Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Quickie


I finished the Poem piece today; I’m calling it Heaven’s Chop-Shop. (The full text is in the post from Sunday, December 21, 2008 called Busy, Busy, Busy.) It was quite a thing doing all that lettering (and screwing it up and having to sand it off and do it again...), and also getting additional (more or less matching) lumber after the footage I scavenged from the dumpster behind Aaron’s ran out.





I took four days off last week (Tuesday - Friday) for a road trip with my son to Washington DC. He had work to do at the NCAA Convention / Trade Show, and I stayed with friends in Takoma Park. On Wednesday I went to museums on the Mall. Ohmigod, the Hirshhorn was amazing. It was like being in a cathedral, with one masterwork after another from the permanent collection. Very sculpture-rich. I (and everybody else moving through the “Strange Bodies” show) was blown away by Ron Mueck’s larger-than-life sculpture of a man in the corner – a truly magical, strange, and compelling giant. We humans are inexorably drawn to other humans, and this big, fat, naked guy with an enigmatic expression (Slightly paranoid? Ready to lash out? About to speak in tongues?) mesmerized me. Plus Magdalena Abakanowicz, Lucien Freud, Francis Bacon, Dubuffet, and Giacometti! A great feast.

I also spent time at the Freer, saw a national show of juried work by artists with disabilities, and went to the Fritz Scholder Indian, Not Indian exhibit at the National Museum of the American Indian. His paintings didn’t do much for me, but the bronze sculptures, both large and small, were powerful.

I've been wanting to see the American Visionary Art Museum for many years, and on Thursday I took the train to Baltimore and made my wish come true. There was great stuff: a cityscape made with slide-rules, three Judith Scott pieces, some Terry Turrell (though not his best, I thought). The facade of the building, a tree out front, and a bus by the entrance are covered in mirrors. But I was disappointed at how clean all the work was and the emphasis on insider-outsiders, so to speak. Names, secure reputations. Sigh. I guess it’s the same the whole world over...

9 comments:

Berrian said...

I have always loved Ron Mueck's work and I wish I could have been with you to see it in person. I am, however, slightly disturbed by the fact that you used the word "Ohmigod." I think you're right, I think you should spend less time on the internet. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Rob Hitzig said...

The poem piece looks great. I like the combination of found object sculpture with found object words. Great juxtaposition. You should be famous!

Rob Hitzig said...

Correction - "found word poetry"

janetvanfleet said...

Well they're not exactly found words, as they were written by the poet Sandy McKinney, who also happens to be my mother. You might say she found me... under a cabbage leaf?

She also said the full text of the poem is on my blog for Dec. 21, not 11. I stand corrected!

Maggie Neale said...

Always so reviving to get away and see some great art. Thanks for the link to Visionary Museum which I didn't know about yet. You are always such a guide for me. Thank you, Janet.

upinVermont said...

Hi Janet,

Just spoke with you on the phone. Your blog looks great and the artwork is cool. If I can't make it this Friday (I have three little girls) - I definitely want to take a closer look.

Patrick

My blog is at: http://poemshape.wordpress.com/

Saphron said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful time! I went to DC back in 2000 (was in the inaugural parade) and only had time to see the Holocaust Museum; of course, what I saw still rings powerful to this day.

I would have loved to see the giant man with the enigmatic expression. :)

And I agree with with Rob - you should be famous!

strangedolls said...

I agree with Rob about your piece - so clever in its 'foundness.'

It's funny, my guy and I were just talking about possibly taking a vacation to DC for no other reason than to see galleries. Thank you sooooo very much for the links to The Strange Bodies Show as well as the American Visionary Art Museum!

Rob Hitzig said...

Oh, I guess I didn't read that part - I just looked at the pictures. Great piece either way though. Try reading it the way I did, it gives you another perspective on "look forward to a safe and improved return," among other lines.