Suzanne and I met Thursday to go to museums. It is always great fun to catch up on each other's news and to enjoy some art at the same time. We first looked at the National Gallery of Art, focusing on works recently acquired from the Smithsonian. We also saw a show of works by Piero di Cosimo. They are very religious and very Italian. We went to the gift shop and made a few purchases before walking over to the American Portrait Gallery where we had a little snack before taking in the art.
Lunch is bought in a nice little coffee shop, where the one person on duty made me a grilled cheese sandwich to go with my tomato-basil soup....while he was tending to barista duties and manning the cash register. A very nice guy. The really great thing, though, is eating in the Kogod Courtyard, which is completely covered with undulating glass panels. It is so light and airy, and I often see someone I know. I did that day, when I saw Tim Krepp.
The museum itself is designed so that one side is the American Art Gallery and the other side is the Portrait Gallery. We were interested in the Portrait Gallery that day. The most memorable art was that of Elaine de Kooning. There is a video where she does a demo painting from life of the painter Aristodimos Kaldis. It was just amazing. It looks like she is just throwing paint on a huge canvas, but it comes to life when she gets to the facial features. This picture, of course, doesn't do it justice.
She painted Kaldis once a year for several years. I can see why he was fun to paint. I have a much greater appreciation of her having seen that video and the exhibit. I learned that she usually paints a subject several times. I think she did something like 30 paintings of John F. Kennedy and about 50 sketches. Here's a picture of her in her studio...pulled from the internet, but it is part of the exhibit, too.
We also saw some interesting art from Time magazine covers in the 60s. It was surprizingly diverse. We then went to the gift shop and met Walter for dinner at Ella's. Fun day. I'm glad we have kept the friendship, Suzanne!