Monday, December 29, 2008

Bow Street Gallery in Cambridge

Back to Cambridge we go! The weather warmed up for me to take a lengthy stroll one afternoon, and I explored areas outside the square I hadn't discovered before. I stumbled on a lovely little contemporary art gallery called the Bow Street Gallery. It's in the kind of space that I dream of owning for a gallery one day - funky old building, flooded with tons of natural light from tall windows, and high ceilings. It also happens to show the kind of art that I love - contemporary work by artists I've never heard of before (although I'm sure they're better known in the region - my knowledge is pretty limited to Southern California).

The gallery was in mid-installation when i visited, so I didn't get a good gander at the works, but I love the photo on their site of the current installation, Lumos by Stacy Parks (who is perhaps the owner of the gallery?). I could just move into that beautiful room! One day I'll have my own little funky space to fill with the art that I love!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Nasher in Dallas and ICA in Boston

Falling behind again, so here's a double entry. We did our holiday travels early, first to Dallas to visit my family then to Cambridge to visit Eric's. We had the great fortune of hitting two stellar art museums on our journeys.

In Dallas, our friends Anne and Ashley escorted us to the Nasher Sculpture Center. I first tried to visit the Nasher when it opened five years ago, but the line was so incredibly long I went to my ol' stomping grounds, the Dallas Museum of Art, instead. Anyway, this time was a success, and I'm now embarassed that it took me so long. I won't go into the history of the Nasher, you can read that here, but I do remember when Ray Nasher announced that, rather than giving his amazing collection of modern sculpture to one of the dozens of institutions worldwide that courted him for years, he would build a site dedicated to showcasing it in Dallas. What a coup for Dallas!

Back in college when I was an intern at the DMA, I would have LOVED to be able to stroll next door to the Nasher - it is so tranquil, and the sculpture is really, really stunning. Picassos and Modiglianis, Moores and Miros. I was in Modern Art Heaven. I'm always happy when I can see a Calder sculpture (above, framing Eric in the background), and although Anne is not quite as pregnant as Picasso's muse here, I'm certain she's just as inspiring!

The following weekend, Eric's brother Jack, his wife Linda and their son Nick took us to the Institute for Contemporary Art, another relatively new building that is a true gem for Boston. Located right on the Charles River, the ICA is, like the Nasher, basked in natural light and clean, simple lines. The current exhibition of works by Tara Donovan is amazing. Donovan uses common, everyday objects to create sculpture and installations that are amazingly organic looking. The ceiling installation above is made from styrofoam cups! Her other creations with plastic straws, windshield glass, paper plates and other humdrum items are equally stunning.

This shot is Jack, Linda and Nick in the ICA's Poss Family Mediatheque, a digital media center in a vertically stepped-out space suspended from the underside of the building's cantilever. You can barely see the snow drifting down on the water outside. What a week of art! Thank you to our tour guides!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Virtual Rembrandt in SoCal

Thank you to the LA Times for highlighting a really terrific resource for us Rembrandt junkies - a virtual exhibition of works by Rembrandt in the collections of Southern California museums. You might be surprised to know that outside NY and DC, Southern California has the largest number of Rembrandts in the US.

So this virtual exhibition of 14 Rembrandts from the vaults of the Getty, Hammer, LACMA, Norton Simon, and the Timken (in San Diego) is really exciting! The site offers an online exhibition guide, a printable exhibition guide, and an audio tour by Getty Curator Scott Schaefer.

Reading about this made me think of when we visited Amsterdam and went to Rembrandt's house! It's so amazing to me that, almost 400 years later, you can view where the master slept, painted, ate, fought (and now, you can have a wedding there!?). I'm excited to now check out the web site of the Rembrandt House Museum! I don't think I've ever looked at it before now. It has some amazing virtual tours, so you can check out this historic space on your own. Again, kudos to the internet for making these cultural treasures available to people around the world!r