I may be biased because it was my birthday month but it has been a fantastic February. I got started on a couple of new projects that I’ll have more details about soon, spent a lot of time with friends, and saw some great performances and shows including Balanciaga: Spanish Master at the Queen Sofía Spanish Institute and El Bulli: Cooking in Progress which just had it’s New York premiere at MoMA. When my head wasn’t in Spain past and future, I was flipping through the latest Saveur and thrilled that they featured Leticia Moreinos Schwartz’s Brazilian Kitchen in Dorothy Irwin’s Taking Root. I was also taking vicarious tours of Chile, starting with the New York Times 36 Hours in Santiago, Chile and ending with the Atlantic’s In Chile, Molecular Gastronomy and Locavores Collide. While the latter was a fun read, I was disappointed that it didn’t describe an actual chef rumble where no one gets hurt but everyone eats. Read more
If you’d asked me about performance art a few months ago, I wouldn’t have had a very strong opinion. While I keep an open mind, I’ve always preferred the Met to P.S.1 and masters painting infantas to hipsters painting each other. That changed when I went to the opening of Tania Bruguera: On the Political Imaginary at the Neuberger Museum of Art until April 11. I’d always heard about her pieces from friends, but it was incredible to experience twenty years of the artist’s work simultaneously. Featuring multiple performances of her work, I saw walls lined with tea packets in “Poetic Justice” (2002-3), was blinded by klieg lights in “Untitled (Kassel, 2002)”, and had my heart broken by the stench of sugar cane in “Untitled (Havana, 2000)”.
Inspired by Tania and anxious to see more, I went to a members preview of Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present opening at tomorrow at MoMA and running until May 31. Aptly named, she will be present and sitting in the museum’s atrium for 716 hours and thirty minutes at a table with an empty chair. Visitors are invited to wait in line to sit across from her for any length of time. In the galleries, actors trained by the artist recreate her most famous pieces while small screens play video footage of the original works. While many focused on her ability to endure, I was more impressed her perfect concentration and well…presence in everything she did. I couldn’t help but think of all the devices – books, magazine, iPhones, iPods – I use to make me feel that I’m not where Read more
When I wrote about Botero last week, I titled the post Art Break since it wasn’t strictly about food. Normally, I don’t make too much of a distinction between art and food. I often catch myself telling people I went to see the Gustav Klimt exhibit at Café Sabarsky. Really, I went to see the smoked trout crêpes with horseradish crème fraîche at Sabarsky. The Klimt paintings were upstairs in the Neue Galerie itself. If I’m going to MoMA, I can’t help thinking of the raspberry & fromage blanc sorbet sundae at Terrace 5, which has the added advantage of overlooking the sculpture garden. And the Met is always beautiful but less overwhelming, if you can let it all sink in over afternoon tea at the Petrie Court (or a Crumbs cupcake in the the cafeteria, I’m not picky). That’s why I was so excited when I came across the news in Tasting Table about the special menu Spanish chef José Andrés created for the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. to coincide with their exhibits, Luis Meléndez: Master of the Spanish Still Life and The Art of Power: Royal Armor and Portraits form Imperial Spain. Garden Café España will be running until September 17, 2009. I can’t wait to visit D.C. this summer to eat the exhibit.
In the meantime, here’s a picture of Pablo Picasso’s She-Goat (1950) from the MoMA’s Abby Alrich Rockefeller Scupture Garden