There is still time for vacation! The Rickie Report was happy to share some suggestions of art-related places for Ilene Adams to visit as she and her husband, Norm, drove north ending up in Massachusetts. Ilene, a multi-talented artist in her own right, helps other artists market their work. Ilene’s artwork can be found at Art on Park (Lake Park) and OSGS (Northwood). She shares her travelogue with our readers as well as some fascinating exhibits and sites.
Ilene Adams On The Road
Every summer, my husband drives to New Jersey to see his father. I did that trip in reverse 22 years ago, when one daughter was 3 and I was pregnant with the other one. I swore I would never do it again. This year we were invited to one of my best friends son’s wedding in Massachusetts so it made sense that we would combine the trips and drive. I did my best martyr routine and said I would bite the bullet and make the drive up with my husband. To cope with the long ride decided I would make the most of it and visit old friends, New York and some museums and Mass MoCA in the Berkshires near where the wedding was to be.
Armed with Sirius radio and a 1000+ page book on my Nook, we began the journey north on Father’s Day. We stopped in Jacksonville for lunch to see my youngest daughter (the one I was pregnant with) and then headed up to North Carolina for our midway stop and arrived in New Jersey on Monday. Tuesday morning I woke up early, eager to visit my old stomping grounds in NYC and took New Jersey Transit to meet my older daughter, Kayla. We visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art where there were several exhibitions I looked forward to seeing.
Sculpture from “The Lost Kingdoms”
Lost Kingdoms, an exhibit of Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture of Early Southeast Asia was one of them. There were about 160 sculptures on loan from the earliest kingdoms of Southeast Asia known as the “lost kingdoms”. It was an amazing collection to see and a once in a lifetime opportunity as it was never seen before in its entirety and most likely won’t be again.
Next stop was the inaugural exhibition at the newly renovated Costume Institute that examined the career of legendary twentieth-century Anglo-American couturier Charles James (1906–1978. It explored James’s design process, specifically his use of sculptural, scientific, and mathematical approaches to construct revolutionary ball gowns and innovative tailoring that continue to influence designers today. The retrospective features approximately sixty-five of the most notable designs James produced over the course of his career, from the 1920s until his death in 1978. It was beautifully curated and used high tech analytical animations along with text, x-rays, and vintage images to tell the story of each gown’s intricate construction and history.
Quote from Charles James
The rooftop installation by Dan Graham is the second in a new series of site-specific commissions for the Museum’s Roof Garden. Comprising curves of steel and two-way mirrored glass set between ivy hedgerows, Graham’s structure is part garden maze, part modernist skyscraper facade. Viewers who enter the work are transformed into performers; in glimpsing their own reflections, they are also made acutely aware of the act of looking.
Dan Graham Exhibit @ Met
Leaving the museum we strolled through Central Park and had the chance to see Swiss artist Olaf Breuning’s Clouds at the southeast entrance of Central Park, at 5th Avenue and 60th Street. They are 35 feet tall held aloft among the trees. The six bright blue clouds are made of polished and painted aluminum.
Olaf Breuning’s “Clouds”
After dinner in New Jersey with the family, we went back to New York on Wednesday to visit Kayla in her new apartment by Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. I had been to the New York Botanical Gardens many times but had never been to Brooklyn’s and was pleasantly surprised by its size and beauty.
At the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
The Botanical Garden, called the premier horticultural attraction in the region by The New York Times, is New York City’s natural wonder, where no matter what the season, something is always in bloom. There are many different gardens with different themes including the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, the fragrant Cranford Rose Garden, the children’s Discovery Garden, and the Steinhardt Conservatory, containing the world famous C.V. Starr Bonsai Museum. Everything was in bloom and there was a constant riot of color where ever one looked.
We spent a few days in New Jersey visiting friends and then we headed to Lenox, Massachusetts to a great bed and breakfast and a fabulous meal. After living in Florida for 11 years I was enthralled with the mountains, the trees, the winding roads the fresh air and the quaint shops and galleries.
Saturday morning after a delicious breakfast we jumped in the car and headed to North Adams and Mass MoCA, a museum that did not exist when I lived in Massachusetts and one I have been wanting to visit. I surprised at the size of the complex and what an incredible job was done in converting the factories into a magnificent art space. The design and architecture alone is worth the trip.
Mass MoCa is housed in a converted manufacturing facility that is a vast complex of 19th-century factory buildings. The site’s 26 buildings form an elaborate system of interlocking courtyards and passageways rich with historical association. Bridges, viaducts, elevated walkways, and red brick facades lend a distinct architectural ambiance to the complex.
Upside Down Tree Sculpture at MassMoCa
There were several exhibits throughout the complex as well as outside sculptures and installations. Occupying one of the large buildings, a historic mill, with three floors of work is the Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective. Taking nearly six months of intensive drafting and painting by a team of some sixty-five artists and art students, Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective installed the show and it will remain on view for twenty-five years.
Sol LeWitt Exhibit
Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective comprises 105 of LeWitt’s large-scale wall drawings, spanning the artist’s career from 1969 to 2007. These occupy nearly an acre of specially built interior walls that have been installed—per LeWitt’s own specifications. It is unbelievable to see the scope and intricacies of this work.
Teresita Fernandez Exhibit, “As Above So Below”
Teresita Fernández: “As Above So Below” exhibit combines graphite and gold to create a series of immersive, interconnected installations whose scale shifts from intimate to vast, from miniature to panoramic. Fernández’s largest solo exhibition to date, As Above So Below is made up entirely of new works.
Detail of Fernandez’ Exhibit “Sfumato”
Fernandez’s “Sfumato” (Epic), is a large-scale site-specific installation that spreads across the walls of the museum’s central galleries like an organic swarm. The work consists of over 40,000 small rocks of raw, mined graphite – each with a small, hand-drawn, graphite mark, almost like a cosmic trail – emanating from each fragment. In its entirety, “Epic” functions as a constellation. Up close, individual graphite elements and clusters become miniaturized landscapes of their own.
Darren Waterston, “Filthy Lucre”
Darren Waterston: Uncertain Beauty is the painter’s D installation “Filthy Lucre” — the centerpiece of Uncertain Beauty — is a contemporary re-imagining of James McNeill Whistler’s 1876 decorative masterpiece Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room. Waterston became fascinated with The Peacock Room both for its unrivaled union of painting and architecture and for its dramatic story of patronage and artistic ego.The artist reimagines and transforms the room into one of decaying extravagance.
Izhar Patkin Rug from “The Wandering Veil”
Izhar Patkin: ” The Wandering Veil” is the long-awaited survey of works by the Israeli-born, New York-based artist Izhar Patkin takes over the museum’s largest gallery. This is a fascinating exhibition of the artists works on sheer materials.
“Dead Shoshana” from The Wandering Veil Exhibit
Many of the works are room-sized images printed on fabrics and and are based on the poems of Agha Shahid Ali. There are several rooms wall size paintings in ink on pleated illusion (tulle curtains), 14 x 22 x 28 each. There were also some of his sculpture and smaller paintings including Persian rugs painted on screening and other works on various fabrics. http://www.izharpatkin.com/
Izhar Patkin Sculpture
There were several other artists’ works shown as well including Mark Dion’s The Octagon Room, In Transit: Between Image and Object, Anselm Kiefer; The Dying of the Light; Film as Medium and Metaphor and Franz West sculptures. I have included some of the images and images of the other parts of Mass MoCa and you can go towww.MassMoCa.org to see more.
All in all , after 3400 miles, it was a great trip and I had the opportunity to see a wide variety of art , friends, family and landscapes. Maybe I won’t wait 22 years for the next trip!
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