I don’t know art, but I know what I like

Business took me over to the Walker Art Center today. Afterwards, since we’d parked the car over by the Parade Stadium parking lot, we decided to take a walk through the Sculpture Garden on the way back to our ride.

It wasn’t the nicest day outside; gray skies, temperature around 40 and a light but cold wind. Nevertheless, there was something very appealing about walking down the paved lane toward the famous Spoon and Cherry bridge.

On a summer day, the view from the lane toward the sculpture is like unto a rich oil painting:

On a day like today the effect is very much pen and ink. In summer the leaves on the trees soften the lines and obscure the trunks of the trees. Today the trees looked like stark, straight columns converging on the sculpture, echoed in miniature by the parallel hand rails, as the red orb of the cherry became the focal point against the gray sky and the dull grass. The leaves were now dry, gold flakes pushed by the wind into a long ribbon that meandered the lane more or less in a diagonal.

I know the view is no accident. Someone with vision and precision laid these lines with precisely this effect in mind and I sense the subtle harmony of balance and perspective. Behind me, inside the Walker, are some beautiful works — and many that are tortured executions of an artist’s self-absorption, intended to resonate only in some critical echo chamber, to be praised for bringing us face to face with some existential ugliness or dissonant reality or other such twaddle. In this moment outside, however, and in this light, there is a beauty and grace and a palpable, pervasive resonance, despite the bitterness of the day.

Or I suppose you could just say it was pretty.

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