4.14.2008

NYC Art Blitz~Part 1

I've been absent due to my recent 5 day whirlwind tour of lots of art in NYC. I had a business trip up last week and added a couple days on to that for my own art, shopping and food enjoyment. As usual I pushed myself to see as much as possible but this time I felt I made my choices wisely and the pace was enjoyable.
This entry is heavy on text but hopefully you will do more exploring of the visuals available through the links.

First I walked from my hotel to FIT and saw two exhibits the first of which was Sole Desire: The Shoes of Christian Louboutin. It doesn't cease to amaze me how timeless every pair of shoes on exhibit were! The exhibit chronicles his career, gives insight to his inspirations and influences and showcases some of his most spectacular designs.

The other FIT exhibit Exoticism also ongoing (hurry it ends May 7)at FIT is a fashion retrospective of the last 250 years with a focus on some of the most exotic clothing (and what makes it so) around the world. It was intreguing to see how the daily life and times of each culture was reflected in the garments that were worn. One of the most intresting aspects of this show to me is how increased global trade has influenced fashion and textiles and obviously early on only the more wealthy individuals could afford imported textiles and garments or replicas. Their were spectacular examples from France, Africa, India, Japan, India and other designers around the world.


Continuing in my Art Blitz (Eastside)I decided to cancel my intended trip to the Whitney Biannual which I knew would include some wonderful, controversial, up and coming art but I had my heart set on seeing a couple of smaller exhibits. Off next to the Cooper Hewitt to see a few exhibits with my main interest being "Multiple Choice: From Sample to Product". As a student in college I became enthralled with a large sample book of textiles from the 1940's that I stumbled upon at the Chelsea Flea Market and now as an industry designer I understand what a valuable tool samples are too clients. This exhibit had samples of everything from textiles to paint, leather and wallpaper. A small but comprehensive show with some stunning examples such as the books of 18Th Century French buttons. I found it fascinating also to see how the format of these sample books, envelopes, sheets etc. evolved and were totally changed due to the requirements of the product being sold.

While there I also walked through both of the other current exhibits. Rococo: The Continuing Curve explores the style of Rococo from 1730–2008. The show highlights the immersion of this style in traditional decoration worldwide, as well how Rococo has influenced design and and styles such as Art Nouveau and the Pop Art movement. The exhibit from the permanent collection was curated by the Brazilian design duo The Campana Brothers. They wisely chose from a variety of medium to highlight pieces that showcased something about design, process and the way that materials speak to individuals. Every piece in this exhibit speaks to the process of a well designed object weather it be furniture, a book or a piece of jewelry. I am never disappointed in an exhibit at the Cooper Hewitt, head over to their site for more on these shows.


From here I walked along Central Park East on the warmest day so far of the year. It was beautiful, people were out in droves to soak up the warmth, walk their dogs and enjoy the first day that really felt like Spring. The Gustav Klimt exhibit at Neue Gallery is one I had wanted to see for the past month since I saw it mentioned on the CBS Sunday moring show. I've heard that this exhibit didn't get the best of reviews but I loved it! I knew that it would not include many of his paintings but it did included study drawings for many of his paintings and a replica of his studio set up. I was not disappointed. I admire him so much as a talented and traditionally trained artist and even more now that I have seen some of his earlier works. Many of his paintings can appear flat in areas with their heavily patterned layers of clothing. I have always loved the way with wich he contrasts between this stylistic approach and the ethereal lifelike faces of his subject matters. I feel I now have a better understanding of how he arrived to combine the two styles so successfully. A little gem of a show in my humble opinion.

NYC Art Blitz II will continue with my visit to the Brooklyn Museum of Art and some of it's current exhibits.