Our last stop on the Crazy American Roadtrip before returning to Washington was the island of Manhattan. Little did we know when we planned this trip that our visit would coincide with that of Tropical Storm Cindy. The rain held off for a long walk through Central Park on Thursday night but was constant and at times heavy on Friday. A friend in Brooklyn had organized our French friend's walking tour that day, and so I took my infant daughter off for a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, while Mrs. Ionarts took our son to see the dinosaurs at the American Museum of Natural History. Both of our children are incredibly tolerant so far of visiting museums, and my daughter babbled her way through the remarkable Max Ernst retrospective, which was first on my list, and the Matisse and Fabrics exhibit, as well as some of the regular collection. In the elevator, the mother of a French family said cou-cou to my daughter and commented to her husband that she was very young to be brought to a museum. "Elle adore Max Ernst," I told her, just like her father.
Manuela Hoelterhoff, Magic Man: Last Chance to See Surrealist Max Ernst at the Met (Bloomberg, July 1)
Lee Siegel, Odd Man Out: Max Ernst wasn't like the other surrealists (Slate, May 4)
Tyler Green, Review (Modern Art Notes, May 2)
Souren Melikian, Max Ernst, force of subversion (International Herald Tribune, April 16)
Holland Cotter, The Zelig Among the Modernists (New York Times, April 8)
Roberta Smith, How a Renowned Painter Found Inspiration in Cloth (New York Times, June 24)
Kevin Driscoll, Weaving a New Appreciation for Matisse (OhmyNews International, July 4)
Suzy Menkes, Matisse: The fabrics of his dreams (International Herald Tribune, March 22)
My other stop at the Met was the much newer exhibit, Matisse: The Fabric of Dreams—His Art and His Textiles, which opened on June 23 and will continue through September 25. Every time I have tried to teach students something about art history, I have mentioned Matisse's early work with and lifelong interest in textiles (because I read something about it somewhere). However, after seeing this show, I have a much better understanding of the work, both fabrics and the paintings that go with them, which always helps to communicate ideas to others. Not only did Matisse use textiles he collected as backdrops for his models, he designed costumes and liturgical garments, too, some of which appear in the show.