Monday, August 22, 2011

Oh, Art therapy, now I get it:
Charlotte Salomon at CJM

Matisse channels David Park at SFMOMA

After the Gertrude Stein exhibit at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, see Charlotte Salomon's 300 small paintings on display.

Through her brush, Salomon articulated every painful and important thought and event -- the history of her life -- during a 2 year seclusion starting in the late 1930's.

For years, when I thought of SFMOMA, two colorful works came to mind: Sol Lewitt's wall drawings in the atrium, and the pre-psychedelic Matisse "Woman with a hat."

Even though Lewitt's installation was removed several years ago, I still expect to see it. And I've always wanted SFMOMA to move "Woman with a hat" to one of the back galleries -- like the Mona Lisa, something to be discovered -- rather than displaying her like a Wal-Mart greeter as you enter the permanent collection galleries.

What caught my eye in all the color at Steins Collect at SFMOMA were two dark nudes by Matisse, their blank sadness reminding me of works by David Park.

And when I found a fascinating painting like Picasso's Head of a Sleeping Woman (Study for Nude with Drapery), also at Steins Collect, I appreciated being able to go back and forth between the painting and the many studies of it, seeing how it came to be.

posted by Phil Gravitt

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