Last weekend, Mrs.5000 and I got our act together and renewed our membership in the Portland Art Museum. We briefly poked our noses into the South Asian collection, because it's hard to pass up Lord Ganesh on a giant mouse.
Here's me with Lord Vishnu in his incarnation as Lord of the Dance.
But soon we were whisked away, or whisked ourselves away I suppose, to the featured exhibits. One was a major collection of the work of Mark Rothko. In addition to his big color fields, there are quite a few of his earlier figurative works in the exhibit. I kind of liked this Ensor-ish one:
...and Mrs.5000 really likes this one:
To tell you the honest truth, I ended up feeling like I had taken and failed the Rothko test. I've always been skeptical of his famous color-field paintings, but have also often been told that you have to see them in person, and then, wow! So now I've seen them in person, but the wow! didn't happen. It makes me feel like I've let down the side, somehow.
Mrs.5000 did a much better job than me at Rothko appreciation:
I'm more of an Albers man:
Mr. Albers is currently going head to head with Carl Andre in the Infinite Art Tournament, where voter lamanyana recently said he bets that Albers paintings "are great in person." I certainly thought so. I asked Mrs.5000 what she supposed it meant that I respond to Albers but not Rothko and she replied, rather kindly I thought, that I must "be more spiritually attuned to the straight line." Ooh, good answer!
We bumped into works by other Tournament artists as well, including Josef Beuys, currently between matches after being trounced by Gianlorenzo Bernini in Round 1.
This monumental piece hangs impressively in the central lobby, just centimeters off the floor. Call me reactionary, but I think it might have had stronger overall impact without the big fake turds.
Here's Agnolo Bronzino, looking very good indeed in a painting that I prefer to either of the entries in his current Round 1 contest against Victor Brauner.
And here's Max Beckmann, who's currently throwing down against Frederic Bazille in a Round 2 contest. Polls close soon!
And the spider-woman herself, Louise Bourgeois, currently in Round 1 action against Antoine Bourdelle!
There was also a exhibit showing the work of a guy named John Frame which was rather remarkable, but also hella difficult to explain, and they didn't want it photographed. So if you are a City of Roses person, you'll just go have to see for yourself. And if you're not, you'll just have to come visit.
Mrs.5000 points out that you'll have to come visit quickly, as the John Frame exhibit is only up until May 27.