London, Maine, New York.

May has been quite a month.  The highlights were the very successful opening of A Field Guide to Getting Lost at the Pelavin Gallery in New York and spending a wonderful week with fellow Pelavin Gallery artist Kate Beck in Maine.  My month started with Juan Miro at Tate Modern, interesting but not really my thing, continued with, Richard Serra at The Metropolitan Museum of Art NY, Eva Hesse and Sol Le Witt drawings, more Serra, Arshile Gorky and Cy Twombly at Gagosian and ended with the Donald Judd exhibition at David Zwirner Gallery, New York all of which were definitely my thing.  In Maine, apart from eating lobster, de rigueur in that part of the world, and being entranced by clapboard houses,  the yellowness of yellow school buses and the amazing bird life it was yet again the sea which grabbed my attention.  Shrouded in mist, day in day out, it was mysterious, all-enveloping and  an irresistible drawing resource.

Piercing the grey mist and the oily surface of the sea at Popham Beach near Bath ospreys fished watched by seals  and groups of cormorants.  In Harpswell a  kamekase American Robin, much bigger than its European counterparts, acted the part of either Othello or Narcissus in its  love hate affair with car wing  mirrors. Blackbirds with red/orange splodges on their sides were everywhere and just once I glimpsed a beautiful red and yellow Baltimore Oriel.  I saw art too.  The Biennial exhibition was  on at Portland Museum and a beautiful installation of large scale drawings of trees using text as line on clear film particularly caught my eye.

Avy Claire  For the Trees  2008.  rapidograph on polyester film.

Once in New York it was the not the yellowness of the taxis which caught my eye more a case of being glad I was sitting in the back with a seatbelt on!  The show at Pelavin looked really sharp – not a piece out of place and the work hung together really well.  The preview was stuffed full of people, like sardines.   Like many previews more talking and drinking than looking but people spilled out onto the street in a cacophonous mass creating a real buzz of excitement.

Next day in soaring temperatures we headed for the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see the Richard Serra Drawing Exhibition.  Huge areas of dense black mark-making floating  in high-ceilinged white spaces, the powerful physicality of the work intensified by the strong smell of oil stick.  Subtle shifts of line as the edge of the canvas sloped down, out of parallel with the line of the floor, cleverly unhinged the viewers sense of safety. More Serra’s, Circles, were on show at the Gagosian.  Unlike the vast rectangles at the Met these were more human in scale – less monumental – lovely.  Somehow a very good size to work with.

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2 Responses to “London, Maine, New York.”

  1. Jenny Soep Says:

    Wow, those tree drawings are really beautiful. Really lovely post, very much enjoyed your chat about art but equally the nature, monumental and petite.

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