Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday at the NGA Sculpture Garden & Hirshorn Museum & Sculpture Garden

Sometimes, when you're having a frustrating day dealing with your own art, the solution is to get in your car and go look at other people's art.  So that's what I did today. 

I'd gone to the Hirshorn Museum's Sculpture Garden on Friday evening with a friend (the museum was closed, but the garden stays open until dusk). We had originally been thinking about checking out the Nat'l Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, as in the summer, the NGA Sculpture Garden has jazz on Friday evenings.  Alas, fall is upon us and jazz is over for the season.  I was happy to see some of my Hirshorn favorites, including the sculpture that I think of as the Gossiping Weebles (but is actually called "Last Conversation Piece" by Juan Muñoz).
But we'd only been able to look through the bars at the mice frolicking on the grounds of the NGA Sculpture Garden.  Having had that close-but-no-cigar moment, I decided NGA Sculpture Garden would be my first stop today.

A beautiful day, the NGA Sculpture Garden was in full swing, the fountain dancing. And, for once, there were people in something other than suits. It's been too long since I've seen a pink mohawk.
I cruised by one of my favorite pieces first, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen's aptly named "Eraser." I find there's something comforting about folks making that large a sculpture honoring, well, essentially the need for fixing artistic mistakes (this blog is called Artful Mistakes - how could I not like that?).

My friend's favorite there (that we couldn't see through the bars) is "House," created by Roy Lichtenstein.  I actually remembered it as flat - but it is, in fact, 3-dimensional.  See the pics below for proof. 


3D pretending to be 2D pretending to be 3D

The big news for me is that there was a new piece there that I hadn't seen before, new in 2009, and the first new piece in the NGA Garden since it opened 11 years ago.  It took me a minute to see it, both because it blends with the environment, a big ole tree, and because I am a space shot - the big ole tree is made of metal.  With my penchant for shiny things, I was enamoured with "Graft" by Roxy Paine right away. 

It's hard not to feel the re-inspired staring up through the branches of art at a blue sky on a warm afternoon. 

And so I continued on into the Hirshorn Museum -- that's the groovy round building with the fountain in the middle.  I recommend walking around the fountain, and listening carefully, as the acoustics change at some point, so that the water is just more somehow in some places. 

Of course, if you're in the Hirshorn, and you're me, with my taste for mobiles, your first stop may very well be the Calders, because, hey, it means that mobiles can actually end up in museums. That makes me happy right there.

After my visit to the Calders, I wandered the paintings.  The first one that caught my eye was Stuart Davis's "Tropes de Teens." 

After a minute of staring, I realized the reason it caught my eye was because of, well, the eyes...Note the woman's eyes on the lower left part of the painting, the red and the shape.

The painting I was working on this afternoon, the one I got fed up with and sent me out into the world, is called, variously, "Snake Eyes" (a play on the gambling term) or (when I'm feeling Biblical) "Adam's Eyes" when I'm going for an Adam-and-Eve type of thing (if a man eats an apple in the forest, and a snake isn't there to witness it, is it really a sin?).  So here's my eyes:

Not all that surprising that I tapped into that painting first.  It seems the Eyes have it today.  True, the only eyes of mine that may ever make it into a museum are likely the ones in my head.  But on a lazy Sunday afternoon suffused with art and light and nature and connection, well, that's just fine with me.

1 comment:

  1. I am liking the painting so far! Way to go... keep it up... and get on the artomatic mailing list so you'll know when they have a show!! :)