I just returned from a weekend in NYC, where I visited the de Kooning retrospective at the MoMA. The show spans the great American painter’s rather massive and phenomenal oeuvre, taking up the entire 6th floor of the museum. Seeing all of his work together in one space makes it clear why he is considered to be one of the most important painters of the 20th century. What ravishing color, such imaginative and impeccable sense of design, offering one glorious masterpiece after another.
I also had time to check out a bit of the permanent collection, and saw some very fine Picabia paintings and a couple of Duchamp pieces in the Dada room I had never seen before, such as a cute little assemblage called To Be Looked at (from the Other Side of the Glass) with One Eye, Close to, for Almost an Hour, a mini version of an aspect of the great Large Glass. The work shattered when it was first being transported to a gallery, an act which of course delighted Duchamp. I finally had to tear myself away to head south to Wall Street to extend my support to the protesters for trying to make the world a better place, before schlepping back to Ithaca.
Now back, we’re occupied with preparing the gallery space for the final show of the season – a new series of paintings and sculpture by local artist Jesse Hill which goes up this week. As you can see from the image above (untitled, clown, 2011) Hill is quite a talented colorist in his own right. I like the East-meets-West vibe taking place in this picture, and the Zen painting within the painting that the figure (rodeo clown?) is holding up to show us, and the way the whole scene appears to be rising up out of a sea of aquamarine waves crashing in the foreground.
I can’t wait to see more.
The opening reception is this Saturday from 6pm to late.