Sunday, January 15, 2006

Along The Wall

Linda had asked me in comments to tell you all what I thought about The Wall exhibit.

A little personal art history first. I've never been a big enthusiast of modern art. In my early teens, I was all about Monet, Cezanne, Degas, and other French Impressionists. I think I've seen about 5 different versions, if not more, of Degas' Little Dancer. Even as I got older, I leaned more toward the easy styles of Maxfield Parrish, Georgia O'Keefe, Tissot, Van Gogh, and Hopper. Then on a visit to NYC in November '03, I saw a James Rosenquist exhibit at the Guggenheim. For the first time, I not only "got" Modern Art but enjoyed it as well. Like some foods, I think you can learn how to enjoy the bizarre.

And that's the mind-set I had going into The Wall exhibit. Matt and I really enjoyed it. We were fascinated by the screens of human hair at Albright-Knox. We marveled over the Buffalo sky-line that was recreated using imported stainless steel pots and pans from China at the Anderson Gallery. We giggled at the close-up shots of insects that had human body-parts "photo-shopped" in to look real. And we stood in wonder gazing at the wavy-rubbings of the Great Wall of China that stretched in front of us and up the sides of the walls.

I almost purposely didn't read a lot about the exhibit. I know a little bit about the history of China and the culture there. I kept thinking about the artists who had created the works we saw, and the fine lines they must walk while creating their art under the communist state they live in.

This is the only American showing of this exhibit. It closes on January 29th. On the date that I write this, there is still time for you to see it. The part of the exhibit that are at the UB Center for the Arts and UB Anderson Art Gallery are free. The main part of the exhibit at Albright-Knox is only $12. I strongly encourage those who can make it to go.


battlemaiden said...

We watched "Pollock" last night, in order to feed my modern art obsession. I've been hooked ever since I took a contemporary art history class in college. I love de Kooning, Calder, Kandinsky, Miro, Gorky, etc. I even went all the way to Philly (*winks*) to see a Claes Oldenburg! The CMA, as you recall, has a fantastic collection. I miss it.

battlemaiden said...

FYI - there was an article in today's paper about a future O'Keefe exhibit coming to the MAG! Can't wait!

Oh, and I suppose I could have simplified my previous comment by saying I'm just totally in love with the whole New York School.

Kevin H. said...

That's great and all, but how about supporting some contemporary artists that are alive and young and working today in this country. O'Keefe, and Pollack and Monet are fantastic, but I wish people would make the effort to support what's going on right now in the Fine Arts, and not constantly treating it like a history museum or a stagnate thing.

There are plenty of HIGH quality small indepedent galleries in Buffalo, and Rochester, and Pittsburgh and et cetra. It doesn't take any more effort to go see a current artist then it does one that's been dead for 50 years.

~ Kevin H

Julia said...

Yeah, I support living artists too. It's just hard to get up to Buffalo and Rochester to the smaller galleries. And here in Jamestown, you know as well as I do that the main showing for artwork is a little room on the second floor of the library.

In my salad days, I did purchase artwork (paintings, glass, and ceramic work) done by local artists. I'm hoping to some day get back to enlarging our collection since I really like Bill Waite's paintings.

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