Saturday, June 9, 2007

Marathon MoMA Day

Yesterday, I spent most of the day at the Museum of Modern Art, and the artsy offerings proved why the place is consistently one of my favorite NYC destinations:

Richard Serra: Sculpture: Forty Years
By far, this is the best sculptural exhibit I've seen in years. You can't help but be awed by the grandeur of Richard Serra's massive circular steel structures. There is an almost gravitational pull between the sloping metal walls of these immense constructions, and the physical energy is delightful and horrifying at the same time. Serra's earlier work with lead, rubber and fiberglass is also on display, just as stark and gripping though less grand in scale. All of it is art you can feel, deep inside your chest.
Bonus: Richard Serra will be live and in person at MoMA on September 6 at 6pm for a discussion of his work and the exhibition with curator Lynne Cooke.
Andy Warhol's The Chelsea Girls
After eating some seriously strange lime mint gelato in MoMA's sculpture garden and gazing at more Serra sculptures, I soon headed back inside to take in the screening of Andy Warhol's The Chelsea Girls. In a supreme stroke of luck for this Warhol film newbie, the movie was introduced by Douglas Crimp, art critic and curator, who eased us into this avant-garde cinematic extravaganza with personal insights into Warhol's New York City art scene.
Set in numerous rooms at the infamous Chelsea Hotel and featuring a seriously disturbed and chemically altered cast of underground characters, The Chelsea Girls is a triumph for societal outcasts. As Crimp noted, 'Warhol certifies depravity' by putting these charismatic misfits on screen with all their drug-induced screeching, scratching and rant-a-maroles. At times excruciating, at times meditative, at times hysterically funny, poignant and heartbreaking, this is one serious cinematic experience for those unafraid to venture into a split-screen purgatory. At a whopping 195 minutes, don't dare enter without a trail of breadcrumbs to lead you safely back to normal.
Double Bonus: The screening was free due to Target Free Friday Nights, which allows no-cost admission to the museum from 4-8pm each Friday. However, tickets to films must be obtained at the information desk before 4pm or at the Film & Media desk after that. Screenings often sell out, so get tix earlier rather than later.

No comments: