Tuesday, March 6, 2012

John Chamberlain Retrospective at the Guggenheim

John Chamberlain: Choices, the retrospective at the Guggenheim, began spring break's Art Extravaganza. I have always enjoyed his titles - some are so out of the ordinary and difficult to guess that I made a list of the ones that stood out most:

Mr. Completely
Opera Chocolate
Lord Suckfist
Rooster Starfoot
Chopped Lip
Toasted Hitlers
Miss Remember Ford
Sugar Tit

This is one photograph (below) of the Chamberlains in the Rotunda. In addition to crushed car metal, there were also works made with metal drawers (talk about tempting to touch and "open" the sculpture), decorative tins (including a pocket size prototype with a ground mace spice tin as the pedestal - why wasn't this available in the gift shop?), bent synthetic polymer resin, oil barrels, urethane foam (a conservationist nightmare), metal ceiling tile, and galvanized steel. My favorite material was the painted paper bags (of course).

General observations that I would have photographed if possible (some of which I did but are too blurry to include here):

• The oversized foam couch on display was covered with a silk parachute.
• In addition to title, medium, and date, it would have been very informative to have the weight of each artwork on the title cards (because everyone was curious).
• I was fascinated by how each wall piece was hung and spent a great deal of time looking at the structures behind the works. Because of the sloping Rotunda and irregular shapes of the twisted metal, the preparators used stone blocks as shims that were the same color and pattern as the tile floor.
• Some of the 1980s and early 1990s paint applications could certainly be called "tie-dye."
• His term for the shapes he made was "articulate wadding" (hope to use that in critique someday).

Read Andrew Russeth's review of the exhibition here.

A reflection on the walls of the Rotunda upon reaching the end of the exhibition.

I was amazed at how much the Guggenheim is deteriorating. There were large cracks on the floor like those above. In general, the museum is not an ideal building to show artwork though the building itself is spectacular.

More reflections on the sidewalk outside the Guggenheim.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.