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Monet’s eye for architecture

Martin Oldham in 1843 Magazine: Claude Monet is known and loved as a painter of light and mist, rivers and sea and water-lily ponds. It is doubtful whether he would have recognised himself as a painter of architecture. “Other painters paint a bridge, a house, a boat,” Monet said in 1895. “I want to paint the air that surrounds the bridge, the house, the boat – the beauty of the light in which they exist.” He was reasserting the Impressionist creed: it was subjective experience that mattered, not objective description. Inconsequential corners of nature were as worthy of his attention as any of humanity’s grand designs. And yet the National Gallery has launched an exhibition called “Monet & Architecture”, which argues that buildings in his paintings are an “overlooked aspect of Monet’s work.” The gallery has assembled an impressive array of works, some famous, others rarely seen pieces from private collections. “Architecture” is perhaps too weighty a word; the exhibition considers the man-made environment in its broadest sense – there are humble shacks here alongside cathedrals – and distils what buildings meant to Monet and what purposes they served in his paintings. The argument the curators weave is subtle rather than a radical revision; it teases out some of the contradictions in Monet’s art, but without fully addressing the implications of these insights. We learn, for example, that Monet maintained a lingering allegiance to the Picturesque tradition, a romantic, conventional genre of landscape painting which Impressionism ostensibly rejected as unnatural artifice.... -

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Gardening and Some Philosophical Questions

"The Garden" in Frog and Toad Together is another of Arnold Lobel's delightful stories about the friends Frog and Toad, and one that is perfect for the early spring, which we're experiencing in Seattle this month, with the cherry trees in full blossom.When Toad sees Frog’s beautiful garden, Toad decides that he too would like to have a garden. Frog tells Toad that a garden is hard work, and gives Toad some flower seeds to plant. After Toad plants the seeds, he tells them to start growing, and when they do not do so immediately, he shouts to the ground that the seeds should start growing—but this still doesn’t work. Frog suggests that Toad is frightening the seeds with all the shouting, and tells Frog to leave... -

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after mediocrity w/ teju cole

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Chasing Intensity: The Philosophy of Martial Arts

It is impossible to be brief in Asian martial arts. To begin training these arts is to commit to a gradual process of remaking yourself, body and soul.   Martial arts today are not about self-defense on the streets. The world is not so dangerous for the 99 percent of... -

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Monet’s eye for architecture Martin Oldham in 1843 Magazine: Claude Monet is known and loved as a painter of light and mist, rivers and sea and water-lily ponds. It is doubtful whether he would have recognised himself as a painter of architecture. “Other painters paint a bridge, a house, a boat,” Monet said in 1895. “I want to paint the air that surrounds the bridge, the house, the boat – the beauty of the light in which they exist.” He... 3 Quarks Daily -


#NOFILTER: PHILOSOPHICAL REFLECTIONS ON PHOTOGRAPHY IN THE AGE OF INSTAGRAM Sunset in Bodrum (2017) What follows is a guest post by Daniel Star (Boston University). All photographs are the author’s own. (Readers are encouraged to follow the links in captions for full-size, full-resolution images.) We’ve all seen it. Maybe we’ve done it. Maybe we’ve “liked” it. Someone takes a snapshot of a wonderful sunset with a smartphone and posts it on a social media site with the “#nofilter” hashtag. This is one of the most popular... Aesthetics for Birds -


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