Monday, January 28, 2013

Recent Local Art Outings

Vibha Galhotra, Untitled (2011).  [Source]
While we often go to art museums when we travel, sometimes we forget to take full advantage of the art in our little home city.  Recently we went to two exhibits that reminded us that thought-provoking art comes through town all the time and that we need to get out to see it.  First we saw a traveling Smithsonian exhibit called "Romare Bearden: Black Odyssey."  Bearden interprets iconic moments from the Odyssey in bright collages with black figures, giving the works layers of meaning that connect both to Homer's epic and to 20th-century life in America.  Three years ago, when N. was five-and-a-half, Tim read him the Odyssey; N. doesn't remember it in great detail, but he recognized the moments represented in Bearden's scenes, such as the Trojan horse and Penelope's loom.  Beyond the visual value of Bearden's art, perhaps the exhibit served to reinforce some of N.'s memories of Homer's text and to whet his appetite to re-engage with it some day.

Another day we saw two small shows at SECCA, the Southeast Center for Contemporary Art, which we'd never been to in the ten years we've lived in this city, even though admission is free (blush).  One exhibit was some incredible drawings by Frank Selby.  I thought these were amazing.  Despite his love of drawing, N. didn't engage much with these pieces.  He didn't know the iconic photographs many of them were riffing on, and perhaps they were hung too high for him to examine closely.  He was struck by one pair of drawings of a march in front of the Arc de Triomphe; in one the positive space was drawn in great detail, and in the other only the negative space under the Arc and above the marchers' heads was drawn.  The second exhibit showed the sculptures and tapestries of Vibha Galhotra made of tiny metal bells (you should go look at the pictures from the exhibit at that link).  N. loved these.  He walked all around them and marveled at how they seemed to change as you got closer or further away.  I think large-scale, sculptural art is often more accessible to kids than paintings hanging high on a wall.    

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Galhotra works are amazing!They must have been very cool in person.

-cmr