Today I visited the Michelangelo show at the Seattle Art museum. There were a few excellent pieces including a wonderful terracotta sculpture of a male torso. The show is tiny comprised of only a few mostly minor drawings. Yet it is impossible not to be moved by them. I feel more humanity eminating from those few unfinished scribbles than in the whole rooms of large scale, ambitious contemporary paintings.
This show captures the breadth of Michelangelo's vision. His work is incredibly varied yet each segment feels to be part of a greater whole. I am used to the fragmentation and business of our culture. At times it feels as if I could blow on the pile of ashes exposing very little underneath. This show felt like a sobering encounter with a forceful personality from a much greater age. All the more striking because this wasn't even his good stuff.