- ABOUT US
Karlie Ybarra, Managing Editor
Photo by STEVEN WALKER
By Karlie Ybarra
June 15, 2018
We have a favorite phrase at Oklahoma Today: “Writing is bad, and no one should do it.” We say this often, mostly as a joke, but all good writers know there’s some painful truth here. As with all sensational experiences, writing about art is particularly difficult, and adequately describing the interplay of light and shadow of an Impressionist masterwork nearly impossible.
That is why, although I literally leapt out of my seat when I learned about the Philbrook Museum of Art’s Innovative Impressions: Prints by Cassatt, Degas, and Pissarro, I am terrified at the prospect of doing those artists poetic justice. So I won’t! Instead of offering some trite observations, which, quite frankly, will add nothing to your enjoyment of the exhibit, I’ll share with you just a small sample of the stunning pieces on display.
Woman Bathing (La Toilette), 1890-1891, by Mary Cassatt. I remember this piece from art history classes in high school and college. I loved Mary Cassatt’s work back then—even when it was just a picture in a book—because of how she so beautifully captured a seemingly insignificant moment in an ordinary person’s life. In person, this piece is even more evocative.
View of Rouen (Cours-la-Reine), 1884, by Camille Pissarro. The fact that Pissarro can capture the fluidity of the river in an etching is beyond my comprehension. Although there’s no color, it feels so vibrant and alive.
Landscape with Rocks, 1892, by Edgar Degas. According to Camille Pissarro, “Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.” Degas is best known for his ballerinas, who are inherently pretty and elegant, but even mundane objects like rocks are rendered in ethereal on Degas’ canvas.
There are eighty-seven more prints and key paintings to see, and the museum has also set up a little studio where visitors can watch local artists create original prints. So go see it yourself, and have an experience that transcends words.
Innovative Impressions: Prints by Cassatt, Degas, and Pissarro runs through September 9. Philbrook Museum of Art, 2727 South Rockford Road in Tulsa, (918) 749-7941 or philbrook.org.