Spring Bloodroot Moon
Hit the museum wall today. No, not neuromuscular, psychic. Standing, moving from painting to painting, trying to follow the multiple threads in my own inner discourse. Plus. Muscle fatigue from yesterday’s long walk, much of it on concrete.
Together, they moved me out of the galleries and onto Constitution Avenue. Which, I learned yesterday, is a covered canal from an original scheme to move goods throughout the capitol by barge. The railroad did it in, the canals lost money, a lot of money, and so, they filled them back up. What Schumpeter would call creative destruction. Me, just destruction.
(Philipp Otto Runge (1777–1810)
A Durer show opened today, too. Lots of people. His work demands such close looking that the crowds made it unfruitful. I imagine they will calm down in the coming weeks.
In looking back over the questions I wrote down here a few days ago my main interests have popped into clear relief. I’m interested in the history of ideas from the Renaissance on through today, in particular the Enlightenment, Romanticism, Modernism, Post-Modernity. Painting styles interact with these broader philosophical and cultural trends, but in complex ways.
As I move forward in my work with art, I plan to make my history of ideas interests a more central part of my art historical research. Without going into it at any length I find direct correlations between, say, Romanticism, and my project on Reimagining Faith. That realization can trigger art historical research. There are, too, issues of economics and politics at play.
This may be why the museum work had begun to move too slowly for me. It wasn’t addressing a broad enough range of my interests. It wasn’t the museum; it was me.