24 July 2010, 11:30 AM – Upper East Side, Manhattan
Art expands one viewer at a time.
First off: the trip out of Queens was, without question, the longest trip out of Queens in the history of the universe – and that includes possible alternate universes where Queens is the size of Alaska. It took 2 and a half hours – largely due to the E train (which, granted, was running on the F line at the time, so it was a bit of a confusing day to begin with) making seven stoppages en route due to train traffic or medical attention needed on one of the trains. But eventually – after taking three trains – I made it to the Whitney to meet up with Kelly for the first lock of the day.
This one’s clue was, surprisingly, a clue – though we knew the Key opened “the mysterious box” on the coat check counter. The box opened…and opened…and opened…and inside were models and drawings of their Renzo Piano-designed downtown building they’ve been planning for 2015. It was an interesting look at a building that will probably redefine the art world in New York, so that’s cool.
I had already seen the “Collecting Biennials” exhibit on the fifth floor when I went to see the Biennial; the Christian Marclay exhibit was actually somewhat interesting, combining music and film in one presentation, and in a second showing onomatopoetic words on mute. Plus there was a chalkboard people were allowed to write on, including this:
The “Off the Wall” exhibit was, as expected, avant-garde for the sake of being avant-garde (even housing a couple of works by Yoko Ono, who’s been doing that for years). The Charles Burchfeld exhibit, on the other hand, was probably the best of the bunch. I love how Burchfeld used several dark hues – until the last years of his career, when he included lighter hues, with the darker hues as sort of a doorway.
While Bryant Park was the next stop on the journey, I’ll write on that after I go there at night (spoiler: key unlocks a lightpole) – so the next write-up is Trinity Church, which you can read about here.