sheetalp

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Yesterday I got to catch a preview of The Art of the Brick, an exhibition of sculptural works by artist Nathan Sawaya at the Discovery TImes Square.  Sawaya uses legos to build replicas of well known artworks, monuments, and other sculptures. I was struck by particular texture of the works - the boxed lines, hard corners and shiny surfaces gave each piece an almost pixellated look. Some of my favorites were Sawaya’s sculptural interpretation of Edvard Munch’s The Scream (recently at MoMA)  and Edgar Degas’ Little Dancer

The show opens today! 

Special thanks to Jackie Times for letting me come along! 

Sheetal Prajapati, Associate Educator, Public Programs

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Adventures and Art in SF, Part 2: Asian Art Museum

Last week I had pleasure of spending a week on the left coast in San Francisco. Amongst some of the great people I met, I also got to see some great art while there. Notably I made a trip to the Asian Art Museum for an evening program called Collection Obsessions - a panel of collectors - from asian art to comic books, dolls, and even mugs- talking about why and how they collect their favorite objects- a quirky and pleasantly interesting set of presentations. 

Following the program we took a stroll through a few galleries of the museum’s collection and then walked through their new contemporary art exhibition series. We saw Proximities I, What Time Is It Here? an exhibition organized by guest curator Glen Helfand, an independent writer, critic, curator, and educator.  The show examines themes related to landscape, imagined and real. This exhibition is part one in a series of three shows coming to the museum throughout the year.  

Here are a few snapshots of my favorite works from the old and new.

Sheetal Prajapati, Associate Educator

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On a recent trip to the The Art Institute of Chicago, I enjoyed some of my favorite works in their collection (the O'Keefe above is my absolute favorite work from her) and stopped in on the Fashion and Modernity exhibition featuring late 19th century fashions (from collections like the Met and LACMA) paired with a range of impressionist paintings by the greats including Renoir, Manet, and Seurat. One gallery even focused on the plein air works complete with bird sounds and fake grass on the floors… 

Sheetal Prajapati, Associate Educator

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Last week we went on day trip to the Hamptons to visit the Art Barge. Located in Amagensett on Napeague Harbor, the Art Barge is an actual World War I Navy barge turned into an art studio. MoMA’s first director of education, Victor D'Amico, acquired the barge in 1960 to create an art studio school for people of all ages. This great little MoMA gem still exists today, offering a range of studio classes for both adults and children through the summer months. The ocean-side view, distinct approach to teaching (which focuses heavily on process rather than product), and rich history of the space all make for an inspiring and unique creative setting!

We took Artists Experiment collaborator Allison Smith to get a real feel for the space and learn a bit more about the D'Amico way of educating. 

Next time you’re up in the Hamptons, make a visit to this magical creative place. 

Sheetal Prajapati, Associate Educator & Alison Burstein, 12-Month Intern, Adult & Academic Programs

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Lichtenstein, A Retrospective, currently on view at the Tate Modern, is a sprawling review of the artist’s large body of work in painting, sculpture, and drawing. Lichtenstein’s immense production and practice truly makes him an artist’s artist. His work has many qualities other artists aspire to - its challenging, beautiful, thoughtful and revolutionizing. Lichtenstein’s work is situated as an icon of the Pop Art movement.

Unlike many of his Abstract Expressionist predecessors, Lichtenstein wasn’t the tortured artist whose genius sprang from the corners of his subconscious. The artist understood and carefully considered art history, formal qualities of painting and sculpture, craft, and the development of ideas in his work. As his wife Dorothy points out, Lichtenstein loved making work - he was never burdened by the hours he spent in the studio. In fact, he was grateful that he could indeed make a living doing the work he loved.

The exhibition is laid out over several galleries at the Tate Modern - with some beautiful moments including the last two images in this photoset - a sculpture that is mirroring a partial reflection of a painting hung across from it and another sculpture sitting just perfectly in front of a painting of the same character.

This exhibition is a true celebration of an artist who we can all admire both as a creative professional and as a person. His practice was focused, engaged - and the results will provide us with inspiration for years to come. Take a look at the exhibition website which includes a fantastic video, Diagram of an Artist: Roy Lichtenstein. This exhibition is on view at the Tate Modern through May 27.

