The weather was brutal last Monday in New York on Martin Luther King, Jr day. What to do better than to warm up for a few hours in one of New York City’s most fascinating and beautiful museums, The Whitney Museum of American Art. My cousin and I ignored the vicious cold wind and headed to the Whitney which turned out to be a great choice.
Admissions are $22 for adults, $18 for students and Fridays from 7 pm – 10 pm are suggested donations (pay what you wish).
The Architectural structure of the Whitney is a reflection of the Meatpacking District. With its stellar view, sleek compositions and minimalist building designs. The Museum’s unique design has eight floors of beautiful art works and marvelous art installations.
The high windows create a bright space and a deceiving warmth from the sun. FYI, Its always best to begin a museum tour from the top floor and work your way down. This creates anticipation and sometimes saves the best art pieces for last.
I was fascinated by the array of beautiful works of each talented artist, themes and differences in tone, simultaneously creating authenticity for every display.
One of the very first portraits I liked was The Artist and His Mother, 1926-c. 1936 Oil on Canvas by Arshile Gorky.
“Gorky based this portrait of himself and his mother on a photograph taken in his native Armenia in 1912, when he was eight years old. In 1919 he watched his mother starve after years of deprivation during the Ottoman Turks’ campaign to eliminate the Armenian population. The following year, Gorky arrived in the United States as a refugee of the genocide. As he established his career as an artist in his new homeland, he remained preoccupied with the photograph; it offered a potent symbol of a tragedy that had killed between one million and one and a half million Armenians. Gorky’s waiting, made over a span of ten years, is not a precise replace of the camera’s image. Instead, he worked in broad areas of color and used dry brushwork to create a soft, blurred effect. He furthered this quality by leaving the hands undefined, at once suggesting the loss of physical connection between him and his mother and fading of memories over time. In the context of this gallery, this painting is a testament to the complexities of the immigrant experience and the struggle to come to terms with history.”
The following collection is by Chiura Obata, who created these watercolor woodblock prints. The prints are inspired by California’s Yosemite Valley and The High Sierra region.
Clockwise from top left: Evening Glow at Lyell Fork, 1930.
Full Moon, Pasadena, California, 1930.
Death’s Grave Pass. 1930.
Evening Glow at Mono Lake, 1930.
Sundown at Tioga, Tioga Park, 1930.
Evening Glow of Yosemite Fall, 1930.
Mono Crater, 1930.
Eagle Peak Trail, 1930.
The following works are inspired by the life of NYC. The Subway painting, George Tooker 1950, expresses the isolation of postwar urban society in New York City. Beautiful work.
Finally, I really recommend the Frank Stella Exhibition: A Retrospective – through February 7, 2016, Floor 5. An 18,000 square foot gallery that is the Museum’s largest space for temporary exhibitions.
The most comprehensive American retrospective to date of the work of Frank Stella, this exhibition highlights the scope and diversity of the artist’s nearly 60 year career, from the Pre-Black Paintings to recent sculptures.
Harran II ” In 1967, Stella began a series of paintings based on the protractor, the drafting tool used to draw and measure curves, and tilted them after ancient cities with circular plans. oversized and composed of eight-inch bands that arc like rainbows, this work has an elegant flow and an almost architectural stability. At the same time, Stella’s color arrangements – which interrupt and overlap each other, and are shot through with dazzling fluorescents – create a sense of dynamism.”
Until next time 😉
And finally, we ended our beautiful cold day with a big bowl of Ramen to warm our souls.
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I loved the Obata prints, but that and the Tookers were all I caught. Your post actually makes me want to go back and check out the new exhibits (especially Gorky!)
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