Monday, July 25, 2011

The Cone Sisters & Henri Matisse

I went to the Jewish Museum yesterday afternoon and was blown away by the exhibit about the Cone Sisters & their art collection. They were from Baltimore and very revolutionary in their interest in Modern Art. Their brothers were in the textile industry and when their father died, asked them to go to New York City to spend $300 on items to enliven the family home. They spent the money on 5 pieces of new modern art, which began a lifetime of collecting. This thoughtful exhibit showcases their exquisite art collection, but what fascinated me was their friendship with Henri Matisse. Seeing his work in this context really struck a chord with me - the colors seemed louder & purer & more beautiful than ever before.

"Colors have a beauty of their own which must be preserved, as one strives to preserve pure tones in music. It is a question of organization and construction that is sensitive to maintaining this beautiful freshness of color... What counts most with color are relationships... No doubt there are a thousand different ways of working with color. But when one composes with it, like a musician with harmonies, it is simply a question of emphasizing the differences." - Henri Matisse, 1945

Monday, July 18, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Line-dry colors

When I lived in Cortona, Italy for a fine-art study abroad program in the fall of 2005, we washed all of our clothes in the bathtub by hand, and then walked them outside to the clothesline behind our dorm room. This meant doing your laundry not only depended on when you had the time, but also on the weather. I learned the Italians especially do not believe in driers. Our professor told the story of an Italian friend who came to visit him in the States and how the friend found any branch outside to hang his wet laundry on, because "driers are the devil, don't you know!"

As summer rolls on, I am trying to remember part of my intention for leaving the corporate world. My intention for a calmer, simpler, more beautiful life. I did my laundry this morning at the local laundomat (not quite as convenient as a washer in my house, but better than washing it all in the tub!) but decided that any piece that I really loved, I would take home to line dry. Imagine my delight, as I was hanging, the beautiful palette of blues, grays, greens, and whites.. perfect for summer. I dream of the time and space when I can hang everything outside in my garden to dry, but in the meantime, my bathtub will do, and I will be grateful for the beauty that is there.