Peachy the Magazine December 2013 - Page 86

Museum Mile After leaving the grand dame of New York museums, stroll up 5th Avenue for a few blocks and you will land at the Neue Gallerie, a jewel box of a museum in an ethereal townhouse specializing in early 20th Century Austrian and German art. “Vasily Kandinsky: From Blaue Reiter to the Bauhaus, 1910–1925” covers Kandinsky’s move from figuration to abstraction and the influence of music and theater on his work. Approximately 80 works are shown, including four 1914 wall panels on loan from MoMA. They were commissioned by Edwin R. Campbell, founder of the Chevrolet Motor Company, for the foyer of his New York apartment. The Neue Gallerie is a delightfully refined place to look at art, and the Kaffee and Mokka at Café Sabarsky are the perfect pickme-up for the stroll up Museum Mile. The period cafe itself is in the spirit of the Wiener Werkstätte, the Austrian movement that viewed all manner of craft as high art, and it is fitted out with furniture by Adolf Loos, light fixtures by Josef Hoffmann and banquettes that are upholstered with a 1912 Otto Wagner fabric. Walk just a few more blocks up 5th Avenue, and you will arrive at the day’s final destination, the Guggenheim. The 86 PEACHY dazzling summer show was a James Turrell retrospective, and the manner in which that light-oriented show filled the atrium and took command of the museum (as did Maurizio Cattelan: All and Cai Guo- Qiang: I Want to Believe) makes it a bit taxing for the next exhibit at the museum to keep up the buzz. But the Christopher Wool retrospective on display at the Guggenheim does not disappoint. It reveals the artist’s extended push-pull relationship with painting. Although it is a shame that there are none of Wool’s earliest paintings on display, you will sense as you climb the rotunda that Wool carefully culled from the art he found around him at any given time, not only from Minimalist painting and Conceptual art, but also from appropriation art, film, street graffiti and punk rock. Many of his best known works are paintings with stenciled letters or words. These works sprang from an unlikely epiphany: Wool saw a white van that had been vandalized and the words “sex” and “luv” had been spray painted in black on the vehicle. What Wool saw was not a misdemeanor, but inspiration. He transferred the idea to painting, but he guardedly kept his hand out of his work, using ?[??[???^H?[??[???\?K\Z[?\???\???\HHZ[? ???