It’s a cloudy and humid Friday—my day off! After a morning ballet class and lunch, I took myself out on a trip to the Whitney to see the Lyonel Feininger exhibit, since my illustration teacher told me it was a must-see. It’s always nice to be able to see a comprehensive collection of a single artist in one show—the experience feels more intimate and full of depth.
Feininger was a German-American painter and cartoonist who lived through both World Wars. I loved the turn-of-the-century town scenes that seemed to be a recurrent subject in his work—these cute houses and churches with pointy roofs take me straight back to my favorite European storybooks I read as a kid. The quality of his lines and his color choices create this whimsical yet haunting effect.
It was not too crowded, so I was able to do some thumbnail sketches. My heart skipped a beat when I saw the Wee Willie Winkies World comic strip, which is more than a century old. It was the same image that have appeared in my dreams many times: the little girl with a big rimmed hat with a ribbon overlooking the town from a hill. I am sure the concept has been reproduced countlessly, but still, it was one strange déjàvu.
While I was there I also checked out the Real/Surreal exhibit, which was also fun. The highlight for me was George Tooker’s The Subway, which I remembered from my Pop and Surrealism class last summer. In the past year, inspired by my teachers and fellow artists, I slowly started to catch up on my art history by trying to go to galleries and museums more often, and I have to say, I am really enjoying it. Each trip is full of discovery, and it’s as if a whole new world has opened up to me.