Saturday, January 5, 2008

art: Minneapolis excellopolis

Went to Mpls, real snow in gray landscapes.

Walker Art Center
The Herzog & de Meuron add-on to the Walker Art Center is... OK, in the same way their new de Young in San Francisco is OK. Interesting shapes, modern textures. The off-white plaster with jagged cut-outs inside is just strange, and the logic of two towers escapes me. I didn't know where I was as I walked around.
Herzog & de Meuron robot headFrom the right angle the windows cut into the new square tower make it look exactly like a Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robot. Rarrrr!

The new Guthrie Theater by starchitect Jean Nouvel is anything but just OK. Phallic endless bridge poking out over the Mississipi, theaters way up off the ground, midnight blue color, ultracool pink and dark lounge colors inside. Completely over the top but fun and excellent.

Inside the Walker had YAFF (yet another fine Frida) exhibit, nothing new to see. Elemental, their Minimalist collection, had a nifty piece by Carl Andre, Aisle, just squat oblong logs of rough wood forming a procession. A simple idea made. And a museum guard singing "This is propaganda; you know, you know. This is propaganda", a conceptual piece by some Italian.

They also had Brave New Worlds: "this groundbreaking exhibition offers bold and creative approaches to questions about the artist's responsibility to the world in times of adversity." Blah blah, globalism, videos, installations, multimedia. But the scale of it, 24 artists, drives you to engage with their concerns. SFMOMA's polite presentations of a handful of contemporary artists are seriously weak, dude, by comparison.

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