Feb 24, 2010

The VOID is not DEVOID

Contemplating the Void
Guggenheim Museum, New York
February 12 - April 28

I don't listen to or watch the news anymore; it's too depressing.  An upbeat story:  scientists have discovered that lisping is genetic, not psychological.  If you lisp, this is definitely good news, but I get my kicks in other ways.

Going to museums and galleries is my pick-me-up of choice.  The current show at the Guggenheim Museum, "Contemplating The Void," is a buoyant moment.  Unlike most museum shows, which we think of as rarefied events, this show is hung unframed, each work just pinned to the walls (with a few fragile exceptions).

"For the building's 50th anniversary, the Guggenheim Museum invited nearly two hundred artists, architects, and designers to imagine their dream interventions in the space...

Organized by Nancy Spector, Deputy Director and Chief Curator, and David van der Leer, Assistant Curator for Architecture and Design, the exhibition will feature renderings of these visionary projects in a salon-style installation that will emphasize the rich and diverse range of the proposals received."
- from the Guggenheim webiste

Most of the proposals brought a smile to my face
and some even a little laughter.
Imagine clothes lines criss-crossing the ramps at the Gugg
Floating rope bridges connecting the ramps.

Others thought about decoration:
Taking that pristine white interior
and attaching red and gold decals to all the surfaces.
How about thousands of balls bouncing down the ramp?
On the extreme front, hot air balloons originating on the ground floor
of the atrium and exiting through the glass roof,
with of course Frank Lloyd Wright lifting the glass dome off the roof,
like a pot on a saucepan.
OR turning the entire building into a giant camera obscura?
And for a real pick-me-up: The Gugg as a container: a cup of macchiato.

If you are feeling a little down, and find yourself in New York City, visit "Contemplating The Void," I believe you will find it has restorative powers.

For those with some bucks,
The Guggenheim will be conducting a live auction of work in the show on March 4.

Curator David van der Leer led a small group of us on a private tour of the show.  He is Dutch, which I only mention, because in my limited experience, Dutch people seem to be very open and extremely engaging.  Maybe that comes from living in a small, crowded country.  Most importantly, he brings a much needed new perspective to the Guggenheim.  I look forward to seasons of interesting shows at the museum.

*Photocollage at the top by Phyllis Odessey


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