Sunday, April 12, 2009

Our trip to MOMA

Mira Schendel's work was the high point: here's an excerpt from Roberta Smith review in recent NYT:

But, striving for something less rational and more ephemeral, she found her true voice in a Zen-like visual poetry. It was created by pressing down - often with only her fingernail - on Japanese rice paper laid on glass laminate covered with ink and lightly sprinkled with talc. The technique unleashed an immense range of seismographic marks, symbols, letters, word fragments and phrases that soon spread to the imposing two-sided works she called Graphic Objects. Here multiple sheets of rice paper dotted with regiments of little marks and letters, as well as big press type, are sandwiched between sheets of plexiglass. The disembodied, translucent patchworks and textures suggest different layers of sound caught on scrims - black on white, red on white and white on white.

By 1964, Ms. Schendel was using her rice paper sculpturally, evolving forms that, concurrent with Eva Hesse's, achieved a resonant fusion of organic and geometric. Weaving and knotting twisted strands of it, she made odd, flexible forms that she called Little Nothings. These spheres and irregular nets evoke brains, vines, relaxed bodies and collapsed grids; they hover eerily between animate and inanimate.

Full review is here, if you're signed up for the NYT.

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