Detail from "Rain Dance," an original quilt by Sherrie Spangler

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Feet see Gauguin in Seattle

Big day yesterday for the Feet and Forks! We took the ferry to Seattle and saw "Gauguin & Polynesia: An Elusive Paradise,"  a new exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum.

From the windy ferry deck, we watched Seattle emerge on the horizon, as blue as the sky and the water.

I see an abstract possibility here, looking down from the ferry.

The Feet hoofed it along Alaskan Way to Starbucks, stopping for a photo op with the big stuffed Elliott the Otter. Then it was up the loooong staircase and hills to the museum.

"Tahitian Women (On the Beach)," 1891, Paul Gauguin

Photography wasn't allowed in the Gauguin exhibit, but here's one of the paintings we saw (above). Paul Gauguin, one of the leading French Postimpressionists of the late 1800s, did this oil painting shortly after moving to Tahiti, a period when he increasingly sought expressiveness through COLOR. (My kind of artist!)

Self portrait, 1888, Paul Gauguin

I was struck by the pensiveness of the expressions on his subjects and I couldn't help noticing that they never seemed to be looking at one another. They seemed disconnected from each other and their "paradise." Maybe this was intentional -- I don't know enough about Gauguin to answer that one. Do any of you know?

The exhibit runs through April 29. It includes about 60 of Gauguin's paintings, sculptures and works on paper, most of them brilliantly hued.

Moving on to the the Abstract Expressionist gallery (my favorite period), I pondered the deep meaning of "The Blackboard," 1961, by Conrad Marca-Relli. I decided that the meaning didn't matter to me -- I just liked the large scale, the puzzle-like shapes and the raw edges. Even though it was gray (shudder), I still was attracted to it. It reminded me of textile collage and of farmland seen from an airplane.

Above is a Marc Rothko painting, also from the Abstract Expressionist gallery. I think I'd really like a painting using Rothko and Gauguin's colors but the shapes from "The Blackboard." (Note to self: Possible art quilt.)

Below is a variety of glass art in another gallery.

Then the Feet moved on to The Wild Ginger, where we earned the Forks part of our name. The empty dessert plate had a delicious piece of dense, flourless chocolate cake topped with whipped cream and pieces of toffee!!!

Even though we were stuffed, we somehow ended up minutes later in Pike's Place Market at Beecher's eating free artisan cheese samples.

Then we rolled across the street and made a beeline for the donut machine, which dispenses hot little donuts that melt in your mouth. We got a bag and shared them while sipping free tea samples from the tea shop.

The vegetable and fruit displays in Pike's Place looked as luscious as any Gauguin painting.

Touristy sidewalk display on Alaskan Way.
Back down on Alaskan Way, the other Feet and Forks went to the fudge shop while I got my second iced decaf nonfat no-whip mocha of the day at Starbucks. Then we hustled onto a packed rush-hour ferry for the ride back home.

Our seagull escort home.

Well, I hope you enjoyed your little outing with the Feet and Forks in the great Pacific Northwest.

Have a colorful day


ellen gets crafty said...

What a wonderful field trip - there's nothing like a day of fun with your friends.

Del said...

I didn't understand the wonderfulness of Gauguin until I saw his paintings with my own eyes. I remember wanting to touch a shoulder - surely it would be warm flesh instead of paint. Photographs in books/catalogs just don't do justice to art.
Your day trip fills me with envy!

Judy Ferguson said...

You made me jealous and you made me hungry. Congratulations.

The Idaho Beauty said...

Your group best watch how much you eat on these trips - I understand the ferry system is reassessing how many passengers it can hold based on the higher average weight of their passengers! ;-) It all looks wonderful - from the art to the food to the blue water and skies. The Gauguins look particularly good against the warm yellow background of your blog. Ahhh, warm tropical breezes coming my wait - there's several inches of snow predicted for tomorrow. Better put the swimsuit away - lol.

Julia said...

When I saw The Blackboard, I immediately thought of landscapes, too. No wonder you were drawn to it! I think the Rothko would be nice printed on the back of a long kimono or some sort of jacket.
Also, I recognized that guitar shirt as one Buster had/has!

Ladybug said...

I've always loved Gauguin - I best get on over there to see the exhibit! Pike Place Market is a joy to the senses & I can just taste all that wonderful food. You ladies sure do pack a lot into your days "out" together. Any journey with you, even long-distance, is a delight. Thanks for taking us along!