Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Seven things we've been thinking about this week

 1  Art museums without collections are always going to be on the back foot. This Jackson Pollock exhibition of over 30 major works was a collection show! Everything was either purchased by or gifted to MoMA. 

 2  Shocked yet again by the old museum practice of stamping items that came into the collection. In this case it was the Metropolitan Museum ‘owning’ a page of illuminated manuscript showing David in prayer with the initial letter M by Girolamo dai Libri painted in 1501.

 3  Nice surprise to see Christchurch's cardboard Cathedral on the cover of Philip Jodidio update to his book on architect Shigeru Ban. Now that was a very bold move by Christchurch.

 4  There’s a lot of completion out there. This guy spent nearly half an hour sitting in this gallery at the Met totally concentrating on visual imagery, which was more than anyone else that entered the room even came close to. 

 5  Some great artists have also been great designers. You can still purchase one of these Noguchi baby-minder speakers. The speaker was called 'Radio Nurse' and the receiver 'Guardian' (almost worth it for the names alone). Noguchi designed them in 1937. An almost new set was sold this year for around $NZ6,000.

 6  Remembered seeing this painting Duchamp’s A network of stoppages in the Robert McDougall Art Gallery in Christchurch back in 1967. If we'd seen that Matisse, that really would have been something.

7  Thought how similar the pose of Michael Parekowhai’s Captain Cook sculpture is to this Gustave Courbet portrait of the singer Louis Gueymard from 1857. While Parekowhai's Cook is based on Nathaniel Dance’s 1776 painting of him it certainly has more drama. Parekowhai destablilised the figure by making its support a sculptor’s work tripod. Gueymard would have appreciated the theatrical gesture.