Expert

Was artist Jawlensky an expert?
Alexei von Jawlensky (1864-1941).

Last week, I recalled a conversation with the late and great artist Susan O’Malley prior to a meeting at the de Young museum.  She expressed how it was interesting to be approaching an age where you’re considered to be an “expert.”  Susan proceeded to be amazed and amused by that classification.  She joked: “What is an expert?”

On April 11th, I will be talking at the de Young museum in a short lecture to the New Generations Student Showcase exhibitors.  The goal is to share my background, discuss the current status of the art field, encourage students to think about an artistic legacy, and facilitate an open dialogue about future hopes and dreams.  Inspiring a new generation of artists at the museum is a full circle moment.

Excellence found here.
Excellence found here.

After working out details at the meeting, I decided to view the Botticelli to Braque exhibit.  From the de Young museum website: “Spanning more than 400 years of artistic production, this exhibition highlights works by many of the greatest painters from the Renaissance to the early 20th century.  See this rare presentation of some of the most iconic images in the history of Western art as they travel to San Francisco from the National Galleries of Scotland.  Paintings selected from the collection include masterpieces by Sandro Botticelli, Diego Velázquez, Johannes Vermeer, Rembrandt van Rijn, Sir Henry Raeburn, Frederic Edwin Church, Claude Monet, Paul Gauguin, Georges Seurat, Pablo Picasso, and Georges Braque.”

Church
Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900).
Sargent.
John Singer Sargent (1856-1925).
Vulliard.
Edouard Vulliard (1868-1940).

Continuing the quest for evidence of expertise, I ventured in the Shaping Abstraction exhibition.  I couldn’t help but think did any of these artists consider themselves to be “experts”?  What makes one an expert?  Is it life experience?  Is it hard work and determination?  When has one crossed the threshold into expertise?

Mondrian.
Piet Mondrian (1872-1944).
Shaw.
Charles Green Shaw (1892-1974).
Helen
Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011).
Haring
Keith Haring (1958-1990).

Leaving the museum with masterful images on my mind, I continued to replay Susan O’Malley’s thoughts.  Stuck in horrible traffic on Highway 80,  my vehicle moved onto the Ashby exit in Berkeley.  Driving on San Pablo Ave., I parked near Bob’s Machinery.  Its storefront showcases Susan’s wisdom: “LESS INTERNET MORE LOVE.”  At my upcoming de Young talk, I will share her expertise.  These words radiate the same power as a Velazquez painting: it lures, hypnotizes, and makes one think.  My goal will be to pass that message on to a future generation.  What a gift, what a legacy, and thanks to the masters for the continued guidance.

Valezquez to O'Malley.
Diego Velaquez (1599-1660) to…
The power of art.
Susan O’Malley (1976-2015).

The links:

http://deyoung.famsf.org

http://news.artnet.com/in-brief/robots-give-virtual-tours-of-the-de-young-museum-272329

http://susanomalley.org

http://morebeautifulthanyoucouldeverimagine.com

http://www.romeryounggallery.com/artists/Omalley/index.html

http://www.berkeleyside.com/2015/03/17/celebrating-the-life-of-artist-and-curator-susan-omalley/

http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/kala-erects-public-work-by-susan-omalley-in-the-wake-of-her-death/Content?oid=4222683

http://www.artforum.com/news/id=50879

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s