Thursday, December 4, 2014

Transfigurations at the Wexner Center

Yesterday afternoon, a friend and I visited the Wexner Center to view the Transfigurations exhibit.  A collection of paintings and sculptures that Les and Abigail Wexner have loaned are on display through the end of the year.  Their personal art collection is stunning - millions of dollars worth of original art, including pieces by Picasso and Degas.
Wikipedia photo of the Degas sculpture we saw
 Can you imagine?  This is the decor in their house.  If I exhibited stuff from my house, it would be, like, dog hair encrusted toys and Star Wars drinking glasses.    Come see the bounty of my manor!
Bailey has curated this collection titled "Things I Chew"
Anyway, it was an awesome exhibit, and we weren't allowed to take any pictures.  So here is one from the collection's website:
Femme assise dans un jardin Pable Picasso

This is one of several Picasso's on display that he painted of Dora Maar. We overheard a tour guide describing Dora as the Lady Gaga of her day.    This one was also my favorite Picasso they had.

What's as interesting to me as seeing the art itself, is seeing the collection the Wexners put together.  I wondered - why did they choose this one?  Why did they collect this group?  I think they have a much more sophisticated appreciation of art than I do.
Femme de Venise IV  Alberto Giacometti.
cool tidbit: A lot of Alberto's other sculptures are of his brother, Diego.

 The collection was mostly human figures in different forms of distortion.  Curiously, there was one artist represented that did not create human figures.  Susan Rothenberg's paintings were all flat horse silhouettes.
Hector Protector Susan Rothenberg

What makes great art?  Accuracy in representation of reality?  Unique viewpoint in abstraction of reality?  Does it need to be making a statement?  Stir an emotion, pleasant or not?   Does it need to be attractive, or just thought provoking?  Is art great only when it creates a new style and propels expression in a new direction?
Pink Lady Willem de Kooning
I love that these billionaires invest in art in a way that it's clearly important to them.  I love that these artists invested their lives teasing out an idea over decades.  And I love that it made me think about things in a way that pop culture never does.

I highly recommend visiting the exhibit.  It was really inspiring on many levels.
Or at least click over to wexarts to see it online.  If you like to over think things like I do, you can obsess over it for days.

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