Monday, November 4, 2013

Arte Appreciation 101

Málaga is our major city, the capital of the province of the same name. It's about a 20-minute drive or, in our case, about 40 minutes by train from here to the center of town. The birthplace of Pablo Picasso, and the home to the Picasso Museum, it's a city well-known for its art and its art museums.

CROSSING THE BRIDGE INTO THE HISTORIC CENTER OF MÁLAGA.

San Geraldo and I went one day to the Carmen Thyssen Museum, which focuses on 19th-century Spanish painting (and mostly from Southern Spain, Andalucía). That was the day I learned I'm not really a tremendous fan of 19th-century Spanish painting (whether or not it's from Andalucía). The museum opened in March 2011 and was still undergoing renovation and improvements when we first arrived in Málaga (on our way to Sevilla) in July of that year. The museum is of excellent quality.The collection, if that period interests you, is impressive. The exhibit spaces are well-lit, well-designed, and efficient. But, to be honest, beyond the art itself, I was disappointed.

THE MAIN ENTRANCE (CENTER). SAN GERALDO IN HAT. GIFT SHOP WINDOW (RIGHT)

Given that the museum is in a converted 16th-century building, I expected the space itself to be interesting and exciting. I didn't find it so. I would certainly go back for special exhibits of interest. And of course I look forward to checking out the Picasso Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the other museums of Málaga.

I ENJOYED THIS PARTICULAR GALLERY.
SO MUCH FOR MY YEARS AS AN ART STUDENT... I FORGOT TO GET THE ATTRIBUTIONS.
(CLICK FOR A BETTER VIEW.)

INNER COURTYARD.

MY TAKE? BARBIE AS A SPANISH LADY.
(THE ONLY ART DISPLAYED IN THE COURTYARD. NO EXPLANATION GIVEN.)
(CLICK FOR A BETTER VIEW... DON'T ASK ME WHY.)

THE HALLS ON EACH FLOOR OUTSIDE THE GALLERIES.
THIS WAS THE SPACE I FOUND MOST INTERESTING AND ALIVE.


ONE OF MY FAVORITES. (BUT IN THE GIFT SHOP WINDOW.)

AFTER LEAVING THE MUSUEM.
HEADING BACK TO THE TRAIN ACROSS A DIFFERENT BRIDGE
(TOWARD THE CHURCH OF SANTA DOMINGO).

Although I may not have appreciated this museum as I should have — or as I might have hoped, Dudo knows what he likes and shows his appreciation.

DUDO ADORING THE ART OF THE DOWAGER DUCHESS.
(CLICK EITHER PHOTO TO SEE HOW MUCH DUDO APPRECIATES ART.)

17 comments:

  1. The museum is an interesting mix of old and new architecture.

    For a long time I never connected the written name Malaga with how it is said. Ibiza caused me problems too.

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    1. Andrew:
      Just imagine the trouble people have with Fuengirola.

      Delete
  2. I think I liked the Barbie picture best :). The walls did have an elegant sweep to them that gave them a lot of texture and character. I probably would have felt the same way you did about the rest of it. Not my cup of tea. Dudo knows good art when he sees it. How wonderful that you are so close to the artist.

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    1. Jo:
      I don't know why I didn't take full views of the galleries. (I guess because I didn't find the spaces at all aesthetic for photos.) The galleries were very simple rectangular shapes. Nothing setting one room off from another. The halls by the stairs were the only area with those sweeps.

      Delete
  3. The change in color scheme came a quite a shock to me. The museum interiors seem pretty stark. They need some pizazz!

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    1. Ms. Sparrow:
      Hope you recovered quickly. (Sorry. I got bored.)

      I understand wanting the focus to be on the collections, but I also feel there's something lacking.

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  4. An interesting museum Mitch. I liked the curved/corrugated-looking walls and the glass paneled/railed staircase. Maybe other exhibits will be displayed differently....hopefully.

    Art is a funny thing......so subjective, at least as far as I am concerned.

