Friday, December 30, 2005
Holidays on the beach...
Not exactly Christmas on the beach, but with 80 degree weather, we certainly could have been. (Apparently our family in Australia was doing exactly that - steaks on the barbie for Christmas and Boxing Day on the beach).
We did our holiday pilgrimage to Texas, escaping the transit strike and cold (not that cold though) weather in NYC for warm days, wind and sunshine in the Lone Star State.
We were able to pepper the traditional celebrations with a few more art related endeavors. We took time out of shopping to stop by the Rothko Chapel though which was the perfect antidote to crowded shopping districts (no, we don't go to the mall). The broken obelisk was out for cleaning, so the pool was empty. Inside, the rothko's and the building itself were as thrilling and as hypnotic as ever. The sky that day worked tremendously well with the space. The small building is lit only by natural light let in through a skylight with a diffuser. As the clouds pass by overhead, the light inside is constantly changing, and therefore the paintings change too. There are 14 paintings inside (a few triptychs and a few large single paintings) are mostly in the purple to black range. Each painting has a tremendous depth and intensity. You can sit and get completely lost inside each one. It is a wonderful way to meditate, and the kind of thing that Yves Klein would appreciate.
The day after boxing day (does that have a name?) we were able to spend the day visiting a variety of art spots around the metroplex. Our first stop (a special treat for G) was the Beer Can House, an 18 year project by John Milkovisch in which he completely covered his house with beer can pieces (can tops and bottoms, sides, pull tabs etc.). Sadly, the house has lost some of its previous glamour. But according to some reports, The Orange Show received a large grant this year to restore the house.
We didn't get to go see The Orange Show itself, a large folk art 'environment' because of the renovation it was undergoing. So we opted for some other stops. We stopped by two galleries, Sicardi Gallery, and Barbara Davis. Regina Silveira was showing at Sicardi, and although it looked interesting online, the actuality of it was not at all interesting. The works were cg tire treads, the computer aided part made it far less interesting than if it had been hand painted or sculptural (I will have to blog on that concept separately). Barbara Davis held great promise since she represents Julie Mehretu, whose work I really like. So Davis had a group show called Txmas, which was intriguing. I liked Paul Fleming's Azusa and Ann Stautberg's photographs.
From there we went on to see the Andrea Zittel show at the Contemporary Arts Museum. I have seen some stunning shows at the CAM, and this one definitely makes the list. I really like Zittel's work. Her investigative approach to life and our routines is fascinating, and her compulsion to create order is fascinating. I feel like I *totally get her* the quality of the work is stunning too. I don't think she could do this without the fine craftsmanship she exhibits. The only piece I didn't think translated so well into a museum piece was the berlin piece where she created a space completely devoid of any time (no windows, clocks etc) and lived in it doing whatever her body dictated, without the influence of "time." The escape vehicles, uniforms, homestead units etc. all seem more remniscent of the type of work created by artists in the 1960's (I wonder why that is - if it is a cold war mentality?) but resonate with our world today.
We also made a quick stop at the Houston Center for Contemporary Crafts. Which is a nice idea (artists and artisans working in the space which also has an exhibition space and store), and is an attempt to raise awareness about contemporary crafts. I didn't find much of interest there though and am still pondering the art v. craft discussion (which I so often do). The work featured here is clearly more in the craft camp which is more interesting as a consumer product...
The best part find of the trip though was a lovely place called "Mission Burrito" which we just happened to find listed in a little brochure we picked up at Avis. It was damn near an SF burrito and was so good we went back twice! The burritos were ginormous and you got to pick out all the stuff you wanted piled inside. We got to sit on the patio under the limbs of one of those gorgeous huge trees you find in the south. It was really really yummy.