Multifarious: France vs. Impressionism!

Portraits à la campagne (1876) Musée Baron Gérard, Bayeux

Kriss Streuss Art portrait of AlRecently I discovered Kriss Stress Art. Very unique, Chicago-based artist. There are a couple different projects going on, my favorite is the “Blank Expressions” series that they do.

This is the portrait they did of me before I cut off all my hair. The idea behind “Blank Expressions” is to focus not on the facial expression, but the thought behind it. When you submit your photo they ask you to also submit a selection of text that resonates with you. (My selection was from Buber’s I and Thou.) You can add your face and words to this project by emailing:

Their Facebook also displays a really unique comic strip that the artist is working on.

— Al Rosenberg


I’m all about this section of Gustav Caillebotte’s wikipedia entry. Here’s an excerpt:

At the time of Caillebotte’s death, the Impressionists were still largely condemned by the art establishment in France, which was dominated by Academic art and specifically the Académie des beaux-arts. Because of this, Caillebotte realised that the cultural treasures in his collection would likely disappear into “attics” and “provincial museums”. He therefore stipulated that they must be displayed in the Luxembourg Palace (devoted to the work of living artists), and then in the Louvre.[27]

If you read on, you’ll discover that the establishment was so averse to Impressionism that the government tried their best to refuse the gift of sixty-eight Impressionist pieces, including examples by absolute masters, and only relented far enough to accept approximately half — which then constituted “the first presentation of the Impressionists in a public venue in France.” France wouldn’t accept Impressionism! By 1928 things had changed; the refreshed government reassessed, and tried to claim the rest of the collection. After three rejections(!) the widow of Caillebotte’s brother was having none of it, and told them to go fish. I love that. Don’t be the French government of 1896!

If you’re unfamiliar with him, Caillebotte was truly excellent at giving the impression (cough) of sunlight — if you’re feeling seasonally unhappy, give his paintings a look.

Portraits à la campagne (1876) Musée Baron Gérard, Bayeux
Portraits à la campagne (1876)
Musée Baron Gérard, Bayeux

And I was enjoying this conversation between Sarah Nicole Prickett and Julia Doult in an “I might learn something” way, until I got to the first image of one of her canvasses. Suddenly: “yes!”

They talk about the Canadian art scene and the character of a sculpture — what it might mean for one to break apart — and other things. I thought about it after I read it, which is a good sign.

— Claire

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Al Rosenberg

Al Rosenberg

Gay weirdo. Talk to them about tiny games, big books, trash, and all things illness.

One thought on “Multifarious: France vs. Impressionism!

  1. An artist in this city just passed away. I was telling the community that if she is to be remembered, you have to *work* to have her remembered. Artists don’t gain that notoriety without a little work put behind it. There’s always the one person who forces others to pay attention to their paintings.

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