Monday, August 04, 2008

Slab Walk Commands Legions of Walloping Lopers to Retreat

Friday was my last day of teaching the video game class, and the final presentations went well. After class was through, I went to the exhibit of contemporary Icelandic art at the Scandinavia House, which I'd been super excited to see all summer. The Scandinavia House is a wonderful place that I've always really enjoyed. They have great [Nordic] film programming and it's a very comfortable atmosphere with a lovely cafe and galleries upstairs. It's small but the stuff is usually interesting. The Icelandic art was a pretty mixed bag--there was a strange, womb-like room with creepy cushions in it (a la the psychedelic exhibition that the Whitney had last summer) and a really cool piece with model railroad figures and a part that was presumably motorized but inoperable at the time I visited. It only took 20 minutes to look around, but certainly a worthwhile excursion.

On Monday, it was off to the MoMA. I was primarily interested in the Dali: Painting and Films exhibit, which was really astonishing. I love seeing all his notes and sketches (particularly for unrealized ideas) that he thought up, often brainstormed out on hotel stationery. They were screening Un Chien Andalou in the gallery, which delighted me to no end. I still experience chills when I hear that tango music and see the crowd poking at the dismembered hand in the street. It's the same inexplicable glee I experienced when I first saw it in Dr. Lee's French and Italian Cinema class in the year 2000. MoMA also had a really wonderful exhibit on prefab homes, which was radical and has inspired me to subscribe to Dwell. The exhibit was replete with a ton of awesome industrial videos from the whole century, each showcasing new construction techniques, materials, and the like. Finally, a third gem presented itself: a small but completely great exhibit entitled Wunderkammer: A Century of Curiosities, which showcased pieces that either literally or figuratively evoked the thought of charming 16th-19th century collections and collecting practices.

Today I ventured back to midtown to check out the Dargerisms exhibition at the American Folk Art Museum, which was like a dream come true. It featured a bunch of Henry Darger's really phenomenal works, which I'd only seen in pictures before, and then the work of several contemporary artists who were inspired by him. I found a couple of new favorites, including: Amy Cutler, whose work often features girls with hair tied together (extraordinary) and reminds me a little bit of Marcel Dzama:

and Robyn O'Neil, whose enormous pencil drawings are full of beautiful, intricate details and often depict frightful environments that we've only ever had dreams of. The detail in the drawings kind of reminds me of Edward Gorey. On both accounts, pardon the crude comparisons:


HollyHopes said...

wow - i feel so very dumb when i read your blog and have no idea what you are talking young ladies are so very smart these days!!


Jill said...

You little museum hopper you. I wish I could join you on your excursions. I have no doubt I would be entertained!