Colonoscopy 3

Ideas & Opinion · Visual arts

Everyone’s jumping on the high-speed train, oh wait, we don’t have one … everyone’s powering north in their cars on the killer Golden State Freeway.

Destination, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde.

colonThe much-admired Gertrude Stein show adds to the ever-growing dump of evidence that museum curators tend toward overly complex exhibition titles — too frequently set up with the poor bedraggled colon.

[Not sure what a colon is? See illustration at right.]

Let’s check out the Getty Museum, a castle of high art on a hill, dubbed (by me) the Kingdom of the Colon. Let’s examine what Getty curator/luminaries have on offer.

  • In Focus: The Sky
  • Paris: Life & Luxury
  • Luminous Paper: British Watercolors and Drawings
  • Display and Art History: The Düsseldorf Gallery and Its Catalog
  • A Revolutionary Project: Cuba from Walker Evans to Now
  • Gods of Angkor: Bronzes from the National Museum of Cambodia
  • La Roldana’s Saint Ginés: The Making of a Polychrome Sculpture

“In Focus: The Sky”?  Do ‘ya really hafta go to a museum to see that?

The Getty’s also staging Fashion in the Middle Ages, with its sad, colon-free title. Not fancy-schmancy enough, it must be a bad show. Anyway, everyone knows they dressed like schlumps in the Middle Ages.

LACMA, the people’s museum, must certainly adopt a more direct approach! Well, don’t count on it.

  • Gifts of the Sultan: The Arts of Giving at the Islamic Courts
  • The Sound of One Hand: Paintings and Calligraphy by Zen Master Hakui
  • Possible Worlds: Mario Ybarra, Jr., Karla Diaz, and Slanguage Studio Select from the Permanent Collections
  • and then there’s plain-old Teresa Margolles, who must surely be a boring artist.

MOCA’s hip. But hoping that hipsters will hate this horrible habit is hapless.

  • The Personal is Political: Woman Artists from the Collection
  • Miranda July: Eleven Heavy Things
  • George Herms: Xenophilia (Love of the Unknown)
  • Common Objects: Pop Art from the Collection

The nasty colonitis epidemic has even spread to proper, polite Pasadena. There the Norton Simon pitches in its own double dots:

  • Surface Truths: Abstract Painting in the Sixties
  • Where Arts Meets Science: Ancient Sculpture from the Hindu-Buddhist World

At the Norton Simon, you may also register for the adult education class “Old Master Materials and Techniques: What Lies Beneath.”

Next semester they will offer, “What Lies Beneath: Old Master Materials and Techniques.”

Meanwhile back in SF, the Contemporary Jewish Museum (a museum crammed with contemporary Jews) offers its own Stein display, Seeing Gertrude Stein: Five Stories.

Personally, I don’t wanna traipse up and down five stories just to see Gertrude Stein, who’s usually sitting on her duff. So I’ll give that a miss.

What we have here is a lack of punctuation compunction. Ms. Stein herself would get a sore tuchas from the colon overload. Listen up.

arts·meme thanks nancy wozny, dancehunter, for sharing the marvelous stein recording

3 thoughts on “Colonoscopy

  1. Keith Aug 2,2011 2:58 pm

    Couldn’t be said any better!

  2. Owen Simon Aug 2,2011 2:24 pm

    Very clever piece.

  3. Nancy Wozny Aug 2,2011 1:30 am

    Hey, thanks for the thanks and your wild thinking.

Leave a Reply