Pierre Bonnard, Woman with a Dog, 1891. © Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute

Pierre Bonnard, Woman with a Dog, 1891. © Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute

Look dear, the dog’s name is Bonnard. What a darling puppy! Is it a poodle?

(If paintings could speak. . .)

No, no that’s the artist’s name. French, impressionist, part of the Nabis group. . .

And don’t you love her gingham dress. What a cheery polka dot scarf.

Yes the dress is interesting for its sheer flatness, the way it starts a dialog of pattern that circles around the painting. . .

And her sister’s curly hair. Lord, I’ve spent hours ironing my sister’s kinky hair to get it straight. Back before they had flat irons that is. We actually used an iron.

Mmmhmm. See how her curly hair pulls out the whorl of the dog’s coat, similar colors even, and then talks to the shaggy flowers and rattan chair at the left. Yellow playing at the perimeter of the painting.

And the men, just setting there like bumps on a log, watching while the women help the poor puppy, probably has something in its paw. Well, that’s just like a man.

Wait… the contrast of yellows on blue, the patterns and the shifting perspective, the delightful textures, the floating narrative. . .

Maybe I can buy a card for my niece for her birthday, do you think they have this puppy on a card? She loves dogs.

Probably in the gift shop, next to the needless mousepads.

Oh Patty, just look over there, at that wretched yellow Gauguin! It is Gauguin isn’t ? I so dislike him.

I like the dog too. Probably a terrier. . .

MOMA virgin

Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair Frida Kahlo (Mexican, 1907-1954)  1940. Oil on canvas, 15 3/4 x 11" (40 x 27.9 cm). Gift of Edgar Kaufmann, Jr. © 2011 Frida Kahlo / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SOMAAP, Mexico

Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair Frida Kahlo, 1940, MOMA, New York

Been to alot of museums in my day, but today was a first for the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.  Dragged along my significant other who isn’t much into art, although I’m making progress.  Went straight for the fifth floor, not sure what I would find, but recognizing some big names that the SigO might tolerate.  Got the audio guide phone to help us out, in case we forgot our art history – Ha!

Walking through the first gallery I was taken again by Frieda Kahlo’s magnificent unibrow.  No wonder Diego Rivera left her (his exhibition is on the 1st floor).  Seriously though. . .we all try real hard to beautify and she just is sitting there unabashedly glorifying the unibrow.  My guess is she is  questioning the power beauty gives a person and then just flat out making you admire her big unibrow.  Ballsy!

Note to self: these were painted after her lover left. . .

Wandering through the galleries of picture snapping people, I was not prepared for major works by the heavy hitters that I had only seen in books.  If you like the impressionists and post impressionists, you have to persevere and make it through to the end of the fifth floor galleries to hit the jackpot.  Several huge (20 ft or more) canvases of Monet’s waterlilies! Incredible.  They swallow you whole and make you gasp for air.

Definitely worth another visit. I will be coming back for more!