Saturday, June 21, 2014

Gorgeous at the Asian

While the new, supersized SFMOMA is being built on Third Street, chunks of their collection have been showing up in other museums around the Bay Area. This summer it is the Asian Art Museum's turn with a high-concept show called Gorgeous, mixing and matching items from both museum's collections.

Many of the pieces from SFMOMA seemed chosen for their shock value, including another Mapplethorple photo of a naked black man (not pictured)...

...along with a couple of pop sculptures by Jeff Koons...

...including his infamous Michael Jackson and Bubbles surrounded by exquisite Asian screens.

Last year at the Contemporary Jewish Museum there was another SFMOMA on-the-go show called Beyond Belief that was supposed to be an examination of spirituality.

Oddly enough, this exhibit is a more striking look at the spiritual, which directly informs most of the Asian art on display, and the material, which seems to be the subject one way or another or most of the contemporary Western art.

The Rothko painting above, which was featured in both shows, looks better here, guarded by a deity.

1 comment:

Nancy Ewart said...

We are on the same page here - much of the modern work looks hollow and commercial; when I saw that pile of bricks and rubble in the middle of the room with the Japanese screens, I had a WTF moment. But the Asian art just shined and in a few places, did have a "dialogue" with the modern pieces. The Mondrian paired with the Philippino head cloth was an inspired combo and the Shiva? in front of the glittering curtain was simply "gorgeous."