Nicolas de Staël Fugue 1951_1952

Nicolas de Staël. Fugue 1951-52

Art is a truly deep form of expression. A painting isn’t simply a painting- it is so much more than that. It conveys not only a subject but a story rife with feelings and thoughts. The work itself serves as a window into the soul of its creator and their emotional landscape at the time of creation. When people create art, they are doing so not to fulfil a contract or to make money, but because there is something within them that drives them to create – to put thoughts and feelings to paper, to canvas, to sculpture. Art and emotion are so connected as to be inseparable. One cannot have art without emotion. Artists put so much of themselves into their work that we can begin to view their art as a sort of journey through their life.

Many of the works of art in this exposition were from very well-known artists like Picasso, Degas, and Van Gogh. The works themselves were indicative of periods of strife or emotional turmoil. The way the works framed the subject, the color pallet and the subject matter itself come together to form a view into the artist’s mind at the time.

Getting a glimpse like that into the mind of another person, especially ones like these famous artists, is an incredibly special thing. It really makes you think about their state of mind and the event of their lives that lead up to the creation of this particular piece. You can see influences, major life events and style changes through the chronological viewing of an artist’s work.

The pieces in this collection make you think about much more than just the artist’s perspective. They really bring into question your own thoughts and feelings, as art is as much about how it is interpreted as how it is made. Art is a very important tool by which to get a person to think about topics that they might not have before. Perhaps some socially taboo issues, like depression or gender and racial inequality, might be conveyed in a work of art in such a way that it might make a person rethink their stance on an issue or at the very least consider it in a new light.

Art is powerful. Art can let you see into someone else’s soul while also gazing into your own. Art calls attention to what we don’t want to see in the world, forces us to confront it so that the world may be a more beautiful place. Art leads us to make not just physical things, but a mindset of thoughtful creation as well. Both creating and viewing art have a profound impact on a society that can only be beneficial.

Art is so incredibly important to us. It leads us to be better people just by existing. It allows us to express ourselves in a way like none other. We can say, through art, that we FEEL. And that weight of that statement is significant.

Impressionists and Modern. Masterpieces from the Phillips Collection in CaixaForum Barcelona until June 19.