|MoMA - Rain Room, 2012|
|Oldenburg - Giant Hamburger w/Pickle (MoMA)|
We had, however, other things in mind: a major Claes Oldenburg retrospective exhibit and (right next door) a large & commanding show examining the life, projects, thought & thought processes of Le Corbusier - displaying a broad, idiosyncratic & diverse career of architectural design & building, writing (30+ books), painting & more. Le Corbusier was, of course, an architectural giant & "big thinker" (there is an interview with him and a lecture on the philosophical underpinnings of his large body of work); and Oldenburg, you might recall, introduced the world to the possibilities of the commercial product and street-based refuse as viable forms of art - designing, and focusing in on, brightly painted sculptures & "sculptural reliefs" ... from a giant hamburger (see MoMA photo) to such subjects as lingerie, pastries, pies, eggs & omelettes, hats, suits, ties, jumbo sneakers ... focusing, that is, on all sorts of socio-cultural artifacts and, writ large and colorful, making them art! Hence the title of the show: "Claes Oldenburg: The Street and The Store"(running thru August 5th).
|Oldenburg - Pastry Case, I|
Both of these shows - the Oldenburg & Le Corbusier ("An Atlas of Modern Landscapes"; thru September 23rd) - present, for the viewer-attendee, rich, complete, entertaining, complex (culturally, artistically), circumscribed environments and equally rich & entertaining experiences. You owe it to yourself to get over to MoMA and see one or both of these, well, major events before they close!
On another note entirely: I'd like to propose some summer reading material for those upcoming August, "dog-day" afternoons or leisure-laden evenings.
First, let me propose the Andrea Camilleri mystery series (now in Penguin paperbacks, @ Amazon.com) in which the action is based in northwest Sicily. In some 12 or 14 books (translated efficiently, effectively & responsibly by Stephen Sartarelli), we follow Inspector Salvo Montalbano battling all sorts of crime of the most riveting variety - featuring daunting criminals, bizarre cases, and equally entertaining & oddly depicted cops. But the real pleasure is as much (or more) in the character, habits & interests of Montalbano, himself, as it is in the narrative & context of the case under investigation. For me, the fun is simply underscored by the allusions to the food and culture of Sicily that Montalbano concentrates upon & addresses, day & night, in a variety of matters, along the way.
And, as I was saying to my ole friend, Leonardo L., just the other day, in an e-mail response to his letting me know how much he enjoyed The Shape of Water (volume #1 in the series), this detective series is full of humor & humanity; it is interesting and entertaining; positively rich in local "color" - culture & food(!) & books & Sicilian locales; somewhat light in texture & tone (but only somewhat); and full of ongoing philosophical probing and existential issues. You would do well to take a look at one of Andrea Camilleri's Montalbano mysteries!
Consider yourself set, now, for the remainder of the summer, through, say, Labor Day weekend, at the very least ...