Last Wednesday we went off to NYC for a day of museums and food with Dave Drake and Enid Advocate. Arriving in the City at late lunch time, we just had to have a bite. This landed us at a Dean & Deluca’s deli (Madison and 85th). After the bite Karen and I departed leaving Dave and Enid still munching. We went off to the Whitney to see the Lee Friedlander show, “America by Car”. This is the latest demonstration that Friedlander still knows his old trick of shooting from inside his car with a quite unvarying framing approach. Roof pillars and rear view mirrors are in almost every image. When you are confronted with two rooms of pictures, 192 in all, with two rows running around the walls with almost no spacing between each picture, the effect is not even numbing, just mostly boring. Continue reading
Noah Gilstrap appeared at a private recital in NYC this evening. Here he is preparing to bow after his performance.
Museums Continue to Surprise
Karen and I got off to an earlier than usual departure from Hudson yesterday and made it into Harlem by 11 am. After some pauses to chase the various children around, we went off to The Museum of the City of NY at 103rd and 5th Ave. It was a warm day so we had a great walk from 121st to the museum, though our winter coats soon became a burden.
At the museum, the Joel Meyerowitz series: LEGACY: THE PRESERVATION OF WILDERNESS IN NEW YORK CITY PARKS (Oct 9 through Mar 21) was good fun. The tapestry size reproductions hanging in the entrance hall are a great reflection of Meyerowitz’s use of a large format camera and the inkjet images on Tyvek. A couple of the images of large trees are worth a pause. Overall, the photography is at times a bit worn out in its approach to framing and selection of topics. Landscapes are such a thoroughly worked over topic that it is hard not to fall into patterns of visualization that produce images that seem a bit predictable if not trite. Nevertheless, I also learned that park space accounts for over 25% of the land area of NYC. Made me think of making more of an effort to get beyond my usual ventures to Marcus Garvey park (aka Mt. Morris Park) and Central Park. Here is a link to the official website of NYC parks where you can explore more about the city’s 1,700 parks.
You could hear the chuckles and laughter at our next exhibit stop well before entering, CHARLES ADDAMS’S NEW YORK (Mar 4 through May 16). But, for me the highlight of our visit was the 26 minute video installation, TIMESCAPES: A MULTIMEDIA PORTRAIT OF NEW YORK (Ongoing), a multimedia portrait of New York City. This is a terrific video history of the development of NYC from 1609 to the last few years. For example, NY shippers innovated regularly scheduled “packet” ships that sailed to Europe and back. This greatly increased the flow of goods and people over the previous approach of a ship only sailing when it was full.
After a bit we walked down to the Asia Society at 70th and Park Ave to see artifacts from Vietnam, Arts of Ancient Viet Nam: From River Plain to Open Sea through May 2, 2010. Glad to have gone and a good reminder of how slight my knowledge of the prt of the world. though I continue to be surprised that human history is quite literally still being uncovered. Some of the artifacts on display had only been unearthed in the last ten years.
Noah’s Basketball Game
We rounded out our day of activities with a basketball game, the championship game for a league that Noah plays in. The game was held at PS 6. The whole family was in attendance, Nyla, Mom and Dad and two sets of grandparents. Despite vigorous coaching from the stands, Noah’s team was not quite up to the challenge. They lost. But, I was really impressed with the level of play. I am certain that I have never seen organized basketball for this age. I was expecting more of something like swarm soccer. One of the little side drama was the presence of Noah’s best friend, Ben Gross, on the opposing team. As you can tell from the picture, no egos seem to have been shattered nor over-inflated.
Last weekend we spent one very busy Saturday in New York City museuming. We started in Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Museum. This time we took the 2 train from 125th St in Harlem. After 45 minutes and a bit of subway back and forth caused by track work, we emerged from the subway walking up to look straight at the new glass entrance hall of the Brooklyn Museum of Art.
Gustave Caillebotte: Impressionist Paintings From Paris to the Sea
We visited a number of galleries. I found the exhibition, “Gustave Caillebotte: Impressionist Paintings From Paris to the Sea” very interesting. Unlike the New York Time’s reviewer Holland Cotter,1 I am not too bothered with issues of exactly where any particular artist fits into the taxonomy that art critics and historians use.
Unlike most taxonomies of the physical world, art taxonomy seems to obscure more than enlighten. At any rate I really enjoyed the industrial and street scenes. His perspectives are frequently novel.((pictures of Caillebotte’s work shown here borrowed without permission from the Brooklyn Museum website))
Judy Chicago’s “The Dinner Party”
Judy Chicago’s “The Dinner Party” is now on permanent display. I must admit that very few of the 1038 women honored in this piece were familiar to me. The “Heritage Panels” that are part of this work offer a timeline and some hints about why the women included at the dinner are there. The Brooklyn Museum has wonderful web pages on the Dinner Party, including a 3600 virtual tour here. Continue reading
Addison Gallery Phillips Academy, Andover, MA
Louis Faurer Retrospective (thru July 28, 2002)
Two rooms filled with black and white pictures predominantly from the 1930′s thru the 1950′s. A lesser known street photographer, Louis Faurer, like Robert Frank and others, produced many of the photographic images that form the visual backdrop to our mind map of those times. Faurer’s work was completley unknown to me until this visit. The work stands on its own both from a content and technical perspective.
Louis Faurer, The Accident, Lexington Avenue, New York City, 1952, gelatin silver print, courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
(This photo is actually the result of an error. It is a double exposure. The chalk outline on the street is an earlier picture of an accident with the chilled boy taken later.)
(The title for this picture on the gallery’s web site is incorrect. Unfortunately I do not have the correct information. Probably from the 1930′s in New York City. One of many photos Faurer took of beggars, indigents, and others down on their luck)
(both pictures borrowed from the Addison Gallery web site without permission)