Pieces of noon

Once again, I’ve become lax in my efforts to reclaim my lunch hour. In fact, the last time I made a deliberate effort to do so was back in March! OK, in fairness I have taken a couple of lunch-time trips to Moscow for optical appointments but that’s just not the same. But I digress…

Last week I noticed that the WSU Museum of Art had listed a few summer concerts, so I decided to put them on my calendar right away so that I could be free to take the five minute walk and get out of the office. I’d completely forgotten about it, but then my handy-dandy gadgets started beeping and flashing reminding me that I had a noon appointment—one that I almost cancelled because I wasn’t really in the mood. But then I realised that not being in the mood to relax was exactly why I needed to go and relax.

So, it was off to listen to the WSU faculty jazz ensemble, Nighthawk, and look at the pretty art stuff. After all, what can be more relaxing than a bit of jazz and art on a late-spring afternoon?

And now comes the part I know you’re all waiting for: My impressions of some of the art! But don’t worry, I’m only going to give my thoughts on four of the many pieces I saw.

First up, I was drawn to an Andy Warhol painting called Siberian Tiger (1983). Now, please forgive me for my first thoughts about this painting, but it reminded me of the tigers and lions we used to draw as children. Well, the outline part at least—the rest of it was very much outside of my ability! The colouring and texture on the tiger’s eyes and facial features was beautiful. Truly the work of an artist and not that of my childhood drawings! But, the memories it brought me of my now-passed thoughts that I could be a famous artist made me smile.

The next piece that struck me was an untitled piece by Cheryl Laemmle. It was oil on canvas painted in 1978 depicting a monkey and a horse in an outdoor scene. (Where else would a monkey and horse be, right?) The overall piece wasn’t something that spoke to me, but I was so taken in by how realistic the fur on the animals looked. The white fur on the horse was especially realistic and I had to resist the urge to feel it. On looking up close, I could see the individual brush strokes that made the fur, but even after that, it still looked all 3-D(ish) when I stepped back again. So, yeah, this piece made me smile, too.

The third piece that made me stop for a closer look was probably the most pretentious one in the place. (Yes, I always try to pick out the one I think is the most pretentious.) Anyhow, it was by Nancy Burson and was titled O.I.C. (1980; screen print) It was in a simple, minimalist brushed silver frame with a white matte. And inside the white matte was a white square screen-printed on white paper. If you looked very closely, you could see the faintest pencil-scrawled signature. (I would have been embarrassed to sign my name to it as it seems as silly as signing a blank cheque if you ask me. But what do I know about art?)

Finally, I was struck by a piece by Joseph Goldberg titled Pieces of Noon (1986; encaustic on linen over wood). The overall piece looked rather distressed and flaky and consisted of several ill-fitted bits of something-or-other stacked on each other—with a very tenuous looking base and a more stable looking top bit.

And now I’m going to get all self-reflected and stuff because it’s my blog and it’s all about me and that last piece made me all reflective and stuff so: I found it amusing that, in an effort to reclaim my lunch hour, I found enjoyment in a bit of art called Pieces of Noon. Further, I enjoyed the symbolism* in the piece being distressed and flaky—just like I’ve been feeling lately. And I found it interesting that—despite the tenuous-looking base—the overall image seemed stable and solid. Almost as if the weight of the top bits were stabilising the rest of the stack. (Yeah, I’m not the best at interpreting art, but these were my thoughts and this is my blog so that’s OK.)

Oh! And one more thing! As I sat there scribbling my notes with one of my Just Frances pens, a member of the museum’s staff approached me to let me know that using ink pens was not allowed. He requested that I use a pencil instead (and kindly handed me one). I have never heard of an ink prohibition in a museum before and from the sounds of it, neither have my Facebook friends. Have you? Or was this just a one-off little quirk?

[The image with this post is my own rough sketch of the Pieces of Noon piece. It’s not nearly as good as the original, but I’m not really an artist so that’d OK!]

* Symbolism, much like horoscopes, makes me laugh in cynicism often because we can all interpret whatever we want out of things. It’s all about the spin. But, as I said, this is my blog and this is my interpretation! You are, of course, welcome to share your own interpretations in the comment section.

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9 thoughts on “Pieces of noon

  1. I think the museum guy just wanted to say “hi” & needed some excuse! An ink prohibition? what are ya going to do scribble on the walls with it??!!

    • I don’t know that I’m in his age group for flirtatious hellos–but my ego needs the boost today so I’m going with your suggestion!

      And that’s what I was thinking too: What am I going to do? Draw on the wall–or make little mustaches on the paintings? I’m not a Loony Toon character! (Though I am often loony!)

  2. i’ve never heard of an ink ban! photography yes (have resorted to slyness when taking interior shots) and large bags, yes.
    but ink???

    and pretension – “what she feel she put into the painting” but i would love to get as much cash as some of the white on white painters get!!!

    • I’ve often thought the same thing! I mean, I could totally paint a square and sell it for loads of money. Only, I’m not creative (or pretentious?) enough to come up with the idea fast enough for it to be original! (I am all for folks creating and selling whatever they want and if it floats someones’ boat–yay for everyone!)

  3. I totally agree. Ya know, maybe he DID wanna talk to you and your total attractiveness. And, by the way, I’ve heard of ink bans in End-of-Course and Standardized testing, but no, not in meuseums. I don’t usually go to them, though, due to the lack of museums in the homeland…

    • Ya know, Flik, one thing I first thought was “Oh! Well since there weren’t any museums in the homeland, maybe I just missed the lesson about pens/pencils.” BUT, it sounds like the guy just thought I was an amazingly beautiful woman and just needed an excuse to say hello. 🙂

      (I think that when one of us becomes rich and famous, we ought to donate an art museum to the homeland. What do you think?)

      • What about the telephone museum and the Carpenter House Museum? I guess they aren’t really ‘ART’ museums, but museums none the less.

      • The closest “art” museum is in E’burg. They’ve even featured Cooper, Photographer Cat. And don’t forget the museum in Roslyn. I love Carpenter House.

      • I think it’s fair to say that there are no art museums in Upper County. But when I think about it, Lower County has the university art museum, the Clymer, and Dick and Jane’s Spot–all of which are art museums in one way or another.

        You’d think Roslyn would have one, but maybe one day the Upper County will start an Art Walk or something?

        I always enjoyed the Telephone Museum as a kid–and the Carpenter House. But then, I love history and I’m a bit of a geek!

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