Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Martin Puryear at the National Gallery

Got to see the huge retrospective of sculptures by Martin Puryear while I visited my son in D.C.

I felt the strongest of his pieces are in the period of 1975 to 1989, when each work was sort of human scale. He's gotten into fairly large pieces of late and I found them strangely lacking character. They seemed slick and, well, bombastic. Why does a sculptor have to make humongous pieces? You can understand the gigantic works of Richard Serra, Claes Oldenberg, and that guy who numbers all of his works. But the gigantic does not belong in the same sentence as Puryear.

I love his materials. Walking around the pieces, I was just dying to touch them, but of course if we did this, they'd get frayed and greasy in a hurry. Beautiful arcs of pine, blocks of oak, even a wicker piece that was out of this world. They are tactile to the max and just my size. A very friendly body of work.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Penang, saya kembali

The best banana leaf curry house in Penang:

Passions of Kerala

40 Servis Road
(Burmah Square)
10050 Penang
Telephone 04-229 2570

12 noon – 3.00pm
6.30pm – 10.00pm

Saturday, January 05, 2008

2007 Storytellers Fully Immortal

Well, 2007 saw the loss of three great storytellers. All impacted me in my youth, changed me and inspired me, and now that they are gone from their physical form, their recorded works live on with perhaps even greater significance.

Kurt Vonnegut: the man who gave us "granfaloon" and "wompeter of my karass" made us wonder about the universe. I don't think he had it quite right, as he was overly humanist, surprisingly pessimistic, but he had an awesome sense of humor and he made us dream.

Madeleine L'Engle: Everyone knows her for the masterpiece of young literature: A Wrinkle in Time. But I also loved her Arm of the Starfish (a thriller that possibly planted the seed in me that it's okay to live internationally). And even her romance The Moon by Night was a great piece of writing.

Marcel Marceau: grace and perfection well into his old age. A master storyteller without one word.