Tag Archive | Museum

James Turrell’s Aten Reign at the Guggenheim

James Turrell Aten Reign Violet
Aten Reign at the Guggenheim (Stealth Photos By Gail)

Any Blogger who’s ever tried to photograph an exhibit at The Guggenheim will tell you it’s no easy task: what with their strict “No Photography” rules coupled with the numerous Art Nazis (aka guards) strategically placed throughout the galleries. And that just blows; because, to me, if you can’t photograph the art, it’s like it never existed. That’s why I only managed to capture a few good shots of James Turrel’s epic light installation, Aten Reign, as it transformed the Guggenheim’s Rotunda from various shades of purple to numerous hues of blue on its way through the entire color spectrum. But these few photos probably serve as a sufficient teaser, because this is one of those exhibits that you have to experience in person to really “get.”

For Aten Reign, the entire rotunda has been re-imagined to serve as a canvas for this intensely site-specific work of art. All open space between the rotunda and the museum’s spiraling ramps has been sealed off with white scrim, which reflects the colored lights and creates a meditative, open-sky effect. Visitors can best experience Aten Reign either by sitting on provided seating along the walls of the rotunda’s ground floor, or actually laying flat in the center of the floor on provided mats — though this space seemed to be in fairly high-demand, and was not prone to frequent vacancies.

Aten Reign Blue and Purple

There are a few other, minimalist exhibits of Turrel’s light work along the ramps and in a few of the upper galleries, but trust me, Aten Reign is the money shot, so spend as much time as you can just enjoying it. Find out more about the exhibit and see a video of how they put this thing together at Guggenheim Dot Org.
Aten Reign Blue with Viewers

James Turrell At The Guggenheim (5th Avenue at 90th Street in NYC) Runs Only Through September 25, 2013, so don’t wait too long before planning your trip!

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Claes Oldenburg: Mouse Museum/Ray Gun Wing at MOMA

Washington DC Souvenir Ashtray
A Souvenir Ash Tray from Washington DC is Part of Claes Oldenburg’s Mouse Museum (All Photos By Gail)

Claes Oldenburg, the legendary pop sculptor, has long been a collector of objects and  images. His studio shelves contain an immense variety of items that, since 1972, he has gathered during his daily travels, alongside experiments and prototypes for his sculptures. Mouse Museum and Ray Gun Wing — currently on exhibit at The Museum of Modern Art — evolved from the artist’s commitment to this practice of collection, storage and display.

Mouse Museum and Ray Gun Wing
Ray Gun Wing (Top) and Mouse Museum

Located in the MOMA’s center atrium area, the Mouse Museum is the structure in the above photo that is shaped like a Geometric Mouse (a recurring motif in Oldenburg’s drawings, prints and sculptures). The Ray Gun Wing, which was created in 1977, is shaped like a gun. I had a peek inside each of these tiny museums when I was at MOMA the other day, which was a treat.

The Ray Gun Wing, as you might’ve guessed, is filled with cases displaying various types of toy guns and pistols and various every day objects  — from soda can tabs to stones — shaped like guns and pistols. When I first walked into this wing, and saw all the different “prototypes” of toy guns, BB guns, ray guns, Nerf guns from the different eras – I instantly thought that my kid needs that nerf review, and snapped a few pictures for him on my phone. The  Mouse Museum is filled with little fantasy trinkets, toys, candles and small prototype models for some of Oldenburg’s sculptures. I didn’t take any pictures inside of the Ray Gun Wing, because  you weren’t really supposed to take any photos,  but I took quite a few inside the Mouse Museum, because, why not? I had just been to the Punk exhibit over at the Met and I was feeling a little rebellious.  Here are a few snaps of  some of the cool stuff I saw inside a tiny room shaped like a mouse head.

Baked Potato Salt & Pepper Shakers
Baked Potato Salt & Pepper Shakers

Leg Pen
Leg Pen

Spoon and Wax Lips
Silver Spoon and Wax Lips

Skull Glasses

Skull Glasses

Ham and Fire Hydrant

Plastic Ham, Fire Hydrant

Shower Sink Toilet Octopus

Miniature Bathroom Fixtures and Octopus

3D Cherry Pie Slice Ad

3D Cherry Pie

Cake Models and Small Purse

Prototypes for Stuffed Cake Slices, Small Purse

Miniature Play Food

Miniature Play Food

Small Chair and Carrot Dish

Small Chair with Woven Seat, Carrot-shaped Dish

Miniature Ice Cream Bars

Miniature Plastic Ice Cream Bars

The Mouse Museum and Ray Gun Wing by Claes Oldenburg will be on Display Through August 5th, 2013 at the Museum of Modern Art, Located at 11 West 53rd Street in NYC.

Maurizio Cattelan’s All Retrospective at the Guggenheim

It was a few weeks ago now, back on November 11, 2011, that I had my first in person experience with Italian-born artist Maurizio Cattelan’s most unusual retrospective exhibit, All, when I visited the Guggenheim that Friday evening for a live performance by the very excellent pop band, MGMT. The band performed a tight, 45 minutes set of mostly instrumental new material specifically inspired by the 128 separate works now suspended from the ceiling oculus of the museum’s rotunda. The songs fell very much within the surf-psychedelia vein of MGMT’s well-loved sound with a bit of a soundtrack vibe befitting the evening’s experiencing in general. Also, gee whiz, but what a spectacularly hallucination-inducing light show they had! I’m still having flashbacks. Music! Art!

The following week I had to pay another visit to the museum to take in All once again, because when I was there for the MGMT show I had a beer in my hand and the Art Nazis (guards) wouldn’t let me go up past the second ramp with a beer. And you really do need to trek all the way to the top of the ramp to fully experience the innumerable subtle nuances of this exhibit, which literally reveals itself further and further at every turn. The time lapse video above shows the installation process by the museum staff, which will answer your most pressing questions about “just how they got that stuff up there.” See it while you can.

Maurizio Cattelan’s All is on Exhibit until January 22, 2012 at the Guggenheim, Located at Fifth Avenue and 89th Street. Museum hours are extended to 7:45 PM on Monday and Tuesday nights (from 5:45 PM on other days) from December 6, 2011 to January 17, 2012. More information is available at This Link.

Click on This Image to Enlarge

Rock Lives at NYC’s R&R Hall of Fame Annex


The Beatles!

It has been pretty freezing ass cold in NYC these past few weeks. But I don’t think you could have asked for a more beautiful mid-winter day on Sunday, and it certainly was perfect weather to uncover your head, strip down to maybe one or two layers and make the trip down to Soho to visit the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Annex. Because it is no secret that I like to Rock. Geoffrey snagged a few discount tickets on Goldstar, so I met him and his friend Susie outside the Annex and we got ready to rock like nobody’s business.

Our visit began in a small theater with a fifteen minute film featuring live performances and notable quotes from many of the artists ensconced in the HOF. My favorite clips were The Beatles, The Who and The Doors. They did show a live clip of Queen (I saw them five times back in the 70s), but it was from after Freddie Mercury cut his hair off and started looking like one of the Village People. So it did not yank my chain quite as hard as it would had it been one of those satin-jumpsuit-wearing Freddie clips. Anyway, when I saw Jim Morrison in his leather pants singing, “Come on baby, light my fire,” like the immortal Sex God that he is, well, I got a little teardrop.

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