Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Vincent Van Gogh, Olive Trees (1889):
At the raised center
And the olive trees converging
To his last flash of vision
he left us a sun
And central mounds of color
He wound wet paint in quick jerks
forming caresses–undulations of earth
and centrality of sky–
The light of Greece or Southern France.
ringed sun, that pleasant light blue violet tint in the hills & repeated in the sky & on the ground
Andre Derain, St. Paul from the Thames (1906):
Loving blue and yellow on the river, city face
facade and river, the patchy London sky
pleasurable edges, French emotion suffusing London
olive shadows, rippling tints–stories–towers
history & Helena, Venitsia brought to England
to cross-the-ocean, long-walk place Derain
and the slant, cranberry orange path
(signed someway in the corner) The possibility
of streets and people, views and the small
leaning to catch a sight of a friend or
to listen more closely to the curiosity
Allowed–these paintings–in Mid-Western Scandinavian Norwegian Minneapolis Minnesota (Breakfast and supper at the Sortebergs) Lutheran and Protestant Coastline and Oysters
so long ago so far away and not so far, not so long
Wonderfully allowed unexpected carried here–hither by patrons of art, collectors and lovers of beautiful forms, color, shape,
expression–just looking–providing, allowing this dialogue
spanning centuries and fields and rivers
Let’s make a tape to the wind, spin creator’s fists to the…
. . . sans the wind it was
her first day in Jacksonville the sun was pouring down
Poem past the museum in gurgles and cream
The sun at the center
Left by Van Gogh, pouring waterfall
And leaf trembling on its slender stem
Silly ram and goatherd
Drain the politics of leaf and sky with
double incision and faint rose drop shore drenched salad burgeoning
fur, salutations and surrender to the mighty fugitive flight, leaf
crumpled underfoot, seen by the bent-backed boy, tread of a thousand
collapses and treads again, leaf mountain stew curdles and donkey cream
astopiske and entropy the not so sudden diminutive center of the preacher
prayer and their sudden dash for words, clattering envelopes, horse trot
and syllable, wish and thankyou and dream, dreary considering of mother
and brother and rainbow and star and a thousand quick images to forget.
Picture perfect and the not so sudden dream
End stop and the voice from across the ocean
Black fist and the pounding starlit night
Dream drops and the continued repetition and the furrow foundry not
simping to the edge of worth the passion to write and leave alone the
scarab beetle, voice and mechanical star and angry mountain
thoughts but form each one read tired in the night and running in
the day to the purple verge to the storm dream and the fantastic planet
Nice to write but each word took and changed form for energy artist
developing maturing in form and style and at once seeing Chaucer in
Shakespeare, Shakespeare in Melville. Moby Dick and a flight of angels
Rilke and orchids, apple blossoms in French field and Rodin
Carving crafting with each shaving in wax or clay the fallen angel
the twisting couple the Gates of Hell, Blake’s proverbs of Hell and
the human passionate symbolic gesture, derived from the simple everyday
(not so simple) life.
Ando Hiroshige Mountains and River Along the Kisokaido 1858
Oban triptych, color woodblock print
Snowfall, grey sky, blue-grey river,
nestled village, houses, thatched
rows of trees, the travellers that walk, one crossing bridge, one
up higher on the road, each alone, one with a staff, a stick, & wearing
a hat. People are hidden, can be hidden in the scenery, have to look for
Walking home or will go home to the village
to meditate, contemplate, walk and notice alone
Basho and his disciple on the road or returning?
humble out in the air, hills and trees and river
in a ‘right’ perspective (studying this–the proportion of
hill and sky and river and a man) (Zen partly that shift in perspective?)
Helena, Asia, and the British Museum
Learning from a Teacher, remembering lessons, forgetting
all lessons, making new lessons
Yearning for variety and freedom
Enjoying good food and views, good views and food.
News of new views is good news, food for vision.
Paul Cezanne Chestnut Trees at Jasde Bouffan
the country home and estate of his father which became his
buildings are rendered without violence
the trees stand out, waving, tangling, but not
really interfering with each other blues and greens mix
in the air where the branches meet the sky, the mountain
is soft in the distance - light is tangled and icy
the painter saint out alone before the landscape–Zen in
the French afternoon length, and not a circling convergence
wisps of color - small splashes in the foreground - light thuds
giving movement, animation to the grass
Gustave Caillebotte Reclining Nude 1880
So much of the couch the sleeping and my face
reflected above the body shoes & the room this was in
my clarity & flush from paintings needing to spend
long times honoring what I best am, respecting the work I take to do it,
maintaining the flush inside - her beautiful, my respect, sitting
down myself resting. (the work I take to maintain the flush inside)
Claude Monet Nympheas: Pont Japonaise c.1915-20
bridge in his Japanese garden
Confusion amid the din and scatter, clamor of color,
violence of everything spread out on the battlefield
Blasting and blasting and blasting.
