Wednesday, January 16, 2013

reinventing inventing abstraction

So when my friend Aoibheann Sweeney and I decided to meet in the course of Inventing Abstraction at MOMA, it had seemed a truly great idea. As an idea, it was that. So what was it that, going through it, it seemed overly-familiar (yes, right, yes, that kind of thing), and unriveting???

I liked the way the Kupka exploded on the left wall just going in, and of course of course, they made and quite rightly too a big thing of the Cendrars and Sonia Delaunay Prose du Transsiberien long poem-thing (I have loved it for something like 200 years at least, as have we all,  most of we at least all).  And Blaise Cendrars, that superb chosen name, all about embers and burning,  thought "poem" was not what it was, and loved the medieval sense of the "prosa"). And the many gorgeous bookcovers by Sonia Delaunay  (what a great person, painter, dress fabric designer, oh, everything) she was indeed! I think in one of the many anthologies we did of women writers, some French ones, some not, some for Yale, some for Prentice-Hall, and so on, we used one of her designs, how not? And remember the Cooper-Hewitt Sonia Delaunay show a few years back???

 We agreed with the always brilliant Peter Schjedahl about the Sophie Tauber-Arp weaving (and i took to the triptych in its solemn grandeur).

Right, and of course, I was happy to see the Duncan Grant scroll -- and it seems you could hear a Bach Brandenburg if you hovered closely enough in the vicinity -- and that period, 1914, in his work, was so astounding (years ago, when I thought maybe I could make enough from some book or some lecture to acquire a Duncan Grant from that period, oh, funny it seems now, and this sentence is going nowhere slowly, so I will just put a period of  my own.)

And the dancers: I hadn't know that Mary Wigman had, or put on, such an Oriental face in her astounding sitting gyrations, and loved the Laban stuff, having heard so much about Laban notation...

and the great Peter Scheldahl writing in the New Yorker about this show: you have to agree about the Sophie Tauber-Arp weaving, and the triptych I also loved -- yes, but why do I not feel I have to rush back? Oh heavens, one less thing to rush back to, super idea.

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