Central Park with path, benches and lamps

Central Park with path, benches and lamps

Central Park in autumn left me with feelings of nostalgia and romance.  I found that the special effects manipulations on my Photo Express iPad app helped to evoke these soft and elegiac feelings better than the unedited photos.  For example, consider these three versions of the above photo:

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Which one do you like best?  It’s hard to choose, isn’t it?

I did get carried away with the dramatic, artsy manipulations of my photos from Central Park.  I hope you like the kaleidoscope of colors and images as much as I do.

The Mall

The Mall

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Watercolor sketch of oak leaves and acorns from the trees lining the reservoir at Central Park

Watercolor sketch of oak leaves and acorns from the trees lining the reservoir at Central Park

 

 

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Yayoi Kusama's exhibit, I Who Have Arrived in Heaven

Yayoi Kusama’s exhibit, I Who Have Arrived in Heaven

It took me two days and over two hours standing in line for my 45-second timed-entry in the infinity mirrored room that was the showcase of Yayoi Kusama’s exhibit in the Chelsea gallery of David Zwirner.  And the wait was worth it.

It turned out to be quite an adventure to get in to see this free exhibit by the 85-year-old Kusama, a Japanese artist.  The first time I attempted to see it there was already a line for the mirrored infinity room called The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away.  This installation was being shown for the first time, and was quite an attraction.

Since I had an appointment for lunch with my nephew, I didn’t have time to wait in line then, but instead viewed Kusama’s paintings and a second mirrored infinity room called Love Is Calling.  The paintings reminded me somewhat of Australian aboriginal art.

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The gallery handout described the Love Is Calling room as “one of Kusama’s most immersive, kaleidoscopic environments to date.  It is composed of a darkened, mirrored room illuminated by inflatable, tentacle-like forms — covered in the artist’s characteristic polka dots — that extend from the floor and ceiling, gradually changing colors.”

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IMAGE_668I thought I might get in to see the second infinity room after lunch, but when I returned, the line was longer than before.  I waited about 30 minutes, and my forward progress was almost nil.  I decided I would try again first thing the next morning.

The gallery was scheduled to open at 10:00 a.m., and when I arrived at 9:25, there was already a line.

The line when I arrived.

The line when I arrived.

Waiting in line

Waiting in line

These New Yorkers have a thing about waiting in lines.  I guess it’s almost inevitable given how many people reside in the city.  I, like several others, had brought breakfast with me — a latte from the Chelsea Market and half of a leftover bagel with cream cheese.  I noticed that no matter how long the wait, no one sat down on the sidewalk!  I also noticed that I was by far the oldest person in line.  Everyone was good natured and patient.  I was resolved not to give up.

Every single person ahead of me was entitled to 45 seconds in the infinity mirrored room, The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, so I progressed in a slow, but steady pace.  One of the gallery staff monitored the door, stopwatch in hand, and kept the line moving.

You could get a preview glimpse inside when the door opened

You could get a preview glimpse inside when the door opened

Finally it was my turn.  I was in a mirrored room standing on a short projection into a shallow reflecting pool of water.  Multi-colored LED lights flickered and changed color in the darkened room, giving the feeling of being in infinite space, surrounded on all sides by thousands of stars.  The 45 seconds was too short.  I left with regret, but thankful to have had this fleeting experience.

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When I left, the line outside was even longer.

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You can read more about Kusama and her exhibit here and here and here.

 

 

 

 

Richard Serra's Inside Out at the Gagosian Gallery

Richard Serra’s Inside Out at the Gagosian Gallery

I am familiar with Richard Serra because he has a sculpture, The Wave, at the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle.

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And when I was at Storm King Art Center, I saw his Schunnemunk Fork.

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So I was delighted to learn that the Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea was showing another of Serra’s massive steel sculptures.  Called Inside Out, you felt invited to follow its curves like a maze, albeit a short one.  Standing in the narrow gap between the high walls was similar to being in a slot canyon.  I loved this.

Richard Serra's Inside Out

Richard Serra’s Inside Out

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You can read more about this piece and more of Serra’s work here.

Andy Goldsworthy, Strom King Wall, 1997-98

Andy Goldsworthy, Storm King Wall, 1997-98

I’ve traveled great distances to see Andy Goldsworthy’s extraordinary art.  The last time I was in New York, my husband and I saw his Garden of Stones at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Lower Manhattan.  In April, I went on a five-day guided hike in France where I saw nine Goldsworthy installations along the trail.  (You can read about that experience here and here and here.)  The $46 bus tour ticket to Storm King to see Goldsworthy’s walls was a much smaller investment than a trip to France, and the rewards of seeing the art in its natural setting was just as satisfying.

I was surprised at how long the wall extended.  It started in a straight line atop a hill, then dropped down to a lake, and finally continued in a sinuous curve on the other side of the water.  The part that curved around the living tree trunks was quite visible seeing that the trees were bare this late in the season.  The lake was like a reflecting pool, magnifying the beauty of this setting.

Distant view of the wall on the hill

Distant view of the wall on the hill

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I was also surprised to learn that Goldsworthy constructed a second wall at Storm King in 2010.  Much shorter than his first wall, this one is called 5 Men, 17 Days, 15 Boulders, 1 Wall.  I think the title says it all.

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Admiring the holiday windows at Bergdorf Goodman, NYC

Admiring the holiday windows at Bergdorf Goodman, NYC

“It’s Christmas time in the city . . .”

I thought it appropriate for this Black Friday post to celebrate the “official” start of the Christmas holiday shopping season.  Ever since I watched the DVD documentary, Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s, which included a behind-the-scenes look at the artists and craftspeople creating the Bergdorf Goodman holiday windows, I had hoped for the chance to see these displays in person.  I wasn’t sure whether the windows would be ready during my trip, which was the week before Thanksgiving.  A call to the Bergdorf Goodman customer service line didn’t help — they refused to divulge the date their windows would be unveiled (such top secret retail maneuvering!).  So I took my chances.  And fortune smiled.  Here is the fabulous glitz and glamour of the famous Bergdorf Goodman holiday windows for 2013:

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Some of the windows celebrated the year’s “holidays on ice.”

The window celebrating Valentine's Day

The window celebrating Valentine’s Day

The window celebing April Fool's Day (everything was displayed upide down)

The window celebrating April Fool’s Day (everything was displayed upside down)

Here are some other holiday vignettes from around the city:

Fifth Avenue near Bergdorf Goodman

Fifth Avenue near Bergdorf Goodman

Tiffany's store front on Fifth Avenue

Tiffany’s store front on Fifth Avenue

Anthropology window

Anthropology window

Another Anthropology window

Another Anthropology window

Skating lessons at the Rockefeller Center ice rink

Skating lesson at the Rockefeller Center ice rink

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Carousel at Bryant Park

Carousel at Bryant Park

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Bryant Park hosted a Holiday Market and ice rink

Bryant Park hosted a Holiday Market and ice rink

Holiday greens for sale in the Flower District

Holiday greens for sale in the Flower District