Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University was known for its amazing Rodin sculpture collections, but its painting collections were also remarkable.
My favorite was a semi-abstract by Richard Diebenkorn, titled Window. This painting was striking in its bold division of the canvas into several flat areas of brilliantly contrasting colors - bright blue, neutral orange and muted green, plus a narrow stretch of varying gray. Some details of depicted objects, large or small, helped to break otherwise monotonousness of each area, and artfully joined them together. The painting also drew viewers in with its many shapes and forms, and enigmatic relationships of planes, and trickery of view points. Those objects, seemingly readily identifiable, but upon closer examination, tended to shift away from the initial impressions. This painting's evocative atmosphere, intriguing composition, and strategic placement of objects, reminded me of mature Matisse in similar interior/exterior setting. This painting was exemplary in both representational and abstract worlds.
Window, Richard Diebenkorn
My second favorite was a portrait by Max Pechstein, Kurish Bride, I. This was a boldly outlined and modeled portrait of a lovely young woman, in a simple black and white dress or blouse, adorned with wildflower garland and red and pink scarf, high-cheeked and wide eyed, solid yet sensual, sedated yet hopeful, and almost joyous. One particularly striking aspect was that her face was painted in unnatural and even sickly
green, but it complimented well of her dark eyes, ruddy cheeks and scarlet lips. Furthermore, against deep red backdrop, and offset by pale green over light brown, the colors clashed dramatically and excitingly, and made her face commend all the attention. The large area of red background echoed and contrasted her ruddy cheeks and scarlet lips, and the scarf, thus firmly connected to the central figure. A riotously outburst of colors and emotions.
Kurish Bride, I, Max Pechstein
My Favorite Museum Collection Series
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List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited
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