Renoir to Picasso at the Kimbell

On Sunday, Susan and I went to the Renoir to Picasso exhibit at the Kimbell in Ft. Worth. The 81 paintings are on a worldwide tour while their home, the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris, undergoes major renovations. The Kimbell is the only US stop on the tour. The collection includes works by Renoir, Cézanne, Derain, Matisse, Picasso, Rousseau, Modigliani, and a few others. All were by French artists of the late 19th/early 20th century.

Monday, after work, we went to our first day of Tai Chi class. Neither of us have ever taken any martial arts classes before so it will be interesting to see how this works out. We’re learning (er, well, we hope to learn – no promises!) the 108 movement Yang Long form of Tai Chi at the Martial Arts Center of Plano which also teaches the Soo Hwa Kung Fu system.

Art in Occluded Light

I’m back in town again after a short trip to San Antonio to do some on-site work for a client. I can always use a few more frequent flyer miles.

Susan and I managed to get to the Dallas Museum of Art this weekend without incident (the last time we tried, my car self-destructed before we could get there). The exhibit we saw was entitled Degas to Picasso, Painters, Sculpters, and The Camera. It was a collection of paintings and sculptures by Degas, Gauguin, Mucha, Rodin, Picasso, and assorted other turn-of-the-century artists along with photographs taken by them or their assistants. The idea was to show how the new technology of photography influenced their work. In some cases the artists took immediate advantage of the technology by, for example, photographing models as studies for paintings. Others collected photographs of ancient artifacts and imitated the style or form in their own art. Oddly a few claimed publicly that photography had no place in art (even more oddly, after their death, large numbers of photographs were found in their studios and it turned out they were using them secretly in much the same way other artists were). In many cases photographs were displayed beside the paintings they had influenced.

Overall it was interesting but less so than some exhibits. And, as usual, the Dallas Museum of Art did a terrible job of lighting the works – in most cases you could only view a piece by standing between the light source and the work, thus casting a shadow on whatever you were trying to look at. If you haven’t seen it yet, you missed your last chance as the exhibit ended on May 7th and Dallas was the last stop in the US.

Degas to PIcasso, Followed by Evelyn Glennie

Time for a weekend update. Saturday Susan and I headed off to see the Degas to Picasso: Painters, Sculptors, and the Camera exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art but we never made it. About half way there I noticed the temperature gauge on my car pegged on the hot side. I knew the radiator was on the way out so this wasn’t totally unexpected. The car is more than 8 years old now and begining to need a fair amout of service. Still, I’d like to keep it going for a full 10 years (or at least for one more year so my next car can be next millennium’s model – I’d hate to buy one this year and be stuck with a vehicle from the last millennium). Anyway, I did a U-turn and headed for the nearest Acura dealer which was only a mile or so away. We managed to pull into the service bay just before closing time. They checked it out while we picked up a loaner car. The final verdict is pretty bad. I’d been putting off some other maintenance stuff that really has to be done. All told, it needs a new radiator, timing belt, and water pump, one of the cooling fans has to be replaced, one engine mount is shot, the master cylinder has to be replaced, and assorted other minor things. Yuck.

By the time we finished at the service center it was too late to make it to the exhibit (maybe next weekend). We had DSO tickets for that evening however, so the day wasn’t a total loss. The soloist was Evelyn Glennie, the first (and only?) full-time solo percussionist in the world. She brought a set of percussion instruments that rivaled the setups Neil Peart used during the big Rush shows of the 1980’s. The piece being performed was James MacMillan’s Veni, Veni, Emmanuel. She is an amazing performer to watch and at times the entire orchestra seemed insuffucient to balance her performance in volume or intensity. Her instruments were spread out all over the stage and she had to constantly run from place to place to get to the right instrument in time to play it. If you ever get a chance to see her play live, I highly recommend it.

Sunday was much more uneventful. I spent a lot of the day playing with those pesky ALSA drivers. But it wasn’t until this afternoon that made any progress on them. I got some email today from Steve Ratcliffe with a patch that fixed the problem. After patching the driver and recompiling, I finally have MIDI in and out working correctly. Woohoo! Now I can do something more interesting than recompile drivers all day.

One last bit of good news today. My copy of Havoc’s book,
GTK+/Gnome Application Development arrived. I’m looking forward to getting up to speed on GTK and Gnome stuff. Perl is a lot of fun but it will be nice to work on some C/C++ programming again.