Sunday, June 17, 2018

Basement Storm Door

The above pattern was created by the effects of sun and water on the aluminum storm door that leads to our basement.

It's pleasant enough - especially when it glistens after a rain -so I have no interest in cleaning it off.

Often nature makes beautiful things -- like waterfalls or quartz or a woman's delicate ankle.

Xu Longsen

Above is a contemporary brush painting currently on display in one of the Asian galleries at the Art Institute of Chicago.

It's much larger -- about six feet on each side -- and it feels more profound, mysterious, and heart-felt.
The forces of Nature are cold and  heartless - while every human (or most every human) was born into a mother's love.

But it still seems to have much in common with my basement door.

Here is Lori Waxman's feature in the Chicago Tribune

Here is my self-published review

At the beginning of her review, Ms. Waxman queries:

"What does it mean, then, for a major new series of paintings by Xu Longsen, a Chinese artist born in Shanghai in 1956, to be installed throughout the galleries of Chinese, Japanese and Korean Art?"

Why isn't it in the Modern Wing where other contemporary Chinese artists like Ai WeiWei have been exhibited?

She does not attempt to answer that question.

It might be noted that this is not the first time that living Asian artists have been exhibited in the Asian wing.  It has happened before with  calligraphy, ceramics, and basket weaving done in a traditional manner.

Yet still -- this exhibition seems exceptional.  It's so huge -- and not entirely traditional.

One possible explanation for its installation in the Asian wing might be that the new curator of Asian art was more interested  than was the curator of contemporary art.

Or perhaps Xu Longsen felt that  feng shui of the Asian galleries, especially the Ando, was better  than any available space in the Modern Wing -- though I'm sure he would have had no problem creating pieces for the cavernous Griffin Court.

Since the Art Institute likes to keep such issues private, we'll probably never know.