Days out in Different Places
I have been to two very different exhibitions recently that are, inconveniently, continents apart.
In the town of Beacon, NY, the ex-paper factory, now contemporary art gallery, Dia:Beacon (Dia:Beacon ), has an exhibition of works by Robert Smithson, (Robert Smithson), amongst other things. I was struck by how his installations felt like drawings. In The Map of Broken Glass shards of different sized pieces of glass were spread on a polished concrete floor. They caught disjointed reflections of the skylights and ceiling lights. With every breath and movement the reflections changed. The effect was similar to trying to see through fast moving water.
The Royal Academy, London (Royal Academy) has three shows running; I went to Jasper Johns.
Widely known for his iconic images of flags, targets, numbers, maps and light bulbs, Jasper Johns has occupied a central position in American art since his first solo exhibition in New York in 1958. His treatment of iconography and appropriation of objects, symbols and words makes the familiar unfamiliar, achieving this through the distinctive, complex textures of his works. Through his ground-breaking paintings and sculptures, Johns established a decisive new direction in an art world that had previously been dominated by Abstract Expressionism. (Royal Academy)