..to me anyway. I finally got two places in the city I’ve been meaning to go. Above is the beautiful mosaic ceiling in the new #7 subway station on the far west side of Manhattan. Designed by Xenobia Bailey, a master fiber artist who loves color and pattern, it’s a wonderful way to exit from underground.
And I finally made it to the new Whitney Museum, which moved from the Upper East Side to a location at the beginning of the Highline in the Meatpacking District. The building has great views of the river with a lot of outdoor space with sculpture and seating, and the exhibit space has a more open feel. But it didn’t seem to me there was that much more overall room to show their collection, which I though was one of the goals of the new building.
In any case, their art is always worth seeing. Archibald Motley, an African American artist who was part of the Harlem Renaissance, has a delightful retrospective. His scenes of everyday life are colorful and full of period details, but I was especially taken with his portraits. That’s his grandmother, above. And a self portrait, below.
One of the last paintings he completed is the haunting “The First One Hundred Years”, a history of African Americans in the United States.
The blockbuster show is Frank Stella, and it is hard to see how these mostly huge works could have been shown in the old museum. A fashion shoot was in progress when I visited, using some of his paintings as a foil.
I was not familiar with these large and sometimes painted wooden wall pieces, and I took photos of quite a few of them.
I liked this fun and colorful piece.
But of course the shape and color explorations of the geometric paintings will always be my favorites. This one is an homage to Jasper Johns, who said when he painted in color he always saw grey, and in fact did many paintings in both color and grey.
The Whitney owns a vast and wonderful collection of American art, and I took some photos of the permanent collection as well. For a future post.