Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Art in New York City (Part Two)

My trips to New York always include a visit to the museums or galleries. Whether the works are masterpieces, contemporary pieces, performances or half-realized attempts, I could spend hours looking at art. Here are some highlights from the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

1) The Guggenheim's exhibition Haunted was excellent. It's a contemporary photography, video and performance exhibition that focuses on how the past is infused or haunts the present. The exhibition features several Canadian artists including Jeff Wall, Stan Douglas, Luis Jacob and Sarah Anne Johnson. Johnson's images from her Tree Planter series is featured. In the context of the Guggenheim's survey which includes works by Robert Rauschenberg, Cindy Sherman and Andy Warhol , I have a new-found appreciation of the power and lyricism of Johnson's work.

2) The MoMA is always an amazing experience for seeing Post-Impressionist and Modernist masterpieces. It's become a tradition for me to visit the MoMA to spend time with Picasso's Les Desmoiselles d'Avignon. It's a painting I have loved for many years. In 2001, curators at the MoMA did not allow it to travel and be included in the stunning exhibition Picasso Érotique at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

Another highlight of my visit to the MoMA was Bruce Nauman's Days sound exhibition. A sound sculpture, viewers (or listeners) can hear a continuous stream of voices reciting the days of the week in random order. The piece was created for and debuted at the 2009 Venice Biennale where Nauman represented the United States.

Here's a short video clip of Days:

3) The Metropolitan Museum of Art's permanent collection never ceases to amaze me. Their commissioned works are also stunning. The Met invited twin brothers Mike and Doug Starn to create a site-specific work for the roof garden. It's a monumental bambo structure that evolves as the artists and rock climbers work on it throughout the spring, summer, and fall.

The views of Central Park and Manhattan are lovely high atop the Met. After a hot and humid day treking around the city, sipping a beer and admiring the view is a perfect way to enjoy admire New York.

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