September 2017 - THIS week's PICTURE

Max Beckmann paintings and gallery, Washington DC: photo by Malcolm Aslett

An alternative presentation of gallery paintings. This one I think of as like a cinematic pan, where the meat of the image - the paintings - is presented before the roaming eye sees other things of more vegetable and less importance. We have bare walls, unrecognizable utitilies and glaring plastic, then the grand space to left. The painting space is passive and the larger space is active and the intermediate section can be considered neutral.

Without any spectators in view the paintings seem ignored in this setting. For me, that becomes the subject of the photograph.

Three spaces in one: the human space, a blank utility space, a space for art. Living, working, dreaming.

That wall of three Beckmanns is worth several million dollars and part of a highly respected and valued history of European painting. The scene seems to say that that doesn't matter. Like the tree in the forest without a listener, without anyone to look at them these paintings are in limbo.

Yeah, whatever.

 

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