Monday, May 14, 2007

International Fine Art Fair 2007

I visited an art fair of this scale for the first time on Sunday. The fair was held in the Park Avenue Armory, the interior of which reminded me more of a very plush officers' club than of any weapon stash.

The Impressionists and Post-impressionists were strongly represented at the fair: Pissaro, Bonnard, Vuillard, Vlaminck, Renoir, Sisley. There was a large cubist Picasso that I did not like very much. A lovely Copley half-portrait of a stiff-backed woman dressed and hooded in black, her eyes glittering out of a noble face. Several Roaul Duffys, with their sketch-like figures standing at the pier, or shouting from the spectator stands of a racecourse. The English painters represented at the fair were largely forgettable: too much fact and not enough vision. I also found myself losing interest in the Chagalls, which suffered from the reverse problem.

I really liked the Andrew Wyeth watercolors. One of a cush-saw standing in the center, in front of a clapboard house. The red flowers below the saw gave the sharptoothed machine a romantic tinge. Another painting was of a dormer window opened on top of a roof, below a sky about to rain. A third is a lovely landscape with the most delicate grasses along a river. I can't find any of these online, so here's one titled "Bradford House."

Wearing tee-shirt and jeans, I was probably under-dressed among the suited and tied, but that did not bother me. I guess that's the power of a buyer, even when this buyer has no power to buy anything.


James said...

I challenge you to write an ekphrasis poem . . . :D

Just an idea since it seemed his paintings moved you in one way or another.

(PS: re MaPo: I decided to stop at day 15, which is today. We're having exam in a few days and it proved to be too much. There appeared a few nice poems this month, though, so I'm glad I continued post-NaPo.)


James said...

Oi. By the way, if you do write an ekphrasis poem, here's a link;,,1887575,00.html

Jee Leong Koh said...

Hi James,
I hate ekphrastic poems, with a very few exceptions like "Musee des Beaux Arts." Art about art is often just too precious for me.

Jee Leong