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beyond geometry

Post #463 • January 27, 2005, 6:44 AM • 6 Comments

Although MAM sent images - thank you, Andrea - I'm just not in a Photoshop mood at the moment. Beyond Geometry presented an enjoyable collection of geometric and minimalist art from a wide range of nations through four decades. The show came out of the LA County Museum of Art but Peter Boswell oversaw the Miami installation, and the version at MAM has "major" written all over it. Dependably, this happens with anything that has Boswell's name on it.

I don't have much to say about it except that it's worth a visit even though little of it is truly memorable. A grid of blue squares by Ad Reinhardt made the biggest impression on me, follwed by some handsome Josef Albers. I chuckled at the diminuitive 3 1/8-inch cube of wood by Cildo Mireles, in a good way.

But I can't outdo the seven-word review that Momoko gave of while looking at a piece by Jesus Rafael Soto: "This looks like low blood sugar feeling." Momoko's Seven-Word Reviews™ may become a regular feature of this site if I can get more of them. That sums it up - enjoyable gee-whiz op art punctuated with moments of truer aesthetic pleasure amidst tracts that you can breeze by at a clip.




January 27, 2005, 5:21 PM

I saw some more recent Soto pieces at Art Miami that were very nice. Look here, second row from the top. They were actually 3-dimensional and had a nice play of optics.



January 27, 2005, 6:00 PM

I really like the idea of Momoko's "haiku review". Seven words which have been actualy worked on for inclusiveness and effect will be a real novelty. And a relief! No reason why we all can't try it.

This an odd but interesting show. My haiku review might be "run through time with blinders on".

The subject is very interesting and very appropriate and there is a lot of verbal and visual information. On the other hand I find it very difficult to get a grasp on the theme and the selection of artists. it appears to try to present a history of "non traditional" art of the second half of the 20th C., particularly the minimal/conceptual end of it, but gets hung up on the fact that this idea is too comprehensive to be at all possible and then compounds the limitation by not including most of the artists who exemplify these movements, thereby giving our art audience, especially the young artists around here who are so painfully unaware of recent art history, a very limited and distorted, if not confusing, view of this part of that history.

In my opinion this is a show to be seen not as a comprehensive view of recent art movements but an eccentric meandering through them.



January 28, 2005, 6:53 AM

Momoko’s Japanese Culture 101:

Haiku is defined in as:

1. Japanese lyric verse form having three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables, traditionally invoking an aspect of nature or the seasons.

2. A poem written in this form.

All haiku pieces keep the form of 5-7-5 syllables, at least in Japan. Though there are exceptions, I rarely see them. I don’t know if haiku had changed after being imported to this continent, but it appears to me that everything that crossed an ocean and went to another continent ended up in being screwed up and becoming something else. That’s what I call “art and crap,” instead of “art and craft.”

Example of haiku (notice the syllables):
Furuike ya(5) kawazu tobikomu(7) mizuno oto(5) - by Matsuo Bashou

“Senryu” is a Japanese lyric with the same 5-7-5 form but has humor, joke, or sarcasm. There is a SOLID line between senryu and haiku. As stated in the first definition above, haiku strictly invokes an aspect of nature or the seasons. Therefore, “Low blood sugar feeling” automatically puts this review into senryu, not haiku.

A lyric with 5-7-5-7-7 is called “tanka,” and is more flexible in numbers of syllables. In other words, 5-7-5-7-8 or 5-7-6-7-7 is acceptable.

I just wanted to say that “Seven-Word Reviews” is more accurate than haiku.

In any event, I think writing a review in short styles, either you call it haiku or fake screwed up haiku, sounds interesting. I wouldn't call it kaiku, though. It is too much of work to adjust the syllables. "Around-Seven-Words" is better and do-able.



January 28, 2005, 8:16 AM

I attended public school down here in Miami. We learned Haikus, and wrote our own, in the 5th grade (mid 1980s). We were taught the basic structure as Momoko describes it, and that Haikus were always about nature. I wrote one about a castle I remembered from the country I was born in and had points taken off for subject matter.



January 28, 2005, 8:20 AM

I know the poetic forms, Momoko, though not in quite the detail you have supplied. You may remember we talked about haiku some months ago on this blog.

I was just making a joking reference to the seven syllables.

Call it Momoku, perhaps.

Momoko sees art
it goes through eye, brain, hand, pen
just so, momoku



January 28, 2005, 3:53 PM

It seems like the Haiku idea came about because of the virture of well considered brevity, something that is generally desireable. Whether seven words are enough, seems problematic. Usually they are not. But it still is a good exercise, and what can be said in seven well chosen words can shed light on any others that are required. But trying to follow all the constraints of the original poetry seems frutiless, especially since artificail things like art are ruled out from the get go.


This conversation is wandering from the point.



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