VVP: Art 434 & Engl. 410

Website for Vision Voice and Practice: An Interdisciplinary Course in Art and Creative Writing

Monday, March 28, 2011

Went to LACMA

The class went to LACMA yesterday, where we looked at a pair of Joseph Cornell boxes. Then, standing in front of the massive Robert Motherwell canvas (absurdly tiny in the link), we listened as Dan read to us excerpts from a correspondence between Motherwell and the poet Frank O'Hara. Talking about it afterwards, Dan and I agreed that we should have given the students some sort of task after our brief foray into Sound + Vision, but we weren't sure what it would have been. At any rate, seeing the stuff in person is always better than in a book or on a screen, as I was reminded by looking at the museum's enchanting Mondrian, with its marble-like cracks and expressive brush strokes, which are invisible in reproduction.

My eight-year-old son Troy came with us, and he was a good museum companion. He put his face up to the AbEx paintings in order to immerse himself in their canvases, side-stepping back and forth to observe how the colors in front of his eyes changed. He loved the various assemblages, he was disturbed by Victor Brauner's Suicide at Dawn, and he was told by a museum worker to stop running as he wound his way around Richard Serra's Bend and Sequence. He also thought the Mondrian-inspired chair was neat, and he was amused by the gigantic litter box. ("Lucy [our cat] would love this!") He was not as taken with Jeff Koons's balloon dog or floating basketballs or giant eggshell, though we did make a joke about how the balloon dog may have been born from that egg. When he saw Quad Elvis, he asked, "Why would that woman agree to be naked like that?" And then, "Wouldn't she be embarrassed to have everyone see her naked in a museum?"

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