Monday, April 24, 2006

The Guggenheim

Last week at around this time I was making my way through Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural lodestar, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Only after scrutinizing as many pieces of David Smith's contorted steel sculpture as was humanly possible in two hours, I realized that a Wassily Kandinsky exhibit was also showing and, fortuitously, stumbled into the right room.

And I can't say that I'm too much of a fan. There seems to be a saccharine quality to Kandinsky's work, an overwhelming surfeit of color that can induce nausea. His geometric work, which is generally considered his later work, strikes me as more interesting. And yet.

Blue Mountains, Kandinsky

Little did I know that the Museum's permanent collection, the Thannhauser collection, was available for viewing and not in the vault as I suspected -- whereas some Museums think it wise to place their Warhols and Hockneys, their only draws no doubt, in the vault. So I got to see some Cubists, Braque and Picasso, and some Impressionists, Manet, Passario, Monet (whose work I didn't get to see at the Louvre); and two unlikely corresponding contemporaries, Gauguin and Van Gogh; and a slew of contemporary art: de Kooning, Pollack, Stella, Kline, Gottlieb, Rothko, if they could be considered contemporary in any proper sense.

The Bowl of Grapes, Braque

Since I had to go back to Connecticut that night, I didn't get a chance to get to MoMA, spending most of my time either wandering around Central Park or trying to catch celebs on 5th or Central Park West.

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