Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Patrick and the Philistine Go to SF MOMA

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art occasionally provides a good excuse to meet up during the lunch hour with my friend Patrick Vaz, who works in the Financial District and is a member of the museum.

The "Exhibitions On View" signage outside was not an utter lie, exactly, but if you read the small type it revealed that every one of the exhibitions had already moved on.

The lobby looked ready for the painting of an Italian church fresco or a remake of Pasolini's "The Decameron."

On the third floor, there was a special exhibition of sorts called "Face of Our Time" featuring four photographers from around the world doing people photography in the streets of four different foreign (to the artists) cultures.

It was a dreary and uninspiring show, and I proclaimed to Patrick that there was more interesting people photography on this blog in any one month than in the half-dozen rooms of photos we were wandering through. And I can confidently state that there is more interesting photography in any one week at "A Photo a Day by Donald Kinney" (click here).

We went to the second floor so Patrick could gaze at his favorite painting in the permanent collection, a Matisse painting of a lady with a hat. Unfortunately, there was a docent blabbering on to a single woman about painterly this that and the other, so we waited...

...and talked about Patrick's freshly horrifying online sandwich experience with Seller's Market (click here for an hilarious account, complete with haiku).

Then we paid obeisance to my favorite painting in the permanent collection, an unusually gentle Frida Kahlo, which reminded Patrick that he needed to write a long, brilliant, considered essay on his Issues with Frida.

Patrick stopped to worship at possibly his favorite abstract painting in the permanent collection, a big Agnes Martin that almost looks like a weaving but it's a painting.

Finally, we walked into another special exhibition, "New Work: Mai-Thu Perret," that was so laughably bad even Patrick threatened to giggle. "The titles are great," he said, "they should just put up the title signage and not bother with this."

He pointed to the ceramic above. For a great rant about the show, check out Nancy Ewart's review (click here).


Joe Lynn said...

The Lady with the Hat is one of my favorites too. I think it might be the most precious possession in San Francisco right now.

Also, thanks to the link to Donald Kinney. How much fun!

Nancy Ewart said...

Matisse's painting is one of the highlights of the museum. I wrote an essay about it somewhere in my blog. In the old museum on Van Ness, it was one of the first things that you saw when you got off the elevator; it had a well deserved place of pride. Now, it's shoved off to the side and unless you know where the permanent pieces are, you can easily miss it. I agree with you about docents. When I retired, I thought about becoming a docent for about 2 minutes and then realized that I hate with a passion people blah, blah, blahing in front of a painting. The only thing I hate more are those darn video gizmos which museum visitors clamp on their heads and listen to religiously while not really looking at the art work.
Nancy, artist with a rant for every occasion.

Nancy Ewart said...

Your comment on Frida reminds me that I also did a piece on her and there's a great one on Liz Hagen's blog, "Venetian Red."

affinity said...

You and your the other bloggers you have introduced me to, enrich my life, Tangobaby and namastenancy. Thanks for keeping up with our little part of the world.