Friday, August 7, 2015

Whitney: floors 8, 5, 3 and 1

This Edward Hopper is from the original Whitney collection, on the 1st floor of the new building, and has probably the biggest aura in the room. We talked for awhile about composition and its effects using this painting as an example.

Each floor of the Met is broken up in chapters, this one, on the 8th, is all about visualizing music, so we talked about synesthesia.

We tried to imagine what this painting "sounds" like. When I told Sofia this painting could be thought of as music for the eye, she said that it looked like an eye. And I saw a figure, perhaps the Virgin Mary in the blue space with a parti-colored robe.

We loved this painting by Agnes Pelton and spent some time making up a story for it. It is Selena's wedding night. (Selena the swan, from EB White's novel that we just finished, Sofia's first chapter book, The Trumpet of the Swan.)

This one by Stanton Macdonald-Wright caught our eye too. We eventually found figures in the painting and decided this was the inner life, the inner aura of the scene.

This great study in natural patterns was benefited by reading the title, Cricket Chorus in the Arbor, and description. See below.

I've been seeing the Esso gas pump a lot lately in different art works, so it was interesting to find this abstract version. The girls have a replica of the Calder mobile in the background in their bedroom, so that helped bring it all home. You can see Sofia is too busy making art herself to care. And Lucia has fallen asleep. Later I put on that new band with the great name, Sylvan Esso, for her. 

I love this work by Paul Chan, essentially (a projection of) light streaming through a window sill onto the floor. But it is really a small movie and eventually things start rising in the air like cellphones and eyeglasses, then cars and buses, then people start falling from the sky. The rapture in reverse. I felt free when everything started rising up (no more smart phones!) and then grounded again when the people started falling. The hand shadow in this detail is mine.

Here's Sofia in front of an Ed Ruscha. Another good painting with which to talk about composition.

Pixilated clouds

Real clouds

Love the pool of light in the sea

This almost made me cry, because it reminded me of Warhol's Marilyn on a white disc, which in turn reminds me of seeing Marilyn in the moon during a "trip" with my friend Mikhal, something I can still see today when I look at a full moon.

This performance on the 3rd floor was a surprise, mixing live music, poetry, weird electronic looping, tarot card reading, and images. In this image a confederate flag is morphing into African-American Confederate soldiers. A stark reminder of the ugly remainder of racism.

All told a good day at the races. Thanks Whitney!

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