The Unbearable Banishment: I wanna take a walk along <i>Action Strasse</i>

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I wanna take a walk along Action Strasse

I have been uninspired to read or write anything lately. Like a light bulb that was suddenly switched off. Amazing! Let's try this, shall we?

* * *

I took two days off between consulting gigs. On one day, I watched The Daughters while Mrs. Wife went on a well-deserved long weekend away. Before she left, I spent a day strolling around Chelsea with CB ducking in an out of the galleries. It was mid-week so, naturally, they were all gloriously empty. It's the only way to see these things and it made me yearn for the days when I was unemployed (with a severance).

I'm not a huge Picasso fan—a lot of his stuff is too esoteric for me and it sails over my head—but I was really moved by the Picasso and Marie-Thérèse exhibit at the Gagosian Gallery on 21st Street (through July 15). The idea that you can see such a huge gathering of Picassos in a beautifully lit gallery for FREE blows my mind.


The Gagosian has gotten into the habit of putting on blockbuster exhibits for free...because they can, I guess. They mounted a spectacular Monet exhibit not long ago. None of the pieces in these exhibits are for sale, which is counterintuitive to what a gallery is all about. But it's not as though I could afford any them if they were. The gallery is turning itself into a de facto museum.


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CB is a scribe in the fashion industry so we had a professional obligation to visit the Kate Moss photo exhibit at the Danzinger Gallery on W. 23rd Street. There are about two dozen pics by different photographers that span her career. Like the Picasso work, I didn't think this would be for me but enjoyed it despite my preconceived notions. That happens a LOT.

This was my favorite shot because it shows Kate on 42nd Street right around the time I got to New York. The city was dank, dirty and scary—especially 42nd Street. I like looking back on old New York but don't miss it all that much. In some of the photos, Kate is no more than a child and they were kind of creepy and sad to look at. They certainly explain some of the horribleness she was to experience later in life.

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Here's a fun one also at the Gagosian Gallery (the one on 24th Street). John Chamberlain's sculptures are constructed from mangled auto parts.


You have to stand next to these things to really feel the scale of how massive they are. Get down heavy.


I can understand hanging a Picasso or a photo of Kate Moss but what the hell are you supposed to do with these? They must weigh a ton!


I was hoping for a price guide to see what one costs. They're interesting in that if you slowly walk around them, they change shape, light and color. Well done to you, Mr. Chamberlain, sir!

13 Comments:

Blogger Pat said...

I would have enjoyed the Picasso and the Kate photos.
I've just ordered two more Jane Gardham's and am about to finish a very different take on Britain: Andrea Ashworth's 'Once in a House on Fire.'
Grim 1970's Manchester memoir - very absorbing.

June 22, 2011 at 6:46 PM  
Anonymous dinahmow said...

Those sculptures look like "transformers" from the toy box of a very rough kid!But wouldn't it be nice to have the right place for one.Or two!

June 22, 2011 at 7:02 PM  
Blogger xl said...

I like the tall chrome one. I think it would look best outside in a tropical garden.

June 22, 2011 at 7:17 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Pat: Albatross had the watch the whole time inside the lining I'd his hat with his deck of cards! Can you believe it!?!? Best ending of a book ever.

Dinah: That's exactly what I thought, too. I saw an ad for the film just before the exhibit and it was fresh in my mind.

XL: They were all pretty good but that tall one was the best of the lot by a long shot.

June 22, 2011 at 7:29 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

Albatross was a character I'd like to see more of.

June 23, 2011 at 7:18 AM  
Blogger JZ said...

and here I am staring at that beautiful glassy concrete floor wondering what exactly they did to get that finish.....oh..and the art looks fantastic as well! ;)

June 23, 2011 at 7:22 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Pat: WHERE'S THE FILM?! Who plays Old Filth? Peter O'Toole.

JZ: You should see the color and texture of that floor with the sunlight pouring down on it from the skylights. THAT'S art.

June 23, 2011 at 7:28 AM  
Blogger Eryl said...

Oh, the joy of an empty gallery! Very taken with the mangled auto-part sculptures, they'd look marvellous and disturbing in a huge, traditional country garden alongside the topiary peacocks and roses.

I have a huge amount of respect for Kate Moss, and would kill to see a whole room of Picassos.

June 23, 2011 at 9:56 AM  
OpenID daisyfae said...

Will this show be up in July?

June 24, 2011 at 8:47 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Eryl: Oh my God, you're right. Those sculptures would look perfect in a country garden. And with the rain dripping off of them? Perfect.

daisy: Depends on which part of July. The Picasso exhibit it up until the 15th. Hope you can make that one.

June 24, 2011 at 9:37 PM  
Blogger Ellie said...

New York!

June 25, 2011 at 4:33 AM  
Anonymous daisyfae said...

rats. we get to town the weekend of the 17th... will have to start sorting this out soon!

June 25, 2011 at 10:14 PM  
Blogger nursemyra said...

How serendipitous, I was just reading about the Gagosian in my New York guide!

June 26, 2011 at 5:28 AM  

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