Bronx Museum of the Arts

Bronx Museum of the Arts, February 22, 2013

Katherine and Allison

A lovely building in the South Bronx, conveniently located near where Allison was giving a reading later that evening. Lots of art naif, a photo project that captured Bronx residents in ten year intervals and a wicker-covered bicycle.

The highlight had to be the exhibit of Joan Semmel’s paintings, eponymously titled “Self Portait 1,” “Self Portrait 2,” “Self Portrait 3,” etc. Joan’s style varies from photorealism to abstract figures, but always includes the subject matter of Joan: clothed, naked, in a mirror, seated, standing, hair up, hair down, with glasses, pouting, smiling, head only, head and neck, head, neck and torso, entire body, in realistic color, in exaggerated color, in black and white and gradations thereof…

Bronx Museum of the Arts:                3 stars

The Children’s Museum of Art

Children’s Museum of Art, February 18

Katherine and Allison

Because people who go to children’s museums without children are rightfully viewed with suspicion, we borrowed friends’ children (and friends) and visited this museum on a busy no-school day. Despite some moodiness post-nap (and the kids were a bit cranky too, ha!) we had a very successful outing. No one got the flu, and our eardrums eventually recovered.

Some cool things: the clay bar, where you can sidle up and order clay; the room with huge balls… we’ll just leave that one alone; and a huge circular sink that can be activated by foot pedals. Jen and Brooke posed with some of the permanent collection:

jen and brooke

Here is someone enjoying the museum:

photo 1

And here is how we celebrate Presidents’ Day:mt rushmore

Children’s Museum of Art                  3 Stars

Noguchi Museum, The SculptureCenter

IMG_20130216_152128Noguchi Museum, The SculptureCenter, February 16

The whole gang: Katherine, Allison and Duncan (with special guest Sonalee)

It’s hard to write ironically about the Noguchi Museum. Really, it’s just mostly lovely, though there is a typo on the second floor. After spying it, Allison had to be forcibly restrained from marching to the desk and demanding that they fix it immediately. The garden would be lovely if it weren’t under its winter protective vinyl. We also discovered that counter tops make great sculpture. Bit O’ Trivia: Noguchi apprenticed with Brancusi. Another bit: he sometimes worked barefoot, which seems like a recipe for a black toe, if you ask us. We really wished we could touch the sculpture. Katherine decided she was going to create the wooden mold to manufacture Japanese Akari lanterns, which Duncan praised as an excellent use of the next fifteen years of her life.

The SculptureCenter was housed in a very cool building, a former trolley repair shop whose roof has been raised (by Maya Lin, no less) to include a glass atrium. But most of the sculpture was downstairs in the rabbit-warren, hide-the-body-here hallways. And then, oh joy! a film installation, which Allison sat and watched from beginning to end. Katherine observed that what Allison claims is a fondness for experimental art film is most likely an appreciation for the opportunity to sit that frequently accompanies these installations.

Here’s an artsy picture of an installation that could also double as a coatroom: purves

Noguchi Museum:          3 stars (plus a few more)

SculptureCenter:              3 stars

The Drawing Center and Art in General

Allison, Duncan and Katherine

The Drawing Center and Art in General 2/2/2013

How’s this for coincidence? Allison was at the gym on Groundhog Day, watching the movie “Groundhog Day” on those little televisions that are attached to the machines that are supposed to take your mind off the crushing pain and humiliation of exercise. And then we went to the Drawing Center and they had an exhibit featuring multimedia collages of Groundhog Day and “Groundhog Day.”

Also, there was a schematic drawing of the Empire State Building as a single family dwelling. With an erotic garden.

A highlight was The Drawing Room, inside of which a sound poem was playing loudly. Here is Duncan lip-synching:Duncan and German letters 2

Art in General and the Musee Miniscule showed a collection of books which have never been borrowed from the Center for Fiction, and surprisingly comfortable bedbug purveyors bean bag chairs in which we watched an art film with tremendously high production values and a top notch score about Japanese aliens who come down from outer space to ride around on trick bikes in hoodies and breakdance.

The Drawing Center    3 stars

Art in General               3 stars