I just returned from an amazing trip to my place of birth, Washington D.C. for a whirlwind weekend trip. Although originally I made travel plans to go and visit a dear friend who is living down there, my trip also coincided with the Maya Lin exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and "Paint Made Flesh" at the Phillip's Collection. Both were amazing! Although the Maya Lin show is no longer on display (I caught it on it's last day) I encourage you all to make the journey to the Phillip's Collection. Jenny Saville's painting alone is worth the trip, but on top of that monumental piece are paintings by Francis Bacon, Lucien Freud, Cecily Brown, Eric Fischl, and Willem DeKooning!
Jenny Saville. Hyphen, 1999. Oil on Canvas. 9' x 12'
It was so nice to see a show devoted to PAINTING! It seems that today so much focus is put on new media and cutting edge technology that often amazing painters and the beauty of paint is forgotten or deemed "dead." As a painter myself, this was an inspiring show. Between this show and "Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese: Rivals in Renaissance Venice" on view at the Museum of Fine Arts I can say that painting is very much alive and well!
I first experienced Maya Lin back as a very young child when walking through the beautiful Vietnam Memorial that she designed. I was excited to see her work in a museum setting after seeing it in the form of environmental sculptures for the past 15 years. I was not disappointed. I was greeted by a room sized installation that immediately told me I was in for a treat. The curators did a great job of showing the scope of media in which Lin works. The galleries boasted installation, drawings, altered books, altered walls, and bronze castings. I must say the installations and drawings had the most impact on me. I loved the imperfect edges on her drawings that were displayed in pristine frames. With the majority of my works being on paper, I have to decide whether to crop them into perfect squares and eliminate holes, or to immortalize them as pieces of history, as artifacts from the whirlwind of activity that is my studio. I choose to treat them as artifacts, in all their imperfections, and I appreciate when I seea similar sentiment to that in museums and galleries. This idea of mine is growing and expanding, so more on that later! In the meantime get to the MFA and the Phillip's Collection if you'd like to see some real, honest to goodness paint!