To Be Looked At (from the Other Side of the Glass) with One Eye, Close to, for Almost an Hour

Thus spoke Marcel, and we obliged (for five minutes).

Looking for ”almost an hour” would have a hallucinatory effect similar to Marc Chagall’s experience, some years earlier.

Marcel Duchamp
To Be Looked At (from the Other Side of the Glass) with One Eye, Close to, for Almost an Hour, 1918
Oil, silver leaf, lead wire, magnifying lens on glass (cracked) mounted between panes of glass in a standing metal frame, on painted wood base

”The title of this work, which Duchamp said he ”intended to sound like an oculist’s prescription” tells the viewer exactly how to look at it. But peering through the convex lens embedded in the work’s glass ”for almost an hour” would have a hallucinatory effect, the view being dwarfed, flipped and otherwise distorted. Meanwhile the viewer patiently following the title’s instructions is him-or herself put on display for anyone else walking by. 

Duchamp called this his ”small glass”, to distinguish it from his famous Large Glass of 1915-23. He made the work in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he had fled earlier in 1918 to escape the oppressive atmosphere of the United States during World War I. When he shipped it back to New York, the glass cracked in transit, en effect that delighted him.”

Marc Chagall
I and the Village, 1911
Oil on canvas

@MoMA

August 8th, 2018

Chicago || At the end of the day [one]

After a full day of intense lobbying – in the most literal sense of the word, it was time to sit back and (re)collect all the stunning places, experiences and photos we took: the tour at the Rookery, the marvelous art deco details of the Board of Trade and the Field Building, the gorgeous Tiffany mosaics at the Marquette, the very atmospheric Monadnock.

And to top it all off, some serious public art adorning the streets of Chicago.

Flamingo – by Alexander Calder in the Federal Plaza


Chagall’s Four Seasons mosaic in the Exelon Plaza


The Winged Victory of Samothrace, cast from a mold from the original sculpture in the Louvre Museum, Paris – (but why make it gold at all…? marble would have been equally stunning)


We Will, a welded stainless steel sculpture by Richard Hunt


November 2nd, 2017

An intergalactic brunch

Under Marc Chagall’s murals and the iconic ”sputnik” chandeliers. Donated by the Republic of Austria as a gesture of thanks for the American initiative to mobilize the Marshall Plan, an aid to Western Europe to help rebuild its economy after the end of World World II, the ”sputniks” were designed by Hans Harald Rath for the historic glassware company Lobmeyr and were installed in 1966. 11 of them are in the lobby and 21 light up the auditorium. 

Metropolitan Opera House
Lincoln Center

May 14th, 2017