Cosmic Latte & Earthy Shades

Cosmic Latte, refers to the name of the average color of the universe, which in 2009 was determined to be more beige than what has been traditionally thought of as blue. Two American astrophysicists studied the color of the light emitted by 200,000 galaxies and created a cosmic spectrum, which they then blended according to the light spectrum visible to human eyes. Finch represents that specific warm, yellowish-white shade of light with LED lights (designed to look like incandescent bulbs), which are then arranged in the shape of the molecular models of the pigments needed to create this “cosmic latte” color: titanium white, Mars yellow, chrome yellow, and a touch of cadmium red.” [source]

”North Adams is still an ideal place to live and to bring up children. We have the mountains. In the summertime, it’s not as hot as in the big cities. You have the change of seasons. You can see the change of scenery on the mountains. You see the trees blossoming, which is a beautiful sight. In the wintertime, the woods have a tremendous attraction. There’s a lot of noise in the woods in the winter. You see the footprints of so many animals. Of course, we get accustomed to this and don’t notice it as much. But those people who left North Adams miss the mountains. That’s the first thing they mention when they come back.”

– Benjamin Apkin, 78 years old (1996)

From a series of interviews with local residents, gathered and edited by author and historian Joe Manning

MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA

September 2nd, 2019

Anselm Kiefer

Dark || Stark || Emotional || Intense. Art that will stop you in your tracks.

Images from the Anselm Kiefer long-term exhibition:

die Schechina (Sefiroth), 2010
Painted resin dress, glass shards, steel, numbered glass discs, and wire in inscribed glass and steel vitrine

Engel-Sturz (The Fall of the Angels), 2010
Painted cotton dresses, wire, steel frame, glass pane, and oil, emulsion, acrylic, shellac, clay on canvas in inscribed glass and steel vitrine

Jakobs Traum (Jacob’s Dream), 2010
Lead ladder, painted cotton dresses, wire, resin fern, and oil, emulsion, acrylic, shellac, clay on canvas in inscribed glass and steel vitrine

Étroits sont les vaisseaux (Narrow are the Vessels), 2002 (detail)
concrete, steel, lead and earth

The Women of the Revolution (Les Femmes de la Révolution), 1992/2013 (detail)
Lead beds: dimensions variable

Winterwald (Winter Forest), 2010 (detail)
Oil, emulsion, acrylic, shellac, ash, thorn bushes, synthetic teeth, and snakeskin on canvas in glass and steel frames

Velimir Chlebnikov, 2004 (detail)
30 paintings: oil, emulsion, acrylic, lead and mixed media on canvas

MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA
September 2nd, 2019

All Utopias Fell

Except the one by Michael Oatman; this one is still standing.

All utopias fell is a project in three parts: The ShiningThe Library of the Sun, and Codex Solis.

The Shining is a 1970s-era satellite in the form of an Airstream trailer, that has seemingly just crash-landed; it was inspired by an earlier era of pulp aeronauts such as Buck Rogers, Tom Swift, and Tom Corbett: Space Cadet, as well as the works of Giotto, Jules Verne, NASA, and Chris Marker’s 1962 film La Jetée.

Intrepid visitors can climb a staircase through the Boiler House and enter the craft where they will encounter The Library of the Sun. Hybridizing a domestic space, a laboratory, and a library, this tight environment has the feel of a hermitage, where the occupant will “be right back,” only it is now 30 years later. Videos relating to the sun and its mythology flicker to life on the cockpit’s instrumentation panels.

Once inside the craft, visitors will be able to view Codex Solis, a massive field of photovoltaic (PVs) or solar panels. At 50kw, the field generates 3% of the power consumed by MASS MoCA. Within this 230-foot long grid, mirrors are interspersed in the middle of the field, the reflective gaps suggesting an absent text. The arrangement of mirrors and solar panels is based on a specific quote by an unnamed author, and will not be revealed by the artist; instead the public will be encouraged to spend time with the piece, watch the reflected sky, and solve the riddle as birds and planes, inverted, fly by.” [source]

MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA
September 2nd, 2019

Annie Lennox: ‘Now I Let You Go…’

We interact with an infinity of objects from birth to the grave.

Over time our ‘belongings’ become more steeped and resonant with memory and nostalgia.
In many ways, personal objects express aspects of who we are — our identity: our values: our statements and choices.

The passages of time through which we exist become defined by the objects with which we interact.

The artefacts contained within the earthen mound — partially buried — partially excavated — have all played a part in my life.

I have had a special connection to each item presented — a connection that has been hard to relinquish.

In time, we will all disappear from this earth.

This is our destiny.

What will we leave behind? Who will remember us — and for how long?

The mound is a glorious metaphor for the ultimate conclusion of all material manifestations.

We cling — consciously or unconsciously to ‘things’ that are endowed with emotional significance — keeping memories alive, while the uncomfortable awareness of the inevitable moment of departure is held at bay.

Annie Lennox, May 2019

The exhibition was accompanied by a printed “field guide” in which Lennox annotated many of the objects on display, identifying the objects and adding recollections, personal stories, and provenance. [source & guide]

MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA

September 2nd, 2019

Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawings: Bold, Bright, Beholding

Second day in Mass MoCA, because it would have been impossible to absorb so much art, all at once!… (tickets were valid for two consecutive days then, this may have changed post-Covid).

…”Each wall drawing begins as a set of instructions or a simple diagram to be followed in executing the work. As the exhibition makes clear, these straightforward instructions yield an astonishing—and stunningly beautiful—variety of work that is at once simple and highly complex, rigorous, and sensual. The drawings in the exhibition range from layers of straight lines meticulously drawn in black graphite pencil lead, to rows of delicately rendered wavy lines in colored pencil; from bold black-and-white geometric forms, to bright planes in acrylic paint arranged like the panels of a folding screen; from sensuous drawings created by dozens of layers of transparent washes, to a tangle of vibratory orange lines on a green wall, and much more. Forms may appear to be flat, to recede in space, or to project into the viewer’s space, while others meld to the structure of the wall itself, like gauze.” [source]

Images of wall drawings:

793A – Irregular wavy color bands
340 – One of a Six-part drawing
396 – A black five-pointed star, a yellow six-pointed star, a red seven-pointed star, and a blue eight-pointed star
414 – Drawing Series IV (A) with India ink washes (detail of 24 drawings)
527 – Two flat-topped pyramids with color ink washes superimposed
439 – Asymmetrical pyramid with color ink washes superimposed (plus us in playful mood, trying to agree which wall would work best in our home)

Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective

On view through 2043

MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA

September 2nd, 2019

Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawings: Straight Lines, Continuous Forms

It occupies nearly an acre of specially built interior walls that are installed—per LeWitt’s own specifications—over three stories of a historic mill building situated at the heart of MASS MoCA’s 19th-century, former factory campus. A landmark collaboration of MASS MoCA, Yale University Art Gallery, the Williams College Museum of Art, and the Sol Lewitt estate, over 60 artists and art students spent six months rendering 105 large-scale wall drawings spanning the artist’s storied career.

Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective

Images of wall drawings 422, 610, 681, 692

On view through 2043

MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA

September 1st, 2019