Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Perspective at the Norton Simon Art Museum

I saw them, a group of wandering people.  Some clinging on to each other, some wandering off.  One younger woman pushing a chair trying to keep them all together.  They were a group of Alzheimer's patients.  I saw them from a distance, I knew them, they were strangers, but I knew them as well as I know my mother.

I felt very sad.  I felt that I wish I could be there pushing her around to see all the paintings.  Instead I was looking at the paintings with my class, pondering line and color and value, and why a painting "works." A break from my life as a mother and daughter,  I couldn't concentrate.  I kept watching them.  Oh my god, that's my mom.  She used to take me to the Art Institute of Chicago, we used to go together, we'd take the train, she always wore a raincoat, and every painting in that museum has influenced my life as an artist, as did she.

So I bought her a calendar of Mary Cassat, one of her favorite painters, and a book on Jawlensky, one of my favorite painters as seen above. I'll just bring the museum to her, although I'd much rather take the train.