Last week the Management and I had a week in New York ostensibly to celebrate my 66th birthday though we actually flew back home the day before. I love New York! OK, we didn’t actually go further than Manhattan so I suppose I should say I love Manhattan. While the Management likes her cruises, I love city breaks, especially ones with plenty of art galleries.
When we were in NYC four years ago, we ‘did’ the Met and MoMA so this time I’d earmarked the Guggenheim and the Whitney. (I did actually go back to MoMA on Thursday as there was nearly a foot of snow and MoMA was in the next street!)
The Guggenheim is probably most famous as a building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It is visually a superb building. Photography was allowed on the ground floor, but not in the galleries above this level. Here are some of my shots:
There were two exhibitions that I particularly wanted to see. The Thannhauser Collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings had lots of famous names, but I just felt that most were what I call ‘eight out of ten’s – not quite masterpieces. There were only two which grabbed me, and they were both by Picasso. Although I bought postcards, these are from the Guggenheim website:
Woman Ironing (La repasseuse), Pablo Picasso, 1904
Woman with Yellow Hair (Femme aux cheveux jaunes), Pablo Picasso, December 1931
Here is my sketch of this work:
The other exhibition I had noted was Kandinsky In Paris, 1934-194. After explaining about the Nazis closing the Bauhaus and Kandinsky fleeing to Paris, the information at the entrance to the gallery continued, “Despite the turmoil of this period, Kandinsky ultimately produced 144 oil paintings, more than 250 watercolors and guaches, and several hundred drawings from late 1933 to 1944.” It was disappointing therefore that there were only eleven works on display in the one small gallery.
I’d known that the ramps were going to be closed as a new major exhibition was being installed, but the two shows I’d looked forward to had been disappointing. That only left a photographic exhibition by Carrie Mae Weems, who I’d never heard of. Would that make the journey uptown worth it?
[To be continued!]