Saturday, February 12, 2011

New York

Let's start off with a little fake food at the Museum of Modern Art exhibition Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen. Are those giants cubes of tofu or blocks of burned toast at the bottom left?

with Meret Oppenheim's furry utensils to accompany it.

On a more serious note Abstract Expressionist New York was an outstanding exhibition that I was very grateful to see before it closed. Here is Barnett Newman's signature at the bottom corner of Vir Heroicus Sublimus. I never knew this painting was so bright as no reproduction does it justice yet it was as monumental as I anticipated it would be.

This was my favorite Newman and perhaps one of my most liked pieces in the exhibition - The Wild from 1950. It's 1.5 inches wide and the same height at Vir Heroicus Sublimis. It's an isolated "zip" and it's the most sculptural painting in the entire show.

Surprise #1: Jackie Windsor's Laminated Plywood from 1973.

Surprise #2: How much of a let down the exhibition Staging Action: Performance in Photography since 1960 was though here is a higlight: a detail from Eleanor Antin's 100 boots which I hadn't ever seen in person before:

Surprise #3: Stargazers: Elizabeth Catlett in Conversation with 21 Contemporary Artists at the Bronx Museum of Art. Adam took me to see this show and I can honestly say it had some of the best photography I've seen in awhile (in addition to showing how outdated face mounting photographs on plexi looks not even ten years later).

Sam Durant's Female Indian from 2005 at the Bronx Museum.

Surprise #4: How cracked and deteriorating Jackson Pollock's paintings are upclose:

and how much Nan Goldin's photographs have physically aged (and almost any C-Print from the 1980s that I saw yesterday). I am wondering how long the color will remain stable at this rate.

Realization of the day: Mark Rothko paintings remind me of Hiroshi Sugimoto's Seascapes though Rothko's work is the only one of the two that will make me cry (James Elkins would be proud). Mark Rothko's Number 10, 1950 (below).

Hiroshi Sugimoto, Ligurian Sea, Saviore, 1993

The most beautifully presented exhibition of video art I have ever seen - Andy Warhol's Motion Pictures. I was enthralled with the two on the left - Susan Sontag (who held so still and nearly expressionless) and Dennis Hopper to her right who couldn't help "acting" eventually during his four minutes screen test. Image via.

Best thing about the trip: Seeing old friends (Adam as mentioned above) and Rachel and Thomas Hines. When I first stayed with them in Brooklyn in 2007, they had a magnificent wall of art work and although it has transformed in the last four years, here is it's most recent incarnation in Queens.

The best performance: Rachel sleeping at the College Art Association's Art Exchange (while most people exhibited their artwork on the table, Rachel commented on the odd sense of professionalism of having job interviews in hotel rooms at a national art conference). More on Rachel's work coming soon as she will be in Muncie in March as a Visiting Artist!

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