Saturday, June 14, 2008

Murakami and Amer

Yesterday I went to the huge Murakami retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum. I'm not a fan of pop art and didn't really expect to like it. And I didn't! Sometimes not liking something can be satisfying. It reinforces the idea that you have opinions and have some things that you respond to and some things that you don't. I just found it too kitschy. Too kiddie and cartoony. Some I liked more than others, of course. It was fun and dizzying. But empty and alienating.
A wonderful serendipitous discovery: Ghada Amer! I had never heard of her. (Actually after seeing this exhibition I realize I saw a beautiful piece of hers a couple of years ago at the Brooklyn Museum's big feminist show: boxes embroidered with gold thread). There was an exhibit of her work in the feminist wing of the museum. She embroiders large canvases with patterns of erotic images and lets the string hang down in clumps, so it looks like streaks of paint and the images are kind of concealed. It seems a little like pentimento for a minute. They are very striking. Some look Pollack-like. This image here wasn't my favorite, but I liked it a lot!

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