Category Archives: Uncategorized

CC Calloway | Long Lasting Chew

Review: CC Calloway’s “Long Lasting Chew” at Whitespace

June 12,2018
burnaway.org
By Logan Lockner
View more CC Calloway

In Rachel Kushner’s electrifying 2013 novel The Flamethrowers, about a young woman who falls in with a fictionalized crew of post-conceptualists in 1970s New York, an artist tells the unnamed protagonist, “You don’t have to immediately become an artist… You have the luxury of time. You’re young. Young people are doing something even when they’re doing nothing. A young woman is a conduit. All she has to do is exist.”

With her exhibition “Long Lasting Chew,” on view at Whitespace’s project space whitespec through this Saturday, June 16, Atlanta-based artist CC Calloway manages to both reject and embrace this proposition.

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CC Calloway, s.o.s. (after ABBA), 2018; mulch, rocks, broken floor tiles, spray paint, Thai kozo, India ink, wire, dimensions variable.

Matt Haffner | Harmonic Dysfunction

Barns, back roads, barbecue, billboards and Buford Highway

June 5,2018
ArtsAtl.com
By Jerry Cullum
View more Matt Haffner

Matt Haffner’s photographs in his Harmonic Dysfunction exhibition (at Whitespace through June 16) confront a different, less distinguishable part of the South, the spaces on the margins of cities where the architecture is determined by the function of the services provided by auto body shops, liquor stores and other unromantic enterprises that are often visually identical in cities across America.

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Matt Haffner, Fast and Friendly (Image courtesy the artist/Whitespace)

March Madness

March Madness

It is already March…how is that possible?  We are trying to live up to our new year resolutions but we only have 8 up and running. So, here we go, not quite 10 awesome things to know about whitespace artists.

 1 & 2 Congratulations to Amy Pleasant (AL) and Vesna Pavlovic (TN), two whitespace artists, who are finalists for the South Arts Southern Prize. They will receive $5,000 each and together with nine other southern visual artists, are in consideration for the Southern Prize, which includes an additional $25,000 cash award and a two-week residency at the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences. The winner of the Southern Prize and the $10,000 finalist prize winner will be announced at a ceremony celebrating the State Fellows on April 16 in New Orleans.

Eric Mack, SRFC-49, 67 x 117 inches, mixed media on canvas

3 More congratulations are in order. Eric Mack, has a show opening in Los Angeles at the California African American Museum (CAAM) on March 14. Eric and Pamela Smith Hudson’s show, Charting the Terrain will be on view through September 8, 2018. So if you’re in LA this spring or summer, be sure to check it out.

installation image courtesy of the artist

4 Kudus to Sarah Emerson Are We the Monsters, curated by Teresa Bramlette Reeves, is a solo show of Sarah’s large scale drawings and murals at the Zuckerman Museum at Kennesaw State University. Berserk Planet will blow your mind and really worth the drive to Kennesaw. This museum is curating some real cutting edge work.

 

5 More congrats to Zipporah Camille Thompson who is opening at the Atlanta ContemporaryNight Powers opened on Tuesday, February 20 and is open until April 1.  Beautiful and powerful, just like Zipporah.

6 Yawn…just another vinyl album cover for Seana Reilly. Her previous albums include (1) Piano Music of David Burge, 2010, (2) Daughter & Warpaint special 12” single, 2014 Label: 4AD, (3) Attan – debut EP.metal band from of Norway, 2015, (4) Telepathy, an instrumental metal band out of the UK.  Album (5) is in production and (6) is in discussion. Rihanna, Madonna and…Seana! That Seana is such a rock star!

7 Tommy Taylor is sitting on top of the world, well really on top of a volcano in Costa Rica. He is working on Starbucks largest global project alongside Mata Ruda and Jade Rivera, Latin American muralists. This Starbucks center is headquarters for agronomy that includes a wet mill, nursery and roaster so that visitors can see the process start to finish. This is the only place in the world to drink this particular coffee.

8 Craig Dongoski’s stunning show, Kissing of the Gods, is not to be missed.  His artist talk is this Saturday, March 3rd at 2 pm. A performance (Spring Equinox) of course, Wednesday, March 21, 6 – 8 pm.

Top 10 Favorites in 2017

Whitespace Top 10

Top 10 Favorites in 2017

 

The December Top 10 is a wrap up of the best things I saw in 2017! I hope you enjoy it!

Love, Susan

1. Atlanta BalletCarmina Burana, Cobb Energy Center, Marietta, GA

The choreography and music was the best, and the Georgia State University singers and master singers knocked it out of the park. This performance instilled a sense of pride in me for the city we live in and the great art and cultural institutions that make a difference in Atlanta. The performance was, quite simply, beautiful and seductive.

Rachel Van Buskirk and Jonah Hooper in “Carmina Burana.” | Courtesy of Charlie McCullers

2. The Dougs…

Doug Aitken – Mirage House, Palm Springs, CA

I’ve never seen anything like it…the mirrored (inside and out) single story ranch house was a perfect realistic, and unrealistic, object set in the foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains. It made me question everything. I’m still not quite sure what is real and what isn’t?

Doug Shipman – New CEO of the Woodruff Arts Center

He’s pounding the pavement, meeting and talking to everyone and taking the efforts Michael Rooks started a few years ago to a whole new level. The best thing about Doug is that he probably knows it all because he is really smart and has accomplished a lot on this planet and for this city, but he doesn’t act like he knows it all and he still listens.

