I saw an amazing amount of inspiring art on my trip to NYC. On May 5th , I went to see the Art Dealers Association " the Art Show" at the Park Ave. Armory. The first booth was Marion Goodman showing William Kentridge sculpture. I saw a lot of Kentridge at MOMA on Saturday, but not these gorgeous horses that he does so loosely. I am particular about "the horse" and I've never seen it done so much to my liking. There was a lot to see at the Art Show: so many originals by current and past great artists. I found a small Fairfield Porter - just a closeup of meadow with flowers: yellow green with small swipes of orange and pink - looked like it had been done in one sitting. I loved it. I saw a recent Chuck Close and understood why R. brings his name up when looking at my work. There was a breathtaking Frankenthaler, some odd silk and wax flowers, a great Guston, gorgeous Picabia, so much to take in. It was a luxury to have so many top galleries all gathered under one roof. It also was presented in a way that was more captivating than at MOMA the next day, where many of the same artists have work.
On Saturday, The first museum I visited was MOMA to see the William Kentridge exhibit. By fluke, I entered the room with the music and videos for the Met Opera, the Nose ( his most recent work) first. I was enthralled - by the fun, the captivating ongoing assembling or dissassembling, the simultaneity of videos, the ways in which he made his methods so obvious and yet that only added to the magic, the Soviet (I think) music accompaniment. The next room was his work on the Magic Flute - it was equally amazing, and it all took place on one stage - his range of materials and his use of stage effect was impressive. His earlier video works on apartheid and his voluminous quantity of drawings probably would have satisfied me; next to the rooms with the Magic Flute and The Nose, they were only build-up to those over the top productions.
I also saw Ernesto Neto's work in fabric at MOMA. It was fun. As I wondered through the other rooms, I encountered a VW bus expanded with sewn together recycled fabrics, but I missed the name of the artist (a name I didn't recognize).
My next visit was to the Whitney Biennial. It did nothing for me. I wandered through the show, waiting to find something that I felt positive about - not the large fabric hanging with images of smoke, not the ambulance that needed a wall explanation, not the videos that seemed one-liner, not the flowers. I liked the sumi ink drawings, I also liked the newspaper covered couch and the photos behind it. But I felt lukewarm, not thrilled.
I finished my day with a visit to the Guggenheim. The long wait to get in was worth it. Even though I had read about Tino Sehgal's piece, I was engaged. I thought the slow-motion coupling in a public space was just beautiful sculpture. On the ramp, I was greeted first by a boy, maybe 9 years old, then handed off to a girl maybe 15, then a guy maybe 26, and finally a man in his late 50's, maybe. The boy asked what I thought of "progress", and the sequential conversations as I ascended the ramp were seemingly on the same theme, but introduced more personally with each successive person. It was an intriguing sequence, and I left in a buoyant mood - I think because of the exchange of ideas - so instead of an interaction with a visual object, I was affected instead by individuals.
Finally, I enjoyed Anish Kapoor's "memory" , the huge cor ten steel structure that can be seen whole, in part, or just the inside ( totally black, almost as if painted, it's so dark).
After all was said and done, I will be absorbing this NYC visit for a time. The theatricality of Kentridge's work really caught my fancy, the simplicity of his means and the clarity of his message - all impressed me beyond all expectations. And the fact that it was so enjoyable!