OK, now it’s time to get to the meat of it…you know I gravitate toward the paintings.
My goal: maximize my time at the Met, my old stomping grounds, just down the street from my apartment, see as much as I could, revisit some old favorites, but also discover something new.
As an abstract painter, it was surprising to me how affected I was by figurative work. My favorites were all figure paintings. My advisor in grad school always said that figurative painters should be looking at abstract work, and abstract painters should be looking at figurative work!
Max Beckmann’s Old Actress…
That nose. And the light coming from above, highlighting her eyelids. Was acting her profession, or did she act her way through her life? For such a caricature, Beckmann has captured something deeply sad.
This made me think of masks that queer folks often wear…by choice, or by necessity.
Loving her twisted-up, yet ultimately straight, posture. And her face, pursed lips. Very wry. This portrait feels juicy, colorful, and fully-formed, more so than many Soutines. I love it.
High visual drama here, just as caricatured as Beckmann’s actress, yet in its very quiet way. Also, I’ve always loved the nomenclature of the “pink”.
That red cap grabs you from 50 paces.