art news & reviews & Interviews. jeff bergman, editor

90th – Clark, Cage and Curious George


Notes on the exhibition: Lygia Clark, Sandra Gering’s John Cage show and Why Children’s Books Matter

These aren’t reviews, rather a few notes on the way shows are presented.

Lygia Clark: The Abandonment of Art, 1948–1988

The notion of anything that is “hands on” in a MoMA exhibition seems alien and taboo.  MoMA is the white cube.  Don’t touch the art and don’t take pictures.  In Lygia Clark’s current exhibition, two small sculptures are placed as to flank the entry to the “sculpture” area of the show, but still within the “paintings” portion.  These thin metal pieces with hinges are fabricated so that you may manipulate them and experience the multitude of possibilities they embody.  It is origami with predetermined parameters.  This is a perfect teaching tool for MoMA.  Some of the performance work mask replicas and “sensorial objects” are hands on, but this moving sculpture endears you to her more formal work and the play that is everywhere in it.  I liked this exhibition more each time I visited it.
-Closes August 24th.

1990/2014 Strategies of Non-Intention: John Cage and Artists He Collected at Sandra Gering

This small show is a wonderful epilogue to MoMA’s There Will Never Be Silence.  The show features William Anastasi, Dove Bradshaw (the show’s curator), Thomas Marioni, Robert Rauschenberg, Mark Tobey and John Cage himself.  Though the presentation doesn’t break new ground, the focus on non-objective and “blind” art allows you to view the seemingly disparate works as a whole.  A small film was created highlighting each artist’s practice which is a small gift to scholars and a much bigger one to the observer hoping to understand an artist’s practice.  This is not your easy going summer group show but a museum-caliber grouping of art.
-Closes September 5th.

The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter

The Times reviewed it a year ago and it is nearly at the end of it’s run.  Aside from great children’s stories, there’s great children’s story art.  I was surprised to spot a Hockney etching inspired by the Grimm fairy tales and exhilarated to see Wanda Gág’s imagery for (what I think is) the first time.  As a New Yorker during the workweek and a suburbanite the rest of the time, I had great fun making a weekend trek to see this show.  My sons reveled in the Goodnight Moon room and the antique phonograph horn speaking nursery rhymes.  I longed for more time to view gilded books from far away places as well as New York stories I had never seen.  I hope to see much more of this show and I plan to walk down Madison to see the Spencer Finch installation at The Morgan right afterwards.
-Closes September 7th.



-Jeff Bergman August 2014

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