Lake Bachalpsee, above Grindelwald, Switzerland

All of the formal criteria one engages to look at art may be activated in the appreciation of nature.  Volume, form, scale, light and shadow, texture and nuance of color may be savored. To walk in nature is the ultimate virtual experience. Enter the painting!

The Eiger with low clouds

On the trail to Kleine Scheidig

Yearning to extend the pleasures of summer, in early September I headed to the Swiss Alps for a week of hiking. To challenge myself physically and to revel in the visual splendor of the mountains is my idea of bliss. Extraordinary landscape, broad accessibility to the mountains via gondolas, funiculars and rail, beautifully signed and maintained trails, and high altitude sustenance offered in charming chalets all add to the ambiance. Cowbells, chirping birds and the occasional crack of a melting glacier complete the immersion at 7,000 ft.

DG blessing the mountains!

The rewards of looking and the lessons we learn from art don’t stop when we leave the museum and the gallery. They are with us in the world all the time.  This is the gift that is with you wherever you go.



Man Ray “A l’heure de l’observatoire – les amoureux”, 1964, color photograph,
19-5/8 x 48-3/4″, Israel Museum, Jerusalem

One of the great shows of the summer opened at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco on July 14 and runs through Oct 14. If you missed it, there is an excellent, fully illustrated catalog. The show highlights one of the century’s great love stories and the way in which the relationship between Man Ray and Lee Miller fueled surrealism and changed the course of art history. Each artist’s work is presented individually, in response to each other, and within the context of a peer group. For an expanded review, please go to the NM Daily Blog and scroll down to my August article.

Marcel Duchamp, “Self Portrait in Profile” from Sur Marcel Duchamp/Eau et gaz a
tous les estages by Robert Lebel, torn paper collage, Logan Collection of Illustrated Books

Running concurrently with the Man Ray Lee Miller exhbition is “Marcel Duchamp: The Book and the Box”, July 14- November 11.  The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will open “Jasper Johns, Seeing with the Mind’s Eye” and the Jay Defeo Retrospective on November 3.  It may be time to take a hike in the hills of San Francisco!


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