A short memory... by anahata.c ()
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Just a short memory...
Years ago, my then-girlfriend and I were walking through the Art Institute of Chicago. A world class museum.
A major show: "Late Monet".
We'd read that late Monet had nearly dissolved all "landscape" into sheer abstraction. It was supposed to be mystical. Transcendent.
We entered, walking rapidly---for lack of time. We'd spend 10 minutes, then leave. When, suddenly---
We entered a time warp: We were walking underwater. We walked slowwwwwly, our limbs were marble. This isn't fiction: It's what happens when you're hit with great art, out of the blue, in the face: You slow down. You slow to a crawl. Everything is slow motion.
And, see, his late canvases were huge: Some took up massive walls. You walked "into" these paintings, not 'past' them: We wafted through his huge water lilies, his huge ponds, his massive, arching bridges and flower beds and weeds, as if we were inside his mind, his vast near-death mind where the wisdom and love that come from a lifetime could finally come out, in deep, unfathomable visions.
This man had opened the very doors to the 20th C, the embrace of pure light, pure space, pure depth. And he created such beauty with it, you felt he'd dived into the depths and never came out. Lucky for us: He sent his impressions, as if on wings of energy, to us.
A museum is a big bunch of halls. Blank walls. Blank floors. High windows---so the sun doesn't interfere. It's massive, silent, and enclosed.
Yet in those walls, huge visions of the Cosmos were unfolding. In silence. People walked like ghosts---while the paintings shouted. With each masterpiece, we gawked, became children peering into the secrets of everything without our parents' permission---the whole world was ours. We were on air...
When we walked outside: the blasting din of Chicago's downtown at rush hour. A gagging intrusion.
But---filled with the vast and silent world of transcendent art---we felt graced. With a deep, flowing sense of quiet gratitude.
In the distance, Lake Michigan heaved. Fitting, we thought. It must've felt at home with the show...
Artwork Comments (12)
Freethinker56 () 3:06AM | Thu, 26 January 2017
Hi Mark.when I seen the title of this,I smiled. I was thinking I would have to relate to this Fabulous :clap Just a short memory. Cheers or
LivingPixels () 5:54AM | Thu, 26 January 2017
Hearty applause for this spellbinding piece Mark many thanx I loved it!! Get back to you later in regards to your touching site mail at the moment I have to dash my friend!!
Faemike55 () 9:10AM | Thu, 26 January 2017
I love the way you described how great art just slows us down; to appreciate the grandeur and beauty that overwhelms us when we feel the emotions that come from the art. Then the sudden shock when you step outside, away from that art, that reality slams us in the face like a cold, wet glove blind-siding you. Such is good art. Your writings are an example of that fine art. Then we try to find the words to describe how we felt when we absorbed those words into our mind and soul.
eekdog () Online Now! 9:57AM | Thu, 26 January 2017
Thanks for sharing this, Mark. Agree with the above comments.
photosynthesis () 10:12AM | Thu, 26 January 2017
Mark - My mind was similarly blown when I saw Monet's giant three panel "Water Lilies" at MOMA in NYC. They're over 6 feet high & measure over 40 feet wide combined & sat in a room all by themselves (don't know if it's still on display in the new MOMA building). The dates on them say 1914-1926, so presumably he worked on them (I assume on & off) over a period of 12 years. Viewed up close, they are pure abstraction - swirls & masses of an incredible range of subtle colors. As you back up, the abstract colors slowly coalesce into a view of sunlight on a pond filled with water lilies. The first time I saw it, it was a revelation & I returned many times to immerse myself in it...
RodS () Online Now! 9:36PM | Thu, 26 January 2017
Aw, dang it..... Now, I'm ready to pack my bags and come to Chi-town to check out the museum.... I could spend hourrrrrs...
We have the Nelson Museum of Art here in KC... It's been far too long since I've been inside. Something to fix this spring...
Thanks for the wonderful story and taking us along with you, Mark!
wysiwig () 1:11AM | Fri, 27 January 2017
Sounds like you and your girlfriend were on a high but without the herbs. Great art can do that to you. You lose all sense of time as the art absorbs you. I agree with Mike, your art can also do that.
Wolfenshire () Online Now! 6:30AM | Fri, 27 January 2017
You write feelings so well, fantastic memory. I read Monet had cataracts in his later years and he painted what he was seeing. He must have been an amazing man to turn what could have been a devastating loss of vision into a wonder vision for all to see for centuries.
goodoleboy () 7:29PM | Fri, 27 January 2017
OMG, where did Shroom_Magic3D come from? A blast from the past. I had forgotten all about him/her. Maybe he/she was on a Psilocybin mushroom high. Anyway, a fine piece of writing, Mark, and I echo all of the above. But I wonder what made me think of Damon Runyon when I read it. There really shouldn't be any comparison. In any event, put your money on Monet!
auntietk () 10:28AM | Wed, 01 February 2017
I need to remember to tell Rod that there's a fabulous Monet at the Nelson. I believe Bill took a picture of the whole, massive thing, and (of course) I took a few pictures of the paint from two feet away. LOL! What a wonderful memory! Monet does, indeed, suck you in and leave you breathless.