This weekend I finally made it out to Dia:Beacon, the modern contemporary art gallery transformed from the abandoned Nabisco factory, and what a gallery it is! The architectural space and mass of available natural light makes this a perfect space for an immense array of modern and contemporary art....it was discovered by it's founders as they flew helicopters over the Hudson Valley in search of an appropriate space to display immense works of art such as Richard Serra's rolled steel pieces:

This is also an exceptional place to install Louise Bourgeois's large scale sculptural pieces which play with the concept of sexuality and habitation, organic amorphousness, and the relationship between past and present. I absolutely love her clay pieces which resemble cocoons and are rife with allusions to the body. Here is her 1997 piece "Spider", which melds perfectly in this distant space located at the top corner of the factory building with it's bare brick walls and diffused lighting:

Dia:Beacon has a wonderful permanent collection and the most delightful experience for me was viewing Fred Sandback's string pieces as this is the first time I have had the opportunity to view his pieces in person. This particular body of work represents minimalism at it's best. The graceful way he uses string produces such a sense of volume it can not be grasped in a mere photograph but must be experienced in person.

Another little gem was Robert Smithson, his use of glass, mirrors, and sand play with the concept of materiality and illusion:

Well worth the trip...only wish they had more rotating exhibitions!


A return to Nature and the little things in life

This weekend was simply fantastic...not only was the weather prefect but there were a couple of experiences which were quite humbling for me. The first unexpected delight was yesterday morning...one of my favorite things to do is to putts around the garden in the early morning hours pruning with a good cup of coffee by my side. My garden is somewhat overgrown and in need of some good lovin and so I was diligently clipping and pulling when I discovered a little frog perched on top of one of my flowers. Seeing this little guy reminded me of why I had actually started the garden in the first place.... it was a reaction to the significant decline of the honey bee population and I wanted to ensure the critters on my little plot of land had a safe place to eat, sleep, and relax. So witnessing the little frog enjoying the morning sunrise reminded me that although the garden may be overgrown and messy, at least it's main purpose is being fulfilled. Sometimes I get caught up in the rat race of life and I forget what's really important.

The second experience was while hiking...another of my favorite pastimes as I love breathing in the woodsy air (especially during this time of year...the air is so crisp!) and listening to the sounds of nature. This little hike was a joy as the trail head is one I have been passing for at least the past 10 years and have never previously stopped to explore. To my delight this trail had several little site-specific artsy nature sculptures which several people had taken upon themselves to decorate the trail. There were about 4 sculptures that I did see but I am sure there were several overlooked as they simply blended in so eloquently with their surroundings. I only took this one photograph as the others didn't photograph well, but it's a good representation of the other pieces.

This trail is not difficult but does require at least a light hiking shoe and be sure to bring in your water...there's some areas you need to scramble through and the ridge is pure rock so your in the sunshine while admiring the spectacular view. The trail head can be found off route 66 in Meriden...enjoy people!! :)


Touring the American West

OK, here comes a flurry of photographs I took when traipsing through Montana and Wyoming for three weeks last June. It has taken me a while to go though my 700 or so photographs and have narrowed it down to these 30. Enjoy :)

Special thanks to -martin. whose daily calls ensured that I didn't leave my mind in some humble town amid the hills of Wyoming :)


Earths Echoes

This is a re-work of They Thrust Towards The Light which I thought to be visually overstimulating and bland. Two days ago I really liked this piece, yesterday it was so/so, now not so sure.


CG Jung

"The artist is not a person endowed with free will who seeks his own ends, but one who allows art to realize its purposes through him. As a human being he may have moods and a will and personal aims, but as an artist he is "man" in a higher sense - he is "collective man," a vehicle and moulder of the unconscious psychic life of mankind."

(from 'Psychology and Literature', 1930)


Venus of Willendorf

Today I went to a lecture regarding the current exhibit Female Forms & Facets at Central Connecticut State University. It was a rare opportunity to hear three famous artists speak about their personal work. Carolee Schneemann, Penny Arcade, and Judy Fox all spoke and was followed by Peggy doing one of her racy, challenging, thought provoking performances. If anyone knows anything about these artists you already know this shows theme…it’s All about women. This particular exhibit is focused on how Feminist Artists portray themselves and invokes questions of what women artists are saying about themselves, what issues they are choosing to address in their artwork, and challenges the stereotypical ways in which women are seen. I am not a great fan of Feminist Art but I am able to appreciate the “celebration” of femininity which is the essence of this exhibit. The show includes several artists using a variety of mediums and Judy Chicago is well represented. Again, not a great fan of some of Judy’s work but I was pleasantly surprised to learn she was a great friend and fan of the author Anais Nin, whom I also have great respect for.

The artist is the only one who knows that the world is a subjective creation, that there is a choice to be made, a selection of elements.

Anais Nin


"In the middle of the journey of our life....."

This quote starts Dante’s Inferno, which I have recently chosen to conquer. I say conquer because of the challenges of understanding the poems religious and classical text. It references the era of late medieval Italy. Dante’s Comedy is chock full of allegory and tells the tale of a Pilgrim’s journey through the cosmos and the realms of Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise which will allow him to see the spectrum of human reality and the glory of divine origins which will ultimately lead him to salvation. The Pilgrim's guide through Inferno is the roman poet Virgil. While Purgatorio and Paradiso tell of the recuperation of the human soul and its triumph in the presence of the transcendent deity, Inferno explores the world of the souls remaining in unhappiness and cut off from the primal sources of human life and renewal. Inferno is full of division, souls cling to their separateness and their own concept of reality. The state of being in Inferno, the inner world of thought, obsession and ceaselessly repeated anger and cruelty, souls which remain cut off from one’s divine origins, is a result of a soul’s internal choices and fulfillment. Although this state may seem unyielding it also seems to challenge and provoke our own sense of justice and consequence and forces the reader to access what it truly means to be human. In the beginning of Inferno the Pilgrim is exposed to the hill of aspiration and the sun of higher illumination as possible goals, but given fallible human nature the descent into darkness is necessary to reveal the potential of humans to dehumanize themselves and others. Sound familiar?....pretty much echoes our chaotic 21st century.


"Bodies Revealed"

This exhibit, currently at the Hartford Civic Center, is definitely Not for the faint of heart! The exhibit features human bodies preserved through a new process called "plastination," where technicians remove the water from organs or whole bodies and replace it with silicon. The corpses are then cut open...and in some cases, sliced into sections....to reveal the inner workings of the human body. The exhibits curators have arranged some of the cadavers in poses to simulate real-life activities. A man running, with all his layers of muscles and tendons splayed out, as if he is about to take flight. A muscular cadaver pulling back on a bow and arrow. Some of the exhibits are intended to be a bit shocking: a lung blackened from years of smoking, a liver pickled from years of drinking, a brain shriveled from Alzheimer’s Disease. Overall the exhibit is extraordinary, beautiful, challenging. There are three versions of the exhibit currently traveling the world...if it's in your area, a definite must see!