In today’s mailbox. Thanks Jennifer!
Decided I needed to get out of town and do something different. Promised to be a grey rainy day so after PT I filled up the gas tank and headed up the hill to Williamstown. I got inside the Clark Art Institute just before the rain started. The new building was a bit confusing at first only because the entrance isn’t where it’s always been, LOL.
There were lots of visitors but, even better, there were tons of staff people. So after I got done with one section of the exhibits, I’d find the nearest smiling person and say, “where is __the next exhibit__?” and they would smile and say, go right down this way, past the gift shop, through the tunnel, etc”
I went to the “Make It New” exhibit first. It’s a special exhibit from the National Gallery of Art of Abstract Painting. Seems to want to make sense of it all by looking in turn at color field, texture, pattern, shape and it was stunning, by and large. And before I go any further – it was a vote of confidence to someone who likes to work bigger than many. Almost all the pieces were large!
It’s hard to complain about an exhibit that has so many wonderful pieces. Pollack! Rothko! (ooooooo swoon, Rothko!), Mitchell! And then I went through to the next room and before the Frankenthaler! could grab me, I saw this, Tristan da Cugna by Larry Poons. So much to love. And kitty-corner from this, Dawn’s Road by Kenneth Noland.
I decided I’d do what I’d learned awhile ago, walk around, see everything and notice what I was drawn to or reacted to. Nothing much is going to push Rothko out of my head but then there was Infinity Nets Yellow by Yoyoi Kusama, 1960. That made me go back several times. In the last roomful of goodness, Al Loving’s Brownie, Sunny, Dave, and Al
Here’s another article with some good photos including of the Loving piece.
After that, I did a quick dash through the many rooms of wonderful art (and many many many people, most of whom wore iPads on their chests and didn’t seem to have to have any sense of personal space or indoor voices…) finding old favorites of the permanent collection like Fumée d’ambre gris (Smoke of Ambergris) by John Singer Sargent.
Finally, in a tiny room in the center was, TA DA!, the Magna Carta, Lincoln Cathedral Exemplar, 1215 with its incredibly minute writing and beautiful parchment. I wished there was some magnification available because I would have liked to have seen it closer up. I enjoyed looking at the working copy of the Declaration of Independence with the notes and scribblings of one of the writers.
Thinking about Christoffer M. Carstenjen and Steve Adams two young men who were killed on Sept 11. Having faces to put with the day brings a different aspect along with the particular, sharp memories of the day as I experienced it.
Tonight I was reminded of this poem discovered in 2012
As for the rest—ah, the air now
Is a tonic of absence, bearing nothing
But news of a breeze.
— Reverie in Open Air by Rita Dove
when I came out of work. The wind seemed to be coming from the north and was cool and fresh. After a day of collisions between memories and some sort of reality, it was good to be nudged into the moment.