06 January 2007

Review: Museum shows

I took off yesterday to see the ‘Cezanne to Picasso, Ambroise Vollard’ show at the Met, which ends tomorrow. It was rather crowded for a Friday and will be very crowded this weekend, but if you can get there, say, first thing in the morning tomorrow (a cause which may be helped by two NY playoff football games) it’s most worthwhile, as it has a few major paintings (including a few Van Goghs) from Russia and elsewhere. Most of the art is from the US, so a little driving will get you to it. I’ve never been to the Albright-Knox in Buffalo and have never seen Gauguin’s Spirit of the Dead Watching in person, which made for quite an event yesterday. The display cards discussed collecting, which kept the curators from making irritating comments about the paintings (the cards at the Ernst show were unbearable).

Also I saw the Glitter and Doom show of Weimar Expressionist portraits, there until Feb. 19, which was also very crowded, no doubt as a result of it being written up by both me and Charles Bernstein. I hope to return on a slower day. The show sheds light on how caricature functions in general as a descriptive device. Grosz's Weimar paintings and Beckmann’s War series, which has recently been in a couple places nearby including the Met, are really the best paintings about the US from 9-11 to last November, despite being painted long ago.

I’m a little jealous that David is going to China and India, and in general I often go first to the crowded temporary show there, anticipating it will be more crowded later in the day, and then chill out in the serene and less trafficked Asian galleries. In the Japanese section I realized that I wanted caffeine. I visited the new cafeteria there for the first time, and though it is larger and more functional, with the same overpriced museum food you find elsewhere, I long for the old days when you could caffeinate below an ancient bas relief (in Philly you still can). On the way back I drove to Iselin, NJ, which has the best Indian food outside Asia, to get a large Mysore thali.

OK I’ll do the meme:

I have loose jointed fingers and toes.

The first poem I wrote was ‘John Dean told a lie/ to the FBI’ as a preschooler.

I’ve gone through two events in little over the last three years where I felt for certain I was going to die (one hiking, one health-related).

I’m not a trust fund baby, but when I was a teenager my Dad bought me a tuxedo to meet Richard Nixon.

When I’m in Baltimore, I always confuse North with South and East with West.

I tag Andy, Shanna, David (if he has a chance before he leaves), Lorraine (when back from camping).

No comments: