I performed a virtual tour of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) through the organisation’s website, https://www.moma.org/. The top part of the homepage displays a bold statement in white with a black background reading, “We look forward to seeing you!” I wish I would have visited the museum physically but I promise to honor the invite in future to witness and experience the art masterpiece stored in there. While scrolling down the homepage I was amazed by its colorfulness, it strikingly displays pictures of modern art. The left side of the homepage is written “Change Is Modern” in black with a yellow background (MoMA, n.d.-b). There are several works that have been displayed on the homepage starting with Guadalupe Maravilla’s Luz y fuerza, which is shown below;
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The images are so captivating, it may take more time to look at every piece of artwork displayed through the website. The main aim of visiting MoMA albeit online, is to study the works of art in the Impressionism and Post Impressionism periods. After studying the suggested literature by Frank on the chapter of Artforms titled: “Late Eighteen and Nineteen Centuries,” I choose to search for the works by Vincent van Gogh and Mary Cassatt.
Vincent van Gogh is a post impressionism artist who was active in painting from 1853 to 1890. He produced many artistic paintings majorly themed on color. Out of his many works listed on the MoMA website, my attention is attracted to his work, shown below, titled The Starry Night that was done in Saint Rémy in June 1889.
The image symbolizes the night sky illuminated by a bright moon to the right and Venus at the center left. The picture above depicts van Gogh’s expression, mood, and sentiment. In this painting, van Gogh was inspired by the outlook of the from his window at the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole refuge in Saint-Rémy, southern France, where he spent one year from 1889 to 1890 in search of absolution from his psychological sickness. Even though he looked at the sky at night, the painting was made during the day, showing his clearness of mind (MoMA, n.d.-c). The painting also shows a tiny village below the hills that he may have observed at another time. The hills seem to rise and fall in resonance to the terrific galactic forces in the sky whereas the tiny village illuminates the compactness of human life.
On Impressionism period, I preferred to choose one of the works done by Mary Cassatt who was active between 1844 and 1926. She is among the few Americans who made major contribution in the development of Impressionism. Being a woman, most of Cassatt’s art paintings involved silent moments between mothers and kids. I picked her work titled Under the Horse-Chestnut Tree, which is shown below;
In this painting, Cassatt portrays a child seemingly about to twist against the mother’s clasp. The painting is done against a flat area with a jewel like color. It reveals Cassatt’s interest in Japanese motifs that she saw at an artwork fair in Paris in 1890 (MoMA, n.d.-a). The painting also incorporates some form of Western approaches to printmaking, which entail the use of drypoint to craft a detailed graphic outline and aquatint to afford a deep color.
Frank, P. (2010). Prebles’ Artforms: An Introduction to the Visual Arts, 10th Edition (10th ed.). Pearson.
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MoMA. (n.d.-a). Mary Cassatt. Under the Horse-Chestnut Tree. 1896–97 | MoMA. The Museum of Modern Art. Web.
MoMA. (n.d.-b). MoMA. The Museum of Modern Art. Web.
MoMA. (n.d.-s). Vincent van Gogh. The Starry Night. Saint Rémy, June 1889 | MoMA. The Museum of Modern Art. Web.