The field trip to LACMA left me more or less unsatisfied, if I am going to be completely honest. Though the collection covers a wide breadth of works and boasts a fabulous campus, I found that much of what I wanted to see was either unavailable or required an upgrade payment. Fortunately I was able to visit the Guillermo del Toro exhibit, even if it required a little bit of lying. After becoming a “NEXGEN” member of the museum, I was granted free access to this exhibit, which was truly unique. The del Toro exhibit is intriguing because it allows patrons to see not only del Toro’s work, but his inspiration and roots. However, other than this exhibit, I felt a little let down. Nonetheless, I made the most of the time and enjoyed the visit itself, as Museum Row is quite gorgeous and the weather was flawless.
For this post, I chose to focus on the painting Bathers (1913) by German artist Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. This work, which is a moderately sized oil canvas (34 1/2 x 39 5/16 in.), can be found on the second floor of the Ahmanson Building. Though I saw many works that exuded modernism, I chose this painting because I felt as though it pertained to some of the recent class discussions on Primitivism and Exoticism. Bathers was hung in a part of the gallery that had other similar works, ranging from Cubism to Expressionism to Abstraction. Because most of these movements unfurled in similar eras, this painting fit right in. Aspects of this painting—such as the colors, the harsh outlines, and sparse background—remind me of Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, a work that seems to border Cubism and Primitivism. The bathers themselves, who are nude and assumably in the wild, evoke a sense of primal life, as there is no indication of modern lifestyle within the canvas. It was actually pretty special to be able to view works in this gallery that we have studied in this class, as well as works that I had viewed in my two art courses over the course of this semester.