Why Must I Chase That Cat

Four museums in 10 days

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March 2020

THE BROAD

Feb. 24, with Geri

The collection has been described by the Washington Post as including too much “high-end trash” but “even though the bad overwhelms the great, there are great works throughout.” – Wikipedia

Highlights:Tulips, by Jeff Koons, at The Broad.

FLAG
Jasper Johns, 1967
At one time, one of Johns’ Flags was the most expensive painting sold by a living artist. This amazed me. His Flags expand the very idea of art, in a good way, similar to Warhol’s Soup Cans, which they precedes by seven years. Great art or “high-end” trash? I’ve never been sure. And that in itself is great.

Andy Warhol collection.
Lots of great pieces, and Warhol is a great artist. I never fully appreciated him until Ian and I wandered into the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow. They had a huge Warhol exhibit. More hammers and sickles than I saw in the rest of our trip combined.

A SHORT HISTORY OF MODERNIST PAINTING
Mark Tansey
An interesting painting that looks like a collage of photos

Jeff Koons collection.
Another fine collection of one of the preeminent contemporary artists. But like the Warhol collection, I’ve been seeing it for years, first at LACMA, then here.

TIPS FOR ARTISTS WHO WANT TO SELL
John Baldessari
Definitely my favorite piece this visit, and it’s not even on display. I’ve seen this or another piece in the series at MOCA, hanging on a gallery wall with other paintings. At the Broad, it’s not even on display. There’s a window on the staircase going down to the second level that lets you look into the storage area where the permanent collection not on display is stored. Tips is hanging on the side of the rack where the paintings are stored. Baldessari didn’t write the words (they’re from an art trade magazine) or touch the canvas (sign painters).

See https://www.thebroad.org/art/john-baldessari/tips-artists-who-want-sell. I can’t help wondering what the Broads paid for this masterpiece without a Madonna, a nude, a bull or a rooster.

LACMA just put out a great video on Baldessari, narrated by Tom Waits. A Brief History of John Baldessari

 

 

MOCA

Feb. 25

Out of Actions: Between Performance and the Object (Montañez Ortiz), The Broad CROMOSATURACIÓN
Carlos Cruz-Diez
Cover your shoes with slip-on booties, don’t touch anything, and wander through three rooms, each flooded with a different colored light. The artist says color is “a reality which acts on the human being with the same intensity as cold, heat, sound, and so on.”

OUT OF ACTIONS: BETWEEN PERFORMANCE AND THE OBJECT
Montañez Ortiz
Smashed grand piano. Video of the artist smashing the piano with an axe.
I love this piece!

 

 

NORTON SIMON MUSEUM

Mar. 1, with Larry, Maureen, Maricruz and Steve

• TALL FIGURE IV by Alberto Giacometti and BIRD IN SPACE by Constantin Brancusi dominate large gallery with domed ceiling at the Norton Simon Museum.It’s almost three years since I visited the Norton Simon, and I forgot how magnificent this museum is. The collection is superb; the layout of the galleries is terrific.
Artists who are well represented in the collection include:
• Bronze sculptures by Edgar Degas, including LITTLE DANCER

• Paintings by Vincent van Gogh, Georges-Pierre Seurat, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Diego Rivera

TALL FIGURE IV by Alberto Giacometti and BIRD IN SPACE by Constantin Brancusi dominate a large gallery with a domed ceiling. Beautiful!

• In the gallery and the garden, sculpture by Henry Moore. Great collection showing the diversity of his work. GIRL SEATED AGAINST A SQUARE WALL

BY DAY & BY NIGHT, PARIS IN THE BELLE EPOQUE. Portrait of a Dandy by Giovanni Boldini. Works by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

• Great collection of South-east Asia statues.

• Gallery with two Shivas looking out at garden with Buddha.

 

 

LACMA

Mar. 4, with Gayle

My home museum. I was a teenager living nearby when it opened.

from the exhibit • WHERE THE TRUTH LIES. THE ART OF QIU YING at LACMAI LIVE, I DIE, I WILL BE REBORN, works by Luchita Hurtado. My favorites are the self-portraits “from the vantage point of the artist looking steeply downward at her own body.”

• Exhibition of Ethiopian-born artist Julie Mehretu.

• Do Ho Suh: 348 West 22nd Street. “Do Ho Suh (South Korea, b. 1962) is best known for his full-size fabric reconstructions of places he has lived…”

WHERE THE TRUTH LIES. THE ART OF QIU YING

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