Thursday, November 26, 2009

Up Against the Wall

Time has been flying by and sometimes it's hard to remember what yesterday held, let alone the day before.  But a couple of things stand out.  I saw, by accident, the Joseph Kosuth exhibition in the Louvre.  I say by accident because I was planning to see the James Ensor exhibit and totally got the location wrong.  I was meeting B., my charming French teacher and when I arrived I realized I didn't see any posters for the Ensor show.  The woman at the desk looked at me, recognizing the fool I was, and told me it was at the Musée d'Orsay.  Oops.

Meanwhile, B. had always had in mind the Kosuth exhibit and insisted it was at the Louvre, in the medieval basement level.  Still looking for the Ensor show, I accompanied her and found a wonderful surprise.  Kosuth, an installation artist I had heard of but knew nothing about, had installed neon phrases on the plain stone walls of the earliest part of the Louvre.  Simple but moving, these words talked about words, stones, walls, knowledge, understanding and belonging.  An incredibly fortuitous discovery.

We also managed to get out to the Musée Marmottan, a 30 minute bus ride across town to see the "Fauves and Expressionistes" exhibition, also stunning, with works by Braque, Vlaminck, Dufy, Van Dongen, Kandinsky, Beckmann, Jawlensky, Dix, Marc, Kirchner, and others I'd never heard of but whose work on the walls I loved, like Adolph Erbslöh.  The colors were unbelievable.  It's a show I'd see again and again.  Even with the 30 minute bus ride.

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