Friday, June 14, 2013


Dearest Readers,
The Met is overwhelming. Dizzying. Too much art for me to absorb.
One select, targeted hour with floor plan in hand did the trick.

This visit I threaded my way through rooms of European decorative furnishings, Greek and Roman statuary, and Medieval paintings to an obscure elevator that took me to the roof garden and cafe.
Imran Qureshi-floor painting acrylic on stone
Pakistani miniaturist and installation artist Imran Qureshi is the guest artist this summer/fall on the rooftop space.
I was shocked to experience the flatness of this floor piece. I expected another huge intertwining sculpture, like the Roxy Paine stainless steel, rootish extravaganza “Maelstrom” from 2009 that crawled all over the roof.
Roxie Paine-Maelstrum, 2009
 Instead, the area was wide open, but not quiet. I had to draw my eyes down, away from the clear-day panorama of NYC, to a bloody splatter-painting of carnage, sprouting swirls of delicate foliage blooming from the gore.  
Imran Quereshi-detail of floor painting
Imran Quereshi-detail
I loved it. It was political and poetic with a miniaturist’s sensibility, bringing to America the terrorism rampant in Qureshi’s native Pakistan, while reminding me of our own terror attacks in Boston and our epidemic of mass shootings.  This space required some time to meditate on the clash of natural beauty, cruelty and hope.
Anna Mendieta-Untitled from the Sandwoman series1983
Right off the elevator, down to the first floor in a hallway, I found the small show of earthwork photos entitled “Land Marks”-mostly documentations of outdoor artist interventions using the body+an idea+the ground.  Mendieta above expresses her earthly feminism in sand. 
According to the wall text, Kiefer below believes there is no one theory for all. Here he draws himself under a blue bubble expiating for the WW2 sins of his German culture and relating his action to the motherland.
Anselm Kieffer-Everyone Stands Under His Own Dome of Heaven, 1970

Matthew Brandt-Mary's Lake, MT-C-Print with random color created from immersions in the lake water, 2012
Richard Long-County Cork, an ephemeral piece created by his own body walking repeatedly on the land, 1967
My own recent earthwork, “The Hole” was a similar attempt last summer to project the impermanent self within the ostensible permanence of the land–a desire in my case for immortality, but realizing my momentary place in time and space.

On the Mezzanine level I discovered a few modern and contemporary paintings from the Met’s own collection. Two similar abstract pieces thrilled me with their layering of stroke, paint and color. In the first case, Terry Winters' paint marks are red and exuberant like a dark sun burst.
Terry Winters-Light Source Directions, 1997
In the latter painting by Lethbridge, I imagine a cool, raucous, bird’s eye view of a tangle of tree branches covered in ice and snow. (Grandson Roman called them scribble pictures!)
Julian Lethbridge-Untitled, 2003-4
  Last stop, a small show of early abstractions from the Metropolitan’s collection of Paul Klee paintings, mostly on paper from the 1920’s. I was again transported to a singular environment, and an artist’s vision. The one-room exhibition was dimly lit in yellowish light. Each piece was a small world of the imagination–little treasures of the eye and mind, based on a trip he took to Hammamet in Tunisia.
Paul Klee-The Firmament Above the Temple

Paul Klee-Static-Dynamic Gradations

Paul Klee-Mural From the Temple of Longing

Thursday, June 13, 2013

June 11- 17–IN BROOKLYN WITH THE KIDS-On the Road to Vermont

Semra and Roman heading to work and Pre-K in Brooklyn NY
Dearest Readers,
Meet my daughter Semra who’s a musician and the development director at the Brooklyn School of Music, and my grandson Roman on his way to pre-K. NYC schools end the year on June 26th. I’m here for a week.

I arrived Tuesday and miraculously squeezed the Scion into a teeny parking space in front of my daughter’s apartment. Mon Dieu-this is news! I emptied the car of all items to preclude any possible break-ins. Last year someone got into my car and spread my art supplies around searching for valuables. “This is Brooklyn, if you know what I mean”, a neighbor told me as I piled my stuff on the brownstone (whitestone) porch and proceeded to lug them upstairs. He helped me part of the way. He meant I should watch my things. 

