Saturday, January 22, 2011

Guitars, Architecture and the Study of Art

In the 80s I fell in love with Cubism, especially with cubist sculptures of musical instruments. It seemed a perfect marriage of my interests, skill set and the kinds of things I wanted to learn about. I used this infatuation as a springboard to expression and a hands on method of studying via the actual experience of construction. I made a large number of instruments over the years most of which were sold or traded to other artists. I have a couple left around the house along with one of my few forays into forgery.
Salvaged and scrapped building materials became the 3D assemblages that I made as a means of meditation on cubist sculpture. It was a really absorbing and positive experience.
The piece on the left (immediately above) in Picasso's Mandolin and Clarinet, from 1912. One day in my studio, looking at a pile of scrap I 'saw' the Mandolin and Clarinet in a pile and allowed myself this indulgence.

In February there is a new show opening at MOMA called Picasso Guitars. Finding out about this is the inspiration for this post. In 1989, thanks to the generosity of some friends and some hard work I was able to spend a weekend at the Pioneering Cubism exhibit at MOMA. I also saw the big Jenny Holzer exhibit at the Guggenheim...but that is for another day.