Writing about looking at art. From the floor of the gallery, the museum, and the private collection.
By Todd Gibson
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Ten Things I Think Today
The Met has closed the whole wing housing the Robert Lehman collection. I think the closure is due to this post.
OK, I think not. I think it has to do with this fall's Fra Angelico exhibition planned for the space. I think it will be a great show. (Update: Someone emailed me this morning saying that there has been water damage in the wing and that's why it's closed right now. I think that would explain the scaffolding and plastic sheeting I saw. I also think that if this is true the Met is being disingenuous with that little sign blaming the closure on preparations for the new installation.)
I think MoMA has finally gotten an atrium installation right. Cy Twombly's The Four Seasons is scaled perfectly for the wall where it has been hung. I think it's going to be difficult (if not impossible) for MoMA to continue to come up with works that harmonize so well with this difficult space.
I think the current Matisse show at the Met has been the surprise hit of the summer. Who would have thought that a show about a painter and fabric could be so interesting? I sure didn't.
I think somebody totally overpaid when he bought Robert Rauschenberg's Rebus (at right) for MoMA. Sure, it's a great example of Rauschenberg's work from the mid-1950s, but don't you think that for $30M MoMA should gotten a taxidermied animal or two? Too bad it's not kosher to add one at this late date. I think several of the specimens on this site could really complete the piece.
I had been thinking that the kid was a budding art critic because I can throw her into the Baby Bjorn and she'll be content to spend an afternoon looking at art. But she was just as happy recently when we spent an hour wandering the aisles of a farm supply store in the Midwest. I'm not sure what to think of her fascination with cowboy hats, DIY veterinary tools, Wrangler jeans, electric fencing, and plumbing fixtures.
I think I'm much more happy with MoMA's new fourth floor installation of the Monet painting formerly known as Water Lilies. It's still not shown as well as it was in its old home, but it looks much better in this gallery than it did in the atrium.
I think (while I'm on the topic) that nostalgia for the old MoMA isn't necessarily a bad thing. Visiting MoMA now is a much different experience than it used to be, and I think it's healthy that people remember that. Something was lost when MoMA bulked up with its Taniguchi addition and started drawing such monstrous crowds. When I was there last Sunday afternoon I couldn't enjoy anything in the permanent collection because the galleries were simply too crowded. Greg can whine all he wants about people whining about the new MoMA, but here's the fact: it's almost impossible to have a fulfilling art-viewing experience there anymore.
I think I have one more Dan Flavin post left in me after my recent visit to the exhibition in Chicago. I think I'll save it for tomorrow.
I think the next few weeks will be somewhat quiet around here. I'm heading overseas for an extended stay. When I'm not working, I'm going to do a little more enjoying of the good life on the Mediterranean coast and a little less blogging. But, then again, I said I was going to take last week off, and the site (for some strange reason) seems to have a post made almost every day.
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