Saturday, November 12, 2011

Wait, there's *more* art? Who made this stuff?

Started the fourth day in Paris with a wander to the Pompadour.  I think that's how it's spelled.  It's Paris's museum of modern art, and I have to admit, it is pretty interesting.  (Still not my favorite, but such is life my taste in art.)  Although anywhere that has an enormous fabric structure that looks like a Dr. Seuss creation is pretty cool.  Another one of my favorites was A Bicycle built for 2,000.  Except they had the computer version, the whole song, and different tracks of the song.  You can't hear it except by listening to the individual tracks, but there are a few spots where people's imitations were burps, xylophones, and other fun sounds.  The one that I really liked was, I guess, the fan that was floating two cassette tape circles in the air.  There was a platform with shallow edges, the fan was above and blowing directly down, and the air pressure, I assume, was redirected upward by the box, while the tapes kept themselves relatively well centered by virtue of being circles--if one side pulled too far, the other side would be caught in a draft and pull back and so forth.

Interesting thing about the Pompadour--it was built to look unfinished; rather, to look like the skeleton of a building and yet be a completely functional building.  Hard to explain.  So check it out instead.  (The zig-zag is the escalator shaft.)

From there we wandered through Napoleon's tomb on our way to the Rodin museum.  For a dictator and a short dude, they went over the top for Napoleon.  Pretty much literally.  (Nicole says it's because they were trying to prevent him escaping.)

Well, on to Rodin.  Dude, the guy's a genius!  Well, yes, he does have a fondness for the nude model, but his sculptures are incredible.  They had (a copy of) the Thinker, the Gates of Hell for which said Thinker was Dante-ing, a lot of marble sculptures and smaller ones and on and on.  Jessica's note was that he put a lot of tension into his sculpture, no matter the subject matter.  If I could sculpt as well as Rodin, I'd be pretty pleased with myself, I think.  The Waltz is one I rather like--the motion is pretty awesome.  And the second one is because I'm in awe of the detail.

Our last stop of the day was the d'Orsay, which is also a great museum.  Tell you what, if you're in Paris and for some reason want to skip the Louvre, come here.  Since we got there late, I didn't have as much time as I would have liked, but I went up to the post-Impressionist room and looked at the Van Gogh stuff they've got there.  I find I much prefer those of his paintings that had absolute swaths of paint, where the texture creates half of the feeling.  I did a sketch in the time before the museum closed of the Reapers.  No pics, sorry, they weren't allowed.

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