The Guggenheim

12 April

I seem to have gone on a little bit of an artistic adventure since I moved to New York – partly because a lot of it’s free, or passes are available, and partly because there’s so much variety you can’t get bored, and I have a fairly short attention span so not getting bored is good!

The Building

Set amidst the Upper East Side, Museum Mile.

Surrounded by nice stone town houses, it’s all very neat and clean.

Walking along the streets around it, it is quiet, and then there will be a queue round the corner to get into a museum, or an arty restaurant.

Then suddenly, there’s a white space ship sat on the corner.

Not really, but you get the idea.

The building itself is incredible. That alone is a work of art.

It makes an impact. Gets you in the mood to go in and explore some modern art.

Guggenheim Exterior

From looking at the outside you really wonder what’s going on inside.

The building is completely white, and round, with rings running around it to distinguish the different floors.

Then walking in, it all opens out to reflect a similar look.

Guggenheim Interior

High ceilings, each level swirling around in a spiral tunnel. Clean, open, white space.

Guggenheim Ceiling

A peaceful place. But I suppose most galleries are.

The Art

If you can call it that. I’m not sure.

But that’s just my opinion.

Personally, I don’t really ‘get’ modern art. Don’t get me wrong, I can generally appreciate it. And I am open to trying new things.

Some of the techniques are really interesting. But a lot of the time I find the concepts just don’t make a lot of sense. It can just seem like they are trying too hard.

This exhibit in particular, I found a bit difficult to call art.

A selection of postcards with a stamp of the time he woke up.

An old map with the route he walked, in a variety of cities.

A list of the people he met.

A list of what he had read.

A telegram to say he was still alive and wasn’t having suicidal thoughts.

Over a period of 12 years.

12 years of telling someone when you got up in the morning, another person what you did, and another you’re alive.

Get a girlfriend.

I’m sure there was method to the madness. And some people will fully understand it and enjoy it. And I shouldn’t be so quick to judge.

But after a while, I found it a little bit difficult.

By the ‘I’m still alive’ section, I was questioning my mental state.

I think if there’s something on again that catches my interest I will go back, I wouldn’t knock the idea.

The Other Art

There were some side rooms with smaller exhibits that were good.

One with some older paintings, that I liked to look at, as it was a little more traditional – things that I hadn’t really seen before.

One that I really liked – and I can’t remember the artist – was of a ballerina. And her tutu had been drawn with chalk on layers of thin paper and then press together. I really wanted to go home and try to do this, until I remembered all my art stuff is back in Scotland.

And a few rooms with sculptures made from cut up mirrors to make shapes.

And an award winning exhibit with shoes filled with concrete attached to projectors… and a sheet with air pumped into it on the wall to look like a ghost… this put me back to confused.

Next Time

I’ll maybe give the MoMa a try.

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