Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Art is beautiful; there’s no getting around that. Upon entering from a certain door, one travels up a set of stairs, past an industrial esque wall of glass to the left which separates the inside of the museum from a courtyard lined with tables and chairs, and decorated on one wall by a constant, tranquil falling of water.
Being that the galleries are fairly concise in terms of the major artists and their exhibited work, it’s feasible to get through all of them in one day (though you may want to return regardless; I certainly do). I began by going through the early periods, appropriately concluding in the minimalist section before moving onto the special, separate exhibition on Impressionism (which includes one of Monet’s original water lily paintings). I couldn’t help but feel enchanted by the significance of it. It reminded me of the need to view art in its essential physical form, as did Rothko’s “Yellow and Blue,” which along with his other work, is what occurs when one removes all but the most necessary aspects. Jo Baer’s white canvas with a pale or dark purple outline, depending on how you look at it, acts in a similar, if not more severe fashion. Some of the most interesting things in the modern galleries were selections of sixties furniture upholstered in brown and white pony skin, like something out of the mind of Kubrick. It’s an intellectually enlivening environment, perhaps the best. Before leaving the museum, after considering a book on Paul Klee, I bought a postcard print of Alex Katz’s “Autumn.”
If you’re ever in Pittsburgh and at a loss as to what to do, the Carnegie Museum is more than a good option.