Sheetal Prajapati, Associate Educator, Public Programs

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The V&A Museum’s latest exhibition, David Bowie Is , blends fashion, music, art, and technology into an exceptionally immersive gallery experience. The exhibition explores David Bowie from a range of perspectives - as artist, actor, innovator, and especially as collaborator. The museum drew much of its materials and objects from Bowie’s personal archive of over 6000 objects, which includes notes, clothing, letters, photographs and even a lipstick-stained tissue. The exhibition organizes almost 300 items from his collection to weave a series of stories together about the life and work of this singular figure. The artist himself created at least two personas the world has come to know and adore – that of David Bowie (he was born David Jones) and the more eccentric and gender-bending Ziggy Stardust – and the exhibition honors this multiplicity of identities. The space draws visitors into areas or sections, each one exploring a different facet of Bowie’s life and persona; major sections include his upbringing and early foray into music, his early musical influences (Little Richard amongst others), the development and release of Space Oddity, his career in film, his impact on sex and gender politics, and his multiple collaborations with fashion designers and artists over the years.  

The exhibition features a mash up of materials and imagery – from projections of music videos, documentary photographs, and clothing to a number of video interviews with Bowie and a range of his collaborators. While photography was not technically allowed in the galleries, security let visitors snap a few shots here and there (as seen above). 

From the perspective of an educator, the most interesting and exciting part of the exhibition was the manner in which the audio tour was integrated into the gallery experience. It included interviews, music, and commentary from a range of voices, AND it was location activated -meaning that certain tracks and recordings automatically played when you moved through space. The exhibition was filled with invisible sensors that triggered area specific content as you moved through the galleries. Although there were a few glitches here and there, overall it was a truly multi-sensorial experience. I only had to press play once and my adventure in sound and sight began; two and half hours later I could have done it all again. The audio guide was not supplemental to the show - it was part of a curated experience. Sound, light, and technology were weaved into the experience of images, clothing, and narrative presented in the galleries.  

If you’re in London anytime between now and August 11, go see this exhibition. Whether or not you like museums or even David Bowie, I promise you’ll enjoy the multimedia experience the V&A has built for visitors.

Here’s hoping that this exhibition will serve as model for other museums around the globe. Oh, and David Bowie is one interesting chap. 

Sheetal Prajapati, Associate Educator, Public Programs

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Two Sides: Awesome Blossom

In this new series, Two Sides, we’ll explore the relationship between two objects, ideas, or images. What makes them different or what makes them alike?  From art to nature, come have a litte fun with us pairing all kinds of things!  You can find all of  our Two Sides series posts by searching hashtag #twosidesmoma

Our first Two Sides comes straight from San Diego. On my recent trip to Balboa Park, I visited both the Desert Garden and the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden, located, appropriately enough for this series, right next to each other.

The Desert Garden features a wide range of cacti - from delicate flowering plants to rougher, tougher cacti  with large and menacing spikes.  The Rose Garden, similarly, presents roses of all shapes, sizes, and colors - from bushes to tall plants.  What immediately came to mind was the simple, straight forward relationship between cacti thorns and rose thorns. After I looked through my images though, I found something else - the beauty of the blossom.  These two snapshots best represent the striking similarity I discovered between the way a rose blossoms and the way this particular cacti was opening up.  

Sheetal, Associate Educator, Public Programs

We are looking for other beautiful blossoming shots. Do you have any? 

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This week I am in Copenhagen, Denmark to attend the Inclusive Museum conference.  I had the pleasure of taking the train up to Hemlebaek to visit the magical Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Just 50 minutes north of Copenhagen, this complex of buildings connected by glass hallways and outdoor plazas is situated next to the peaceful waterfront.  Between the incredible collection of modern masterpieces and the current exhibitions (Pop Art Design and Tara Donovan),  there was bounty of captivating objects to explore. Here are a few snapshots from my visit. More to come….

Hey MoMA visitors, anything look familiar?