This was a good weekend. Denver has an impressionism exhibit at the art museum, along with a quilt exhibit. Quilts were amazing. Impressionism was phenomenal.
First, the quilts: they are a collection of quilts made by African American women living in Gee’s Bend, Alabama. It’s a relatively isolated community, which has contributed to the quilting as well as the development of a unique technique and designs. These quilts have their own, unique flavor. I was totally inspired and wanted to go home and immediately start cutting fabric. Instead, I settled for buying fabric, and didn’t get to cutting because my mom was in town for mother’s day. But here are some pics of the quilts at the museum.
What I liked about the quilts was the different use of textures. Although it doesn’t come through too clear in the pictures I posted, courtesy of the Denver Art Museum, the quilters used lots of different fabrics. The blue quilt with the numbers was made of old jerseys. The green-red-brown-blue-yellow quilt was corduroy. In real life, it adds a whole new feel to the piece. The red-black-blue one was cotton, from what I remember, but still neat. These are just a few of the quilts. Others were made from jeans, the pocket imprints still visible. They mixed silk and cotton; they used traditional shapes to make unique patterns. But mostly, the use of squares and blocks was fascinating; simple pieces of fabric come together to create a totally new design.
The impressionism was wow. I am so happy that Denver did such a great job with it. Our city isn’t exactly known as a cultural hub for art. When people think good art, they think New York, Chicago, L.A., Boston, Seattle. But I think the DAM is part of the effort to pave the way for Denver to really move up in the art world, and just in time, too, as we’re getting the DNC this August. Since I love Denver, I’m proud and excited to be a part of it while it’s growing and growing up. I think we’ll always have our cow-town roots, but now our cow-town is getting dressed up. The impressionism exhibit looked at impressionist artists who studied the masters of the Renaissance. They copied the masters, and the exhibit illustrated that by putting the copies next to the originals, really allowing the viewer to appreciate what it was that the impressionists were doing that was different.
(I threw in the last one because it’s a painting of Mary Cassat and her sister at the Lourve, done by Degas. How cool!)
I’ve seen impressionism before in regular museum exhibits, but the direct comparisons really emphasize what it was that the impressionists were trying to do with color, light, hue. I loved it!