Saturday, September 7, 2019

58. Looking Two Ways

I wanted to see "Look Both Ways" for two reasons. One, I wanted to be in the game, as it were, out of my shy bubble, out in the world with the big kids (acknowledging that being a big kid has nothing to do with age and everything to do with accomplishment). Two, I really, really wanted to see the work Debbie Millman curated to illustrate her thesis of "The Illicit Liaison between Image and Information."

After teaching in Brooklyn till 6pm and then stopping at the office to drop off school-stuff and reply to a few emails, I was in danger of missing the reception. Bad weather, a bad decision about the subway route, and a long walk in uncomfy shoes almost made me bail and simply go home. But I craved food for the eyes and mind. I arrived at 7:50pm, ten minutes before the reception's stated ending, but knowing that the reception would probably last a bit longer.

I'm glad I went, even as late as I was. The show was smartly-conceived and brilliantly-curated. Many of the pieces were from Debbie's (impressive!) collection—possibly work by artists and designers she's admired and interviewed over the years and certainly wonderful results of her intelligent research, deep curiosity, and boundless energy.

The entry wall includes Bertrand Russell's 1940 An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth. A (now fringe) book designer whose work hews to Bertrand Russell's first description of how language and pictorial representations can be wedded to one another—i.e. "politely and conformably (as when an illustration is wedded to a text or a caption to a drawing)," I'm blown away by the second way—". . . an illicit liaison, so intimately integrated that one doesn't know any more who is the bride and who is the bridegroom."

After seeing a good deal of the work and chatting with designer and typophile Carrie Hamilton, who introduced me to the brilliant and funny artist Edel Rodriguez, I slipped away—figuring I'd return to see the work without the crowds (which I did).

Inserted below in a very polite and conformist manner are a few of my faves. The exhibit has so much more—each work full of energy and intelligence and sometimes righteous anger.

Lesley Dill, Gown of Blueprint, 2008, Courtesy of Nohra Haime Gallery, New York

The Din, Ebon Heath, 2019

(For September 6, 2019; posted September 7)

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