October 31st, 2008

Fun at the DeYoung

I got to go look at beautiful things with my friend Elizabeth yesterday. Maya Lin has an exhibit going on at the DeYoung and Elizabeth is a member and let me tag along with her. She’s used to going places with small children, since she has one of her own, so I had a great time.

All the press coverage of the exhibit that I’ve seen has shown one particular piece, a hill made out of 2 x 4 pieces in varying lengths. It’s very pleasing and makes me want to play with blocks. Unfortunately, there is a sign next to it reminding everyone not to sit or stand or walk on the art. I hadn’t thought of doing that until I saw the sign and then I really wanted to climb the hill. Good thing I went with a grown-up. The piece is placed in the large central space of the museum, so as we moved from gallery to gallery we saw it from many different perspectives. I have concluded that it’s not actually a hill, but rather a creature crouched under the covers. I like that. It makes me happy to think of some giant furry thing snoozing away in the middle of the museum, safely hidden under its wooden blanket.

Since we had no literal children with us, we got to wander through the whole place, except for the part where they were having a media preview for the Yves St. Laurent exhibit. I saw some amazing glasswork with metal incursions that reflected and refracted through the surfaces of a bowl. I saw the soul of a roadkill bunny ascending into cartoon heaven. I concluded that I can live without the sculpture of New Guinea quite happily, particularly the works made of children’s skulls. In one room, I saw large statues facing each other, one of Delilah and one of Penelope, sort of a marble representation of the extreme ends of the wifeliness spectrum. There was a line of chairs that pleased my inner Wittgenstein and a portrait of George Washington looking the wrong way: the father of our country always has his eyes gazing toward the viewer’s left or else he looks funny. I tried to make an adjective out of Klimt’s name in order to describe a work I saw and none of the choices worked very well (I started with Klimty, moved through Klimtish, and settled on Klimtesque, which encapsulated both what I meant and the grotesque nature of my adjective-making.).

But the very best thing was this.

The artist, Chen Chi-kwan, born in China, came here to study architecture. Apparently, he also studied other important things because this painting is an earial representation of... A FOOTBALL GAME! What could be better?