Summer Treasures

- 09th of Aug. 2010 -

The viewer gets his/her pallet cleaned between the different spaces, prepared for the magnitude of what is about to be revealed.

Since the academic year ended in late May, there has been a dry spell over my brain. Every time I approached writing, there seemed to have been a little cloud floating in, obscuring all logical thought from reaching the typing fingers. Finding it hard to concentrate on one subject to concentrate over, but still aching to write about what keeps me moving, I give you a round up of some of the things that made me tick over the last few weeks, part 1 (part 2 coming next week):

Andy Warhol, The Last Decade, at the Brooklyn Museum -
A wonderful survey of late works by Warhol put together by the Milwaukee Art Museum, containing some incredible and pretty much all colossal pieces and encompassing collaborations between Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, among others. There is much to be said about blockbuster shows such as this, that they are nothing but a money maker, that they are popularized, aiming more to the public common denominator, less to the artistic values. In this case, isnt populism the whole point?  This is a very well curated show, though sometimes leaving the visitor to walk through vast empty museum spaces. Perhaps that is where its strength lies - the viewer gets his/her pallet cleaned between the different spaces, prepared for the magnitude of what is about to be revealed in the next room. My personal favorites are the below piece - Double Five Weightlifter and the various videos done for his TV show, showing off his great sense of humor on one end and the sheer seriousness he created them in on the other. As always, Warhol manages to fill a full spectrum and touch the widest audience possible. If that is not the points made against blockbuster shows and thrown right back in the face of the complainers, I dont know what is. My thoughts - as a whole, this show is nothing short of a dont miss.


Warhol, Double 5 Weightlifter.

Judy Chicago, The Dinner Party, at the Brooklyn Museum
If we are already at the Brooklyn Museum, we might as well stay for a while.
Judy Chicagos The Dinner Party is probably forever embedded within every art history student out there. One of the most important pieces of feminist art in the 20th century and in general, it has a nice place in the pedestal of repeated pieces in art history classes, from a mention in Post-Impressionism to close to a complete class in Late Modern Art. In the case of this piece, though a specific place was dedicated to it within the museum, it now feel like it has been there for a while (theres a smell…), the atrium that was once dedicated to it is now less than organized, hard to walk through and its closeness to the Kiki Smith show, which in my opinion is less that great takes away from it a little. Still, this is a great and extremely important piece that is a must. And hey, if you are already there for the Warhol show, you might as well pop through to see what all the fuss is about.


Chicago, The Dinner Party.

Bruce Newman, Days, at MoMA (closes on August 23rd)
First exhibited in the 2009 Venice Biennial, Days is a sound sculpture, Newman‘s piece makes use of a completely empty space on the MoMAs third floor, taking over what was the space for the Tim Burton show a few months ago. Personally, the empty gallery space with the ultra aesthetic speakers and few bar stools for the tired helped me breath. Every other room at the MoMA is currently busy to the extreme (but we will get to that in part two), and walking into this room, even prior to experiencing the real effect of the sound, evokes Zen in my head. Later, walking between the speakers, a realization came over me of the amazing use of sound and the way the air becomes the piece right long with the viewer / participant. In this case, the image below will not be enough. One must go, listen while eliminating other senses and experience something different - a sculptural piece that is heard, not seen. Compared to the Tim Burton show, which was so highly enticing for every sense, and made use of every corner of this space, this is a very relaxing piece that allows room to breath. My favorite parts - peoples faces as they realize what they are walking through and the childs voice, declaring the days of the week with schoolroom precision.


Newman, Days, Installation View.

Next week part 2 of my summer treasures.



Comments - 0

So what do you think? The world wants to know!

FYI - I reserve the right to remove off-topic, anonymous comment or just plain crap. So please be civil.

The profile images are taken from the Gravatar service. You can learn more here