Friday, January 17, 2014

Two Museums

1/17/14 Diamine Chocolate Brown ink, Sailor pen, Zig marker, Fabriano Studio hot press 140 lb. paper
The Henry Art Gallery was my primary destination this morning, but my bus got me to the University District a little earlier than the museum opened, so I walked to the nearby Burke Museum to kill 20 minutes. Since nearly a year ago when I visited the Burke with the Friday sketchers and became enamored with all the prehistoric skeletons, I’ve gone back several times to work toward fulfilling my goal of sketching every bone in the place (it might take me a decade or two). Today I sketched half of Allosaurus Fragilis, whose tail is so long that I’ll have to bring my landscape-orientation sketchbook if I want to fit the entire skeleton. Maybe next time.

Since I hadn’t been to the Henry in quite a while, I was looking forward to seeing and sketching something new. As far as art viewing goes, I’m not art-history educated, but I try to keep an open mind about classical as well as contemporary art. I won’t name names, but I’m clueless about one exhibit I experienced today (I was going to say, “the art I saw,” but I’m not sure what I saw). I wandered into a huge gallery that had nothing but a couple of doors in one wall and some pillows on the floor. I walked through those doors into another huge space with some more pillows on the floor. And a stack of papers. Hmmm. “Conceptual” art, I’m sure . . . but I guess I missed the concept. Not only did I not see anything to sketch – I didn’t see anything to think about.

1/17/14 Gel pens, Platinum Carbon and Diamine Grey inks, Fabriano Studio hot press paper
Thankfully, there was plenty to see in another exhibit – Hague Yang’s “Anachronistic Layers of Dispersion.” Once again, I think I missed the concept, but the art itself was intriguing, though difficult to sketch. It was made of lots and lots of mini blinds of various colors and lengths strung from the ceiling at various angles and filling the room. I expected the blinds to move or rotate like mobiles, but they were strangely static.

(Technical note: As I continue to explore gel pens, I realized that they are ideal for adding quick color at museums, where watercolors are usually not allowed.)

Next time I think I’ll just stay longer at the Burke to sketch more bones and skip the Henry.

1 comment:

  1. I chuckled as I read your post. I spend a lot of time in our civilisation museum (we don't have any dinosaur bones) but have found our art museum a waste of time. I get a sense that the intelligencia in the art world are laughing at us behind our backs, given what is placed before us as 'art'. You should see some of the stuff in our museum. No, it's better that you don't :-)

    Cheers --- Larry


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