More Modern Art with my Father

Earlier this year, we took a trip in to The City with Stephen, my father. We went to the MOMA to see some modern art. A few Sundays ago, he came to visit and we decided to visit the Brooklyn Museum. 

There were two modern art exhibits up that we had been wanting to see and we got to explore both; Ai Weiwei and Swoon.

Ai Weiwei crabs. This room also had two huge bowls of pearls, which were begging to be touched. They had a guard to keep peoples fingers out of the pearl pots.  Pardon the blurry picture. 

Ai Weiwei crabs. This room also had two huge bowls of pearls, which were begging to be touched. They had a guard to keep peoples fingers out of the pearl pots.  Pardon the blurry picture. 

Ai Weiwei's work is very political, often criticizing the Chinese government and practices. His work sometimes seems light hearted and whimsical, but often has undertones of loss and violence. 

The last Ai Weiwei room we visited was right before the next exhibit we were there to see and blended perfectly, having many pieces made from reclaimed wood. 

The last Ai Weiwei room we visited was right before the next exhibit we were there to see and blended perfectly, having many pieces made from reclaimed wood. 

In a lot of the work we saw from Ai Weiwei, He used found objects, or reclaimed materials. Some from earthquakes, some from destroyed temples, but all things that impacted the people of China's lives. 

This giant tree created from paper mache, dyed fabric and paper cuts, was the center of the Swoon exhibit and served as a dock for two hand made  boats from a previous art piece.   

This giant tree created from paper mache, dyed fabric and paper cuts, was the center of the Swoon exhibit and served as a dock for two hand made boats from a previous art piece.  

In contrast to Ai Weiwei's deeply political, world wary work, Swoon's art seems to be about creating new worlds by taking the leftovers from this one.  Often using found objects or NYC garbage, she has created floating cities and strange spaces. 

A room and resting place besides the tree dock invites you to sit among bees, wasps and their nests. 

A room and resting place besides the tree dock invites you to sit among bees, wasps and their nests. 

Swoon reformed the gallery space by painting the walls and creating an organic feel using wood, cloth and paper. 

Swoon reformed the gallery space by painting the walls and creating an organic feel using wood, cloth and paper. 

Swoons first inspiration and applications as a street artist were increasingly delicate and detailed paper cuts pasted to walls and buildings using wheat paste. 

Swoons first inspiration and applications as a street artist were increasingly delicate and detailed paper cuts pasted to walls and buildings using wheat paste. 

Having followed Swoon's street art for practically all my years in Brooklyn (who else remembers The Splasher?), it was wonderful to see a show of hers in a major museum. Although she has been having such shows for a while, it was a first for me. 

A familiar sight to the Jersey Shore bred. Reminds me of this  work  by fellow New Jerseyan,  Mermaid Trousers .

A familiar sight to the Jersey Shore bred. Reminds me of this work by fellow New Jerseyan, Mermaid Trousers.

In both these artists work there was a mix of the grotesque and the gorgeous. Both seemed to be about creating beauty from the fallen or forgotten. 

As usual it was nice to see art and hear three different perspectives on it. I'm sure there will be more modern art trips for our family this year!

Richard Serra and light art in Chelsea.

A few weeks ago I took the long trek into Manhattan (The City). Besides visiting the quilt gallery at The City Quilter, I also got to see some great Richard Serras that are up in Manhattan right now. 

This piece was one that you can walk inside of. Sometimes the strange perspectives and energies can be quite intense. 

This piece was one that you can walk inside of. Sometimes the strange perspectives and energies can be quite intense. 

I had only seen one other exhibit of Serra's, earlier this year, at DIA: Beacon. A trip to that museum is well worth the beautiful train ride upstate and highly recommended for lovers of modern art. Richard Serra's work is really amazing and I'm so happy that there is so much of it on view at the moment. 

Another gallery had more simple slab work, although the materials are very minimalist, there is still an amazing amount of texture. 

Another gallery had more simple slab work, although the materials are very minimalist, there is still an amazing amount of texture. 

These works were all exhibited by the Gogasian Galleries in Chelsea, Manhattan, NY (http://www.gagosian.com/artists/richard-serra/artist-exhibitions). 

serra 3.jpg

We ended up walking around and popping into a few more galleries that day. We got to see a lovely light art exhibit where, sadly, I didn't catch the name of the artist or gallery. The exhibit was small and simple, using mirrors and light to make beautiful reoccurring patterns. Very quilterly. 

I didn't get any good pictures of the mirror works, unfortunately. 

I didn't get any good pictures of the mirror works, unfortunately. 

Although going into The City can be a chore, trips like these make it easy to see why I should be doing it more often.