The Smell of Forest in the Water of Summer

A LAST LOOK (1989)

W.S. Merwin, American born 1927





Road and Trees, 1962, oil on canvas, and details.

Edward Hopper, 1882-1967, American.  Philadelphia Art Museum




Even the words are going somewhere urban





Twilight in the Forest, 2016, oak and fir, and details.

Michael Grothusen, American born 1966.  Exhibited at the Juried Show in 2018 at the Woodmere Museum, Philadelphia





The Qatar National Convention Center, designed in 2011 by Arata Isozaki.  Photo in the NY Times of 3/05/2019 taken by Hisao Suzuki 



The Qatar National Convention Center, designed in 2011 by Arata Isozaki.  Photos from the net.


The architect has been awarded the 2019 Pritzker Architecture Prize.

“My concept of architecture is that it is invisible,” the architect was quoted in the NY Times yesterday.  “It’s intangible. But I believe it can be felt through the five senses.”……..

“Like the universe, architecture comes out of nothing, becomes something, and eventually becomes nothing again,” said Mr. Isozaki. “That life cycle from birth to death is a process that I want to showcase.”




where they hope to find friends





Birch and Pine Tree No. 1, 1925, oil on canvas, and details. Georgia O’Keefe, 1887-1986, American.  Philadelphia Art Museum





waiting for them







Two views of a mural, ‘Fairmount Waltz’ in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia by D.S. Gordon in 2006 for the Philadelpia Mural Arts Program, a City-artists-high school students partnership, begun in 1984 by Jane Golden.





some of the friends will think of trees as pleasant in a minor way






Purple Wind, oil on linen, 1995.  Alex Katz, American born 1927.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY




much alike after all
to us






Birthday, 1942, oil on canvas, and details (with light interference). Dorothea Tanning, 1910-2012, American.  Philadelphia Museum of Art.

  A self-portrait, the Museum says, in Surrealist mode somewhere between dream and ‘reality’.





some of the friends will never be aware of a single tree





Swamp Maple, 1968, oil on linen.  Alex Katz, American born 1927.  National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC





The Elm Tree, 1922, oil on canvas.  Harold Weston, 1894-1972, American.  Philadelphia Art Museum





they will live in a world without a leaf









Going and Return, oil on tin and carved bas-relief.  Susan Lowry, American born 1953.  Woodmere Museum, Philadelphia




where the rain is misfortune






Apple Tree with Mistletoe, oil on canvas, 1938.  Edwin Dickinson, 1891-1978, American.  Philadelphia Art Museum. 

An orchard dark under heavy summer rain in northern France. Made darker by rumbling of war.




all the languages until now have flowed





Woods 1, oil on canvas, 2005.  Gerhardt Richter, German born 1932, MOMA, NY




from leaf to leaf







Large Dark Red Leaves on White, 1925, oil on canvas.

Georgia O’Keefe, 1887-1986, American. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC





and have gone like faces








The Past and the Present or Philosophical Thought, 1891, oil on canvas, and detail. 

Henri Rousseau, 1844-1910, French.  The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia




gone like the stone porches of small houses







Among the Samoyed/Siberian Birch, 1988, synthetic resin and pigment on woven polyester fabric , and detail. 

Sigmar Polke, 1941-2010, German. Loaned in 2017 by a private collection to the Philadelphia Museum of Art

The fragmentation of an artist’s works in many buildings on several continents, while perhaps inevitable, does no favours to this artist whose life’s work is too large and too varied to be summarized.

A photographer, painter, presenter of alternative worlds. 

Painted in a decade in which the artist was experimenting with the effect of substances on various backing,  this is the result of one such trial. 

Gold-bearing, of course, for these are forests.




and the smell of the forest





The Blank Signature, 1965, oil on canvas, and detail.

  Rene Magritte, 1898-1967, Belgian.  National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC



The Bodmer Oak, Fontainebleu Forest, 1865, oil on canvas, and detail.

  Claude Monet, 1840-1926, French.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY 

This painting of an oak, named for the Swiss landscapist, Karl Bodmer, was one in preparation for the artist’s Luncheon on the Grass of 1865-66





in the water of summer





The Equatorial Jungle, 1909, oil on canvas, and detail. 

Henri Rousseau, 1844-1910, French.  National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC





Woods 8, oil on canvas, 2005, and detail. 

Gerhardt Richter, German born 1932, MOMA, NY














3 thoughts on “The Smell of Forest in the Water of Summer

  1. The Dorothea Tanning self-portrait is riveting. She seems to be unmasking herself for us. And yet, the doors suggest that this is a moment of transition. Are they doors to her future, to her past, or to her still-mysterious self?

    1. Probably doors to all three. At the same time, she is part plant and so, in physical terms, she is also rooted or, more precisely, rooting herself. It is one of the most sophisticated self-portraits of a still young person that I have seen………

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