Monday, May 25, 2009 C

"Relaxing in the Garden"

I'm relaxing in the shade of the sculpture garden. I like the peaceful sound of the fountain. Before reading the info card, I know one sculpture is certainly a Calder:

Black Widow
Alexander Calder (American, 1898-1976)
Painted sheet steel, 1959
Mrs. Simon Guggenheim fund, 1963

Innocent bystanders, caught accidently...

...there's someone not so 'innocent', hah!

My lunch was delicious: Manicotti with lemon ricotta and Swiss chard, some chewy bread and what was supposed to be sparkling cider. It tasted and effected more like a white wine. (Hey, who's complaining? The wine would have been more expensive than four bucks.) The general layout and operation of the café is well designed. I'm noticing all sorts of subtle design niceties. Evern the signs for the bathrooms have a flair.

True to my 'ultra picky' tastes, I don't care for a good bit of the artwork. But there are some I like. One by Odilon Redon suggests to me of fragrant flower fragrances coming in through the window:

The Window
Odilon Redon (French, 1840-1916)
Oil on canvas, 1907
Gift of The Ian Woodner Family Collection, 2000

Another by Klee intrigued. A fish is at the center, with all sorts of symbols around it, or would be symbols. I do not understand his 'language', but it intrigues with its mystery and that is sufficient:

Around the Fish
Paul Klee (German, born Switzerland. 1879-1940)
Oil and tempera on canvas mounted on cardboard, 1926
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Fund 1939
Link to museum photo, for mine is so full of reflections

I remember the 'Napper by Moonlight' and the 'Jungle Lady' from my art history classes:

The Sleeping Gypsy
Henri Rousseau (French, 1844-1910)
Oil on canvas, 1897, size 51" x 6' 7" (129.5 x 200.7 cm)
Gift of Mrs. Simon Guggenheim, 1939

The Dream
Henri Rousseau (French, 1844-1910)
Oil on canvas, 1910, size 6' 8 1/2" x 9' 9 1/2" (204.5 x 298.5 cm)
Gift of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1954P>

I wondered if the jungle picture would be improved if the figure hiding in the leaves were visible. But then I decided, no, the way it is has more mystery. (Although later I see she is wearing a vivid skirt, and an elephant is hiding, too.)

I saw, too, that horrendous 'Demoiselles d'Avignon' by Picasso. I can only say it is more hideous in person than in the 3 by 3 inch photo in the art history textbooks.

But I love Boccioni's rapidly moving figure, it captures the feeling of rushing very well:

Unique Forms of Continuity in Space
Umberto Boccioni (Italian, 1882-1916)
1913 (cast 1931). Bronze, 43 7/8 x 34 7/8 x 15 3/4" (111.2 x 88.5 x 40 cm).
Acquired through the Lillie P. Bliss Bequest, 1948
(There's one at the Metropolitan Museum, too!)

Oh the other day at the Met, I saw the lady who is floating on her toes, (from relatively the same time period), which was also in my classroom texts:

Standing Woman (Elevation)
Gaston Lachaise (American, born in France, 18821935)
Bronze; H. 73-7/8, 1927, W. 32, D. 17-3/4 in. (185.1 x 81.3 x 45.1 cm) Bequest of Scofield Thayer, 1982 (MMA 1984.433.34)

'Well-built', grin!

I am much amused. Everyone is photographing a fairly life size sculpture of a pregnant goat. So I've taken photos of them taking photos of it.

Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973)
Vallauris 1950 (cast 1952). Bronze, 46 3/8 x 56 3/8 x 28 1/8" (117.7 x 143.1 x 71.4 cm)
Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund.

Surprise, it's a Picasso! I don't hate all Picassos!

Ah, I feel much more rested, ready to tackle what else awaits me today.

Monday, May 25, 2009 D

"Necessary Napping"

Alas, I did not plan as perfectly as I'd thought. When I went next door to the Folk Art museum, I found the doors stubbornly resistent to my pulling. Then I read the tiny print on the doors: They are closed on Mondays!

So I headed back to the subway entrance, pausing to rest at a couple of benches along the way. Emerging from the subway, I stopped for a refreshing glass of orange juice (potassium rich for the muscles).

When I got home, I was surprised to find it was only 4:30pm. The room was hot and stale, so for the first time this trip, I turned the small AC box on. Now it is only on 'fan'. I must have been weary, for I napped for three hours! I wake greatly revived.

Even though I missed out on the Folk Art museum, I don't think I'll change my plans, though. Tomorrow, I'll return again to the Met museum, and spent all the day there. Of course I will say 'hello' to my familiar Egyptian pieces again. Already I have seen two of the Sekhmets. Either they have moved two of of the four that are in the Dendara temple wing, or they have added two more to the collection. These two are near the restrooms, which also has the paintings of tomb paintings:

Two Sekhmets
Granodiorite, New Kingdom XVIII, reign of Amunhotep III (circa 1390-1352 B.C) (photos JAL 2009)

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