Saturday, February 27, 2016

Happily, There is an Exit

Where: National Gallery of Art

When: through May 15, 2016

I had high hopes for this show of Louise Bourgeois works.  I'd never heard of her before, but I read a quote, "At the mention of surrealism, I cringe," and thought we might be soul sisters.  "I cringe too!" I exclaimed to myself; "This is someone whose work I must run out and examine."

Well, it turns out that just disliking surrealism is not enough to ensure I'll like your art.  Bourgeois' problem with the term is that people kept applying it to her work, when she identified as an existentialist.  There's a difference, and I see it, but I still don't like her stuff.

To me, surrealism is just ugly.  I wouldn't want it in my home, and I don't like looking at it in a museum.  If great art is uplifting, surrealism is the opposite of that.  Bourgeois' art is not repellent; it's just unfathomable.  What is it?  I kept asking myself, but I wasn't able to come up with an answer.  Many pieces are titled "Untitled," and if you've read this blog for any period of time, you know how I feel about that.  For newbies: I don't like it.  If I can make the time to come out and see your work, you can make the time to give it a name.

The picture above, is probably the most understandable - it's her hand, done in the color red.  Fine.  The rest of the works left me scratching my head.

Verdict: Unless you're a fan, you can give this a miss.

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