Friday, December 18, 2009

Wow, and you thought you hadn't been hitting the gym often enough. . . isn't this intriguing? It's been awhile since I've been to the Art Institute of Chicago, but it's hard to forget this meticulously rendered portrait. (By the way, did you read in last Sunday's NY Times that "meticulous" also means fearful? This is definitely scary.)

Was interested to find out that Albright painted this in 1929-30 working from a model who was about 20 years old. Apparently he was fascinated by all things related to aging and death and drew upon his experience as a medical illustrator during WWI to render incredibly detailed portraits or macabre but somehow dignified individuals.

What do you think? Those objects on the table and floor are slipping out of the frame; in fact doesn't everything appear askew, adding to the mood of unease and precariousness? The title is Into the World There Came a Soul Called Ida (The Lord is in His Heaven and I in My Room Below). What do you make of the subtitle with its echoes of Robert Browning?

1 comment:

  1. It's a remarkable, and even beautiful painting on its own merits. But seen in tandem with Milton Avery's painting of his daughter, the contrast is almost too much. It's like an illustration of the principle that the devil is in the details.