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Cezanne/ Modernism Art Gallery visit ENGL202

About Reflections on Literature, Life and the Imagination

Previous Entry Cezanne/ Modernism Art Gallery visit ENGL202 Oct. 2nd, 2008 @ 11:58 am Next Entry
A pity so few of you took advantage of this opportunity to see the Cezanne... but it will be there for a while to come. At $16,0000,000 it is destined to stay in the NSW ART Gallery for your great grand children to ogle at!.

Described as one of the artist's "most powerful creations" by the renowned British contemporary artist Roger Fry, this painting really does show the artist trying to find his way in to (as he called it) "the bones of nature"... we spent some time considering how the painting in its colour-texture and its form really created an extraordinary sense of the unity within and between all things: the men sitting in their green boats, mirroring the intense green grass behind... there is something reminiscent of Virginia Woolf's powerful image making here. I am thinking about Woolf's picture of the impact of trees on the environment around them in her essay "Mark on the Wall": "For years and years they grow, without paying attention to us, in meadows, in forests, and by the side of rivers... the cows swish their tails beneath them on hot afternoons; they paint rivers so green that when a moorhen dives one expects to see its feathers all green when it comes up again...... " Go and see it if you can... it puts all our study of modernism into a living perspective.
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Date:October 5th, 2008 02:58 pm (UTC)

Cezanne/Modernism Art Gallery

Michael, hello,

Perhaps we will get to see it on our block. Personally, I like Matisse & Renoir and of course, Australian artists, including Namatjira. Alwyn certainly is a story-teller and a poet.

I went to Port Douglas today to have foot reflexology done by one fellow I've been trying to catch up with for years, and it's amazing how much he knew about me by that style of massage...scarey, really.

It was a lovely day, a bit overcast, so it was cool. Of course the Port Douglas markets must be the place for tourists to go to, today was the third time I'd been there.

The drive is always lovely along the beautiful Cook Highway; some of the place names always bring back wonderful memories of travelling along the highway with my mother and uncle & even with my grandparents too, and other family members...some of the place names as 'Turtle Creek', 'Pebbly Beach,' 'Pretty Beach', 'Yule Point'...it's good to have a reference point isn't it, and fond memories from our childhood.

I took one of my workmates and her two young children. We ended up having lunch at one of Cairns northern beaches, Palm Cove. Actually, all Cairns beaches are north of Cairns. That too was lovely, at least the beautiful salt air and scenery. People made use of the day and wind, by windsurfing, sailing, and swimming, white people sat in the sun with their sun tan lotions, reading novels and burning themselves raw and red, while we black people sat in the shade...slightly amused. We wouldn't go into the water because of the time of day and stingers, this time of the year, (the Irijanji mainly), although it was windy, you never can tell, that's a dangerous stinger, and fatalities have occurred from that type, particularly to children.

Anyway, must go.


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Date:October 6th, 2008 01:01 am (UTC)

Re: Cezanne/Modernism Art Gallery

Lovely to hear of your day along the NQ coast. I was there with my family this time last year. It is a truly beautiful part of the world. Yes, we might be able to factor in an Art Gallery visit if I plan an activity that can link writing and viewing.. .I will think on it!
But let's see you post some of your poetic reflections into your own LiveJournal as well (pushy- am I not????)
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Date:October 10th, 2008 10:49 am (UTC)

Art in Museums vs. Living Art

Hi MG,

Thank you for sharing Cezanne with us. As I've recently realised Art History and Literature are so closely aligned that to be immersed in both is just such an amazing opportunity.

I've read more about the acquisition of Cezanne's Bords de la Marne it is a great achievement for NSW Gallery to finally add this to their collection, at the same time though, after hearing some of the opinions in the lecture about the cost of acquiring it, it makes me intrigued, is it really worth that much?

Which is why I'll be seeing it this Sunday (I have a wedding to attend at the Botanical Gardens so the gallery will be on the way)...

The critique of the painting is below:

Bords de la Marne is a majestically composed landscape which epitomises Cézanne’s classical qualities. The painting was painted not far from Paris in a region that has attracted many generations of artists. Cézanne must have enjoyed painting along the banks of the Marne River as it appears he returned to the region many times over the years.

"It speaks nothing but Cézanne in terms of composition, texture and brushstrokes," Edmund Capon said of Bords de la Marne. "There are endless moments of intrigue - the reflections in the water, the way the village wall seems to curve around and out of sight, the solidity and concentration of the buildings, those greens..." (http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/supportus/private_benefaction/cezanne)

MG, I have lately been reading more about Henry Thoreau and his stance about governing states, the simplicity of life and the love for nature - his were pure Utopian ideals (adverse to Orwell's images). I found that Thoreau's love for nature so reminded me of your love for nature. As I examine Cezanne's painting and look at it's price tag, I'm reminded of Thoreau's advocacy for nature (similar to your own) and although Cezanne may have painted to satisfy his passion for art and nature, he may be completely surprised at the value his painting has attracted (if he could only see).

If I could you 2 questions MG:

1.) Do you think that the Cezanne painting was worth the money NSW Gallery paid? Why? (sorry, this is a 2-part question) :o)

2.) Do you think that the beauty of the collections in museums and galleries could come close to the beauty of nature's living collections?

Not meaning to be an insolent student to be asking the Lecturer questions, just wanted to find out your view.

Thanks MG!
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