Saturday, April 18, 2009

Last Chance: The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860-1989



Franz Kline, Painting No. 7 (1952)

Forget Citifield or the New New York Yankee Stadium,the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum hits another one completely out of the park with its "The Third Mind" exhibit. Subtitled "American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860-1989, it considers in the depth that SRGM seems to address best how the art, literature and philosophy of the East influenced new visual and conceptual languages of modern and contemporary art in America." The familiar sounding title references the "cut-ups" manuscript by William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin, and the Beats, among other art movements are at the heart of the more contemporary section of the show. But Asian art itself, along with American masters of various eras (Whistler, Pollock, Rothko, Rheinhardt, Motherwell, Mullican...and onward), are commingled front and center in this fantastic and illuminating show. The gold room of "The Death of Jamie Lee Byars" and the special, very unusual contemplative space, Dream House, by Lamonte Young and Marian Zazeela, will take you, shoeless and wonderstruck like a child, into a new space.

Using the marvelous Guggenheim design to full effect, Ann Hamilton's airy and inspiring "human carriage" fills the rotunda with gentle, green movement, Tibetan bells, and white silk, all brought into perfect harmony by the weight of cut-up books that propel the non-electric vehicle on its journey through the rotunda. Human Carriage, offers both a surprising distraction, at the same time helping to focus one's awareness on the quiet power of mind breaths and nature while contemplating the sublime artifacts created by American and Asian artists in the past two centuries. Don't miss it.

1071 Fifth Avenue (at 89th Street), NYC

The Guggenheim:
http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york/exhibitions/on-view-now/third-mind

Details on the exhibition:
http://web.guggenheim.org/exhibitions/exhibition_pages/thirdmind/index.html

--Brooklyn Beat

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