Sunday, January 3, 2016

Topsy-Turvy and Inside-Out

It was just getting dark when we got off the metro at the Centre Pompidou.  The building itself is known for its unique, inside-out appearance, with it's skeleton of pipes and tubes on the outside, rather than behind walls.  Each building block is painted in bright colors to represent what it holds: green pipes for plumbing, blue ducts for climate, electrical wires are housed in yellow, and circulation elements and safety are in red.

Inside the building, it houses the largest modern art museum in Europe.  That cool zig-zag stairway going up the side holds escalators to the different galleries and a viewing platform, where you can see a beautiful panoramic skyline of Paris.

The art collection is extensive.  We were there for a few hours and didn't even make it through that floor!  There were quite a few of Matisse's works, full of color and life.  There were three in particular that drew my attention.  The Violinist at the Window, The Romanian Blouse, and Auguste Pellerin II.  The way that he distorts the figures and the hands especially is quite interesting.  

My favorite section was of the Fauve movement, which took place after Impressionism, focusing on strong color over the realistic representational qualities valued by the Impressionists.  They were spontaneous and subjective, often having an emotion or feeling come through their works.  These two by Georges Braque are prime examples.

A few others of note were Portrait of Guillaume Apollinaire by Robert Delaunay, Planes By Colors by Frantisek Kupka, and The Deep by Jackson Pollock.  As I was looking at the smaller than usual, but still amazing Pollock piece, I overheard an American man say to his wife, "You can't tell me this is art?!  Really, you can't tell me that a twelve year-old didn't paint this."  Just look at the detail, the planned layers on this painting; tell me, loud American man, have you ever tried to paint like this?

And this is another reason why American tourists have such a bad (and laughable) reputation.

(photos by e.hunt)

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