Sunday, September 10, 2006

two Hoppers and an O'Keefe         [paintings seen]

In the Smithsonian's American Art Museum yesterday, two paintings by Edward Hopper particularly impressed me. These are Ryder's House (1933) and Cape Cod Morning (1950).

About the first of those, seeing the painting live, one can see and sense the artist worked at it for some time. Though the forms are simple, there's a power there; the color of the houe's shadow has the vibrancy one finds in a shadow. Knowing a bit about Ryder, the image of the house (despite not seeing its inhabitant) suffices to carry some feeling for that interesting and difficult character. My respect for Hopper was raised higher by seeing these.

The Georgia O'Keefe Cityscape with Roses (1932) is another painting that makes an impression when seen live.

Citiscape with roses
landscape with willows
those who acquaint the city
discover its rosy aspect
landscape with willows
citiscape with roses
those who return to the country
relearn its willow prospect

a sprig of willow is given
when someone leaves on journey
a stem of rose is offered
when love thickens the air
citiscape with roses
landscape with willows
venturing out to Taos
you found an answer there


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