Thursday 30 May 2013

New York, New York

I haven't written recently because we were away the week before last and it's taken me a while to catch up. We were in New York with our daughter, on a cultural holiday visiting a lot of museums and art galleries. We rented an apartment in Brooklyn, in a lively neighbourhood - a good base for exploring.

We spent a day at the Metropolitan Museum - all three of us seeing different things, because it is huge.  I saw one of the current exhibitions there, Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity,  full of wonderful impressionist paintings of women dressed in the latest fashions  - some paintings of men too, but since the men's fashions of the time were understated and rather dull by comparison, I didn't spend much time on that gallery.  My favourite was a portrait of his wife by Bartholom√©, from 1881.  She was wearing a splendid outfit in white and purple (you can see it here)  and the outfit still survives and was also on show.  You can get an idea from the painting of how it looked to contemporaries - light, fresh, summery, elegant - and you can see from the actual garment how complicated and intricately constructed it was. 

We also went to MoMA - Susie and I spent the whole day there, though John  left at lunchtime to go to the Green-wood cemetery in Brooklyn (did I mention that he likes cemeteries?)   She even persuaded me to try to appreciate an abstract painting by Barnett Newman, Vir Heroicus Sublimis.  It is a huge canvas painted in  a matt bright red, interrupted by thin vertical "zips".  (Barnett Newman was in the news that week, because a painting of his had just sold for a record price of $43.8 million.)   On another day when John was at the cemetery again, we went to the Guggenheim (disappointing because most of the galleries were closed), the Neue Galerie, and the Whitney.  The Neue Galerie was also partly closed (to install a new exhibition), but there were paintings by Klimt on display in the rooms that were open, including his fabulous portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, intricately patterned in gold, apart from her head and hands.   At the Whitney, we spent a long time in the exhibition of works by Jay DeFeo, including The Rose, which is a huge piece, both in size and weight, and took years to create.  ("Monumental" is the Whitney's word.)  I'm not sure that it says much to me as a work of art, but the story of its creation and subsequent history is astonishing.

Anyway, knitting:  I took with me the infinity scarf I wrote about earlier this month here. I didn't knit any of it while we were away, but the main point of taking it was to show it to Susie to see if she likes it, because it is for her.  It is now more than 1m. long, so nearly finished, I think. We also came across something that looked like a huge piece of knitting, in Madison Square Park. It's an installation by Orly Genger, Red, Yellow and Blue. (I haven't shown a photo of the Blue piece.)

Orly Genger's Red, Yellow and Blue  - Yellow
The information board says that "Genger explores the traditionally intimate and domestic activity of knitting..." and elsewhere says that it involves weaving and painting rope.  But it's clearly not weaving, and doesn't seem to be knitting either - I think it's some sort of knotting.   It was very attractive to small children, who wanted to climb on it, though the thick paint applied to the rope makes it much less tactile than it looks.

A small piece of Yellow
It was a really good holiday - we had a great time, and we'd like to go back. Below are a random selection of our photos. 

A view from the Empire State Building
And another one
We liked the roof-top water tanks in Manhattan

and the brownstones in Brooklyn.

We walked round the reservoir in Central Park one evening.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...