Grandma and Roman at home in a nose-prominent i-phone pic

I’m playing grandma, listening to Roman, 
Roman playing his kid drum kit with Etta James in awe
following him around, 

Roman with bored face on the mechanical plane that does not work-DeKalb Ave. Bklyn
 slow-walking home from the music school, 
Roman head-banging on a sycamore near Ft. Greene Park, Brooklyn
learning about Power Rangers and Ironman, 
Roman's Ironman in a cone St.Felix St., Brooklyn NY
watching his hip hop dance class rehearsal for the big recital show on Saturday, 
Roman peeking from wings at Ninja Dancers Bklyn School of Music rehearsal
Link here and here to Roman's 2 hip hop dance numbers in a not so organized little kid troupe rehearsal without costumes. He's the short guy on the left at the start of each dance in a plain tee shirt, before all the rolling around on stage.

I’ll close with i-phone snapshots of "crossings" on the drive to Brooklyn-glorious land of diversity, creativity, public singing, garbage and forever honking cars.
Crossing the Delaware River into New Jersey-Dry at Last
Welcome to New Jersey and the NJ TPK -still pretty dark 

Crossing the Manhattan Bridge into Brooklyn- Clearing Sky!

June 9-10 STORMS BREWING-Still on the Road to Vermont

On the Road Again---Welcome to North Carolina
 Dearest Readers,

Sunday June 9-Made it to Raleigh, NC

I crossed the border into North Carolina near Otto about 10 AM. It was a cool day of magnificent cloud formations and threatening storms up and down the Smokey Mountain highways. 
Great Smokey Mtn Highway in the morning near Ashville.
The overcast sky was easy on the eyes. Only a few sprinkles materialized. Arrived in Raleigh at the home of artists and designers Ann Cowperthwaite and Mike Parker, owners of Eidolon Designs-the place to go for fine interior millwork. 
Ann Cowperthwaite-storm approaching-Raleigh NC
 We sat on their front deck watching a storm break after dark, while Etta used her nose like a shovel to bury a rawhide “bone” compliments of Ann. 
Etta buries her bone under the rosemary

Monday June 10th- On the road around 9am. Made it to a Super 8 (not so great) motel just off i-95 in New Castle Delaware by 5pm. 

 It was a day of constant downpours, big trucks throwing up blinding tire spray, and less than speed limit patches of drenched highway. Ate a sandwich from my cooler in a hurry under a roadside picnic table during a brief lull in the rain. Dark gray-blue
clouds approaching. Tolls and tunnels throughout the day. Snapped unsafe pictures on my iphone of the road and the weather around this little boat of myself.
Big Storm Brewing Near Petersburg, VA

Another Storm Churning Up-Baltimore in the Distance
Crossing through the Slippery Harbor Tunnel in Baltimore under the Patapsco River
More Rain Near DC on i-95

Cars and Trucks Splash Road Rain Somewhere on i-95
Crossing into Delaware in the Rain on i-95

I could only find fast food for dinner. Bought a bottle of wine and some chocolate at a shopping center. I crashed and slept really well, with the AC in the room blasting out white noise against the roar of traffic outside.


Ready to go-Not too much stuff for 3-months of living and artmaking
Dearest Readers,
The car is packed and Etta James pooch and I are on the journey to the Green Mountains, land of my childhood and Irish relatives. My heart leaps.

Miss Gabby Garmin GPS is updated, retrofitted with a pinky drive full of the latest 2013 North America maps. She is my windshield sidekick.

My lifeblood-I do whatever the GPS tells me
Saturday June 8: First leg of the trip. Cool overcast drive to The Hambidge Center in the North Georgia mountain town of Rabun Gap. It’s the closing reception for the show “Fables of the Eco-Future”, curated by the amazing Lisa Alembik. I’m in front of my drawings and photos of the hole I dug last summer in West Rutland Vermont, talking a little about that personal landscape of fullness and emptiness, the process of delving into the self, and the connection it engendered with something bigger.

Talking about my Vermont earthwork at Hambidge Show "Fables of the Eco-Future
I spent the night at the peaceful, paradise land and home of artists Lyn and Laurence Holden located off War Woman Road in Clayton Georgia, a few miles from Hambidge. A river runs by their front porch, the birds are quiet, a distant car from an unseen road thumps rhythms through the dark green silence of approaching dusk.
Laurence and Lyn Holden-Clayton GA mountain paradise
 I’m still talking in front of their hilltop home. Time to get going… 
Cecelia at Holden House-Clayton GA 6.8.2013