Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts..., painting, travel | Tags: art, berkshires
Yes, we’re bracing ourselves for hurricane Sandy. She’s a-comin’, and no one is looking forward to her arrival. How have I prepared? Umm…I bought a couple of cans of soup? It turns out there are no more D batteries for sale in the entire state. Considering that my 4 yr old son LOVES to play with our ONLY flashlight, we may be in for some lighting “challenges” here when we lose power. I’m also thinking of the general domestic challenge to be locked in the house all day with my 4 yr old. I may have to be like Odysseus and lash myself to the bannister outside the house just to get some “me” time in the midst of this “epic” storm. Did I mention that my son also has a raging cold? Ah yes…there’s a storm of viruses swirling around in the house from his hacking and sneezing. Blech. I can practically FEEL my white blood cells reeling from the onslaught of germs. I think that if there ever is “germ warfare” against our country, it will be the parents and teachers of preschoolers that have a chance of survival from our “special forces” immune system. My throat does feel scratchy. I’m not sure if that’s because I’m getting sick, or if it’s because I just ate a gross quantity of Trader Joe’s “pirate’s booty.” (puffed corn blobs covered with powdered white cheddar….YUMMY!) But I digress…actually, I haven’t really even gotten started yet. Sigh.
ANYHOO, this weekend…my husband and I took our yearly pilgrimage to the Berkshires to the Lodge where we were married. I love going there…it’s so laid back and idyllic. Did I mention that my mother watched my son for the weekend? Yes, we were kid-free for 48 hrs. Did I also mention that my son decided to sleep in until 8am this morning? His normal time to wake up is 5:30. WHY does he sleep in ONLY for Grandma??? But I digress, again.
Doesn’t that look peaceful and dreamy? I love the Berkshires.
One of the decadent things about going to the Berkshires is going to Mass MOCA. This is a large contemporary art museum in a renovated complex of factory buildings. I have to say, I really loved quite a bit of what I saw there on this visit. I’ve got photos of the highlights to share with you. The current exhibition is focused on Canadian contemporary art.
Bloodie is Born, and Born Again, 2009
Angel Trumpet Flower of Death, 2008
Wow. I LOVED these paintings. They are ink and gouache on paper, and they are GORGEOUS. I know that the imagery is disturbing, but I thought that her work was stunning. They have the look of historic book illustrations, but the scenes are bizarre. Her minimal use of color in the predominantly B&W paintings was amazing. I’m a big fan. (Hint. Hint. Just in case any of you have started your holiday shopping early!)
Joking, of course.
Etienne Zack, Silent Frames, 2011, Oil on Linen
This painting was over 8’x12′ in size. It was stunning. I really could have looked at it all day. I love the scene, the color palette, the space she creates, the odd moonlit feeling of it…so gorgeous. It’s hard to tell from this photo, but she also had elements like the wood posts with transparent reddish ghosts of the forms nearby, which almost made the image look like a manipulated photograph in a way. So incredibly brilliant.
Clay slab, 2007, watercolor on paper
Paper #2, 2007, watercolor on paper.
Yes, read that again. Those are WATERCOLORS… and they are BIG. Each one is around 3’x4′. I especially love “Clay Slab.” It’s gorgeous. You can almost feel the cold, wetness of the clay, right? These were outrageously stunning. His technical skill was also mind boggling. I love the limited palette and hyper-real quality. I’m telling you…GO. SEE. THIS. SHOW. NOW. Next:
Chris Millar, 370H55V, 2011, mixed media
This was fantastic. Here is a detail:
Chris Millar, 370H55V, 2011, mixed media (detail)
This was outrageous and amazing. I used to have a fascination with miniature things, and this sculpture was the EPITOME of the kind of miniscule things that I used to love. Here, though, it’s a freestanding agglomeration of childhood curiosities and total excess. I LOVED it. It’s hard for me to know what to say, but it seriously held both nostalgia and joy for me…as if I was stepping into some forgotten recess of my childhood. It’s made so much more perfect with that galaxy background that he created. Sheer genius. Here is another of his works:
Chris Millar, Uncharted Galvanized Hut, 2008, acrylic on canvas
This was also amazing. Again, I loved the density of it. The other thing was that it had almost a 3D/embossed look to it, where different elements were raised and layered upon other elements. It was almost like a painting decoupage. This artist just oozes brilliance.
Uncharted 4 (2011), Uncharted 2 (2011-12), Uncharted 1 (2011-12)
Uncharted 5 (2011-12), Uncharted 3 (2011-12), Uncharted 6 (2011-12)
All are acrylic on panel
Okay. I love her work. It’s SO architectural, but not stuffy or static. I’ve seen her works before at the DeCordova Museum, but this work is even better (IMHO). I love the collage-feel, the layering, and the enormous depth and dimensionality that she creates. These crazy constructs float in a field of color, like some kind of vignettes of part of a building or part of an experience. Gorgeous.
I included this photo just so that you can get a sense of the scale of some of the rooms at Mass MOCA. This room is enormous. See that blurry thing floating halfway up the wall at the end? This is what it is:
Hmm. No comment.
I must admit, I have been to Mass Moca many times, but there has only been one time when I truly loved what an artist did with that huge space. Ann Hamilton is an installation artist whose work was titled, Corpus. Here is the exhibition catalog. She truly made the space into a work of art. She had several tall reams of 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper up at the rafters in different locations. Then, a robot/machine would move along some tracks to a stack of paper, pick up the top paper with suction, then drive back over to a random point on the tracks and then with a “puff” sound…drop the paper to the ground. The entire floor was covered with the paper, and random pieces would be falling intermittently around you. In addition, she had a grid of megaphone shaped speakers which would descend in unison to the floor, then raise again. I can’t remember the sound coming from the speakers, but I remember the “puff” sound when the robot would release the paper. Oh yeah..the windows were all tinted pink. It was brilliant.
Mass MOCA has other amazing spaces:
This sliver of space separates is also amazing. Look at the brickwork! Crazy. The grand finale is, of course, Sol LeWitt.
His work is located on three floors, with the early works on the lowest floors, and then you progress upwards to more recent work. This man could do anything with geometry. I love that triangle wall.
While I loved the walls with the eye-pain inducing colors, I was really drawn to the walls of graphite drawing:
Yes, those are graphite drawings. On the walls. Closer:
Mindblowing, right? These drawings (or whatever I should call them) are stunning. Such beauty in their chaos and order! More:
I know that I’m obviously enamored with graphite, as it’s the medium that I’ve chosen to grapple with. These works really elevate graphite to stratospheric levels. It makes me want to grab a pencil and start scribbling on the walls (at home, of course.) But, as I can’t do that while telling my son that he’s not allowed to, I’ll just have to restrain myself. If you feel that this whole post has been a parade of superlatives, check out the last work that was in an alcove next to these LeWitt masterpieces:
I can’t remember if the title of this was, “Bucket and Mop, Alone at Last“, or “I Thought You Loved Me?“, or “Everything Filthy Must be Mine.” JUST KIDDING! This really was just a mop and bucket in the corner. Fooled ya, right? Just keeping you on your toes…seeing if you were paying attention or daydreaming about all of the better things that you could be doing with your time besides actually READING this blog.
I’m going to post this now before we lose power from raging SANDY. Feel free to send me care packages. I’m partial to cookies and pirate’s booty.
Filed under: Drawing | Tags: art, Cereal, Chex, embroidery, Needlework, Oreo
Has anyone out there ever been to Concord? It’s probably the last place to have “palooza” after its name. It is an immaculate/supercute New England town. Why do I bring it up? Well, because ten of my drawings are at the Concord Art Association!!! The opening/reception was on Thursday night (yes, I had to miss the finale of Project Runway, but I’d like to think that I have my priorities straight.) The show is “Consuming Passion: Food as Metaphor in Art.” (Brief aimless tangent: I arrived slightly early for the opening (try to be surprised), and because I had not eaten dinner…I thought that I’d walk into the downtown and grab something from somewhere. WELL, Concord is so swanky and nice that there WASN’T anyplace to GRAB something. That’s too ghetto. No joke! There were either lovely restaurants…or lovely inedible items, like fancy clothes or jewelry. Sigh. Thus, I had to snarf down lots of snacks at the reception.)
OKAY. End of tangent. Here are nine of my drawings in all of their black and white glory:
WOO HOO! Lookin’ good! My babies! Where is the tenth drawing, you ask? On the opposite wall. He’s lonely and orphaned, but it’s okay. I was really happy to see the group of them on the wall. I saw someone ALMOST touch one of them, but they didn’t. Umm…really? Overprotective mommy here…PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH THE DRAWINGS, areyoufrigginkiddingme? Some of my big-hearted friends asked why I didn’t bring my son to the reception. Enough said.
But enough about me…I’ve got some pictures of some of the other FASCINATING works (because my stuff is obviously fascinating as well, thankyouverymuch):
Hannah Perrine Mode, Weight and Sea I, 2011, 84″ x 30″, oil on canvas
This enormous and lovely painting is by Hannah Perrine Mode. I actually got a chance to chat with her a bit. She was lovely and friendly and I wish her loads of success, as she has recently moved to NYC. I really love that piece. Must. Sell. Art. In. Order. To. Buy. It. She said that she has to work much MUCH smaller, as she’s got a tiny place in Manhattan. My work, in contrast, is already tiny. See! My work is MADE for NYC! Right??? You must agree.
Some other fascinating work by Judith Klausner:
Judith Klausner, Cereal Sampler #2: The Most Important Meal, 2010, Chex corn cereal and thread
Yes. She. Did. (1 of 3):
She did embroidery on CEREAL. Not kidding. So awesome. Look at the date. IT’S TWO YEARS OLD! Even better. Next:
Judith Klausner, Oreo Cameo #10, 2011, Oreo sandwich cookie
Yes. She. Did. (2 of 3):
She sculpted a “cameo” portrait from an OREO. AN OREO!!!!
Not kidding. Awesomer. Next:
Judith Klausner, Toast Embroidery #1: Egg on Toast, 2010, Toast, thread, paper (structural)
Yes. She. Did. (3 of 3):
That’s EMBROIDERY on TOAST. She is a food + art mastermind!!! That one’s two years old as well…impressive! There were lots of other great work…I just can’t post it all here. Well, okay…I’ll post one more bit of artistic amazingness:
My 4 yr old son drew this today. It’s a building falling down. Look at those action lines! See the sideways door? He said it tipped over. LOVE. IT. Please don’t ask my why my child has done a bajillion drawings of buildings collapsing. It’s a direct result of his mommy letting him watch building demolition videos on You Tube. Sigh. I can practically HEAR his synapses fusing into abnormal arrays. Sigh.
This is a recent portrait, so he can’t be THAT messed up, right???:
See? He looks happy! And relatively calm, I might add. This evidence will exonerate me when DSS comes by.
Speaking of calm…look at the lovely weather we had today!
Did I mention that it was almost 70 DEGREES??? For MID-OCTOBER??? Very strange.
At least the leaves are turning…and I haven’t seen any palm trees springing up yet, or toucans flying by.
Lots of blobby pumpkins, though! Hmm…this gives me the idea of power tools and pumpkins…I may be onto something here… (note: I said “onto” something, not “on” something…) Perhaps I’m channeling my inner Gallagher? I think that I’d better stop while I’m neither ahead nor behind.
Happy Fall! Hakuna Matata! Go see the show at Concord, or else!
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: Boston College, Germany, Paul Klee
Yes! PAUL KLEE! There is currently an exhibit of his drawings at Boston College. Here is the link. If you are in the Boston area, it’s a MUST see. No pressure.
He was truly a fascinating person. Here is a Boston Globe article, which reviews the show. (I hope that you don’t need a subscription to read it.) Here’s a familiar quote of one of his main philosophies:
Art does not reproduce the visible; it makes visible. – Paul Klee
Brilliant! I wish I said that. Unfortunately, I’m not a genius. My normal insights are: “Oh, was that dirty?”, or “We’re out of floss”, or “Why is there a wadded up kleenex taped to the wall?” You know. Normal stuff.
Klee was obsessed with the natural world…the order of it, the purity of it. Here was a drawing that I saw:
Paul Klee, Insekten
OF COURSE, this image does it no justice. Please go see it in person. He draws with the most delicate lines, and captures the prickly, leggy, fragile quality of insects. I especially love that larva-esque creature in the lower right hand corner. If I was a bug, that’s what I would look like. Prickly and curled up in ball. But, I digress…
Paul Klee, Der Selbstmorder auf der Bruke
(Suicide on the Bridge)
He draws almost with a “stained glass” effect, where all things are interconnected and part of a larger order. The man on the bridge contemplating death is drawn with menacing figures and a looming clock face around him. Notice also the starburst of lines below…is it beckoning him to jump? Is he seeing what will happen in the future if he does jump? I feel for him. FASCINATING! Last image:
Paul Klee, Eidola – Erswhile Philospher
Ok, brilliant right? Did he not capture the feeling and form in such an amazing way????? That’s what I look like in the grocery store when I’m trying to figure out what to make for dinner. Except, I have hair. More about hair later…
I hope that I’ve convinced some of you to go. I’ve only selected black & white drawings, but there was mostly works with color…so don’t think that you’re just getting strictly drawing. Ohhhh no…there’s more.
This made me think about my son’s recent work:
Apparently, there are ships flying around a Tyrannosaurus Rex trying to capture it.
I first thought that he had drawn THIS:
Look familiar? Ahh…I’m such a product of he 80’s. Speaking of 80’s product (thus begins the slide into nonsense):
Now, THAT’S a lot of product.
GOOD LORD! Are these photos even REAL???? This is the sort of thing that would make Paul Klee roll over in his grave. He pondered the order of the universe, and I’m looking up big haired people from the 80s on the internet. WHAT HAS BECOME OF SOCIETY????
Is it just me, or are you also wondering how long it took them to get ready for this photo? How do they know if they’re having a “bad hair day?” Are they all in therapy now because their family photo was posted on the internet???
Again, I ponder the mediocre and insane.
Maybe those images were before the dawn of the beloved flat iron:
I think that I need to stop this post now both because it’s getting more inane, and because my hands are so cold…I can no longer type. Perhaps we need to remove the air conditioners from our windows, now that it’s in the 40s?
Ok. Must go warm hands by the 400 degree heat from my beloved flat iron whilst I wax nostalgic about Aqua Net and AT-ATs…
Poor blogs. They suffer so because we’re too busy to write them, and too busy to read them. I try to make my posts visually “exciting” for those of you that just scroll past the text. That’s all of you, right? Hmm. You’ve probably learned from your past mistakes of actually READING the post, and now only check in when you are stuck in traffic and are aimlessly thumbing your way through your phone. Speaking of phones, check out my son’s industrial design brilliance:
For some reason…out of the blue, he decided that he needed a phone. What, pray tell, is the basis of this design?
A macaroni and cheese box. Love. It.
Must. Keep. 4. Evah.
WHAT? These aren’t “exciting” visuals? Well, too bad.
So, I’m in a frenzy of self-promotional mayhem. I have work up in two shows this month, and I’m trying to get the word out. I made new postcards:
I made new business cards.
I hope not to have two hundred unused postcards and business cards by the time those two events are over. (Yes, I fuzzed out some information.) I’m sure that if I were Martha Stewart…I would figure a way of recycling them into a monogrammed Halloween table centerpiece and matching napkin rings. Doesn’t she have anything BETTER to do???? Seriously. I have plenty that could keep her busy. She could knit a sweater with the dustballs in our house…or sort our junk mail by color and size…or create thoughtful parting gifts for the company that we never seem to have over because who wants to climb two flights of stairs to our front door only to be greeted by a living room that looks like a Toys R Us after Katrina? (minus the scummy water line, thankyouverymuch)
Ok. I exaggerate for comic effect. Is it working? Of course not. You’ve either scrolled past this text block to see if the images get any better or you’ve already given up. I feel like giving up, and yet I persist somehow. I’m stubborn like that.
Ok. (but this time I mean it) I forgot to update you on the professional development class that I’m taking for artists. BE STILL YOUR BEATING HEART. It’s great. I highly recommend it for anyone who can spare several hundreds of dollars and almost every Saturday between now and May. Ignore my snark…it is really good. I’m learning about negotiation…(don’t insult the other person or whine!)…about organization (you can’t put post-it notes through the laundry!)…and the selection process for art shows (it can’t hurt to send the curator a pajamagram, can it???) Um…yes. Yes, it can. Just because I might be influenced by an unexpected leopard print Snuggie in the mail, doesn’t mean that others share that same love for synthetic fleece.
This post seems to be light on art, and heavy on nonsense. I’ll do better next week. I also will try not to accidentally make a blog post of just an image with no text, as I did about 30 minutes ago even though that would be a reasonable strategy if no one bothers to read (my) blogs anymore.
(Do Snuggies come in different sizes? If so, I’m probably a medium, BTW)