01 January 2012

NYC or bust ... or not

The original plan was that Bill and I would go on from Boston to New York City for a couple days. For a variety of reasons, we stayed in Boston but did day trips to New Haven and Providence. I had stopped at MASS MoCA on the way from my older sister's near Albany to Boston to see Bill for the week between Christmas and New Year's. The "Memery" show about those using web-based memes was pretty interesting as were the "Workers" and other shows. It was amusing to be in a gallery with portraits taken against Flickr views of sunsets and sunrises: a couple people were taking pictures of the picture wall though I didn't get a picture of either of them as a meme-on-top-of-meme. The other work in that gallery was "No Sunshine" by Constant Dullart. Loved the contrast.

When Bill and I got to New Haven, we found ArtSpace closed so I guess I won't get an up-close visit to the "Library Science" show. We did however have a really good time at the Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art to say nothing of Atticus Bookstore/Cafe. The Atticus t-shirts were wonderful: one with a caption saying that unattended children would be given immense amounts of coffee and unlimited access to the internet and the other letting us know that censorship led to blindness. The Yale U Art Gallery has a Bosch panel which is from the same altarpiece as the Ship of Fools at the Louvre.
I'm very fond of the Ship of Fools and once had to keep standing in front of it because the tour group was hogging the Rolin Madonna of Jan van Eyck. Life is tough. We were running out of time and daylight by the time they chased us out of the British Art Center galleries. I got to see my Sickert painting of the hospital in Venice where they cast my arm when I broke it under the full moon looking out over the Grand Canal. There was also a woman dressed in a fine dress that could have been Fortuny (more Venice) in a painting by Alfred Elmore.

On the 30th, we went down to Providence by train and had a good trip to the "Made in the UK" show at the RISD Museum of Art. The UK show was 20th-century British art from the collection of Richard Brown Baker. I really enjoyed the Grayson Perry vase entitled "May My Ashes Blow Away on the Winds of Change." The label talked about the amphora shape and the blue-and-white drape that echoed the English ware traditions but didn't mention the glazed message inside the lip of the vase that said "Mr Grayson Perry is a real pervert." Thanks to Roberto for really bringing Perry's work to my attention. I also liked the "Study for Figure with Towel" by Keith Vaughan; the last line of its gallery label talked about the joy of being naked in the outdoors. And there was a nice Howard Hodgkin here as well as at Yale where Baker also bequeathed some of his collection.

Between our out-of-town visits, we got to the Institute of Contemporary Art ("Dance/Draw" was more wonderful than we expected), Museum of Fine Arts (new Caillebotte, photos of Cuba, Jan Dibbets: Gropius Bau Berlin), and the MIT List Visual Arts Center (Hans Haacke 1967 and Otto Piene: Lichtballett). The Haacke was really sublime and Bill related that his aunt, Virginia Gunter, had been the curator of the 1971 "Earth, Air, Fire, Water: Elements of Art" show at the MFA which had included some similar Haacke works.

So I'm rather sorry that I didn't get to NYC this week to see the "Hide/Seek" show at the Brooklyn Museum or to see NYC friends but .... no problem, we had a great time full of art and bookstores (yikes, don't want to see the credit card bills) and visits with friends. A couple movies: "The Artist" and "Young Adult." I'll finish this off with an amusing overheard conversation: the three students were talking about Gropius and I thought "architecture students" but it turns out there must be a bar of that name. Oh, well; it can't all be art.


Anonymous said...

Reading your blog is like getting a Sherman Christmas letter all year long. Happy New Year from Susan Flanagan

Sherman Clarke said...

Big oops! When I first posted this, the bit about the MFA shows we saw said "photos of Cubs" instead of "photos of Cuba." And I should have credited the Bosch picture; it's from the Yale gallery site.