Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Artnotes: Less is More?


Harika as Modigliani's Dog    Laurie Fox Pessemier  acrylic/canvas  16 x 12 "  40  x 30 cm  425.00
“Let’s go to the Modigliani show at Magnani Rocca for your birthday,” I suggested to Blair.  We hopped in the car with Harika and drove to the museum just outside of Parma.  In fact, the show consisted of just one painting.   After the initial shock, it seemed to be really enough.  We were the only people at the museum, and directed to a smallish room.  The exhibit was arranged so one saw sketches by Modigliani, work by artists he admired (Cezanne), and inspirational object such as African masks and a photo of his beloved Jeanne Hebuterne.
Woman with a White Collar  Amedeo Modigliani  1917
One viewed the painting of the Woman with a White Collar by itself, on an appropriately sized wall.   It was incredibly powerful, presented in this way.  We felt very satisfied with this experience, and in fact, it made me think how less sometimes can be better.
Storefront  Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  20 x 12"  50 x 30   475.00
The last time I saw a Modigliani show was in Livorno, just before our 2020 lockdown in Italy.  It had many pieces and many people, and one shuffled along from one picture to the next.  It was wonderful, but I can’t recall any one picture that stood out.  In this show at Magnani Rocca, I even recall the sketches.
Geranium and Muguet   Laurie Fox Pessemier  acrylic/canvas 12 x 12"  30 x 30cm   450.00
The museum at Magnani Rocca is remarkable.  It was the home of Luigi Magnani, an art aficionado and historian, well known in Italy.  Mr. Magnani collected Cezanne drawings, and a lot of work by the Italian de Pisis. There are significant Italian artists from the 1940s and 50s in the collection. 
There is also a  Classical representation, including a piece by Rembrandt; a grand painting by Goya;  Titian;  Fillipo Lippi and Van Dyck.  It takes a good hour and a half to appreciate it all.    
Museum Magnani Rocca
We were the only people in the museum besides the guards and ticket taker.  We were glad to have paid our 12 euros each toward their salaries.   We strolled cautiously around the incredible grounds afterward.  It was so windy, walking beneath the centuries-old trees was discouraged – 4 pairs of eyes (6 if your count the peacocks) were watching only us.
Tree by the Path   Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  14 x 11"  35 x 27cm  450.00
I was really very inspired by the minimal approach on the Modigliani show. I am thinking of using it myself as we plan an outdoor show here at Roccamalatina.  Blair is going to “weed-whack” a patch out of our 24” high buttercup field, and I am going to set up easels.  I had thought ten, but now I am thinking 4 or 5.  Maybe less is more?  More or less.

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