On Monday, I was super-lucky to be invited to a social media preview of the newly revised East Building of the National Gallery of Art. A highlight was to get to see Nick Benson at work carving the dedication, and hear him speak about his work:
The new roof terrace is fantastic, and highlighted by Katharina Fritsch’s giant blue Hahn/Cock.
There are two new tower galleries which were carved into the existing space. One of the galleries has a room for Barnett Newman’s Stations of the Cross:
The other new gallery is filled with Calders:
The tower gallery from the original building design still remains, with a Barbara Kruger exhibit on view for the next few months:
“The Keeper” exhibit at the New Museum is about the passion for collecting, organizing, and preserving items. The main part of the exhibit features The Teddy Bear Project by Ydessa Hendeles. The artist collected and curated more than 3,000 vintage photos of people posing with teddy bears, along with antique bears.
Dia:Beacon is an utterly magical place. It’s in an old Nabisco box-printing plant in Beacon, NY, by the Hudson River. The soaring spaces and light from the industrial windows makes the art even more alive. There are only a few artists featured, each with an abundant space.
The most breathtaking is the Dan Flavin installation in the basement:
There are also Dan Flavin works on the main floor:
Robert Irwin, who was instrumental in designing the layout of the space, has a large installation of his ethereal rooms:
Lawrence Weiner’s words stretch across a room:
In the smaller second floor, the Louise Bourgeois spider dominates the space:
In a space on one side of the building, the huge sculptures of Richard Serra look almost small, and magical in the light;
Sentient Chamber is an interactive installation at the National Academy of Sciences. It was created by a multi-disciplinary group of architects, engineers, scientists, and artists, designed to explore the concept of living architecture. The elements in the sculpture respond to the humans in the environment with subtle sounds and lights.
It was awesome to go to the opening of Robert Irwin’s exhibit last night at the Hirshhorn, and hear him speak. At 87, with 60 years of creating art, his work appears to have reached a super-minimal but very rich place. As he says, “all the rules will change,” as he has shown during the evolution of his work.
The highlight of the exhibit was the “perception room.” You initially think that it is just an empty room, and then your perceptions change and you understand its very subtle and compelling beauty.
In photographs, it just looks like an empty room:
Here’s the entrance to the room:
The exhibit also has a retrospective of his work, with a few key pieces from each of his earlier periods. I especially liked the minimal white architectural pieces, which seem like building blocks of his later work.
He started out as a painter, but as he describes it, he then went beyond the frame. Some of his most famous work includes garden designs like at the Getty. He really shows that the definition of art is not rigid, but involves a deep understanding of our perceptual interactions with the world.
Mary Heilmann: Sunset is an outdoor exhibition inaugurating the outdoor terraces at the new Whitney, allowing visitors to celebrate the new architecture and views.