Sunday, October 05, 2014

Artnotes: A Beautiful Thing

St Remy   Blair Pessemier   Acrylic/linen  24 x 32"   61 x 81 cm
Institute   Blair Pessemier   Acrylic/linen  10.5 x 16     27 x 41 cm
Students by the Seine  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/linen 16 x 10.5"   33 x 27cm
The Seine and Pont des Arts  Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/linen    16 x 13"   33 x 40cm
Turquoise Island  Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/linen  10.5 x 14  27 x 35cm
Morning at the Bench   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/wood   6.5 x 9.5"   16 x 24.5 cm
Fall Color  Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/linen   13 x 16"   33 x 40cm    225.00

our gallery on the Seine

Artnotes:  A Beautiful Thing

I am an addict of beautiful things.  Today Blair bought the most wonderful little vase at the flea market at Vanves.  “For your brushes”, he says, but I think of flowers.  It is so wonderful: white ceramic beneath a tooled copper exterior, and, in relief, a mouse family attacking a bag of grain. 

Yesterday we painted along the Seine with an Australian friend and her British companion.  We meet our painters on the Pont des Arts – looking toward Notre Dame in one direction, the Grand Palais in the other.  It joins the Institute of France with the Louvre, hence the name of the bridge that connected art students to the museum.

The city is doing away with the locks on this bridge, the “lock bridge” as it is now called – it never really acquired a French name – it was so un-French.   Tourists were mourning its demise;  meanwhile, huge sections of grill  have ripped off the structure, overladen with locks on top of locks weighing some tonnage.   Blair and I and our Australian friend were admiring the one section restored to its original railing (no grill) with  plexiglas where one could see out to the river.  Heaven.  

I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder – although few people are taught how to appreciate beauty anymore.  Nobody reads Mrs. Finch’s “elements of design”, or similar books guiding the way to evaluate art.   My bachelor’s degree is in art history, and I can appreciate almost any work of art that meets minimal criteria – no matter how much in my heart I dislike the piece.   I came out of school on the cusp of the conceptual art movement – I saw Vito Acconci bite himself.  I am not sure how he would feel about the lock bridge.  He’s a designer/landscape architect/installation artist in New York now.

A walk through the marche aux puce (flea market), is like picking one’s way through the art and genius boneyard.  My father (I talk to him every day on the phone) and I joke about how, in the 1950s, my Uncle Al used to go to the dump and find all sorts of “useful” items. He was ridiculed at the time, but I imagine now he might be admired.   I liked the dump at that time because small fires burned there and on warm summer nights the cinders would glow and the air was all smoky.   Maybe that was more conceptual?

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