Hanging Out @ The Tang Museum, 10/21/09

We were in Saratoga last Wednesday for a meeting and decided to stop by the Tang Museum to see what’s new and get fresh dose of inspiration. Here’s what caught our eye:

Type A: Barrier
Type A: Barrier

Walking into the atrium, we were immediately annoyed by Type A’s Barrier installation, which is precisely the point. It’s in the way. It impedes the view. You have to walk around it. Post-911, concrete barriers are ubiquitous; these barriers, gracefully arching, as smooth as marble and beautifully made, force the viewer’s attention both to their physical presence and their space-controlling function.

Eduardo Paolozzi: General Dynamic F.U.N. is in the Winter Gallery. Robots, motorcycles, Elizabeth Taylor, the Statue of Liberty and Cary Grant in drag…this exhibition of pop-art pioneer Paolozzi’s screen prints and photo lithographs show his groundbreaking use of mass production artistic techniques to satirize a mass-produced and image-driven consumerist culture. Here’s Francine Grinnell’s review of the exhibit for Saratoga.com.

Nicole Eisenman: Biergarten at Night
Nicole Eisenman: Biergarten at Night

The paintings of Nicole Eisenman: The Way We Weren’t are vaguely reminiscent of impressionistic cafe scenes or German expressionism but also are richly symbolic. Ultimately, she contemplate the isolation, loneliness and depression of the individual amid a culture obsessed with happiness. Here’s Meisha Rosenberg’s review in the Times Union.

Lives of the Hudson is part of the Hudson 400 celebration that everyone seems to be tiring of at this point, but it’s a rewarding and wildly diverse group show that examines the Hudson River through a host of perspectives. The show is built around four themes: the natural river, the imagined river, the human river, and the working river.

And there’s a lot to like:

  • Maxine Henryson’s blurry photographs through train windows mirror the experience of thousands of commuters every day.
  • Nathan Buckingham’s Muhheakantuck—Everything Has a Name is a projected 16mm film that shows an aerial tour up one side and back down the other side of the river. The white noise of the film projector contrasts with his quiet, somber descriptions of the violent history of European colonization.
  • In an interesting technological juxtoposition, Annea Lockwood’s hypnotic A Sound Map of the Hudson River is installed in the elevator, with a handy bench so the listener doesn’t feel compelled to leave after the 10 second ride from one floor to the other. A 71-minute collection of recordings of the Hudson River from its source in the Adirondacks all the way downstream to the Atlantic Ocean, this hypnotic work shows the breadth of sound and surprising musicality, from tiny gurgles to mighty roars along that path.

David Brickman has an extensive look at this show on Get Visual and there are more photos and descriptions on Skidmore’s website.

There’s a Night Tour of the “Lives of the Hudson” on Thursday, November 12, 7:00PM with student docents Stefan Schonsheck, Ria Lopez and Mia Levin

Type A: Barrier (through January 3, 2010)
Eduardo Paolozzi: General Dynamic F.U.N. (through November 1, 2009)
Nicole Eisenman: The Way We Weren’t (through January 3, 2010)
Lives of the Hudson (through March 14, 2010)

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