Sunday, January 14, 2018

Big Apple Binge: 5 museums in 3 days

Even the kitchen sink can be found on the sidewalk in New York City. 

David Hockney got me to the Metropolitan Museum.  Michelangelo alone wouldn't have done it.

The Hockney retrospective was exciting, energizing, and uplifting.  He experimented every which way. 

I especially loved watching the three LED screens that showed the drawings he makes every morning and evening on his iPad.  Sometimes the program showed him doing it - actually revealing his process. 

The other "must see" at the Met was Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer. Being in the presence of so much of Michaelangelo's sketch book material was overwhelming.  It was like the inside of his mind.  Here he used his sketch paper to write a poem.  It's clear that as a gay man, he loved to sketch hunky guys, even if under cover of studies for Christ on the Cross.  (I didn't notice the Met mentioning his homosexual orientation, but I didn't read all their materials.)

He was interested in everything and learned from everywhere.  I love what is considered his first painting, The Torment of Saint Anthony.  It is legendary.

He was clearly familiar with Bosch and other Netherlandish painters.

The next day, Thursday, started at the Rubin Museum of Art.

I was fortunate to catch Henri Cariter-Bresson's  India in Full Frame before it closed.  

His photos of Gandhi's final days and funeral bring the viewer present.  We become one of the crowd watching Gandhi's funeral pyre burn.

According to the Tibetan Divination chart above, the next year will be uneventful for me.  I hope that means no major obstacles or bad news.  (They had a touch screen program where you could figure it out according to the year you were born.)

This reconstruction of a temple wall provides a better view of the mural than the original, which is sadly degraded.  This detail of it especially intrigues me:

It reminds me of this print by Lesley Dill, who lived in India as a young person and has remained influenced by it ever since:

From the Rubin I went to the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art.

Barbara Hammer's retrospective included a lot of video.  I espcially enjoyed T.V. Tart:

From there I walked to the New Museum to see this:

So much of the commentary was blah blah blah.  I'm glad I didn't become an art historian.  I'm definitely glad I saw it, even though much of the work was meh. The New Museum didn't have any working bathrooms.  A pipe had burst because of the cold and was being repaired. It was a long day and definitely time to get back to my hotel.

I did wonder what the crowd at the New Museum and Leslie-Lohman would think of the many Michelangelo sketches of young studio assistants...

Friday was for the Whitney.  A quick run through of:

Yeah, so familiar.  We were there...

The Non War Memorial by Ed Kienholz (1970) is powerful and touching:

Faith Ringgold's silkscreen from 2007 still speaks to us today:

It is Jimmie Durham: At the Center of the World, that got me to the Whitney now. I was able to take an overview look at it and then catch the excellent docent talk at noon.   This is a detail of his self-portrait. 

He is truly a citizen of the world, a poet and an activist as well as an artist, 
who identifies as Native American and lives all over Europe and the world.  Here is the full self-portrait:

One installation included family photos.  A man in our group said, "That's my father. We're cousins.  It's strange to see my father's picture in the Whitney."

Durham uses found objects juxtaposed in unexpected ways.  An inspiration to Dumpster Divers!  I came away with a greater appreciation of him as a spiritual leader as well as an artist.

It was a 3-day marathon.  I'm glad I came home to a weekend with nothing planned except rest.  

I'm grateful I could do this binge, my birthday present to myself.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

The Last Clay Monoprints of 2017

Timeless Moment  is a mixed-media clay monoprint that makes use of gampi silk tissue, whose transparency I love.  The groom and bride are suspended in time.

We weren't in Nashville very long on our road trip, but it was enough for me to be captivated by its creative synergy.  The clay monoprint above is titled Nashville.

The one below, Rain On My Windowpane, looks through the curtain on a rainy day.

I've had a flu-like cold for a couple of weeks now, and haven't felt up to making a new batch of clay monoprints.  At least today I finally felt well enough to photograph these and post them to