Saturday, November 16, 2013

Anders Zorn at the Legion, Take One. -- 2/308

Walk: Mindful Body, Fillmore Street, Trader Joe's
Distance: 3 miles and teach yoga class

Meet some of the work of Anders Zorn (1860-1920) a highly financially successful (mainly for astronomically expensive society portraits in Europe and the U.S.) and clearly talented Swedish painter.  Zorn was famous, sought after, celebrated, courted by the wealthy, warm-hearted toward the ordinary citizens around his beloved Swedish home.  But somewhere shortly after his death he became overlooked by much of the art community.  Even scholars in museums where his works hang (like the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston) had to do some research to become familiar with him.

Now there seems to be some attempt to 'resurrect' his reputation with a February-May show at the Gardner and now a large exhibition at the Legion.  So far for Ciwt it isn't a take. Certainly all his works are executed well and show proficient understanding of technique (watercolor, oil, etching) and color.  But 'So what?' 'Oh hum,' continue to be my true responses to the work.  It seems executed to sell. And certainly they would be pleasant around the house. But, the portraits seem formulaic with a nearly photo-realistic face and then blurry backgrounds of wealthy finery. The nudes bother me for the way he seems to get away with probably being a 'dirty old man.' I like the homespun genre scenes around his Swedish town best, but even these seem empty of emotional content.

I always go to shows several times, and maybe my feelings for his work will grow over future visits.  What do you think?



    The Mora Fair, o/c
President Grover Cleveland, o/c

Sommarnoje, 1886, w/c


Last Self-Portrait: Self-Portrait in Red, 1915, o/c

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