06 April, 2011

San Fransisco Museum of Modern Art


The least perceptible movement of air pushed against my face, and my eyes opened slowly. This was warm, moist air from the Pacific; the kind of air that San Fransisco is famous for.  I had taken the red eye to California that morning, sped to the art museum, and spent the morning absorbing notable works of Modern art.  I was tired enough when I sat down at the rooftop cafe, that I thought I was sitting next to a large, closed window overlooking the atrium sculpture garden.  

I sipped tea with cream and sugar, and rested my eyes.  What I thought was a big window was actually an open door and I was literally at the threshold.  By analogy, perhaps it was the threshold of springtime, this being the first good weather I've experienced this year.  It was a pleasant unwinding.  My first trip to a museum after the long winter, cooped up in my stuffy and busy studio in eastern Washington.

Since my business in California was to judge some art, I used the SFMOMA as a sort of warm-up for my critical mindset.  What would it be like for me to be a first-time jurist for an art event?  It is especially hard to come off the farm (literally - my studio is on our farmstead) and engage with other people's artwork.

Let me tell you, kind reader, it was plenty fun to tear into the biggies enshrined at the Museum of Modern Art.  It was only practice, and the shoulders of these giants are plenty big enough to tolerate my arrows.  And, I did sling a few.  Return here next time, and we'll dish the greats with some relish and some salt.

The San Fransisco SFMOMA is nothing, if not convenient.  Me in front of a well known Marcel Duchamp object.  


SamArtDog said...

Considering all that the West Coast offers, its potential dangers are way overrated. I say, flush em. Your post yesterday prompted me to visit SFMOMA online. It was better than nothing.

P.S, Your Dylan sidebars are very popular in this house.

Casey Klahn said...

You may be the first comment ever about my secret sidebar videos, Sam. Should be a brevet for that or something. Thank you.

Tomorrow or the next day I'll start the crit. My kids are home from elementary school on spring break, and we just said goodbye to the weekend guests, so the blog turns slowly now.

Preview: I loved the Joan Mitchell.

Sharon said...

I'll leave the subversiveness to Monsieur Duchamp. He was a master! "Fountain" certainly changed the perception of ART.

Casey Klahn said...

Yes, M. Duchamp's urinal is, if nothing else, a conversation starter. Many good ones do start at such a convenience, at least they used to in another era.

Glad you'll be part of our conversation, Sharon.

Sharon said...

SFMoMa, your posts, coffee. Life is good. Thank you.

Brenda Boylan said...

It must be nice to be out of hibernation in CA and now let the season begin. Still waiting for a dry day here in Oregon to git out.
I think I'd be giggling if I were to have my photo next to this piece. Have fun with the arrows Casey.

Sonya Johnson said...

I really have nothing productive or insightful to add with my comment, but just wanted to say: the photo completely cracked me up.

Glad to see there is some purpose for "Fountain": a prop for photos ;).

I'll look forward to your treatment of some of the modern art masterpieces in your upcoming posts.

Jean Spitzer said...

Sounds like fun. I look forward to reading about your visit.

Casey Klahn said...

Brenda, we are fellow travelers here in the Pacific North Wet. Might as well have some fun at the expense of the Modern masters.

Sonya - glad you laughed at this. I sure did!

Jean, glad you'll be reading.

Celeste Bergin said...

At first glance you look like you are wearing a lab coat in this photo. haha. Dr. Casey Klahn, paging Dr. Casey Klahn.
They are lucky to have such a knowledgeable jurist as Dr. Casey Klahn. I am tuned in to find out what your diagnosis will be.

Casey Klahn said...

Please - Doctor Ben Casey. At least that dates me about right.

loriann signori said...

Hi Casey! I just had to see what you were up to when I saw that thumbnail photo. (heehee) You kill me.
What exactly will you be judging?
Bravo for Springtime! San Fran is a wonderful place to experience your first Spring warmth.

Casey Klahn said...

Hey, I didn't put the urinal on display - I just reported it!

I juried the Sausalito fair, in the 2-D categories, along with 5 other artists. I learned a bunch.

Take it easy. Today, we have solid, white on the ground. Big, fat snow.
Last night, we had family TV night and watched The Outer Limits, when the electrical storm moved through. The kids were pretty impressed.

Debu Barve said...

Hi Casey,

very nice post.Thanks for it.
wow, picture with Duchamp's 'R. Mutt urinal' is like picture with Suparman.;) I mean things popularly remain in(and introduced through)imagery, looks fantastical in real-time snaps.:)

Casey Klahn said...

Thanks for reading, Debu. R Mutt's artifice really does exist in real life (except I wondered if it was a copy).

Art of RetroCollage said...

Not only will you dish with relish and salt, but also plenty of pepper, too.

While I have enjoyed NYC's MoMA, I look forward to seeing the west coast's model.

Mindful Drawing said...

The photo of you standing in front of a well known Marcel Duchamp object made me think of Roger Scrutons' essay on 'Why Beauty Matters'.
If you like to see it, look on Youtube or my blog:



Casey Klahn said...

Yeah, Paula, I love the way the Brits say "Yer-rye-nal" in those videos. Scruton nails a famous artist to the wall about the MD object - it is refreshing.

But that artist is a Post Modernist, and I am focused on Modernists. At some point, I will flesh that out in a post for you.

And, I will be in the Duchamp room in another post or two with my review. Thanks for reading here!

Abstract Expressionism, Art Criticism, Artists, Colorist Art, Drawing, History, Impressionism, Modern Art, Painting, Pastel, Post Impressionism