I’m no artist. And I can be quite particular and judge-y, so a lot of times when I see contemporary art I’m just like … eh, no. I love contemporary art, but generally more for the intellectual exercise than for its actual aesthetics. But once in a blue moon I’ll see something and it’s so obviously ‘contemporary’ but in a way that I can actually relate to and simply respond. So here are two pieces from MoMA’s contemporary wing that I just adore.
“Untitled (Poster Painting)” (2008) by Klara Lidén. I’ve always had a thing for paper. Maybe it’s the architect in me, but I’ve always appreciated the physical texture of paper and its fragility over the sleek unreality of digital or the humdrum tradition of stretched canvas. I love this work, the layering of printed paper, torn and imprecise, curling, struggling to free itself from the wall. And yet at its core, blank and undefined.
“Play Dead; Real Time” (2003) by Douglas Gordon. This was pretty cool. Normally I’m not a big fan of video art because it tends to be very convoluted and requires you to sit on a weird bench and watch, but this piece had you walking around in order to appreciate the scale of it and the effect of light and changing perspective. The piece took up the entire room, and there were two large screens which had video projected onto them and a smaller monitor on the floor in the corner. So as you walked around in the darkened space, the larger-than-life elephants lumbered about in their brightly lit flat surfaces … and other people made hand shadows.