Thursday, June 14, 2012

Art and Food

Before any of our trips to NYC I always spend time on the computer doing research. I make lists of all the museums and galleries, their locations and what is showing. It doesn't matter that I have copies of the gallery guide, or I have done this before, or even that I think I can find most of them blindfolded, I still make my lists. I also make lists of potential restaurants--and the top item I look for are dim sum restaurants. It is nice to see that Nom Wah Tea Parlor, the first place my mother took me for dim sum when I was a child, is still open and recently getting good press, after a period of some questionable reports. Sadly three trips to NYC and I still haven't fit dim sum into the equation. I think it was easier when galleries were in Soho, but Chelsea is just a bit off the route to Chinatown.

Laduree, Madison Avenue and 71st Street, NYC
We did get to Laduree though. Be sure to click HERE and see their website--the animation just seems so perfect for their product and image. It's located just south of the Whitney Museum, and the Biennial was definitely on our to do list. It was pouring rain and as we approached the store we heard one man say to his companion, "The line would be winding around the corner if it wasn't raining so hard." So we lucked out.

Cookbook with Macaron Recipe
I purchased their cookbook, Sucre, after reading about it on the Not So Humble Pie blog. It came packaged in a box that looked like it was full of sweets, and when you open the box you find this softly colored tissue paper and small book with gold paper edges and a velvet cover. The pictures are scrumptous and I remember that Mark, my friend Marianne, and I just sat there and turned every page in the book--oohing and ahhing the whole time.

A variety of Laduree Macarons--a bit weary from being hauled around all day but still delicious.
I got a selection of different macarons for dessert that night. We cut them into quarters and critiqued them with our friends as we ate them. The raspberry one just seemed like regular jam inside, and the vanilla one (I think) had a sort of marshmellow-like filling that I didn't like at all (and I like marshmellow), but all the rest were delicious. It was so much fun to actually buy and taste them but I think in the future I will just make my own.

Images from the Whitney Biennial: Werner Herzog (top), Lutz Bacher (left middle top), Elaine Reichek (right middle top), Statement by Forrest Bess (left middle bottom), weaving by Travis Meinolf for installation by Kai Althoff (right middle bottom), Forrest Bess (bottom)
The Whitney Biennial 2012 is closed now but we managed to get there during the final week. I thought it was a relatively quiet show. Textiles are definitely a popular medium now and Elaine Reichek's room and the shroud woven by Travis Meinolf were both prominent. I have been a fan of Werner Herzog since seeing his Nosferatu in 1979, and as I approached the space where his installation was located, the music coming out of it let me know I had arrived. If you click on his name in the previous sentence, you can listen to a discussion he had with the curators of the Biennial on May 17th. Does anyone else have such a wonderful hypnotic mesmerizing enthusiastic voice? He opens my heart to wonder.

Opening of Silence at Masters & Pelavin, curator Jaanika Peerna (left), Anne Lindberg (second from left) and other artists in the exhibition; "Sleep" by Anne Lindberg (below)
We timed this trip so we could attend an opening of the exhibition Silence at Masters & Pelavin, which included work by our friend Anne Lindberg. It was packed, so the title Silence was like an oxymoron--but then the curator, Jaanika Peerna, asked for a moment of silence and a sense of peace took over the room. Mostly I get to encourage and applaud my friends these days through Facebook and email--we are all so spread out in space--so it was really meaningful to be able to see Anne (and her husband) and share her success in person.

On the way home we spent hours at DIA Beacon. No pictures are allowed so you will just have to go in person and experience the work, the place, the ambiance. My advice: GO! To me it was definitely a holy pilgrimage. This is the art that I understand as "Art." Robert Ryman, Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin, Blinky Palermo, Walter De Maria...and the list goes on. GO!     

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