Through June 17 the finest impressionist works from the Courtauld Gallery in London are on view at Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris. My feelings about Manet have been somewhat mixed; he seems sometimes to be courting scandal as well as seeking beauty. But I confess to being seduced by the signature painting of this exposition, despite the unnaturally skewed “reflection” in the upper right corner.
I added this, as well as several other paintings from the Courtauld exhibit, to Impressionism Far and Near, a photo set pairing favorite works with a close-up to show the beauty of the brush strokes.
The exhibition was really satisfying. Here are two more paintings I particularly liked.
It was a shock to continue on to an exhibition of modern and conceptual works from the permanent collection of the Fondation Louis Vuitton.
Of course I know how art has evolved since the age of impressionism, but I’ve rarely felt what we have lost so keenly. I did enjoy — who wouldn’t? — stepping for the first time into one of Yayoi Kusama’s mirror rooms.
I like amusement park fun houses as much as the next person, and I don’t mind the fact that contemporary art installations provide an increasingly similar experience. (If I go to the Venice Biennale this year, which still might happen, I expect more of the same.) But the range of emotion and esthetic experience offered by impressionist art feels broader and deeper. Call me an old fuddy duddy — you would not be the first! — but at the end of the day I prefer impressionism.
On Friday afternoon, as I gorged myself on the flowers of Parc de Bagatelle and the art of the Courtauld collection I began to notice a nagging little sore throat. I knew exactly what this portended: at the very least I would start getting the sniffles, then would be sneezing and coughing for a few more days. This indeed occurred, and while it has slowed me down a bit I’ve still had some excellent adventures. To be continued…