Thursday, November 12, 2009

Art Talk

Entrance to MassMOCA

Last week brought our last fall visitors, Anne Lindberg and Marcie Miller Gross, who came from Kansas City to take down Anne's work in the H2O Film on Water exhibit at Newport Mill in New Hampshire. Marcie requested that we go to MassMOCA so we drove to North Adams last Friday. You can see how happy we were to be together--passionate talk by passionate artists--all art talk all day could have been our slogan. Though Marcie and Anne did not overlap at Cranbrook, Liz and I shared time with both of them--Anne being second year to our first year, and Marcie being first year to our second year. These connections are truly deep, and deepen every time we get together and share experiences like this one among the Sol LeWitt wall murals.

Talking, Laughing, Photographing the Sol LeWitt murals at MassMOCA

The space of MassMOCA is as inspiring as the work. We all talked about what our work would look like there, which room we would chose. Thinking about my TC1, which is set up to weave a 14-inch width right now, it seems ludicrous to consider these vast spaces for my work. But ambition has no bounds, so consider it I did. All things seem possible around these friends who work hard, really hard, to make their ideas become reality. Internally I feel shaken up, like the floor of the Kiefer piece shown below, but hopefully all this agitation and excitement will lead to something cohesive and interesting in my studio this winter.

Standing next to Anselm Keifer sculpture at MassMOCA

On Sunday we went to Newport to take down Anne's piece. She had hung thousands of threads in a wave pattern from the ceiling, and our task was to get it crated so it can be shown again in the future. We worked together as if we do this every day as a team. Of course, we did have some past experience--Liz helped Anne with her final work at Cranbrook and Marcie helped me with mine.

One of the conversations we had was about the PBS series, Art 21. Mark, Marcie and Anne all knew about it, have watched these incredible interviews, but it was news to Liz and me. The last few nights Mark and I have been watching some of the programs on our computer. So far we have seen 14 artist segments. I am realizing how out of touch I am with the contemporary art scene, and that I miss going to New York galleries. Most of the artists we watched so far are people who do the kind of monolithic work that fit spaces like MassMOCA--and most of them work with teams of young people who execute the work. It seems foreign to me, I have always worked alone, yet the history of art is all about masters and apprentices; the Angers Tapestries wouldn't exist if only one person had made them. After watching the programs on Julie Mehretu and Doris Salcedo, I realized I had just encountered two new forces of inspiration--women, like my friends, who are passionate about their art.

Anne Lindberg in front of her piece at Newport Mill

Team Work

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