May 27, 2005

"Liberating Art"

Oh, my legs are so sore! I never did so much walking! I've noticed most of the people in this city are thin, with a determined set of jaw. I think it's because they do so much walking. When one can walk to a place faster than a cab can take you, one walks.

Of course, it would have taken less time if a certain cab driver had not first taken me to MoMa, instead of MMA. I did not want to see MODERN art, I wanted to see 'OLD' art. And 'old art' I did see. I thoroughly absorbed the Egyptian section. YES! One SET Sighting!) Also, there were several huge black basalt Sekhmets, many winged Horus', two Thoths, a temple and a tomb... Awesome!

Granodiorite, New Kingdom XVIII, reign of Amunhotep III (circa 1390-1352 B.C.E.)

Afterwards, exhausted, sitting on a bench in the 19C European painting section, I could hardly believed I was seeing in person the images I'd first seen in Art History classes through pink-toned slides, faded in books and later in tiny web images. Manet, Monet, Cezanne, etc. were all around me. There is so much I did not see. It would take days to see everything in just that one museum. Same for the Natural History Museum. I went only to see dinosaurs, but there is so much more.

Today I have before me the challenge of finding the Subway and taking a train to the South Ferry which takes people to see Lady Liberty. This trip has been a series of little challenges, with rewards for meeting them.


Strange observation. In this very humid place, my hair gets greasy quickly, but my hands do not get as dry...


I found the subway (86th and Broadway) and made it to South Ferry. The Lady is in sight across the way. The next ferry doesn't leave until 11:15am, so I've found a shady spot from which to enjoy her in the distance. I can't believe how much I sweat here. It's not 'hot' as any desert dweller would define it, but the sweat pours off just the same. However, I am grateful for my place in the shade.

Lady Liberty seen from the other shore...


I opted for the 'non stop' harbor tour. Although I didn't go inside the Lady, I got good pics
of her and of the city views. By chance, I ended up at the subway train going on the east side of Central park. I figured out, decreasing numbers takes me west. Walk, walk, walk, yes it's no wonder most everyone is thin. Some hesitation, should I have another stop at the Met museum or northwards to the Guggenheim. But I'll see the Met again tomorrow.

So I now write this seated at the Guggenheim in a shaded seating area looking at the curving rails. I do want to see the Kandinsky's. The building which houses these artworks is a work of art itself, a veritable temple devoted to art:

breath taking art itself...

The Guggenheim building, already a work of art in itself, was enhanced by Daniel Buren, with a temporary work in situ that will only be there for five more days.


I am in the room with the Kandinsky's and it is all the feeling "Liberate the Art, Liberate the Art," and a flashback to the full name of 'the Lady', "Liberty Enlightening the World", and how to seek that freedom?

I like to imagine that she is carrying a sketchbook in case some artistic inspiration comes to her!


I did not know of the artist Hilla Rebay, who was associated with Guggenheim. She did many fine, imaginative pieces, but some of them were on thin paper that wrinkled and yellowed! Was she, like me, fearful to use the 'good' paper in case a particular artistic attempt was not successful? She's gone, (19-- to 1967), so I cannot tell her, 'Use the good paper!' for you never know but that the attempt might be splendid. Maybe I can learn another lesson, too.

Also more thoughts. Kandinsky's art is said to be 'spiritual' for it portrays his interior world and not the exterior world. In the spirituality of liberation in which we 'return to the center', this viewpoint is sacred, indeed!


I am fully of yummy salmon, corn and black beans, and salad items of asparagus and yellow beet salad. Oh, and I will not forget a delicious chocolate chip cookie! It's the first really good meal since I've left home and Julia's gourmet efforts!

While sitting in the the Guggenheim cafeteria, with its dark reddish shaded walls and round windows, I am inspired to try a sketch of what I see.

My first attempt didn't work out so well, but that's because the couple unexpectedly bolted. However, the man reading his book was much more sedentary:


I am seriously exhausted. I'm not sure how I made the wrong turns that got me going way south in Central Park. I finally emerged at 72nd St. I did see the Cleopatra's Needle during this walk, but have doubts I could find it again.

I am so sore, I can hardly walk. But I'm satisfied. I not only saw the treasures in the Guggenheim, I also caught a gallery I'd not heard of, Neue Galerie, which has a lovely collection of German and Austrian art. I would like to say Kokoschka is really Czech, but none the less, I was glad to see his pieces there.

So I think I've hit the most salient points of what I wanted to see. Okay, I didn't go up inside the lady, but I got some good pics none the less. I'm satisfied...

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