I went to a professional heavyweight bout once at Madison Square Garden. It was as riveting as it was grotesque. Essentially, you’re sitting around watching a guy take a beating. George Bellows really captured the raw power of this savage spectacle in Stag at Sharkey’s, a painting from 1909. His later boxing paintings are more stylized. But in this one, it’s all about the violence, with fighters in contorted poses, their faces a blur of expressionistic red paint. I could practically taste the sweat.
The museum has a trippy-interesting show devoted to Cleveland Op Art (up through February 2012). Shown here is a detail of Julian Stanczak’s piece Provocative Current, from 1965. I would have taken more pix, but there was no photography allowed in the modern or contemporary galleries. Living artists are such a buzzkill.
Maine Coast, 1907, by Rockwell Kent. This is an early work, but I really dig the way Rockwell did snow in his later pieces — like a precursor to the light and space artists of ’60s.
The museum contained this unusual piece by Matisse — a view from his Renault — which I seriously dug because we happened to be seeing it while in the middle of a cross-country drive. Titled The Windshield, On the Road to Villacoublay, Matisse painted it in 1917.