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My WQXR Museum Commentary: Abstraction Interaction

You can hear me now, discussing with Kerry Nolan the serendipitous synergy among three shows now on view at three major NY museums. Listen on WQXR‘s website, here (scroll down).

What a kick it was to hear my long-time radio hero, the station’s witty morning host, Jeff Spurgeon, intoning: “CultureGrrrrrl. Did I say that right? CultureGrrrrrl” in his lead-in to my three-minute, three-museum Arts Report!

In yet another serendipitous concurrence, the music that preceded me was a (very atypical) work by Arnold Schoenberg, whom Kandinsky greatly admired.

Unfortunately, I short-shrifted my favorite of the three shows I discussed—the Guggenheim’s majesterial Kandinsky retrospective. I ran out of time. Maybe next time (if there is one), I’ll keep a clock by the phone.

Here’s what I was talking about when I remarked on how good the Guggenheim now looks:

GuggKand.jpg

They’ve added some comfy seating on the ramps for contemplation of the artworks:

GuggSeat.jpg

 
And they’ve kept the plantings (below, on the left and also towards the back) that Frank Lloyd Wright had included in the design for his masterpiece. They were restored to their rightful place for the museum’s recent retrospective of the architect’s oeuvre, and still remain:

GuggPlant.jpg

I particularly loved the Guggenheim show because gazing at its energetic, explosive Kandinskys was what got me started appreciating modern art, back when I hopped on the D train in the Bronx to soak up culture in Manhattan. For me, revisiting the images that I took home on souvenir postcards in my youth is always a sentimental journey!

The other shows I spoke about were Bauhaus at the Museum of Modern Art and Georgia O’Keeffe at the Whitney Museum.

an ArtsJournal blog