Most Thanksgivings we find ourselves out at the beach doing a lot of nothing. Fred and Josh were supposed to go away and leave me and the girls in town. The girls decided we should stay in the city and take it in. The trip was canceled for the boys and so I tossed out the beach idea one more time. I got totally slammed. So the city it is. Museums anyone?
Yesterday we made our way uptown. We started out at the Guggenheim where the featured artist is Richard Prince. I have been watching Prince’s art for about 8-9 years. Too bad I wasn’t smart enough to pull the trigger back then. This is an exhibit absolutely worth going to see. The curator did a fantastic job of showing his art from the early stages to now. There are a range of photos he took in his earlier years which have women all looking in the same direction which was hung in a way that you probably won’t see again. Same shot, different women. His work is very layered. The later paintings are thick with anything from checks to sponge bob underneath layers of colored paint and then the last layer of a funny saying that makes you think or laugh out loud. The exhibit is only up until January 9th so keep that in mind or you can always watch it online through the Guggenheim’s site. My all time favorite painting was a large piece that was multiple layers of red that is part of the work from the late 80’s until now. They are called joke paintings. It said "Two psychiatrists, one says to the other: I was having lunch with my mother the other day and I made a Freudian slip. I meant to say, "Please pass the butter" and instead it came out, "You fucking bitch you ruined my life." I laughed out loud.
Next stop, the Whitney to see the Kara Walker exhibit. Dark, haunting and brilliant at the same time. Her work is about race. She has taken the art of cut outs and transformed them into paintings, watercolors, simple silhouettes on walls, videos and drawings. She uses the technique to show gender issues, masters of racial supremacy, sexual issues, slavery etc. Dark but absolutely worth seeing.
Afterward, we went to dinner at Sushi Yasuda. Total treat. Listening to the kids observations afterward was interesting. They all preferred the Richard Prince show. At their school, one of the underlying themes of the schools mission is the understanding of racial and gender issues so in essence they felt that got enough of that on a daily basis. Yet they made a significant point. Prince’s breadth of work is layered and has been different throughout the years where as Walker’s work regardless of the different mediums she uses, the works is all about the same theme. Good insight. I might have to agree on that.
When Richard Prince’s nurse paintings came out do you know what his gallery was asking? Probably would have been a wise investment. It is not too late to own a piece of his work. Phillip Du Pury has a couple up for auction on the secondary market.
I love Kara Walker’s cutouts. She has taken what was a very popular late 18th and
19th century pasttime to a very intricate artform. I just adore it.
A wonderful way to spend Thanksgiving weekend. Personally, I love our Cape Cod out of season and I would have voted for the beach, but teenagers get too bored.