The place I had longed to go for many years was the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Now known as much for the March 1990 theft as it is for its extraordinary art collection, the history and mystery surrounding the museum fascinated me. On the day we finally decided to go there we also decided to visit the Museum of Fine Arts which is located just across the street from the Gardner Museum. Over the years I had heard so much about the Gardner Museum I never noticed anyone talk about the Museum of Fine Arts. Maybe because I wasn't expecting it, I was pleasantly surprised by how wonderful MFA, Boston is. With a fabulous American art and furniture collection I was in heaven. But it was their exhibition of the paintings by Antonio López García that really made me catch my breath. García was touted in the exhibition as Spain's oldest living artist. Although García is a realist, he is also so much more than that. While many artists work on a canvas only during certain times of the day (for the purpose of capturing the same light day after day) García is known to take years to finish his pieces so that he can capture the correct light for the time of year. The effect of this is startling. While his landscapes are realistic and purposefully detailed, they also catch a fleeting moment, the essence of the Spanish terrain and architecture, and they create a connection with the place that draws the viewer in. The exhibition contains sixty pieces and runs until July 1.
Because this is primarily an appraisal blog you may be wondering what the prices are for García's work. Below are some auction results
Title: Perro muerto (this is a landscape)
oil on board
28.7 x 39.4 in. / 73 x 100 cm.
Christie's London: Thursday, February 9, 2006 [Lot 128]Post-War and Contemporary Art (Day Sale)
25,000 - 35,000 BP (US$ 44,483 - 62,277)
198,400 BP (345,043 US$)
Title: Mujer durmiendo (El sueño) (this depicts a person sleeping on a bed)
47.6 x 80.7 x 4.7 in. / 121 x 205 x 12 cm.
Christie's Madrid: Wednesday, October 5, 2005 [Lot 65]Arte Español
400,000 - 600,000 Euro (US$ 498,132 - 747,198)
684,000 Euro (818,181 US$)