Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Agnes Pelton

A couple of years back, a visit to the Georgia O'Keefe Museum in Santa Fe left me refreshed and free, inspired by the concept of her artistic vision. Now when I go to the Phoenix Art Museum, I nod to any Georgia O'Keefe, saying, hey, I know you, and I also pause over the Agnes Pelton they have (it's usually next to the Georgia O'Keefe), thinking, hmm, that's a similar style, that abstract style that I can get into. I don't generally like the modern art much and abstract usually isn't my style, except when it's done in this certain way. Makes sense, too, I suppose, given that this was "modern" many decades ago, and so of course it would be quite a different style from what is modern today.

Now they have an Agnes Pelton exhibit going on at the Phoenix Art Museum--in fact, it's almost over, I've just been very bad and only just made it over to see it. Very bad considering that I was quite excited for it.

Again, this is abstract that I can get into. Such use of color and shape. Visuals become emotions. Aesthetics is not disregarded. Talent, too. Delicate shading here versus stark contrast between colors there. Content, as well, was something I favored. The desert makes a beautiful inspiration for art.

As some of the commentary mentioned, as well, there is an almost sci-fi quality to some of Pelton's work. It reminded me of some of Tolkien's art or of the illustrations that have been done for C.S. Lewis's The Space Trilogy. That very natural world and yet very other land look. So I could just keep staring at some of these paintings--they were inspiring and thought-provoking. Some, though, maybe took that edge a little too far for my interests. Pelton had an interest in thoughts and beliefs that would lead in to the New Age category and you can see it in her painting. A couple of her pieces in particular would fit right in at a couple of spots in Sedona. So it was interesting to observe that line: one one side of it I was enthralled and just right on the other I was removed.

It's funny the things that inspire us. I felt enriched from viewing Pelton's work--and yet it is only more recently that her work has been receiving wider recognition. There are many artists like that, aren't there? Sometimes the most famous artists are famous because they resonate on a personal level with so many people. But sometimes you won't overly connect with the work of a famous artist and instead you'll find a lesser known one who inspires you. That's why art is something you can continue to delve into your whole life long--there will always be new things to discover. 

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