Picture This

Exhibition at the Met Breuer

Exhibition at the Met Breuer

Museum Day, brought to you by Mrs Fringe and Art Child.  A great thing about living here in the city is that there’s no pressure when it comes to museums, not a big deal to plan, and no feeling of obligation to see it all in one day.  I’ve been intending to get to this exhibit for three months.  Now that it ends in a week and a half, I finally made it over there, and want to go again before it’s gone.  There is The Met Breuer, a new annex? outpost? of The Met, in the building that used to house the Whitney.  Anyway, I loved the idea of this exhibit, unfinished works of art, both intentional and unintentional, and there was a section of works intended to be interactive with the viewer.  I’m not sure if this exhibit will be traveling, but if so, go see it!

Yes, for someone who is not a visual artist, I love art, but this whole show spoke to me.  Maybe it’s that as both a reader and writer of words, I prefer when stories and characters leave some room for me to think, inject my own imagination.  Not in a choose-your-own-adventure sort of way, but in terms of not needing to know every physical detail of characters, not needing (or wanting) every ending to be neatly wrapped in a perfect, glossy ribbon.

Many wonderful quotes scattered throughout, this was one of my favorites.

Many wonderful quotes scattered throughout, this was one of my favorites.

I, of course, took way too many photos, so even paring down will likely make two posts out of this excursion, so as not to crash everyone’s computers or put my readers into a pixellated stupor.  Some of the works gave me a creative charge, exciting, while others had me tearing up.

I loved this idea, and the variety of ways artists captured it.

I loved this idea, and the variety of ways artists captured it.

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I cut off her name, oops.  Janine Antoni.

I cut off her name, oops. Janine Antoni.


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This next one, on the surface, is the type of painting that might often have me squint and hurry past, because it’s so “in your face” there seems no room to think.  But something in this held me for quite a while, really spoke to me, if you want to be frou-frou about it.  Actually, my immediate thought was, “oh God, it’s Mrs Fringe!” If, yanno, I was blond, blue eyed, and possessed the ability to pick up a gun.

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Next we came to this series, which is where Art Child wanted to sit and sketch.

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I had no idea why, but honestly, I was ready to sit down and continue thinking about the Lassnig painting. I took a few shorts of the panels, and Art Child asked if I had gotten the face.  Again, no clue what she was referring to, it all looked like drips to me, so I handed her the camera.

I'll be damned. This is why she's the artist.

I’ll be damned. This is why she’s the artist. See the eyes?


While it was very interesting to be able to “see” the process of some of the works and artists, there’s also something…uncomfortably intimate about seeing some of these works in progress, from some of the greatest and most enduring artists.  But that is art, no? To make you uncomfortable enough to think and feel.




  1. Thanks for sharing your museum trip, mrs f. You’re really fortunate to live in NYC with all those great museums. The artwork in that show is really compelling, like that pile of candy. The artist’s explanation of the work was a punch in the gut.

    Funny your daughter saw that face in the trees. I read that people are hot-wired to seek out patterns, making the unfamiliar familiar. I see faces all the time.

    And relative to that lady with the vagina, I mean guns–


    Oy, that’s uncomfortable for me to look at, for a number of reasons. First, because of her blatant nakedness, to which the artist further draws our attention by effectively cutting her off at the knee. And we (subject, and audience) are seconds away getting *really* bloody: I disagree with the museum’s assertion that she’s staring right at us. Clearly, she’s aiming at somebody just behind us and to our left. Hopefully, nobody we’re fond of. . .


    Seriously, now, the theme of the show–the impermanence of the art and what that means to artist and audience–resonates. To me, *perfection* is prerequisite to ‘finished’, and because perfection is unattainable, nothing I create is ever really *done.*

    Is that a good thing? I don’t know. But it explains my penchant for ceaseless editing, which sometime precludes writing, which kind of perpetuates that never-ending cycle thingie…

    As always, mrs f, your post is thought-provoking, but I must cease my musing, or I’ll never get anything done. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s funny, if someone just told me about the mound of candy, I’d shrug, but standing in front of it, explanation so clear had a definite impact.
      Maybe my brain doesn’t automatically seek out those visual patterns. For example, no matter how (or how many times) it’s explained to me, I never see the impact or feel anything looking at Jackson Pollack’s work.
      Would you believe it took a minute for me to notice her vagina, in “You or Me?” Those guns, the light hitting her cheekbones vs the lines on her face, so fully realized in comparison.
      For as much as we admire each other’s work, our style with words and works are different. I don’t think I think about overall *perfection.* The perfect phrase, the perfect moment, yes; did I make/enable the reader to feel something? yes. But striving for perfection, to me, means the loss of what can be the best work, the words that have immediacy and all the messy intimacy of imperfect people. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. When it comes to Pollock’s work, I’m iwith you in the wtf? camp. His art doesn’t do it for me, but for somebody else, a canvas of paint dripped from Pollock’s own hand is worth millions.

        That’s the nature of art in any form: the artist puts it out there, the audience responds, responses are subjective. Relative to Lassnig’s painting, I was uncomfortable with the subject’s unexpected nakedness, which I thought she’d exploited for added effect: the “two” in a “one-two” punch, as it were. Maybe that was her point: to unflinchingly put herself square in our faces, reflecting who we are by how we responded to that.

        One thing’s for sure: She made us both look.

        Relative to our different approaches to writing. . .I know what you mean about the immediacy of writing, mrs fringe: mess too much with that and you risk losing its authenticity. Before you know it, you’ve eroded what was real, worried and worried to death until your writing is forced and stilted, which is the downside of editng too much. So yep, I agree with you there.

        The perfection I’m thinking about stems from how I personally feel about my own art and writing. Sometimes I feel like my job is to find and reveal something that’s somehow already there in an ideal form. My skill–or lack thereof 🙂 –is in the execution of that task.

        I know, I know: Shut up and write, kk.

        Wait. Maybe I did. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m glad you did. 🙂 I don’t think I approach my words in quite the same way. Your description is like sculpting. My process is probably more like sand painting 😉
          I will now ponder why Lassnig’s nudity didn’t feel unexpected to me. 😀


          1. And I’ll probably ponder why it did to me.

            Re: your approach to writing– Sand painting, or sand blasting? Because sometimes, your writing hits like a kick in the teeth.

            Liked by 1 person

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