Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Scenes from Life

Last Friday, a terrible storm swept through our area and toppled lots of trees, causing power outages and property damage everywhere. It was at least 100 degrees on Saturday, so we escaped our towering inferno as it were and headed downtown to seek respite near fountains, under shady trees, and inside air-conditioned museums. (Thank God for museums that must be temperature-controlled to protect the priceless artifacts they house.)

We went to see the Miró exhibit in the East Building of the National Gallery, and you guys, it was so good! If you happen to be in this area, you must go. The exhibit follows his entire career, spanning almost a century, from the landscapes he painted of the Catalan countryside as a young man all the way to the increasingly abstract and minimal large paintings he made toward the end of his life. Of course, he lived and painted in Europe during turbulent times, and his work became both commentary and escape. There were many paintings and particularly drawings I'd never seen before (even though I saw lots of Miró when I traveled through Spain), so even if you are familiar with his work, it's worth checking out.

There was a middle-aged couple leaving the exhibit in front of me, and I overheard the man say to his wife, "Man, that really makes me want to be an artist!" Of course, I was thinking, "Right on, brother!" But I just smiled to myself as it's weird to yell things like that at strangers. :)

Also, if I've never said it here before, I think Miró has the best possible titles for his artwork ever. For example: Woman Stabbed by the Sun Reciting Rocket Poems in the Geometrical Shapes of the Musical Bat Spittle Fight of the Sea. Am I Right?

After that we walked around inside as long as possible, until the bell started ringing and security guards began to usher everyone out into the heat.

Here is part of a huge mobile by Alexander Calder.

The East Building was designed by I. M. Pei, and it features his usual dramatic geometry. The whole building is faced inside and out with marble. I particularly like the light and shadows that populate the atrium, created by all the glass pyramids in the roof.

Circle I, II, and III, 1962, by David Smith.

Color Panels for a Large Wall, 1978, by Ellsworth Kelly.

Another part of the Calder mobile.

Then we ate a huge plate of ravioli at Carmine's. This is Peter. (I might get in trouble for posting this photo.)

We lingered by the fountain for a while until we finally decided to go home, and by some miracle, our electricity had just been turned on minutes before. We feel so lucky because lots of people are still without power four days later. We had some trouble with our cable and internet for a couple days after that, but I was so happy for air conditioning, I didn't care about that.

If you made it all the way to the end of this post, you are amazing. :)


  1. made it to the end woohooo!

    We need to meet sometime.

    Love your pics. Our power just came on today around noon.

  2. After reading that last sentence I felt like I crossed a finish line getting high fives! Wooo! But it was a great post! It didn't seem long if that's what you're implying.
    Sorry about the storm in your city. And was that really the title to one of Miró's artwork? Awesome.

  3. As always, I do enjoy your scenes from life. We are in the midst of a heat wave as well. The drought is not fun either. Glad you got your electric back.

  4. Glad to see you were able to find some respite from the heat. We were lucky in Baltimore-- we happen to live in a weird patch of the city that had power while most people didn't. It does seem though that outages like that always lead to fun experiences in the end. I may have to come down for the Miro exhibit. I didn't realize that was going on and I'd definitely be up for that!

  5. What gorgeous pictures! (Pinning several.) I'm glad you were able to get out of your towering inferno, as you said. Power outages during summer are the worst, so good thing yours came back quickly!

  6. These photos are so pretty!

  7. I love all your photos...such pretty views. I like the color panels art too!

  8. Love the detail pictures towards the top (give me a cool looking fence and I'm happy)
    Miró art is so dainty... Even his paintings seem to be waiting to be turned into mobiles!

    Also, I have an urge to draw you yelling "Right on, brother!" at that man. It made me giggle...