Monday, 28 January 2013 16:30

A Night at the Kemper Museum

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For the past couple of weeks, I have been a secret agent. Or actually like Lara Croft and Indiana Jones, without the big chest and whip. I’ve been mingling with important people, getting into hijinks with Nazis, exploring caves to uncover sacred and lost treasures.

Okay, so I’m slightly exaggerating. We (as in, we, the Kemper Art Museum Posse of Greatness that I like to include myself in even though I have no say whatsoever in the buying and accumulating of the said Art) have installed three new exhibitions, which makes me feel like I am a powerful figure in a film that might star Audrey Tautou and Tom Hanks.Autumn Rinaldi 1    

First, some history.

Georges Braque was a French forerunner of the Cubist style along with Pablo Picasso. He adopted many styles of painting that paid homage to others before him and during his time, like Matisse, Van Gogh, Cezanne, and Gauguin. In one particular work that is my favourite of the bunch, I can see representations of all four of these artists.

Later in his life, he adopted a more fauvism style, using richer and darker colours than before. His ultimate goal seemed to be breaking down ordinary objects in his household (depending on what his living situation happened to be at these specific times, given that he was working right smack in the middle of World War II). He seemed to be studying these objects repeatedly to get a sense of them, and many believe it reflected a sense of existentialism. We see a lot of these objects countless times in his paintings, as if he was obsessively trying to see the ultimate reason and meaning behind them, and studying them and depicting them onto a canvas just might give him a revelation into a greater aspect of his existence and soul.

Friday night was the big opening we were all anticipating and everyone was there, including my ex-French professor (I refrained from reminding her she lowered my GPA and thus ruined my chances of ever becoming rich and important). I had a blast illustrating my knowledge of Braque and the Cubist movement.

My personal assistant wandered off, and I finally found her straightening the frames. (They cornered her and got her contact information, so I guess they’re going to send a thank-you basket. Aw.)

People were mesmerized by the giant, silver ball. Even though I was off-duty and there just to enjoy myself, I still couldn’t help but throw myself across the room whenever I saw someone get too close to a painting. I get the feeling this instinct will never leave me for the rest of my life. I shall call it the ‘Gallery Tackle.’

All in all, it was a great turn-out. And when I walked down the impressive staircase, everyone turned and applauded me for my work. (Okay, when I tripped going down the stairs, everyone turned and laughed.) We decided to leave after that, but right before we could get out the doors, we ran into the sisters Miss Hoity and Miss Toity, the St. Louis Socialites. They looked very relieved to see we were leaving. I later heard that Miss Toity fell face forward in the pate and her sister dragged her away to be hosed off, so I was sorry I missed such an event, but no matter. There is always the next opening.

Shameless Plug: Georges Braque and the Cubist Still-Life, Face and Figure in European Art, and Women: Contemporary Chinese Art will be on display until April and May.