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Showing posts from March, 2014

Tim's Vermeer

There's a kind of cliche in the uninitiated looking at a work of modern art, perhaps a seemingly simplistic piece of conceptual art, and saying, "I could do that."  True perhaps, but would it have ever occurred to you to do so, oh skeptical one?  Such might be the case with a creation like Picasso's "Bull's Head."  Where most would simply see an old bicycle seat and handlebars, the Spanish artist saw something else entirely.  He saw a bull, his homeland's passion for corrida, no doubt a factor, consciously or not.  And the rest is art history.

Rather less likely would such a "I could do that" pronouncement occur before the work of an old master, someone like Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer.  With Vermeer, there would not only be the matter of equaling the mastery of form, the very distinctive use of color, the extraordinary attention to detail.  With the Dutch artist, there is also the uncanny presentation of light, captured with an almost…