Engineer, Agitator, Constructor: The Artist Reinvented Exhibition at the MoMA

Engineer, Agitator, Constructor: The Artist Reinvented at MoMa. On view through April 10, 2021

Things I loved about this exhibit:

It was interesting to see the works of artists who promoted more utopian, democratic schools of thinking and then went onto become fascists.

I loved seeing the works of Swiss graphic designer Max Bill, which I love, in person.

Loved studying the reigning types and typography of these artists in regions of Germany, Poland, Latvia, etc. in the period between WWI and WWII.

The exhibition showcased the works of many influencers of or from the Bauhaus school– for that alone, this exhibition is worth seeing!

Poster for exhibition of furniture by Wohnbedarf et Le Corbusier’s Maison de Verre (Immeuble Clarté (1933), letterpress by Max Bill

I loved the story behind this artwork so much. The photographed man was involved in the design of some project involving pool, but was not permitted to utilize-enter the pool because he was Jewish. His friend creates this collage piece with him in pool. The work is an impressive act of protest– and one that signals the dignity of the subject:

Another collage I liked, this one the size of a palm:

I appreciate how much the exhibit focused on showing the final versions and the maquettes of magazine pages and spreads.

A maquette for Plan for Socialist Offensive magazine spread, for 30 Days, no. 11 (1929) by Latvian Gustav Klutsis

As someone is largely self-taught-teaching-herself art, these maquettes and the finished magazines offer a fascinating view into process.

Plan for Socialist Offensive, in 30 days, no. 11 (1929) by Latvian Gustav Klutsis

I loved the design of these postcards:

Postcard for the exhibition Dommerstock Housing Estate: The Functional Dwelling (1929) by German artist Kurt Schwitters

Poster Designs:

Of lesser importance, but one that provided an opportunity for me to learn more about architecture (I’ve recently developed an interest in learning more about architecture as an acquaintance of mine is one).

Untitled (study for building) (1925), Ink, colored ink, gouache, and pencil on paper by German artist Fritz Schleifer

Things to See: December 2020

Magi© Bullet , by AA Johnson, first installed at the height of the AIDS crisis in 1992.My friend and I stood under the ceiling of semi-deflated pills for some time, wondering how we’d be able to get a balloon down so I could take one home with me. If I weren’t flying out to South Korea the next day, I would have gone back to the museum in the morning to see if there was one ready for me to pick up.

See it at the MoMA.


My Favorite Wife

My Favorite Wife is a romantic comedy that ends happily ever after, per many of the films featuring Cary Grant, centered on an indecisive husband and an independent wife. If I was a young woman in the 40s this movie would have been the inspiration.

Multiple scenes and dialogues bring me back to The Parent Trap, my most favorite childhood movie; it turns out My Favorite Wife heavily influenced The Parent Trap, namely the elevator scene when Dennis Quaid (Nick) catches his ex-wife inside the elevator with his fiancée— an exact nod to a scene from this 1940 film’s.

I was delighted.

You can watch it on Amazon Prime or The Criterion Channel.

#nothingnothingnothingatall #favorites

MoMA’s Creativity Lab, Donald Judd, and a Little Tomato Farm Out Front of the Guggenheim

At one point did it enter our heads that we can no longer play with arts and crafts… create.. that art making is an activity best left for kids? Getting back our creativity as adults… waking up dry bones…. a hope I have for the city of New York.

“Make use of the empty space, child”

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“Make use of the empty space, child,” (Donald Judd inspired thoughts in my head)

Always leaving inspired by the rich histories of typography

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Stellar David Zwirner Exhibits, and Art I Like, January 2020

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Family Portrait, Florine Stettheimer, 1933

 

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20200125_133045 Multichannel video installations to expose and explore alternate histories

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Burnt Umber & Ultramarine, Yun Hyeongkun (윤형근), 1989 

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The stoicity of nature / Minimalism

 

Very emotive figurative works by Noah Davis:

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Mary Jane, Noah Davis, 2008 / Striking textures 

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Bad Boy for Life, Noah Davis, 2007

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Woman’s face coloring reminds me of style of Lucian Freud

 

“I found my drive to diversify permanent collections. They are the beating heart of the art world. If you can change the collection, you can change the public story of art.” – Helen Molesworth

 

 

Art Finds at MoMA

Romanian visual artist Geta Brătescu

American visual artist Joan Jonas‘ riveting 3-D performance

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One of Louise Bourgeois’ smaller arachnoids, perched on the wall:

Part of her exhibition, Louise Bourgeois: An Unfolding Portrait, a showcase of 300 pieces, which is running until January 28, 2018.

