Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I Won't Admit I'm Wrong, but "They" Might be Right




The other night, I was running between meetings, and zipped over to Oak, along the Nelson. Normally, I cruise down Rockhill, and roll my eyes at the brightly-lit Butler buildings, astounded at the gutsy sales job that convinced the Trustees of that august institution to disrupt the sight lines and stateliness of the property that history had bestowed, until they took it away from us.

But, Monday night, I swung over to Oak on my way south, and, even though I was running late for my meeting, what I saw made me stop. More than that, it made me circle the block, do a U-turn on Oak (middle-aged white men in sedans can get away with all kinds of traffic maneuvers denied to the less-privileged). I had seen the Standing Figures (Thirty), by Magdalena Abakanowicz, silhouetted against the glowing buildings, and it was breathtaking. I had also seen one of the shuttlecocks, by Claes Oldenburg & Coosje van Bruggen.

Wow. Simply wow.

These are interesting, perhaps even arresting, sculptures by day. This blogger does a fine job of capturing these sculptures in their daytime lives.

Night-time redefines them entirely. The silhouette effect from Oak transforms them into something wildly different. These are terrible photos that I tried to take - but it doesn't capture the essence at all. When I got out of my car and tried to position myself between the sculptures and the Butler buildings, a security light activated and altered the effect radically - kind of turned it inside out.

I was late for my meeting, but it was worth it. I saw art I already liked, but I saw it in a literally new light.

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8 Comments:

Blogger john said...

Have you been inside?

It's absolutely gorgeous!!

11/22/2007 10:07 AM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

When were those Magdalena Abakanowicz figures erected at the Nelson? I was just there in early September and didn't see them. I know I have observation issues, but I'd hate to think I was so unobservant I missed them. I'm going back for a nighttime viewing. Thanks for the heads up.

The new Bloch addition is in such stark contrast to the old Nelson, I have to say it detracts from the whole exterior beauty of the place. I don't think it should have been added where it's at. That said, I did tour the exhibit inside and it was very nice. I had out-of-town guests with me and they liked the exhibits, but nothing compares to the stately beauty of the original Nelson and the Masters inside.

The feast beckons...have a good one everyone.

11/22/2007 11:52 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

I haven't been inside, but I refuse to believe that white walls to hang stuff on justify the truly ugly daylight exterior.

Travelingal - They've been there a while, certainly pre-September, but they're tucked into the northwest corner of the property, near some trees.

11/22/2007 2:08 PM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

"I refuse to believe that white walls to hang stuff on justify the truly ugly daylight exterior"

The walls aren't just white. They are transluscent glass that illuminate the inside and the outside in a way that is quite amazing.

You should put aside your preconceptions and go check it out.

11/23/2007 7:50 AM  
Anonymous Vanni B said...

Thank you for referring to my photos of the Nelson. I only had time to take in the area close to the university and also did the Friday art gallery crawl. I enjoyed it all and met a lot of local artists.

11/24/2007 1:02 PM  
Anonymous Mammy's Boy said...

"I Won't Admit I'm Wrong, but "They" Might be Right"

For a second there I thought you were talking about your disparaging remarks over Tony's "Mammy-gate" story.

Blogs who were fooled before are making silly assumptions and demands based upon the probably-false "story". Snicker.

But maybe you think The Call is a joke blog also.

11/25/2007 9:38 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Even if it turns out to be true (and the Call has no source, either), people are crazy to put any faith in a joke blog like Tony.

Nothing that comes out is going to change that fact.

11/25/2007 9:44 PM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

The Call didn't quote a single, credible source.

"There are also allegations surfacing surrounding the complaint that one of the top volunteers in the mayor’s office, Ms. Gloria Squitiro, has allegedly called a black female employee, on several occasions, “Mammy”.
Ms. Squitiro is Mayor Mark Funkhouser’s wife."

Where did those "allegations" come from?

TKC?

More circular "journalism" and self-fulfilling BS.

11/25/2007 10:10 PM  

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