Friday, July 06, 2007

Saratoga Dispatch—or—The Various Pleasures of Summer Festivals

In other pleasures, today I took the long lovely drive from Saratoga Springs to North Adams, MA via Vermont to visit Mass MoCA and then to Williamstown, MA for the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute.

Little I saw at Mass MoCA has stayed with me. It was mostly big disposable "art" that stabs and stabs at facile points without makng an impact. Process and concept trump technique and accomplishment to very little effect. The building is amazing, however, and the café and gift shop are excellent.

I then took the short drive to Williamstown for my first visit to the Clark, and I am already looking forward to going back in a week. Several Sargents are seared into my minds eye. What a treasure.

Back at Saratoga Springs, I decided to visit the museum at Skidmore College, the Tang Teaching Museum. The current exhibition, "Alumni Invitational 2" was a terrific surprise. The work was memorable, inventive, and in every case, beautiful.

Bing Wright
Rain Window V
, 1989
C-print, 62 x 38 inches,
Courtesy of the artist and
Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
In the Tang "Alumni Invitational 2"

John Singer Sargent
American, 1856-1925
Fumée d'Ambre Gris (Smoke of Ambergris) 1880
Oil on canvas, 139.1 x 90.6 cm
Acquired by Sterling Clark, 1914, 1955.15

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