Saturday, January 23, 2010

New York 2010 - Museum of Arts and Design

The highlight of my trip to New York was the Museum of Arts and Design. Not only does it have an excellent permanent collection but at present is showing 'Slash - Paper under the Knife' which includes much work that I consider to be lace.
Of the pieces from the permanent collection that are currently on display I particularly liked:- 'Cylinder Form' a plaited basket, in English calfskin, by Ken Carlson. It not only interests me technically but has a natural beauty as it spirals unevenly around.

Close by is this stoneware plate by Robert Sperry. 'Plate # 754' is described as; stoneware, slip, glaze, jiggered. I think with this piece it's the juxtaposition between the strong geometric elements and the naturalism of the sweeping stroke that crosses the centre of the form.

Jin-Sook So's untitled wall hanging is quite mesmerising to behold. Formed from steel mesh and enhanced with goldleaf the visible surface of the pleats changes from silver to gold as the units twist sinuously from one section to another. This is further accentuated by the way that the piece forms a trough in the centre, rising to peaks at the four points surrounding it.

I could stand a look at Sakiyama Takayuki's stoneware form 'Choto: Listening to the Waves' for hours. The gentle rhythmic swirl is so evocative of the soft sound of tiny waves subtly shifting the minute grains of white sand around the edge of a rock at low tide - just wonderful.
The numerous vessels that form Tony Marsh's 'Still Life' (Perforated Vessel Series) form a cohesive whole and yet are individually complete. These white, perforated, earthenware vessels would throw wonderful shadows but the are not lit to do so, I would also love to see them lit from within. What the viewer is being asked to consider is the form of each piece and its relationship to those around it.

On the subject of ceramics - Anna's favourite piece was this superb sculpture by Marilyn Levine, 'Anne's Jacket' which only reveals itself to be ceramic, not leather, if you read the information label.

In the stairwell was an installation by Mary Temple. 'First Week' is part of her 'Light Installations' series that began in 2002. The light and shadows from the windows seems to be raking the walls - it's an illusion, there are no trees on this side of the building. The hand painted trompe l'oeil image asks the viewer to question what they are seeing. The image is taken from Central Park in the first week that the trees began to bud. A frame of time specific to that place and day has been transposed from exterior to interior in this incredibly subtle piece.

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