We went to the Miró museum today, another place that forbids photographs. Because no reason, because they are grasping capitalist elitist swine who don’t want anyone who doesn’t give them money to have the experience of the art, I suppose. I have become so against people who conceal information or beauty for money that I can never be with them again.
Having said that, whoever hung the temporary exhibit at the museum is a genius. The grouping of the works was perfect… the concept of the whole, the importance of the horizon, the progression through time, and the regional approaches- all of this was evident without seeing a single word about it. I died over a simple still life of flowers from a young Dali, and marvelled again at the depth of a Richter landscape… the paint completely smooth except where the light exploded off of the mountains, in the setting sun.
I was particularly stunned by Magritte’s beautiful Chateau; I had no idea it was so huge- something like six feet tall.
The surface of the painting was, like the Richter, almost completely smooth; no texture to the paint at all. Close up, the piece looked pixelated, not painted. It was… incredible.
Calder’s Mercury Fountain was permanently installed at the Miró; he made it originally for the Berlin World’s Fair, in 1937, and it was displayed, along with Picasso’s Guernica, in the Spanish pavilion. After the fair, Calder donated the piece to the museum, where it is exhibited in a closed room. Even so, it seems dangerous, deadly.
When I look at the fall of mercury from this angle, it looks like a death mask. Perhaps that was Calder’s intention.
I very much loved a painting done in 1921 by Nicolau Raurich, titled Eastern Land, which was new to me. This photograph, from the Google Art Project, does not do it the slightest justice, but I am grateful that it exists, no thanks to the Miró.
After the museum, we magically found our way to the restaurant Quimet y Quimet, a place in Poble Sec (Andre’s hood) that was recommended to us by my friend Diana. It was delicious.
Perhaps the most important, exciting part of my day was the near-hour I spent sitting in a room watching a film of a very young Christo working to get permission for and then installing a long, curved fabric fence on the Marin coast. The piece was called Running Fence, and you can read about it here.
Photo, Smithsonian archive
I have a lot of mixed feelings about Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s work (I really hate to see things, like millions of yards of fabric) wasted or destroyed for a moment of pleasure, and the skillions of dollars that have been spent wrapping things would have bought a lot of something real) but I’ve also loved the feel of his pieces, and I was pleased to fall in love with Christo himself. It was a gift.
Street art is always for the people, which is half of why I love it.