Constable Sketches at The Frist Center
On June 22, the upper galleries at the Frist Center will teem with treasured works from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. An exhibit of sketches by nineteenth-century painter John Constable supplants the much-talked-about Fairy Tales show, but don’t jump to the conclusion that these beauties are any less avant-garde than their nightmarish predecessors. As an audience, we are accustomed to the broken, bold swaths of the impressionist brush. We are familiar with gestural, psychological styles of application. But in the early decades of the nineteenth century, such innovations were more rare. John Constable, a romantic painter from the British countryside, forever changed landscape painting by adding a psychological, expressive dimension to renderings of nature. Constable: Oil Sketches from the Victoria and Albert Museum perfectly embodies the artist’s talents because Constable’s unpolished, rough sketches offer palpable and immediate emotion. The painter, whose work was inspired by contemporary meteorology, married science and sentiment. Summing up the raw power of his work, he claimed, “Painting is but another word for feeling.” For more information on a special lecture on the exhibit, visit our ArtSmart section on page 62.
Through September 30. www.fristcenter.org