If you’ve visited Mass MoCA, the phenomenal contemporary art museum located in North Adams, Massachusetts, then you may recognize this Pink Picnic Table, which can be found — among picnic tables in other pastel hues — in one of the courtyard areas for the purpose of providing a colorful place for guests to have lunch or a snack, or just to sit and rest from their art adventuring, as the museum is quite huge, and covers many acres of ground.
I haven’t been able to visit this place since Covid. I really miss it.
While most of the street art that I discover on my adventures is clearly tagged, sometimes that tag is hard to decipher, and I need some assistance identifying the artist. By connecting with artists on Instagram, I’ve learned that they all seem to know and support each other, which is cool and very helpful. If I don’t know the artist behind a work that I want to put on the blog, and the first person I ask doesn’t know, then they know someone who does. This is how I ended up connecting with the creator of an unsigned series of works that I’ve been seeing on the streets, and documenting, since around Christmastime last year. Each of the paste-ups in this very distinctive series features one to three still life images accompanied by a one-word title, and the artist’s signature conspicuously absent. If you live in the east village or downtown, there’s no way you haven’t seen them. All I can say is that they speak me.
One of the pioneers of Conceptual art, Sol LeWitt gave primacy to the originating idea of a work of art rather than to its execution. LeWitt had been developing these ideas in three-dimensional objects he called “structures.” Based on the unit of an open, rather than solid, cube, the works peel away what he perceived as the decorative skin on traditional sculpture, revealing their underlying skeleton, or structure.
Though he created structures in a range of scales and shapes — the permutations growing more intricate over the decades — LeWitt maintained the use of white cubes with a ratio of 1:8.5; that is, the open space between the edges of a cube is 8.5 times the width of each edge. Five Towers (1986), a later, more complex structure, rises more than seven feet high, culminating in four towers on each corner of a square, with a fifth tower in the center.
Robert Reed (1938 – 2014) considered Plum Nellie, Sea Stone (1972) as a landscape. In it, a clearly defined rectangle of exposed canvas draws the viewer’s eye to the middle of the painting. Bold purple strokes of paint jostle at the rectangle’s sides. The work is part of Reed’sPlum Nellie series, which was exhibited in his solo show at the Whitney in 1973. In addition to referencing its color palette, the title recalls the southern expression “plum nelly.” Reed remembered the phrase to near “damn near,” suggesting that his relationship to abstraction is as much about the process of getting there as it is about arriving at a destination.
There are not many philanthropists like Eli Broad, who died on April 30th, 2021 at the age 87. In his lifetime, Broad and his wife Edith amassed a personal collection of over 2,000 works of contemporary art, which they then donated to the city of Los Angeles (and the world), building a namesake museum to house them all for your enjoyment. Who does that? Amazing. You can read more about Eli Broad’s life of service in his obituary from the NY Times at This Link. Read all about my super fun visit to The Broad Museum shortly after it opened in 2015, and see some choice pieces of the collection, at This Link. RIP.
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We honestly felt like we had stumbled upon a real life version Pee-Wee’s Playhouse when we entered design store / art gallery Leroy’s Place, and immediately encountered this monumentally enchanting (and Pink) Lazy Throne by artist Jacques Duffourc. A New Orleans native whose specialties include set design and puppeteering, Duffourc works primarily in recycled and found materials, and has a signature skill of transforming everyday materials into extraordinary works of art.
The chair has a wood structure, and is then sculpted using a unique method of building with contact cement and cardboard.