Honore Daumier The Fugitives c.1848
Faceless and Placeless struggling from the fire - burned out
weary, bending on the road, children and babies
Bronze shadows, thresholds cross’d, seen
seized by necessity, necessary travelling voyaging
fugitive forlorn outcast
driving in the drivelling rain
no one to help no one can help
flood in Souther Brazil, Drought in Northern Brazil
from the mountain Ghandi, hunger and starvation have
taken our children from us / the darkness is upon us -
there is no one to help. / Left to the cold,
barefoot and limped, carrying a stretcher
wailing gnashing of teeth tired bones soar and
pus running out Old men and young men and sister
brother where are you? Earthquake in
Italy mia amore, my love is taken, my sister
is crushed and hungry.
See us see us help us, in your country
in a neighboring country Christ said - did you listen
your heart said - could you hear? and wind blew round
and round - they died in that place
sorely sick, tired in that place they died.
Delacroix Tangier Seashore 1858
Blue green water rocky slope - up there the city
clouds and light figures pushing the ship
(travelling there through the picture)
glints, small diamonds of shine in the paint
belts of green and sashes of cranberry on brown and yellow
costumes orange costumes, blue skirts.
sea weed covered rock
to sail there - to hold the soil there - Helena, Helena.
Bust of a Nubian, by Charles Henri Joseph Cordier, Algerian jasper and silvered bronze, Asian turban and lacework, our desire to go to Asia.
Thomas Coutre Young Italian Street Musician c.1876
cigar bottle one glass sandals - thongs wrapped up
below the knee instrument tired
cigar tip outdoors at a table.
The Castle of Ornans the horizon and sky - Maine from Mt. David / real blue
St. Augustine in Loving Contemplation of the Divine Domain
Hubert Francois Gravelot compact, inclusive picture with moon, stars,
and sun, clouds, books stacked high, the room rich and full, another
“Tolle Lece” from heaven, his conversion reading outdoors in a garden
the walks of Cambridge. first day in Florence looking for a place to
stay, over walls into gardens and parks.
Theodore Rousseau, Lake Geneva, (1812-1867)
many many small bushes and trees and a long mostly straight
dirt road and slightly scattered village at one end of this
part of the lake. mountains and blue sky. 2 figures, blow to
the right, large sense of space.
San Marco by Renoir c. 1881 fancy colors streaming toward it
(exotic eastern-filled church, with gold and blue and stark)
he saw it, I saw it pigeons and people.
Paul Gauguin Tahitian Landscape 1891
pleasure trees and cool shade, suspended time
An oil painting time in one place
remembering Stein’s notes about liking oil paintings
(generally, in general–generously) liking to look at them
and me liking to look at a lot of them - at this one
with its double pink track and tilting billow of cloud and light
blue sky (even as it is a lot flat) waiting to move over to Van Gogh -
though in color it is not flat visual color flat space
of a different way of creating space, for there is distance
and height - for us we are in it.
Eugene Delacroix, Fanatics of Tangiers, 1838
Chirico sky, blue with broken clouds, part just blue, that strange blue,
Greek island white wash walls, green plants overhanging
the real buildings, these people, my own yearnings to be there
to see there thanking Delacroix (with an urge in my heart)
for seeing there for being there for painting there.
–indirectly for me.
The influence of Millet on Van Gogh in the pastel Church of Chailly in lay out and order given to the buildings as they mean the sky, and in the close rolling foreground and even in the colors, a gentle Van Gogh, an obligation to detail, a faithfulness to that obligation, the choice of subject, a landscape with a building and some (small) figures.
Van Gogh–either small figures or figure entirely.
Giovani Domenico Tiepelo’s sense of humor (1727-1804) Italian.
woman dressing. There is at least one Tiepolo in the RISD Old Master collection.
Jade Mountain Illustrating the Gathering of Poets at Lan T’ing Pavilino
in 353 AD, dated 1784.
A literary gathering of poets and scholars at the Orchard Pavilion
organized by Wang. At the base of the mountain some read poetry,
some discuss theories and poems, one looks at the rock ledge,
remind me of Hiroshige print.