressive for me in the portrait of the Gardener, and in the portrait of the art gallery owner Alexander Reid (shown at left). In the latter painting, the artist's use of color is breathtaking.
Swirls of gorgeous paint emanate and flow from the left to the right, with greens, yellows and oranges blending exquisitely. Of course, that tells you very little, which is why you may wish to see the paintings for yourself! The small reproduction on this page does not display the amazing effect that this painting has in the original.
Both the audio mechanisms and the wall displays do a very fine job of enriching the experience.By the way, an excellent web resource for Vincent Van Gogh's works is http://www.vangoghgallery.com/. This site claims to offer ALL works by the artist.
The web address of the Philadelphia Museum of Art is http://www.pma.libertynet.org. However, the site was not available as of the time I wrote this article. The phone number is 215-763-8100. It is difficult to get through, but worth trying. Evening hours have been added. By the way, membership is a good deal just about paying for itself in savings. It costs about $80 for two people to join, but this entitles you to several museum admissions, including ones to the van Gogh show.