The Great Upheaval

February 22nd, 2014Posted by Nancy


We went to The Great Upheaval: Masterpieces from the Guggenheim show at the Art Gallery of Toronto yesterday afternoon.  I like modern art, particularly abstract impressionism and related styles, and we’ve been to MOMA, the Pompidou in Paris, The National Gallery in Washington and museums in almost every city we’ve visited.  We’re the people who dragged our families off the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, because what else do you do in Florida but look at Baroque and Medieval art.   We’d even been to the Guggenheim but, iconic as the building is, it’s not exactly well-endowed with space, so many of the key pieces weren’t on display.

The current exhibit focuses on the years between 1910 and 1918 and the artistic response to technology, social change and a long and terrible war.  I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of setting a story inside one of the avant garde art movements of the 20th century but I’ve never been able to come up with a plot.  Maybe someday.

Here are some of my favorite pieces from the exhibit

Helene with the Coloured Turban, Alexei Jawlensky

Despite my love of black and generally monochromatic wardrobe, there is a part of me that responds very strongly to colour.  This exhibit is filled with it.



Blue Mountain, Vasily Kandinsky

This is just crying out to be a book cover for some wonderful, strange fairy tale.

blue mountain


Planes by Colour, Large Nude, Frankisek Kupka   (image at top)

Years ago, a friend gave my husband a poster of this and we were very disappointed we didn’t see it at the Guggenheim.  Now we’ve had a chance to see it and it’s gorgeous.  It’s a bit big for our house, but we’d make it work.

The Red Tower, Giorgio de Chirico

Because you know there’s a story there.


 Mountain Graveyard, Kurt Schwitters

Despite the fact that my brain kept humming Tonio K’s Merz Suite/Futt Futt Futt at every mention of Schwitters’ name, this painting was beautiful, moody and moving.




And then we went to Agave y Aguacate for excellent margaritas and tapas-style Mexican food.   Art and food – not a bad way to end the day.


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