16 January, 2004


Once again, the world changes....

"Do you like surrealism?"

Surrealism is my life.

"No, but do you like the surrealist artists?"


Off we go, after some quickfire planning to...where? I don't care. We ride Metro, (not THE metro, but Metro, as though it were the name of a horse), and poetry strikes as we emerge from the DuPont Circle tunnel.

Inside the gallery, I discover that I can spot a Picasso at ten paces and a Pollock at fifteen. That I adore Salvador Dali, who created " hand painted dream photographs" and have made a new favorite in Yves Tanguy. "...Tanguy soon found his own manner of transforming his dreams into a subtle, luminous, and floating interior world."

I sit backward on a bench, turning upside down to properly view a painting by Georgia O'Keeffe, of which the artist said "was done so that it could be hung with any end up." However, the way the museum has hung it, in accordance with the preference of the artist, the image appears to be a squid squirting green ink into a starry sea. As I look at it upside down, it becomes, of course, The Lawrence Tree.

Fascination strikes: the hydrothermographs that stud each room, which in the first room, I mistook for art. I remember a time in a gallery of modern sculpture admiring a creation of metal pipe, searching for the artist and title plate in vain, informed by the docent that the piece I viewed so avidly was in fact a radiator.

Cindy's favorite is Rene Magritte, whose works are here dreadfully underrepresented. I am more fond of two canvasses by Piet Mondrian, whose works seem familiar, though no specific memories arise. Before we leave, she suggests I take another pass through, as the exhibit closes in three days. I accept, with gratitude when I discover I had bypassed a Matisse, and a painting by Diego Rivera of a little girl who stares at me with baleful dark eyes.

I return to take another look at the gigantic Dali entitled Apparition of a Face and Fruit Dish on a Beach, which is, despite my devotion to Picasso, my pick for best of show. As I exit, I take a moment to caress a curved oak chair with a silver velveteen cushion on the seat. "You like the chair?" the docent asks. He's young and dark skinned, with a lovely smile. "Art is where you see it," I answer, and head downstairs to meet Cindy in the gift shop.

No comments: