Even if you have have just a little bit of time to spare, go ahead and use your membership(s). Visiting a museum doesn’t have to be an all day event – in the past week I visited the Denver Art museum once as part of a work project and then I went back a second time by myself, just to look at 2-3 pieces.
Instead of planning your museum excursions to be ‘do-it-all, see-it-all’ outings, try popping in once in a while and looking at just one exhibit or even just a room.
I know we all run around from place to place and meeting to meeting with less and less time to ourselves. Allow the museums to offer you a break, a moment to pause and enjoy.
David Schnell 'Aussicht', 2005 at Denver Art Museum
“In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.” Michelangelo
The Sandback show at MCA Denver is terrific!
His installations of thread barely create structure but capture the “apparitions” of monumental planes and forms throughout the space. The pieces slice through the rooms, highlighting the building itself and then go on to challenge the viewers’ perceptions by redefining – breaking away from the physical walls and illustrating planes of nothingness that exist concurrently.
When I first saw the show, I thought it seemed solemn and a bit serious – it’s so structured, so minimal and so devoid of color. If you felt this way, then I would definitely encourage you to see it again. It is uplifting and hopeful: the optimistic gestures allow the viewer to see the museum as constructed and then offer a glimpse of what could be…of something more. It makes me happy.
This past week I went to NYC to see the first art shows of the season – Wow! What a season it is…this year the museums and galleries are really hitting it out of the park with major retrospectives and beautifully produced shows. De Kooning at MoMA heads the pack, but there were great shows everywhere. The galleries are ambitious – they are showing an awful lot of incredibly expensive works (moderately priced works in the $100k-500k+ range) – I did see works range from as little as $500 going beyond the $1m mark.
Of course there is no real way to cover it all, especially in 4 days. I only barely scratched the surface but what I did get to see was amazing. I walked up and down the city (100-200 blocks a day) and managed to squeeze in 5 museums and about 60 galleries. Of course I experienced the NY gallery snobbery… I understand it though as I was out of uniform. I wore my sneakers instead of Pradas and I opted for a white jacket instead of Black…I was actually told that I looked like I was auditioning for “Miami Vice.”
I tend to have a voracious appetite for all things visual so I ate it up; there were a lot of shows that I could have lingered over for hours to look at all the nuances of the works, but I set out with a mission to take in as much as I could so I literally kept moving the entire time.
Usually when I travel I like to compile a “Top 10” as a record for myself and to share, but with a so much going on, I couldn’t really bare to whittle it down past 7 museum shows and 15 gallery exhibitions:
De Kooning @ MoMA
Cy Twombly Sculptures @ MoMA
Lyonel Feininger @ Whitney
David Smith @Whitney
Master Painters of India (1100-1900) @ the Metropolitan
Frans Hals @ the Metropolitan
Hans Peter Feldman @ Guggenheim
Do Ho Suh @ Lehmann Maupin
Leandro Erlich @ Sean Kelly
Agnes Martin @ Pace
Frank Stella @ Paul Kasmin
Milton Resnick @ Cheim & Read
Nicholas Krushenick @ Gary Snyder
Ronnie Landfield @ Stephen Haller
Ad Reinhardt @ Pace
Nick Cave @ Jack Shainman
Jenny Saville @ Gagosian
Ethan Murrow @ Winston Wӓchter Fine Art
Nathan Slate Joseph @ Sundaram Tagore
Monroe Hodder @ Andre Zarre
Andy Denzler @ Claire Oliver
Paul Winstanley @ Mitchell-Innes & Nash
With any luck I will get to go back in November and continue the expedition – places I was really eager to see but missed this time around included the Neue Galerie (they are installing an exhibition of works from Ronald S. Lauder’s Collection), The Noguchi Museum, the Brooklyn Museum and the New Museum down in the Bowery. I didn’t make it over to Williamsburg or DUMBO this visit so they will be a must and I only got through about half of the Chelsea neighborhood.