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Author Topic: How do you experience art museums  (Read 758 times)
rovingjack
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« on: March 13, 2017, 03:26:02 am »

I went to a local small art museum today with an exhibit I wanted to check out, one of the things I find myself asking after that is how others experience art museums, because there is a vague sense that I must be doing it wrong.

The exhibit was nice and had about 42 works for the exhibit, 7 of which I found to be my favorites for various reasons. I read the little cards on many of them and talked with a couple older women about why some pieces actually benefit from being 'Untitled'.

I finished with the exhibit in about 10 minutes. I figured I was there, I should see what else they had there. 35 minutes later I was finished the rest of the museum. While it is a smaller museum it's stall a museum with multiple levels and 'wings'.

I get the sense that I might be doing something wrong. Probably not but it feels that way.

I look at a piece and see the techniques and innovative tricks that give some of their uniqueness. I read the artists name and the title of the piece as well as the intent, materials and techniques used. I find ideas and inspirations from them. And I do it sort of all in a go before looking at another piece.

But I don't think I'd be able to just stare at a painting or sculpture for 10-45 minutes. So I'm curious how others experience the art in a museum?
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Drew P
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2017, 09:10:10 am »

Depends on what you admire.
My tastes have changed; I used to run through a museum that fast, also. Like the Art Institute of Chicago, through that sucker in a half hour! Have you seen the size of that place?!
Now, it takes hours. No, I don't stare at each piece for minutes on end, just a few of them. I admire more and think about those pieces and whom may have done them and how. I marvel at the ability of someone from so long ago, how did they learn so much with so little?
Mind you, I do skip through areas of "modern" art as they used to be easily titled. Paintings of just one color with a single line tossed about it, those that look as if a baby bird flew into and, blinded by the paint, toiled around on the canvas until death, those pieces that appear to have been unfinished, those that my cat may have thrown up. Not my ideal. I have tried to understand them, I cannot. One would say that with time, perhaps I may, just as with the other pieces I have grown to understand. I will not. I have been in many, many homes of the wealthy and seen many, many pieces such as these and will never understand. And will never understand why one needs to be wealthy to afford such pieces and why being wealthy makes one admire such pieces.
I'm not even that old so it's not as if eons of age makes one appreciate things more because of wisdom, my tastes have just changed. My mind has grown, but it is not a "profound" growth, just growth.
Maybe yours has grown, also, and, maybe, these aspects of life are not of importance or are not needed now for you.
No need to be a Lemming if that's what you feel that you are not.
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Never ask 'Why?'
Always ask 'Why not!?'
Drew P
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« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2017, 02:01:03 am »

What?! Nobody goes out anymore?
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2017, 03:48:38 am »

I know man. It's like pulling teeth to get someone into a museum  Grin

It's always a different approach that of a person who knows on the subject (eg an artist), as opposed to someone from the general public.

Let me make a comparison between going to a fine art museum and listening to another art, music in concerts, for example.

I learned about this when contrasting the way I approached music in general, before I took music appreciation/history classes and after.

Before, I was a child who loved music, and I enjoyed jazz, an influence from my grandparents, as well as modern rock/pop once I was old enough to "get it." But there were other styles of music (eg medieval, bluegrass and the Mexican equivalent, Huapango, to give a few examples) and not liking it I would just "bypass" any discussion of it or listening to it.

Once I studied music, I began to understand some of those genres. Mind you, that doesn't mean that I like everything. I still don't like Bluegrass and Country, but I feel I can understand these now, and it's perfectly possible for me to sit down and listen to it, perhaps because my mind is busy analyzing the content and structure of the music. That applies especially to Hip Hop and Rap.

Other genres that I didn't understand, I re discovered and fell in love with them, specifically secular medieval music, Huapango (Mexican Bluegrass) and Trip Hop.

For those genres that I did like before, like Jazz, it opened a new universe for me, as I not only liked it but became an amateur "connoisseur" on the subject, which led to more discovery.

I figure that going to the museum on a field trip as a child has a similar effect. The child might be bored, but by forcing him to be there you already are "rattling the cage" so to to speak. Out of that mental disturbance new ideas will be born in that child's mind, leading to more possibilities in the future.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2017, 03:50:37 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged

rovingjack
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« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2017, 12:29:25 pm »

I'm not bored by the things, I feel more like I'm snapping a picture. I've seen it completely. I've gathered the things I that will fascinate my mind about it. I can recall it and think about what impressed me and imagine it being used in other works, in the core of my mind while I'm walking away.

I don't stand and stare because I cannot for the life of me gather what I'd get from it that I didn't get when I looked at it in the first ten seconds. It would have to be a very busy and complex work for me to have to study it for long periods.

I think DrewP and I come from nearly opposite ends. I'm largely bored by portrait and the scenic pictures. I get that the skills to capture a likeness are difficult, I've tried it, my JFK looked like a newly discovered Kennedy brother instead. And getting the realist right is hard. I just find the subject matter a bit boring.

I like a bit of 'you can't see that anywhere else' in my art, that or a story.

I'll say I used to not care for the pollock works, and I'd still not really want a print or even an original, because the art in those was in the creation not the created. Painting something like that, or the large swath of blending color with a line down the middle can be immensely satisfying to do, to use your whole body and movement to connect with the colors and the flow or the material on the prepared surface, it can be very expressive to do and to unite it over a surface evenly or intentionally break the flow much like building a rhythm in music or even the flow of a narrative in prose, and intentionally breaking it to evoke an uneasiness or shock within the audience. But that's all in the making, or occasionally it's experienced upon the first exposure and ever after it's impact tends to be past tense for me.

I like something that tantalises the imagination and establishes awe in something that just cannot be taken in in a glance. Some technique also fascinate me for their amazing execution and their application, but having seen them for the first time each time I see them again it gets a bit like seeing another roadside tree. You recognise it and maybe even think it looks nice but it doesn't awe and captivate attention like the first time. Some paintings can even start to look downright like a paint by numbers work. But if there is a story or message that is conveyed by the painting itself then it will hold me longer.

I think the ones most likely to hold my attention longest are the ones that are so intricate as to allow new things to be found and explored each time they are viewed.
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