Today NEW YORK's Metropolitan Museum of Art, www.metmuseum.org from top to bottom; ground to roof.
How wonderful to live 7 minutes from the Met. Their new slogan is One Met. Many Worlds.
All exemplified by 3 new shows opening today: Masterpieces from Tibet and Nepal; Medieval Treasures from Hildesheim, Germany, and Feathers from Ancient Peru! Let me tell you it's a long 4 block walk from Peru to Nepal. I had almost forgotten how huge the Met is - and how breathtaking. And how busy!
The Peruvian feathered hangings date from c 750 AD yet its by far the most modern exhibit. Think Sean Scully. Here 12 rectangular panels - divided exactly into quarters of blue and yellow made out of thousands of Macaw bird feathers - make an impressive 88 ft long wall installation of bold minimal art. The hangings, related to a shrine or ceremony, were found in 1943 rolled up in large ceramic jars, themselves richly decorated. Back then feathers were, I'm told, luxury objects and the birds were carried over the Andes! Dead or alive? We'll never know. The Wari people did not write.
Max Ernst owned one of the panels. That says it all.
Next 50 medieval ecclesiastical treasures: gem and pearl encrusted crosses, silver cruxifixes, metalwork, carving, and copper and opulent gold statues from Lower Saxony where Bishop Bernward was a busy patron. The Golden Madonna has lost her head but is still amazing. And I was glad to see one special Reliquary for St Oswald, King of Northumbria, was probably English.
With all this 10th & 11th century European creativity, how to follow that?
Last The Roof Garden.
Each year the Met commissions a project for its Roof Garden, usually sculpture. For this year, (May to October,) young Pakistani artist Imran Qureshi painted the floor with blood red foliage and ornamental flowers influenced by Islamic art combined with abstraction. Normally a miniature painter, his recent site-specific works in Sydney, Berlin, Istanbul have been political and on an architectural scale. Here his splatters and stains among the flowers reference the recent Boston bombings, made more poignant by their faded aspect from a summer of feet and baking sun. http://metmuseum.org
close up of roof painting.TOMORROW MAGRITTE at MoMA www.moma.org All you have to do is read. I am the one with sore feet!