Utah, Part 1
Finally: Utah, Part 1
In November, i spent about a week up on the Colorado Plateau, winding my way up the Grand Staircase and spending not nearly enough time at f i v e ! of the National Parks in Utah’s share of the region. I’ve always been a sucker for red rock country. It…
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I’m only responsible for what I say. Not what you understand.
I saw this beautiful piece in the Spring of 2010. I was in Barcelona for Spring Break, or Semana Santa in the local parlance, with a friend who was studying in Madrid at the time. The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya or MNACÂ sits atop a hill that rises up south of PlaÃ§a d’Espanya. Sitting on the steps just off the MNACâs faÃ§ade, you are treated to a panorama view of the city. If youâre there when the sun is setting, at least in late March, the panorama turns glorious. The distant sky above is still warm. Purple shaded hills frame the scene, while the western walls of the hundreds of geometric buildings in the cityâs lowland light up with this orange golden light. The buildings also cast rich shadows that, with the light, create a countlesslyÂ textured scene. A readymade cubist painting, is what i thought at the time. No wonder Picasso kept coming back here.
As forÂ A Little EmpordÃ Village,Â itâs just one of several paintings by Gimeno in the MNAC, but it was my favorite.Â I donât think thereâs a single pure color on the canvas, but the different hues coming together just work so well, and the color light is continued perfectly into the shadows that the painting just glows. Lovely glowing colors. Warm yellow and greens intermingle with neutral reds and oranges in the light. The loveliness continues in the darks with the same reds and with purpley blues. Thick coats of paint layered on top of each other again and again make a rich, yet relatively even, surface. No muddle. No fuss. Just a beautiful portrait of a city whoâs roots go back over a thousand years.
All that color is held together in a composition which mixes classic two-point perspective and foreshortening with an expert hand. Itâs both a triangle coming at you and a series of flat planes coming together. And all broken up by natureâs natureâthe shadow in the foreground, the clouds in the sky and the mountain between.
I wrote in my journal at the time âGood gracious he could paint.â Itâs too bad (yet understandable) that art history has to focus so much on the major canonical pieces. There is much awesomeness off the main road.
Why i should have taken physics.