Sunday, July 27, 2008

Parts of the Whole

(A pie chart of un-excellence in art)

Me, in front of an Adam Cvijanovic.

It's been awhile since I've felt that special aesthetic feeling you get sometimes when you enter into an especially well-put together art exhibition. 50% of the problem can be blamed on my new job, which is taking up a large chunk of my aesthetic and intellectual experience these days, 20% might be on the account of summer which makes everything beside a mojito poolside look like hot poop on a stick, but I solidly believe a good 30% can rest on things really not being super-interesting of late. I guess that's to be expected, standing rumor being that the art-world takes a well-deserved break in the summer.

Still, in every stinky summer garbage heap there grows a surprisingly pretty weed and this particular web-log will be devoted to sharing the one's this blogger has lately spotted:

Maybe two weekends back I travelled to Upstate New york with pal Ben Peterson to see Future Tense: Reshaping the Landscape at The Neuberger Museum of Art. You can read the NY times review of the show here.

I wasn't that stoked on Ben's piece in the exhibition, though usually I am quite enamored, this drawing (not pictured, though hopefully you will be able to look it up via the web as soon as the museum's site lists the show in it's "past exhibitions", currently it must be lost somewhere between past and current.) left me feeling flat. However, there is no doubt that Mr. Peterson deserved to be in the exhibition, his work fit in with the pseudo-apocalyptic landscape thesis of the show really well, and I'm totally excited to see the work Ben's making for an exhibition at Ratio 3 coming up in January 2009.

My personal favorite piece in the show was the large-as-life landscape by Mr. Adam Cvijanovic. Many pieces (his included) would have worked well in a museum of natural history setting, perhaps as part of a diorama.

For some reason I had a better time at the museum's other exhibition; Reframing American Art: Selections from the Roy R. Neuberger Collection, which was a show of modern art from the museum's permanent collection. There was a very nice small Rothko, a weirdo Marsden Hartley that I actually liked (Mr. Hartley and I have never been great pals), a cute Lee Krasner next to a Jackson Pollock that wasn't very special as Jackson Pollock's go and a painting by Horace Pippin that I've been haunted by ever since I saw it:

The exhibition space was carpeted in brown, and in the middle of the floor was a box fan, unplugged. I was charmed to say the least.

I found these two sculptures of ash-trays at The Clay Studio the other day. I think they're amazing. I found out the artist's name but don't know how to spell it, evidently she's 90 and used to live in Hollywood. The style of the ash-tray looks very L.A., and I think they make a very good case for ash-trays, an art-form that grows ever-more extinct with the banning of cigarettes.

Finally, I went to the "mold opening" at Little Berlin the other night. I didn't think much of the show in general, though the atmosphere and fellowship was inspiring. However, I did think this piece; Jesus' face sculpted onto the bodies of several different cartoons and super-heros was more then clever:

You could write essays and essays on the jesus-type imagery in many cartoons and super-hero stories but I think looking at this would render just about any intellectual argument unnecessary.

The End.

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