Friday, February 11, 2011

So beautiful it hurts: The Tragic Muse at the Smart Museum of Art

As the grey days of early February descend upon me, as I find myself encumbered by heavy snows and treacherous roads, when it seems like the sun is setting all day long, I find myself in a solitary and contemplative mood.  And it's just the right mood to be in to appreciate the Smart Museum's subdued yet thought provoking exhibit, "The Tragic Muse."  It is a theme that thoroughly complements the work that I am doing now in my "Dark Night of the Soul" series, a study of art and emotion. 

Works in a variety of media, created over the course of two centuries share the common thread of exploring the pathos of the human condition, using both narrative subject matter and pieces that lean more towards abstraction.  The impressive roster of artists includes Manet, Munch, and Redon.  Many of the tragic figures are characters you've probably read about before, such as Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and Ophelia, and Lady Macbeth, though they also include anonymous real-life people dealing with everyday tragedies of the times, like the death of a child.  As I continue to incorporate more emotional content into my work, I am inspired by what other artists before me have done to express feeling in their work and evoke feeling in those who view their artwork.  Though times have changed, emotion remains timeless.

There are numerous public events being held at the museum in conjunction with the show, so visit their website for more information.  The Tragic Muse will run until June 5, 2011.

and here is the address:
The David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art
5550 S. Greenwood
Chicago, IL
And you know what?  The Smart Museum is free!

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