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Getting Balmy in NYC

Gwyn Hanssen Pigott

I saw a few good shows in midtown Saturday afternoon. There were absolutely gorgeous porcelain works at Garth Clark Gallery, by Austr[al]ian ceramicist Gwyn Hanssen Pigott, shown above. The displays reminded me of a Giorgio Morandi painting.

I have to nominate Jane Wilson to the Cloud Appreciation Society. Her latest show of paintings at DC Moore Gallery is all cloudy, and she’s a very good painter.

Due to unforeseen circumstances -- it was too cold -- my group didn’t make it to MoMA Friday night, as expected, to see the Doug Aitken production, sleepwalkers. Saturday turned out to be the night. The temperature was closer to a balmy 28.

I really enjoyed the experience of these video projections on the exterior walls of the Museum of Modern Art. However, the theme of individuals trapped in the mundane rituals of their lives -- kind of a Lost in Translation take -- didn't quite work for me, no matter how many times the film looped.


The work itself was beautiful, projected over the front entrance to the museum, two screenings on the side of the Folk Art Museum walls, which is next door, and in MoMA's sculpture garden the three walls radiate with alternating segments which ultimately blend as one, as do the lives of the characters. My favorite part is where the circular image of their coffee cups radiates through a series of colors and forms, ultimately becoming the sun. That was well done: it made me think of Kubrick's Space Odyssey.

I'm sure this must have been an immense project to pull off, but well worth the effort. In a city that inundates your senses with lights and video imagery, it's not easy to be distinctive. One of the most important results is the social nature of the experience, with large groups of art lovers gathered in the dark to view the projections on the exterior. We we also got to view the diners in the museum cafe and the hundreds of visitors milling about the main hall and galleries. It was a lot of fun and great business for MoMA. See my flickr site for more pictures.


libby said...

Hey, Mark, check out the Nancy Requa vessels near the bottom of this artblog post. As soon as I saw your image, I thought of Requa's work, which I had also compared to Morandi.

Mark Barry said...

I remember that post, it's also the way they cose to display them. I think Morandi is on the mind of many potters.