How Does Art Make You Feel? (And Sheila Hicks at Centre Pompidou)

Over the past few weeks I've spent a lot of time in art museums, from the Dalí Paris to the The Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden in Marrakech to the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid. I saw lot of modern and contemporary out-of-the-box and thought provoking work that has my mind still spinning.

As I wandered around these museums trying to ignore my aching feet (we walked over 100 miles on this trip and a big chunk of that was on the unforgiving marble floors of museums) I tried to answer this question about each piece I was drawn to: How does this make me feel?

This room "Un diner en ville" at The MACAAM by the Zbel Manifesto collective (Ghizlane Sahli, Katia Sahli, and Othman Zine) was made almost entirely with trash. You can actually walk around the room, which had the intended effect of making me feel a little bit uncomfortable. 

There were also pieces like his one at Museo Nacional Del Prado by Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart "Blanco sober blanco", which was so simple and yet oddly striking. Enough so, at least, for me to take a picture to remind myself to think more about monotone work. In a totally different way than the trash room, this piece made me feel a little bit uneasy, like I wanted a closer look but the image was disappearing before my eyes.

One of the highlights of this museum-rich trip was The Centre Pompidou. If you've never been and find yourself in Paris, this is a must-see. Just the building (which is inside-out) is thought-provoking and the modern art collection is fantastic. There just so happened to be a Sheila Hicks exhibit going on here, which I was very excited to see. Some of her work, too, made me a little tense. The selvedges on some of her earlier tapestries were definitely not straight, which it turns out really bothers me. I know, I know, she was breaking rules. I guess I understand a bit how Alfred Munnings felt about Picasso. 

There were some really nice pieces there, though, like this one. (Straight selvedges redeemed!) 

And this one:

The exhibit really was lovely. You gotta love a woman breaking the rules of a medium! 

My takeaway from all this? When creating your own art, think about your intentions as you create. How do you want this piece to make people feel? I will certainly consider this more when weaving my next piece! 

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