Saturday, August 16, 2014

Hello, Gorgeous? -- Day 3/215

Walk: No
Distance: 0 and teeny yoga practice.  

Imagine a woman dressing for a dinner engagement.  She puts on a gorgeous ancient Japanese kimono of ruby silk with hand stitched white crane motif.   Then she finds a finely crafted, new American-made Aussie outback hat  and places it on her head.  Because she loves to ski and recently spent a fortune on the latest Black Diamond high tech ski boots, she selects them for shoes.   Her jewelry is Bulgari  and she wraps herself in a museum quality antique Mexican

What do you say to her when she walks into the party? She is a virtual walking museum, but each piece she has on has its own history - of culture, country, technique, fabrication, manners and more.  Seeing them all together boggles the mind.  How can you go from the entire history of weaving to an in depth appreciation of Italian gold and gem work without feeling you have given one item or the other short shrift?  That is, if you can take them all in together because there is something the mind rejects in being entirely overwhelmed with in-depth visual information.

Or at least that is how Ciwt reacted to the latest SFMOMA-on-the-go show(they are dark and closed for a major addition) at the Asian Museum. It is entitled Gorgeous. Individual pieces from each collection were chosen for their 'gorgeousness' and placed near each other. 
How they actually relate is anybody's guess.  For instance, how does Michael Jackson and Bubbles, a large porcelain sculpture produced by Jeff Koons in 1988 as a piece in his Banality series, relate to Bamboo, an 8-panel folding screen created @ 1750 by Korean artist Yu Deok-jang? Well, they are both golden..and actually look kind of pleasing together.  This is one of the 'better' fits.  Certainly the very best 'fit' and most successful room in the show is the one containing Mark Rothko's large "Number 14, 1960" oil near Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara (Quanyin) (1600-1700).An installation view of "Gorgeous," mixing Asian Art Museum and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art pieces, features Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara (Quanyin) (1600-1700), gilt bronze (left), and Mark Rothko's "No. 14, 1960," oil on canvas. Photo: Kaz Tsuruta, Asian Art Museum, S.f.

But, overall, for Ciwt Gorgeous was an unsatisfactory viewing experience.  Facile questions and no answers. She saw many pieces from both collections she likes very much but found it disheartening to see them so out of context and without a proper way to take them in, admire them and learn from them.

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