Tuesday, April 05, 2022

shadow and light

This afternoon, I spent some time with the Pointillists for one of my freelance assignments and was thinking of the first time I saw Sunday on La Grande Jatte at the Art Institute. When I was a senior in high school, my French teacher took us on a field trip..first to the museum to see the Impressionists, then to a French restaurant in Lincoln Park. What we ate, I don't remember, but I do remember walking into that sunlit central gallery at the top of the stairs and seeing for the first time, how huge the painting was in dimension. Even more impressive considering the tiny dots that make it up and absolute precision required in its construction (of course, at the time, my biggest reference was that scene in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.)  

Though I have definitely spent much more time in that museum since amongst the modern wing's denizens, I still would occasionally visit the Impressionists in my visits, usually on dates or with my parents on longer visits. On a sunny days, the colors are even more vivid than cloudy ones. The eyes of Renoirs women, the shades in a Monet landscape. Seurat's giant painting seems to glow from within, something I learned today as chromoluminarism, the amount of white peaking through the dots of color. In my research, I stumbled upon some of his less colorful, more black and white pieces I hadn't seen before in reference to Seurat and these two seem to glow, though without as much color, they remind me of bees or the static of a television. In these, colorless, it all depends on light and shadow to make sense of itself. 

Sometimes poetry seems like this, the effort to shine light on certain parts of things, to create meaning, to create substance by casting light in certain ways. 

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