Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Tate Modern is my Umbrella and Sick Bed

I got caught in the rain with no jacket or umbrella when I was walking down the South bank towards the Hayward Gallery. I had my heart set on seeing the Annette Messager exhibit, but I decided to seek shelter at the Tate Modern instead since it was closer.

I was curious to see if any major changes had been made in the museum's collection display, which is free for the public to view. There were a lot of the old stand-bys that I remember from three years ago but there were a few new additions too. I was feeling a little queasy that day and just wanted a dim, relaxing environment to be in and was hoping to sit in the Rothko room to recover a bit. I was, however, sad to see the Rothkos were replaced by Viennese Actionism. Lots of work investigating viscera, bodily fluids, and aggression. Just wasn't the day for it. There was also a room projecting a bunch of Paul McCarthy's performance pieces. I usually like the ludicrous and grotesque nature of his work, but I could only endure so much with my bellyache. I'm sure if I stayed any longer I would have conceived an impromptu, performance of my own. It would have been called, "Involuntary Discharge".

There were some great additions to the contemporary painting area though! There was a beautiful piece by Ellen Gallagher that was so complexly layered with paper and paint. The generosity of material and the attention to technicality made me really excited. I felt that it reinstated the significance of aesthetic pleasure and tactility in art. It made me want to go home and make stuff. Additional paintings that I enjoyed were pieces by Raqib Shaw, Chris Offili, and Michael Raedecker.

To quell my illness I sat down and began to draw. My Dad's theory to curing ailments, when I was growing up, was a combination of art-making, Coca-Cola, and tylenol. Sick days from school were spent on Dad's prescription in front of the tv. So, I drew some people waiting by the museum entrance, a couple watching a film on Max Ernst, and even Louise Bourgeois' Maman! And sure enough it worked!


  1. i love it! Coca Cola and Tylenol! and art of course... great drawings janger...