    Now Dudo! I think he may have a hankering for that bust!!! Just sayin.

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    1. Jim:
      Absolutely subjective. I would never say the art wasn't good. The period in Spanish painting, after a point, just isn't of much interest to me and the museum was built on Carmen Thyssen's private collection. They do have some good special exhibits.

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  5. I don't think that I could have told anyone what 19th C. Spanish art looked like, before today's post. The one with the guy on the horse, lingering up at the window of the interested señorita, has some qualities I like: the red woven cloth draped over the horse, and the sky. I think that those two elements have a fine quality about them-- other than that, the painting makes me think that it is the higher-quality version of what all of that early-1960s American "Spanish Contemporary" stuff was copying, that you found in everyone's homes in New Jersey... remember? wrought iron everywhere, red flocked wallpaper, and poor versions of paintings like this one? and lots of toreadores? painted velvet? :)
    The sleek, smooth, white marble (is it marble?) of the halls outside of the galleries is muy nice, though!

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    1. Judeet:
      Ah, memories! The Dowager Duchess even had a pair of black wrought-iron crossed swords on her living room wall for a short time in the '60s. Her only concession to the craze. And my sister had a bull-fighting poster on her wall. No flocked wallpaper or velvet.

      Yes, that's marble and it's probably from the same mountains in Italy Josephine and I were seen walking in a recent post!

      Delete
  6. The collection looks to me like neo-romantic. I might have liked it [more than you]...
    The space has some merits, judging from your picture.
    I presume Barbie was by herself in the inner courtyard
    due to the sun rays which could be damaging.
    Art is very subjective.
    I remember going to a gallery with some friends
    to see an exhibit and a fashion show.
    While I was talking with a friend,
    someone 'tsk, tsk-ed me!!
    Pointing at my foot, I was stepping over a goat skin,
    the type you can find at Ikea... laid out on the floor.
    According to the tsk-tsk-er, this was a piece of modern art.
    I'm sure a lot went into the creative process of this one...
    I can be pretty open about art in its various forms,
    but that goat skin on the floor was NOT art,
    despite what the tsktsk-er may think.
    :D~
    HUGZ

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    1. TICKLEBEAR:
      You're so right about art being subjective. I'm usually pretty good about respecting that subjectivity, but sometimes... like you with that goatskin.

      Sorry I wasn't very clear about Barbie. I understood why nothing else was displayed in the inner courtyard. I didn't understand why Barbie was anywhere...

      I had a friend whose parents were "collectors." They had a canvas shipped to their home in NYC from a gallery somewhere. They gave instructions to someone on their staff to unwrap it and hang it from the ceiling within a large glass dormer. The painting was nothing more than airbrushed sky and clouds (this to me was your goat skin). Oddly, there was a rope wrapped around it in a cross. The guy removed the rope, attached nylon cord and suspended it from the ceiling. When it spun, you saw the back of the unpainted canvas. My friend's parents were appalled when they saw it. The rope was part of the painting and had been airbrushed at the same time. So, when he removed the rope, he left a blank canvas cross behind. They called the gallery. No problem. They shipped it back and the artist replaced the rope and re-airbrushed the entire thing. A masterpiece!

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    2. Love this story!! Did the guy lose his job? I hope not...
      :D~
      HUGZ

      Delete
  7. I can understand why that art didn't move you, and it's easy to understand why Picasso rebelled against it. Just too syrupy. I prefer the passion of Goya.

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    1. Stephen:
      And the two I shared here were from the one gallery I actually did enjoy. Can't wait for Picasso... and Goya!

      Delete
  8. Really interesting interior gallery spaces in the museum - not what I expected from seeing the outside.

    At the risk of showing my lack of taste, Barbie looks like a portrait of her younger self she'd have hanging over the fireplace in the Malibu beach house as she entered in Alexis Carrington years. You just know, after some domestic spat, Ken would have thrown a rocks glass of scotch at it...luckily missing it completely

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    Replies
    1. HK:
      Or ... even more luckily... hitting it dead center!

      Delete

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