These trips to the Boston MFA are beginning to blur. I can’t say how amazing it is to go back, to look again, to look from a different angle or even from a different state of mind.
Here’s a fragment of a fragment, Jasper John’s Fragment of a Letter, in which he presumably added his own handprint.
Below are 2 shots from a Shinique Smith installation, a small room entirely missed on my first visit in which I was chased away by an obnoxious woman who began asking me questions while I was trying to look. Forgive me but I didn’t write down the title, but I did write down my thoughts:
“It’s like painting with smoke, bright primary colored edges keeping it from flattening into the wall.”
Okay- that actually refers to a triptych called ‘the step and the walk’ and not the installation, but still…
This installation incorporated sound and smell also, although I didn’t smell anything. The light bounced off the mirrors and hit the wall in beautiful shapes, seen here:
Of course it’s interactive in that you can see your reflection in the mirror. It felt a bit like being in an inner city subterranean environment without so much the frisson of danger. It’s also calligraphic, the implication of Arabic script, the gorgeous interplay of light, sound, reflection, and sinuous line. I spent some time in that little room.
Finally, here’s what Jen Mergel (Beal Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at MFA Boston) wrote about Shinique (referencing Cy Twombly and the famous “zips” of Barnett Newman):
“Fully aware of this American art history, Smith lets her liquid line flow as calligraphy with its own freestyle and emotional force.”
I just can’t seem to get enough… back to the studio.