What makes art (appealing)(attractive)(alluring)(seductive)(enticing)?
I tend to fall into a binary where work which I am compelled by is either visually and technically intense or it is conceptually heavy and historically tied. I review these criteria daily and I am constantly challenged by my own contradictions, which also allows for flexibility in what I write, how I react, and how I talk about it.
Today there is an uneasy play of bone piercing chilled rain with a confusing sense of “could this be spring?” syndrome. I walked into the Whitney Museum, it’s my first visit and all my senses are triggered. Do I think about the rigid brutalist architecture… cement walls, just as cold and constant as the rain? But then again… the 5th floor walls are lined with a modernist exhibit American Legends: From Calder to O’Keeffe and the rest of the museum is invaded by the Whitney Biennial 2014. . #Museumprotip Start from the top down*.
Calder was a pleasant surprised, I hadn’t seen much well know work in a while, it’s refreshing to find myself in a historical context after (and before) the overflow of contemporary.
Equilibrium amongst fragmented pieces, a balance of metal sheets and organic flowing form. Their colorful presence versus their distant black and white shadows.
Pomegranate, 1949. On a white pedestal 1 by 1 and 4 feet in height, stands in perfect balance a half circle curve of steel rod. It extends beyond to the right the rod curves dows and to the left the rod curves up about 2 feet. At each end there hand a combination of black and red metal sheets shaped in organic leaflets forms. The left arrangement is of eight metal sheets that are roughly 1/2 to 2 feet in size. The top two are black sheets that curve to the right like the tip of one’s’ nail, then there is a red shape curving to the left just as organically as a leaf. Below that there is a peculiar shape, a silhouette of a tulip of black metal sheet, a bulb with three blooming points. Overall, there is balance in contradiction. The sculpture is perfectly still in the midst of its own kinetic nature.
More on the Biennial to come, there was a lot to see and if anything, I recommend the second and third floor, the fourth was a bit disappointing…
* Museums as temples of learning are set up to guide you and educate, from floor one to the top, one physically ascends into their ideas. When working your way down, one is not being taught but is rather learning, dissecting what was supposed to be implored on one to begin with.