On View: The Metropolitan Museum of Art / 9-1-12

A museum's permanent collection is a direct representation of the message that museum uses to promote itself. The permanent collection is an ever-changing, growing thing. Visitors begin to have favorites or notice when a piece has been switched out. Even when there are no special exhibitions on view, the permanent collection remains. 

In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb

March was a busy month (art-wise) for me. I attended my first Armory Show (opening night at that) & visited a lot of new exhibitions. More in-depth posts to follow, for now enjoy my photos.

Checking in at The Armory Show

Sara & I & my red pants
The booth for the David Zwirner gallery. Very meta.
Nate Lowman, an artist in MoMA's collection, turned a membership email into a painting. My job is now art!
Came with high hopes, left with mixed feelings
Stand out piece from the New Museum's show by Adrian Villar Rojas
Degas at the Met
Mirrors at the Brooklyn Museum 
Keith Haring at Brooklyn Museum

Cindy Sherman | MoMA

Cindy Sherman opened at MoMA this Sunday & last Tuesday I was able to attend the opening reception. This exhibition has been generating a lot of buzz & the opening was well attended. 
I didn't think I was familiar with Sherman's work until I looked her up & came across her "Untitled Film Stills" series. These are a series of black & white photographs shot to resemble stills from films. The images were taken between 1977 to 1980, but reflect films shot in the 1950s and 60s. In these photos, Sherman takes the idea of the female character in film & pushes it further. She is the typical damsel in distress, the jealous housewife, or the shy yet sweet girl next door. Each photo captures a different character & a different emotion. Even in these early photos, Sherman is able to alter her appearance & change her personality enough so you don't think you've been seeing the same woman over & over. I like how this series acts as portraits of the roles women play on film, elevating them from objects of desire into flesh & blood figures that have lives beyond what the film shows.  

The entire series is on view within the second gallery of the exhibition--I need to revisit them since it was so crowded during the opening. Below are some of my favorites, taken from MoMA's exhibition site:

Untitled Film Still 51, 1979
Untitled Film Still 57, 1980
Untitled Film Still 59, 1980
Untitled Film Still 63, 1980

I feel the exhibition gives a nice overview of Cindy Sherman's work & makes effort to highlight her earlier work, so viewers can see how she has developed over time (pun not intended). Enjoy some of my photos of the opening below:

Entrance to the exhibition; the font changes every few seconds

Untitled Film Stills
Untitled Film Stills
Untitled #489, 1976. Read more here


I've been pretty terrible at keeping this place alive. Excuses aside, I'm making a vow to update more. So here are somethings of interest:

  • Last week I visited the Met's new galleries of Islamic Art. However, since I was camera-less, you can enjoy this old picture that was the background on my blackberry. I highly recommend visiting the new galleries--I enjoyed seeing something new at the Met & the illustrated manuscripts are amazing.

  • I never was much of a gallery go-er, but that's starting to change. On my last outing I went to David Zwirner to see On Kawara's date paintings. I want to do a more in-depth post about On Kawara's work, so for now I'll just post this one photo. 
  • Still working on this series, expect a post soon
  • Since I am so good at keeping this updated I started another tumblr: thepoint&theline. Follow it for more art. Also follow my regular tumblr teeth&things if you're up for it.

Sanford Biggers | Sweet Funk: An Introspective

I recently wrote a piece for Gnome Magazine on Sanford Bigger's show, Sweet Funk: An Introspective, at the Brooklyn Museum. I went to visit the exhibition at the end of October & was given permission to photograph pieces in the exhibit. I wanted to wait until the piece was published to share these images.

This was the first time I was introduced to Bigger's work. Through his work he tries to reclaim & reconfigure images & themes associated with Black culture. This is evident in his usage of the wide mouth grin, which alludes to black face, or trees, which speak to the history of lynching. Other themes, such as jazz music & the piano, speak more about the contributions African-Americans have made throughout history. Sweet Funk is made up of nine sculptural installations, with a focus on Blossom (2007), which the museum recently purchased. Please read my piece to learn more!

Blossom (2007)

Lotus (2007)

Kalimba II (2002)

Still from Cheshire (2007)

Calenda (Big Ass Bang!) (2004)

(A Flight of Swallows)

[I mean to post this on August 7th--my grandmother's birthday. It is a piece I wrote last year for my Experimental Fiction class & is prompted from reading Wittgenstein's Mistress by David Markson]

My Nana, Eunice Hughes. Thanksgiving 2007


My grandmother is the youngest of twelve children. Growing up she learned things; count the chirps of crickets to determine the temperature; a Luna Moth lives for seven days; orcas are actually dolphins.

She takes these things & draws them in the dirt. She tells me she went around barefoot because she could. She goes to church for the sound, since cathedrals helped bring about the birth of harmony—the joining of many tones together.

Days pass. During migration, the Branta canadensis (Canada Goose) passes overhead in V-shaped flocks. She wants to call it the Canadian Goose, but that name is not the ornithological standard. She instead draws it as well, a waterfowl among her toes.

I ask about the barn, if it was red like many are. We compare it to other structures of architecture.
She starts wearing shoes. She thinks about where she is from: North Carolina. About the Appalachians. About the subranges. About the state insect (European honey bee). About the state motto (Esse quam videri).

She grows up, moves away.

Now my grandfather enters. He tells her that the humming bird is often mistaken for a large clear moth. He tells her that speaking begins in the lungs, with airflow causing the vocal cords to vibrate. She marries him in a tea-length dress.

First they live in Harlem, then Long Island—a product of two glacial moraines, one acting as a spine for the island. Because of the movement of glaciers, there is a difference between the North Shore & the South Shore. They decide on a small apartment.

I ask where I am during all of this. She tells me she hasn’t got to my part yet.

The past left by glaciers doesn’t bother her, & she works at night for an airline that no longer exists. My uncle is born. My mother is born. I am still waiting.

My mother takes piano lessons. Two wholes make a major note; a half & a whole a minor. There is no black key between B & C, & E & F. The piano makes noise that can be simplified by calling it vibration.

On vacation they take photographs at the Golden Gate Bridge, only the second largest suspension bridge in the US (the first: Verrazano-Narrows Bridge).  They stand looking at the bridge, which spans the Golden Gate, a strait connecting the San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean.

At this, I tell her I have seen both oceans.

My mother & uncle grow up. They learn about the rock behind the elementary school: another product of the island’s ice age. Once, while driving, my mother points it out to me. It is most likely Sedimentary.

Landscape can evolve by the process of faulting or folding. Erosion as well. The stream behind my grandmother’s house in the south began to grow a larger mouth as the water took more land.

Instead of brown she says ecru or umber.

It’s a mild Saturday in January, my grandmother says. I am excited because this is my part. My mother whispers to her belly that the Sharp-Shinned Hawk (she is too tired for proper classification) makes its nest in conifers (pines). Later I tell my mother I have a memory of hearing a low-frequency humming noise while inside her. When I was born, it stopped.

My grandmother takes me outside, points things out to me. When we startle a flock of birds, she says to use their collective name: a flight of swallows. Later there will be a parliament of owls, an unkindness of ravens.

She tells me people can develop an allergy to cedar trees.

Hyperthymesia is a condition in which a person contains an extraordinary autobiographical memory. But what good is remembering only about your-self? The Sturnella magna (Eastern Meadowlark) is among the first of the birds to appear in spring. Its song is a clear whistle of say-you, see-here

All birds have vocalization other than song. My grandmother tells me that if we are ever separated to call out to her, & she will hear me & respond, & at least our voices can be together.

Left: My grandparents on their wedding day. Right: A portrait taken in the 80's.

Fragment Eight

May 23rd 2011 - On the train from Dia:Beacon

I learn that whales keep the coast to their right as they swim north. My body loses half a liter of water each day by breathing. The way skin opens when cut. I turn my back to you in sleep. Again the mountains in winter. Everything migrates—returns home. A place, an action. Bodies of water becoming solid. The quiet that winter brings. A hush. I think in grey & white. The still that becomes early morning—a weight held over the landscape. My bed a nest, the snow trying for the first time. I miss summer & how the days dragged. The warmth of a field, the haze between bodies. I go back to the same things. It is a habit, like the space between the door & the floor. A pause.

december 7