Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Arp, Miro, Calder

Finally made it to the Boise Art Museum for the vary last day of an exhibit featuring the works of Hans Arp, Joan MIro and Alexander Calder. It was an interesting exhibit because of the hard-edged forms used by all of them, and because they had known each other in Paris. The works by MIro were mostly serigraphs, large, bright, hard-edged and curving, I like the polished sculptures by Arp about the best of anything and I found the the Calder things didn't please me as much as they did years ago.

Because much of this work belongs to the Albright Gallery, it made me think about about exhibits and how they are put together.  I suppose the gallery benefits from the publicity, but without their cooperation, the museum could not have assembled this much valuable art to show. There is so much about the great world I do not know. 

In smaller gallery, there was a very nice exhibit of the local self-trained artist James Castle, who suffered from profound deafness from birth and was never formally educated. He lived at home all his life, making art with whatever he could get his hands on, like the insides of envelopes and discarded homework. This display was a nice corrective to the pretentiousness and somewhat dated quality of the works in the other exhibit. These were all small pictures on "found cardboard" mostly made with soot and spit, which the labels referred to delicately as "wash." Many of them are competent exterior and interior views of nearby places. But some of them contain what the museum calls "totemic forms" some of which looked like elongated Fisher Price featureless peg toys with a more solemn aspect. It is these figures that, to me, provided a link to the work of the other artists.

I need to remember to take a few notes when I go to museums, because I love to write about these things and have already lost key information in less than a week!

Tonight, I have for you a mysterious poem by Gu Cheng.

Parting Thoughts

I will die
become a shifting riddle
the future scholar's gaze
will fill with suspicion

leave hovering fingerprints
leave staggered footprints
shatter the language
skew the music

this is no child's sleep talk
or geriatric game
this is to bring one period of history
to a permanent end

Gu Cheng

Nameless Flowers
George Braziller, 2005, page 50.

     Think about art; think about history. 
     It is plenty to get your mind around.
     Good Night!

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