Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night at the MoMA, NYC

Today I had the most wonderful day with my daughter at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. We went to see the Van Gogh Exhibit. The exhibit explores Van Gogh's paintings through his fascination with the cycles of nature and human life,rural work, times of day and the circle of seasons. Focusing particularly on his paintings of dusk, evening, sunset, moonrise and night time. Paintings from all stages of his development are represented, and tomorrow I will post about some of his earlier works that often get overlooked because we are so enamored with the color and verve of his later works.

Here are my personal highlights and my thoughts upon viewing them during the show.

The Garden of St. Paul's Hospital

Vincent Van Gogh

The seclusion and security of an enclosed garden, verdant flowers and trees. There is peace (of mind) here, orderliness and the fresh air of spring. There is a place to walk and inviting benches to sit and heal. The red earth, the blooming flowers, the pruned trees speak of health and composure, quietness of mind.

The Sower

Vincent Van Gogh

I could get lost forever in the smokey lavenders, mauves and blue grays of the sower's field, earthy gold erupts here and there among the dusky shadows of the field. A receptive earth greedily open to the seeds he sows. The sun blazes and radiates, burning the sky as it sets in a thousand refracted, fractures bits of light as the day closes. The sky is hot but the earth has already cooled. The subtle shadows fill every nook of crumbly, fertile earth. The sower, content, even joyful in his work strides along ignoring the crows chatter and thievery. Silence and only the faint, imperceptible sound of seeds hitting the earth disturb the sacredness of the act of sowing.

Starry Night

Vincent Van Gogh

This is assurance, courage and boldness. The cosmos is dependable, the planets set in their courses, the stars forever fixed in the sky. There is brilliance here, all is well in the world, and all is as it should be. The spire of the church points to the heavens which declare the glory of God. The spirit of life pulses and swirls with dynamic, explosive power. There is confidence that everything comes together as it was meant to.

I have some more visual sweets and treats to share, photos from the MoMA and some sketches I did while there. Once I get everything uploaded from my camera and scanned from my sketchbook I'll get things posted in an orderly way. I also treated myself to the catalog from the exhibition that has a number of very promising essays. I'll be posting synopsysis of those too in the coming days.

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