Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Looking Deeper

More From the Gallery

Back in the days when I decorated my classroom walls with fine art prints, I always had them arranged in a progression beginning with strongly representational works (beginning with something photo-realistic like this) and ending with extremely abstract paintings like today's featured work. The main purpose of that exercise was
to help illustrate a basic principle of how we first acquire and then master language. One of the most rewarding things a teacher ever sees is the look on a student's face when she/he takes in a new idea, and the conversations those paintings sparked were
a lot of fun as well...

Reactions to this particular painting were always strong either way. Sometimes, when a student would say that it "doesn't look like anything" I would flip the painting upside down. Abstract or not, doing that helped students see that the artist was trying to show them some particular thing, and that it actually did matter how the painting was oriented. It also helped when I explained that Kandinsky's title translated into English as "With and Against."

Mit und Gegen, Wassily Kandinsky

"You just like it because it's mostly red."

I will neither confirm nor deny the accuracy of that observation...

Until Next Time...

On March 29, 1943 Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou was born in Agria, in what was then Italian-occupied Greece during World War II. A child prodigy, he began composing his own music as early as age three, and went on to achieve considerable renown as a composer and performer under his professional name, Vangelis.

Electronic music of the sort Vangelis specializes in is not a big favorite of mine, but he did compose the score for 1981 Best Picture winner Chariots of Fire, one of my all-time favorite films. Vangelis took home the Oscar for Best Original Score, and the popular soundtrack album spent four weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 as well.

Three selections from the album are in my "Tearjerkers" iTunes playlist, but as it happens "Abraham's Theme" is not one of them. I chose it today because it reminds me of one of the film's lead characters, who overcomes adversity and self-doubt to find both ultimate victory and true love as well. Well done, Mr. Abrahams...

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