 

 

Museum of Modern Art

Good Menswear: You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know Until You’ve Seen It.

“Clothes and manners do not make the man; but when he is made, they greatly improve his appearance.”
—Arthur Ashe, Professional Tennis Player

In support of the art of dress, I give you a version of men’s style, reflecting my current style preferences:

Thom Sweeney – Beautiful bespoke, you spoke?

Herno Light Tech Thermo Jackets:

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The Gillet, available in multiple colors… muted too, yes.

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Bow – Tie, HENRY Loafer:

Necessary Anywhere Socks:

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There is no “better” or “right” style– I believe though that there’s something in the deliberation given to treating oneself and one’s body as a temple, outside and in– that is “style”.

All power to men who see and live that too, whether that be realized in the mode of Jaden Smith or Mr. Birddogs guys here:

I hope this scroll gives you enough pause to think how you might dress for the next morning 💫, and if not, then ponder this:

“Clothes don’t make a man, but clothes have got many a man a good job.”
—Herbert Harold Vreeland, Academic

Teiji Furuhashi on the Transience of Contemporary Love

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Figures moving like specters – Feiji Turuhashi adds an ultra-romantic lens to contemporary love through his video-projection installation: Lovers.

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Naked lovers run towards each other, passing each other and overlapping one another only to never actually touch.  Coupled with the displacing sound mix, it makes for a beautiful and stirring native scene.

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“How slim are the odds that one shall paint, another shall dance, whose unexpected orbits keep intersecting mine…” – Amy Uyematsu, Calculations

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On the Question of Seeing

Some weekends ago, I met up for lunch with Jee, a dear friend of mine and talented retail analyst and curator.  Having stuffed ourselves with the scrumptious food to be had over at Moma’s Cafe, we decided to partake in a much needed stroll over at MoMA’s permanent collections. Our promenade around MoMA’s floors was backed by the soft, intermittent patterings of female chatter– a soundtrack characteristic of a robust friendship such as ours. The program for the day revolved around the kinds of art we each liked and didn’t like.

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Got to see our favorite art together, Jee’s Chagall to my Magritte. Jee brought me to see this painting by Chagall. Marc Chagall was a French-Russian artist who was well regarded for masterfully synthesizing multiple art forms. This painting, I and the Village, boasts and imaginative and buoyant spirit though its bright color schemes and dream-like qualities. It’s said that the painting was meant to be a visual home for his memory of and relationship with the homeland he grew up in. I go back to my own memories of my childhood, and am content and grateful to feel things kindred to the ones here.

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I decided I wanted to emulate the painting’s spirit fully and be the horse– quickly remembered this is a public space and venerable museum– so I stopped.

I’ve always been fascinated by the individualities of seeing, how two people can regard the same object and come out with very different perceptions. So often do I come across a situation where one person finds something to be profoundly beautiful/good, while another comes to the polar opposite, yet equally certain conclusion for it (take this entire US election debacle, like how is that possible??! but the fact of the matter is, it is).

This conundrum is something I desire to understand on a deeper level:  What are the makeups that have constructed the way you and I presently see and react to the realities and the stimuli around us?

What are the recurring laws or patterns if any, that can help me to understand? Maybe a knowledge in perceptual psychology, neuroscience (Read this fascinating article on how political orientations are correlated with brain structure in young adults), and an aptitude for emotional intelligence would help, mais quoi d’autre?

I know that for me at least, art helps to explore this question further. In this practice of seeing, I am able to dig a little deeper into myself – my memories, my feelings, my hopes, my disappointments, & the thoughts and the hearts of the people in my circle. And in doing so, I find I understand life a little bit better.

I wonder what devices you rely on to see.

Happy Election Eve..

Bises,

Soo