unorganized thoughts from boston
Post #434 • December 21, 2004, 11:01 AM • 30 Comments
Travel: It is possible to go from the Boston MFA to Logan on public transportaion in forty minutes. The equivalent trip from the Miami Art Museum to the appropriately abbreviated MIA could probably be clocked using a calendar. On the other hand, the chances of your flight out of MIA being delayed three and a half hours because of snow are remote at best.
Travel: those Orbitz mobile travel alerts are da bomb. Three hours before your departure, you get a call on your cell phone with a report on the status of your flight. Because of the above snow issue and subsequent delays of my flight, I was able to hang out for two extra hours at the MFA instead of at Logan, and I didn't even have to call in. Just one thing: if your plane is at, say, 7:25 AM, the (expletive deleted) alert comes in at 4:25 AM, so adjust your ringtone accordingly.
BMFA: Going from the Trecento room to the Impressionist room is electrifying. Going from the Himalayan room to the Francesco Clemente painting hanging immediately outside of it is not. Boy, that thing is one ugly piece of shit.
BMFA: A sleeper display of Meisen kimonos held up with surprising verve next to superb katana, tachi, and tanto. Meisen were sewn during the first half of the 20th Century and reflect the influence of Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Postwar Abstraction. I'm going to start wearing kimonos to openings. I'm going to start carrying a tanto as well.
BMFA: What's worse than Judith Butler's writing? Judith Butler's writing rendered as Morse code rendered as art. Excuse me while I go check out the exquisite Josef Sudek show.
Travel: Sorry, "Miguel". I'll drop you a line next time.
BMFA: Wall label for painting of wrestlers by Luks: "Luks' lurid color, spotlighted figures, and broad, rugged brushstrokes add to the scene, which he proudly claimed would distress the 'pink-and-white idiots' of the official art world." Sign me up for the lurid color and broad brushstrokes - amen, brother. And that epithet is begging for re-use, don't you think?
BMFA: Although the majors were a thrill to see, the minors jumped out at me. William Paxton, Joseph Decamp, Tarbell, Crivelli, Dumoulin, Le Farge (I've always had a soft spot for stained glass), Mancini. I noticed works like the Jochobed by Franklin Simmons, the Duveneck tomb effigy, and the Ascending Child by Horatio Greenough. While they come off as a little saccharine, they convey sincere feeling - excruciating despair over the loss of family - and I thought of the frequency with which contemporary art demands that you extract the feeling, if there is any, by decoding its referents.
BMFA: In the Modern room, a great hashing out took place: Pollock? You betcha. Stuart Davis - hey, these are better than I thought. Adolph Gottlieb? No. Take one giant step back: O'Keefe, Marin, Hartley. Take one giant step forward: Charles Scheeler. Stay where you are: Arthur Dove.
Gardner: I got into the Gardner for free because it was closing early for a special event and a guard waved me in so I could run around inside for a half an hour. Any day you get to see a Rembrandt is a good one. And that's quite a courtyard you got there.
Fogg: the Busch-Reisinger collections have been folded into the Fogg, so I got to see more Lovis Corinth than I've seen in a long time, as well as some Max Beckmann. Also, Bonnard just looks better and better every time I see him.
Travel: Dear Mr. Cab Driver - "go to Calle Ocho, hang a right on 22nd, and pull up in front of my car" does not equal "pass Calle Ocho, toddle down Coral Way, and fail to get on the same side of the street as my house," so don't look at me like a sheep on Quaaludes while I wait for you to give me my change. You want a tip, show some skills.
Miami: I'm back. And, well, my stuff is here. It's warmer. I kind of wish I could go see those Corinths again. Oh well.