Thursday, May 17, 2012

The 5000s Go a'Arting

Last weekend, Mrs.5000 and I got our act together and renewed our membership in the Portland Art Museum.  We briefly poked our noses into the South Asian collection, because it's hard to pass up Lord Ganesh on a giant mouse.

Here's me with Lord Vishnu in his incarnation as Lord of the Dance.

But soon we were whisked away, or whisked ourselves away I suppose, to the featured exhibits.  One was a major collection of the work of Mark Rothko.  In addition to his big color fields, there are quite a few of his earlier figurative works in the exhibit.  I kind of liked this Ensor-ish one:

...and Mrs.5000 really likes this one:

To tell you the honest truth, I ended up feeling like I had taken and failed the Rothko test.  I've always been skeptical of his famous color-field paintings, but have also often been told that you have to see them in person, and then, wow!  So now I've seen them in person, but the wow! didn't happen.  It makes me feel like I've let down the side, somehow.

Mrs.5000 did a much better job than me at Rothko appreciation:

I'm more of an Albers man:

Mr. Albers is currently going head to head with Carl Andre in the Infinite Art Tournament, where voter lamanyana recently said he bets that Albers paintings "are great in person."  I certainly thought so.  I asked Mrs.5000 what she supposed it meant that I respond to Albers but not Rothko and she replied, rather kindly I thought, that I must "be more spiritually attuned to the straight line."   Ooh, good answer!

We bumped into works by other Tournament artists as well, including Josef Beuys, currently between matches after being trounced by Gianlorenzo Bernini in Round 1.

This monumental piece hangs impressively in the central lobby, just centimeters off the floor.  Call me reactionary, but I think it might have had stronger overall impact without the big fake turds.

Here's Agnolo Bronzino, looking very good indeed in a painting that I prefer to either of the entries in his current Round 1 contest against Victor Brauner.

And here's Max Beckmann, who's currently throwing down against Frederic Bazille in a Round 2 contest.   Polls close soon!

And the spider-woman herself, Louise Bourgeois, currently in Round 1 action against Antoine Bourdelle!

There was also a exhibit showing the work of a guy named John Frame which was rather remarkable, but also hella difficult to explain, and they didn't want it photographed.  So if you are a City of Roses person, you'll just go have to see for yourself.  And if you're not, you'll just have to come visit.

Mrs.5000 points out that you'll have to come visit quickly, as the John Frame exhibit is only up until May 27.


Chuckdaddy said...

They need to reorganize the museum a-z to better fit your tournament

gl. said...

ha ha! i love your IRL art tournament. it makes me think there should be an MMA-style ring in the museum, maybe where the current Josef Beuys exhibit is.

also, you'll be seeing john frame's film at the nw animation fest this weekend! i LOVED his exhibit: very dreamlike and theatrical. one of my favorite art exhibits (next to bill viola at the getty in 2003).

Rebel said...

I just re-joined the PAM a couple of weeks ago, and I have to say, I was underwhelmed by the rothko exhibit as well. The piece that's in the SF MOMA really did strike me in person... but these, not so much.

Did you make it to the Native American wing? I love that whole area. And the Northwest arts floor had some cool stuff.

I become less and less impressed with the modern-art building the more I go. Honestly, I have been a bit disappointed in the direction the museum has gone since they added that side.

But still... the traveling exhibits are usually really interesting... and the Frame exhibit.... uh, yeah. Not sure how to describe it, but totally worth looking at.

Michael5000 said...

Reb: A museum needs to cater to a wide variety of patrons in order to be successful -- you and me, for instance! The modern-art wing is the core of the museum for me, and would never think to go into the Native American exhibit. A chacun à son goût.