Friday, July 9, 2010

Top Five in Five

After going to see Miranda July's 11 Heavy Things Installation currently showing in Union Square, I thought to myself, "That was nice, but it wouldn't quite rank among the top five art exhibits I've seen in NYC in the last five years."  Which of course inspired me to reflect upon what the top five art works/exhibits that I've seen in NYC in the last five years would actually be.  Here they are, ranked in what I feel to be their order at the moment.

5) Ron Mueck at the Brooklyn Museum:  Mueck employs the mechanisms of movie special effects production to make incredibly life-like figurative sculptures.  Though intensely impressive from a technical angle, what really drew me into Mueck's work was how he played with scale to make me experience my own figure differently.  A huge sculpture of a woman lying in bed, for example, brought back vividly the feeling of being a child crawling into bed with my parents, simply because of how it's scale related to my own.
Ron Mueck: In Bed
Ron Mueck (Australian, b. 1958). In Bed, 2005. Mixed media, 63 3/4 x 255 7/8 x 155 1/2 in. (161.9 x 649.9 x 395 cm). Private Collection
(Photo from

4) David Byrne's Playing the Building, presented by Creative Time: Byrne's building-as-musical-instrument was smartly conceived, a great way to experience the battery maritime building, and fun to play/watch.

3) David Hockney at Pace Wildenstein: Hockney may have come to prominence in southern California, but East Yorkshire sure seems to agree with him.  His large landscapes were lively and gorgeous in person, in a way that just can't be captured by a website.

2) Marina Abromovic's The Artist is Present at MoMA: Not only was it thrilling to have a chance to participate in an Abromovic piece, but the retrospective itself really fleshed out (sorry, couldn't help myself) my understanding of Abromovic's work.  I appreciated the chance to see others performing her earlier works, although I know that that aspect was actually detrimental for some.

1) Antony Gormley's Blind Light at Sean Kelly Galery: The only piece on this list that I went to go see multiple times, Blind Light offered a simple gesture, an interactive room-sized glass box filled with dense white-lit fog, that created a complex and indelible experience - exploring the human experience of vision and space - as well as an aesthetically beautiful object.

(Photo from
Now, this list may well deserve a place in the ranking of the top five most self-indulgent posts I've ever written, but still, if any of those works show up in your neck of the woods, check them out...

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