It must be the energy of summer that has thrown me into a general state of elation in which anything with a splash of color elevates my spirits. For instance, a recent trip to Dia:Beacon to see the exhibition Blinky Palermo: Retrospective 1964–1977 instantly brightened my experience there, in the same way that MoMA’s recently acquired work by Sol LeWitt, Cubes in Color on Color (2003) made my heart race with excitement.
Posts by Alexander Fang
Admittedly, I was extremely anxious about traveling to Cuba. But now, having returned from a trip to Havana made possible through MoMA’s 12-month internship program, I feel enlivened. Although complicated politics still surround Cuban-American relations, Cuba has much to offer. The beaches are as beautiful as the vistas in Old Havana. Music and dance can be heard and seen in the city as well as in its surrounding regions, making for a lively experience despite the visibility of poverty. Havana’s charmingly dilapidated urban landscape is speckled with a mix of Lada automobiles from the 1970s and modern Peugeots. And while Cuba’s backdrop may sometimes seem a little dated, its arts culture, and more specifically its contemporary printmaking scene, is far beyond its time.
It’s not common to hear an artist being described as “the delinquent love child of Quentin Tarantino and Dr. Seuss.” So when I read that about artist Cameron Platter, my interest was immediately piqued—specifically in relation to two recently acquired works by the artist, currently on view in Impressions from South Africa, 1965 to Now in the Prints and Illustrated Books Galleries.
Sometimes I just wish I were a printmaker. While I’ve embraced being able to familiarize myself with our department’s collection, mostly through preparation for study center visitors, it’s hard to avoid envying the person who gets to work in the studio and master the technical elements of printmaking. A work recently acquired by MoMA, Richard Dupont’s etching Phantom (2007)—which was among the artist’s earliest print projects—reveals the kind of artistic processes I am especially drawn to.
At first glance, Haegue Yang’s Can Cosies, a recent addition to MoMA’s collection, seem daintily delightful. They are soft (even squishy!) to the touch, colorful, and quirky, as seen in the knitted design of the sleeves. But pick one up and peek under the cover and you are instantly reminded of the mundane object in the work’s title—they’re really cans of tomatoes.
My exposure to architecture can be partially summarized in this way: 1) As a child, my dad, who was once an architect, guided me through drafts of his blueprints; 2) In school, I took a few art history classes that focused on architecture, from the cathedrals of the medieval period to the designs by Frank Lloyd Wright, all of which included copious slides of floor plans; and 3) I live in New York City, where trying to avoid charming Manhattan brownstones, landmark monuments, and skyscrapers-in-development is just downright impossible. But I never considered how any of these experiences relate to my perception of my everyday surroundings until this past summer, when I was reminded of Zarina’s Home Is a Foreign Place (1999) while exploring MoMA’s recent exhibition Mind and Matter: Alternative Abstractions, 1940s to Now.
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