Sunday, March 25, 2012

Modern Art Gallery of New South Wales

When Paul's brother Dave came to visit early March, we spent an hour wandering the lower levels of the Art Gallery of New South Wales which has several interesting modern art displays.  I think modern art is very powerful at conjuring human emotions, and I thoroughly enjoy ones that involve design work and seemingly impossible balance of objects. Typically with modern art, I find myself wondering more about the artist than the actual artwork. If this person is alive now, what sort of eccentricities evolve around their daily lives to make them create up something so extreme? If the message is received, is it actually powerful enough to linger and change my perceptions? How much CAD work is involved in the composition process? Do these artists make enough from their work to sustain themselves? Do they personally oversee when their work is being installed?

The pendulum and the emu egg by Rebecca Horn was likely my favorite display. Watching the menacing point swing within inches of the unborn egg that lay below is a stark reminder of how fragile life remains. Another interpretation might be that the egg, made of solid iron, represents our resilience on earth to continue on in spite of its forcible circumstance.  Even after Mt. Saint Helens erupted in 1980, devastating 100sq kilometers, life showed promise and returned after only a few weeks.  Ponder the former, but hold steadfast to the latter; that the glass is half full. Hopefully the NSW art gallery rotates their Modern Art exhibits so the next time I bring a visitor, I can have a fresh set of media to share.

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