Saturday, January 13, 2007

heaven and earth

Today we met up with Kara, Lisa's new intern Sheri, her friend Boris, and went to the Anselm Kiefer show at the SFMOMA. This was the first museum exhibit I've been to since the accident. I brought the wheelchair and was glad I did -- this is exactly the kind of experience which would be impossible for me without wheels.

Lisa and I have seen Kiefer's work from time to time in the collections of art museums, but to see these sculptures and paintings together was fascinating. Wings fashioned from sheets of lead, the remnants of burnt books, star maps and enormous books (bound sheets of lead) are so rich in visual metaphor.

Oddly, one of our favorite parts of the exhibit was an interactive "book" displayed on a computer screen. The original is too fragile to handle but the pages of this virtual book can be turned by stroking the corner of the image with your finger as if you were turning the page of a real book. It was especially satisfying for Lisa who was going around the exhibit constantly fighting the urge to touch everything.

As a final surprise, when we reached the back cover of the "book," the credits contained the names of two people Lisa knew when she was in art school in Maryland. The world is this small.

Keifer's work, on the other hand is HUGE.
The book pictured above has got to be seven feet tall.


Lock Wench said...

Nature hikes and art exhibits. Do you guys never end in your quest to expand our world? You really do perform a public service. Perhaps a 501(3)c designation is in order? Could be some funding in it....

Anonymous said...

Pray tell us who the names were of the people she knew while at MICA who were listed on the Kiefer work- those of us reading are very curious to know!


. . . Lisa & Robb . . . said...

One is James Gouldthorpe, who we went to school with.

And the other is Tim Svenonius, who we didn't, but who is the brother of the infamous Thoralf.

Both are on staff of the SFMOMA.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Great to hear James of the red hair and torn sweaters is doing ok! Last I heard he was deep down in a cultural wasteland of the midwest. And who could forget Thoralf? Both work on staff of the SFMOMA, eh? Good for them. Me, I'm aiming to be maybe a volunteer cannon ball lugger at Gettysburg re-enactments this coming year. Don't know if there is anything creative about carrying a cannonball around, but they will be as heavy as Anslem's lead work, that's for sure. Moving lead stuff around is a mother***. Almost as heavy as moving dinosaurs. And I would know.

I once babbled like a worshipping idiot when I called up Anselm Kiefer's hotel room when he stayed at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1990. It was the year he started doing collaging on top of fighter jets. It became a controversy because the people who brought it into Israel didnt know if it was supposed to be catagorized as "art" or "military weaponry" and thus subjected to UN law. Mr Keifer was very polite to me on the phone, and then mysteriously forgot he knew English. Ah, well I would not how to deal well with the unwashed masses of the art world either if I became famous!!!


Anonymous said...

PS- Now you got me thinking about the past- what ever happened to Maria, who used to go out with Thorolf? I remember she married a guy who used to go out with Martha, right? Years and years and years ago, right? How is she doing? Hopefully better than Christine Collins.


Anonymous said...

So the piece you have have a picture of is actually 12.5'x18'. In other words huge. It consists of two large, heavy panels which are covered with clay wire and other crap which falls off and have to be reattached everytime we install it. Pretty much all the pieces in this show were a bit scary to install, and so heavy that they that we had to reinforce the floors.


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