It’s nearly 2 weeks since we returned from an amazing visit, that came out of the Blue. Friend Liz Smith had opportunity to sing as part of an international choir in Carnegie Hall, and her kind friends Revd’s Brenda Husson and Tom Faulkner offered accommodation to her and this unknown woman. What an opportunity for me to see art! and the rest of New York. Tom as a sculptor offered daily advice on planning what to see which was appreciated greatly. My own photos seem to be very much the outside of buildings. Sometimes I was so overcome by the site of a work that I recognised. This particularly included the Whitney where a compilation of American art gave me a context, and there was Alice Neel’s Pat Wheelan union official and activist.
Look at his hands. You know how it is when you see something that is so real? so much to see in that exhibition and then also in the Whitney, ‘an incomplete history of protest 1940 to 2017, everything possible from Vietnam war protests, to Guerrilla girls, feminist action, Aids epidemic, black rights. All so individually important in the history of civil rights.
Then to Moma with my niece Amy Scragg who just happened to be in New York at the same time, obviously Van Gogh’s Starry, Starry Night, rediscovery of Louise Bourgeois for textile artist Amy, and discovery for me of photographer Stephen Shore , this is beginning to sound like a travelog!
Then to PSI an addition to Moma, the retrospective on Carolee Schneemann, ‘Kinetic painting’, this extraordinary performance artist who used her own body to becoming the ‘image and image maker’ and avant guard of the 60s 70 and 80s. Her film on making apple pie in the American meaning was quite hilarious,with all its connotations /America.
downstairs films made by Maria Lassnig in New York, (see previous blog) plenty of double exposure and blurring of lines!
A trip with so many more discoveries that are impossible and too long to list, lots about American history, conflict, emergence of civil rights so much more, and in the present situation wow!
and then music Carnegie Hall, wonderful concert, and a play with history comedy and music, Farinelli and the King- Philip 111 of Spain madness eased by music, an actor and musician playing the part of the counter tenor by pairing and working symbiotically together.