Go out and listen to something…

March 27, 2006

Hokusai, Cezanne, Toulouse-Lautrec, & DADA

Filed under: Art — burnett @ 9:23 am

originally posted March 16, 2006
The Japanese artist Katsushita Hokusai rules the roost at the moment in Washington, DC.� Although a great deal of his work (which includes 10,000 pieces) resides at the Freer Collection, little of it sees the light of day, since in fact, the light of day will destroy the paper and ink.� The Sackler Gallery is in the basement and dimly lit, a perfect grotto for the exhibit.� Hokusai lived for 90 years, and was productive for most of his life.� It is gratifying to see a great artist live past 35 so we don’t have to wonder “what if…”� Every ten years or so, he made a dramatic shift, and of course changed his name to help with the transition.� I was intrigued by the fact that his apprenticeship lasted until he was 34 years old, in 1794.� My first visit was yesterday, but intend to revisit often before it closes on May 14.
Other exhibits of note include Cezanne at the West Gallery, DADA at the East, and Toulouse-Lautrec and others at the Phillips Collection.� DADA is the most powerful show, it is huge, and covers the movement by city:� Berlin, Paris, New York, London.� I last saw a DADA show at the Embankment in London back in 1977.� That show was an eye-opener for me, but this one has a very comprehensive feel.� It requires several visits just to get a handle on it.� The movies alone require 45 minutes just to get through them once, and they beg a second viewing.�
Cezanne at the West Gallery was educational for me.� I prefer his early works from the late 1860’s and 70’s.� � An austerity takes over his later more progressive work, and I am losing interest at the moment.� There is a fascinating still life loaded with paint, and the portrait of his father, also with pounds of paint, that interested me the most.
Toulouse and others at the Phillips is a very rich show.� The NY Times thought it had very little to offer, but then the Phillips does not offer huge productions.� There is a great deal of interest in this presentation.

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