I saw a stunning art exhibit over the holidays

Over the holidays we visited the Broad Museum in downtown Los Angeles to see Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirrors exhibit with our niece and nephew and their two children. (They missed the exhibit in their hometown, so enticed us to see it with them here.) The exhibit, consisting of six walk-in installations and adjoining paintings, collages, and sculptures, was the most fascinating I've ever experienced. We saw the installations in groups of two, three, or four people only and were allowed to stay in them for 30 seconds. Each made use of mirrors to create the repetition of her designs - lights, phallic symbols, polka dots and huge balloons - that she otherwise would have had to do by hand.  That made the work less time-consuming and less taxing on the 88-year old Kusama. She also used the mirrors as a way to include visitors in the experience. And sure enough we could see ourselves as we looked at what she had created with the mirrors. In between the installations we were … [Read more...]

Some folks to show off

  Yesterday we attended a book launch and reading of my friend Lee Quarnstrom's new memoir. Lee and I go all the way back to high school - New Trier Township in Winnetka, IL - where we studied journalism and worked together on the New Trier News. He went on to be a newspaper reporter and columnist and did a bunch of other things well worth reading about in his book - such as hang out with Ken Kesey on the Magic Bus for a while. From the title you'll see that he had an exciting life. He's now living east of Los Angeles with his seventh wife, Chris, whom he met at our 40th high school reunion. Chris and I have known each other since grade school. Besides the three of us, seven other New Trier alums attended the reading. It was such fun to get together with dear old friends.   Another couple I've known for a long time, Alice and Richard Matzkin, will appear from March 3-5 on a free online event called Transforming Aging Summit - about making your later years your … [Read more...]

A poem from Frankfurt

We visited the Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt (the National Museum of Art was closed for renovations) and came across this very unusual sculpture by Katharina Fritsch. It haunted me so much I had to write a poem about it. Though you might not be able to tell from the photo, it is huge. All the figures are life size. And if you have any idea about what it means, please post a comment. http://www.mmk-frankfurt.de/ Katharina Fritsch's Tischgesellschaft (Table Society), 1988 at the Frankfurt Museum of Modern Art Sitting in Black and White Katharina Fritsch sculpted thirty-two men sitting at a long narrow table covered with a red and white print oil-cloth tablecloth Half of the men sit on one side half on the other, each looking exactly alike dressed in black shirt, pants, shoes. Each has black hair, only their faces and hands are chalk white. They sit sort of hunched over looking their opposite in the eye, their hands on the table with fingers turned … [Read more...]

Gustav Vigeland in Oslo – you have to be there

While on a cruise about a year ago we stopped in Oslo for all of four hours and it was raining ice water. Still our tour guide insisted we go to Vigeland Park to see sculptures we would never get a chance to see anywhere else. Well, we saw them briefly with rain pouring down our necks, so we couldn't wait to get back on the bus. While on our recent trip I insisted we go back to see Vigeland's bronze and granite life-size sculptures - 214 sculptures with more than 758 figures standing on 80 acres of public park - open 24 hours everyday of the year and free of charge. Well our first day in Oslo it rained - seems to be a constant there. But thankfully the clouds cleared up for us on day two - In fact, it even got sunny, and we were able to enjoy this amazing sight. Vigeland modeled every sculpture in the park himself, without the assistance of pupils or other artists, I also saw a few other Vigeland sculptures around Oslo and in its National Gallery. But the ones in Vigeland park … [Read more...]

Whimsy in Stockholm

I love the whimsy of French sculptor, Niki de Saint Phalle, whose work I first saw in Paris. So it was a great surprise to see her sculptures in front of the Modern Art Museum in Stockholm with the machine-like scuptures of Jean Tinguely. Their exhibit is called Le Paradis Fantastique, and it surely is. Here are a few examples: www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3tXznHsG7I … [Read more...]