April 25, 2008

I mentioned in my hilight list that I went to the MOMA. I envy New Yorker’s access to such a treasure. I was down right blown away by De Kooning and Pollack. The De Kooning drawings seemed so deliberate and careless all at the same time, nothing finished and still everything was there. I’m not sure I even have words for Pollack, but I kept thinking about how great performers leave it all on the stage, and with Pollack it felt like he left it all on the canvas. Powerful, powerful stuff. It also had this wonderful balance of head and heart that was so, so moving. And while not a huge Picasso fan, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, was amazing. Really, I’ve never seen something so perfect in planning and execution.

Plus we kept running into these class tours led by these super cute women, who, from what I overheard, were saying all sorts of smart and engaging things. And I kept thinking how I would just fall in love with art if they were teaching my 7th grade art class. By comparison my 7th grade art teacher seemed to be doing time behind the desk. Wasn’t til I got in highschool that I got a real art teacher.

Compared to the MOMA most of the New Museum collection seemed like a joke. And I’m not just talking about throwing down some of these young guys (and by the way where are the women in art) with Pollack, I’m talking about judging them against the MOMA’s collection of self taught and outsider art. By and large the New Museum’s collection reminded me of a New York review of Books critique of Jonathan Lethem, which said something like Lethem needed to remember that the number of times he’d seen Star wars was not profound and that Lethem and a number of his contemporaries are caught up in the minutiae of their coming of age stories but unable to make it meaningful beyond nostalgia. I left the New Museum thinking good lord we’ve raised a generation of narcissists.

1 Comment »

one response to “artful”

  1. peptide says:

    it was great meeting you, too, liz 🙂
    i’ve only been to MoMA a couple of times since i arrived – i’m due for another visit. it’s an amazing thing to see all of these classic works that are reproduced all over the place for yourself.
    haven’t been to the new museum yet, but what you’re describing is part of why. i suppose it’s our cultural narcissism reflected back at us, but i find it boring and would rather spend my money elsewhere.

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