Doug Jones – First Democratic Senator in Alabama in 25 years.

This election shows us that our votes do matter and change can happen anywhere.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZglqkCRNt8

Artist Doug Aitken, Mirage House, Palm Springs, CA | Courtesy of Susan B.

3. Nick Cave – Mass Moca, North Adams, MA, Closing performance of Until

This was the most moving contemporary arts performance I have ever seen. As Nick danced, he physically touched almost everyone in the audience. As he was doing so, he began to cry. The tears were for Michael Brown and the violence in Ferguson and all over this country. Nick’s tears were our tears.

Artist Nick Cave, Until, Mass Moca, North Adams, MA | Courtesy of Susan B.

Underneath the center of Nick Cave’s sculpture | Courtesy of Susan B.

Bob Faust and Nick Cave, Until, Mass Moca, North Adams, MA | Courtesy of Susan B.

4. Robert Irwin – Chinati Foundation, Marfa, TX

Irwin has been working on this site-specific installation at Chinati for over 20 years, and it’s one of the best examples of the California-based light movement that started in the early ‘60’s. Irwin’s ability to traverse ultimate darkness into complete illumination using a simple scrim is indescribable. The installation is subtle, perfectly composed and completely immersive. I can’t label it – if I try, it dilutes the experience.​

Robert Irwin, Exterior view of inståallation at Chianti, Marfa, TX | Courtesy of Susan B.

Robert Irwin, Exterior view at sunset (natural light filtered through scrims) | Courtesy of Susan B.

Robert Irwin, Interior view of installation at Chianti, Marfa, TX | Courtesy of Susan B.

5. The Eclipse – The Cumberland Plateau, August 21, 2017

Paul Thorn at the Song Bird, Days Inn, Trader Joe’s, Chani Nicholas, Seana Reilly, and homemade eclipse helmets. It took us from the ridiculous to the sublime and was beautiful and transformative. Who needs land art when you have solar art?

Paul Thorn’s airstream at the Song Bird, Chattanooga, TN | Courtesy of Susan B.

My precious daughter, Caroline, wearing a homemade eclipse helmet to view the Eclipse, Cumberland Plateau, TN | Courtesy of Susan B.

The Eclipse Cumberland Plateau, TN | Courtesy of Susan B.

6. Cover BooksEphemera in shedspace, Atlanta, GA

What began as a temporary outpost for art books at whitespace is now a welcome addition to our ever-expanding whitespace environment at 814 Edgewood. We are so happy to have Katie because we are Cover Lovers.

Ephemera by Cover Books | Courtesy of Katie Barringer

Inside shedspace | Courtesy of Katie Barringer

Cover Books founder/owner, Katie Barringer

7. Kahlil Joseph – Wildcat at Prospect 4, New Orleans, LA

I almost overlooked at Prospect 4 this year but a definite fav was the poetic, narrative video, Wildcat. A black and white piece about the black rodeo subculture in the United States. It had all of the elements that intrigue me – it was dark and dangerous but beautiful both visually and musically. The sound by Flying Lotus is as important as the film.

Artist Kahlil Joseph, Wildcat, Prospect 4, New Orleans | Courtesy of Susan B.

Artist Kahlil Joseph, Wildcat, Prospect 4, New Orleans | Courtesy of Susan B.

Still from Wildcat | Courtesy of IndieWire

8. Yayoi Kusama Festival of Life, David Zwirner NYC

Two concurrent, well actually three, shows at Zwirner proved that Kusama is an artist to be reckoned with and much more than an Instagrammer’s delight. The gallery adjoining the infinity rooms contained 66 double hung canvases that felt very much like works by southern folk artist, the late James Harold Jennings. These paintings were very colorful and filled with energy and playfulness. Mirrored balls, Christmas lights, and big red dots (you know how I love a red dot on anything) made standing outside on the sidewalk for two and a half hours on a snowy New York morning totally worth it. It was pure fun.​

Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Mirror Room, David Zwirner NYC | Courtesy of David Zwirner

Yayoi Kusama, David Zwirner NYC | Courtesy of Susan B.

Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Net paintings and With All My Love For The Tulips, I Pray Forever, David Zwirner NYC | Courtesy of David Zwirner

9. Jacqueline Humphries – Greene Naftali gallery, NYC

This show was quite a surprise and a good one at that. At a distance, her huge paintings could pass for an Agnes Martin/Cy Twombly mashup, but after close observation, Humphries’ are very much au currant. Her surfaces are layered with tight grids of cut out emoticons. What is she trying to tell us? Whatever it is, there is a lot of content, and much to think about in this work.

Jaqueline Humphries, (L) (#J^^), 2017, 100” X 111”, Oil on linen | Courtesy of Susan B.

Jaqueline Humphries, TQ555, 2017, 100” X 111”, Oil on Linen | Courtesy of Susan B.

Jaqueline Humphries, TQ555, 2017 | Courtesy of Susan B.

10. Mexico City, Mexico

I love everything about Mexico City.  The museums, the architecture, the parks, the gardens, the food and, of course, the lovely Mezcal cocktails.

Courtesy of Susan B.

Zeitgeist at Whitespace: A Tale of Two Cities

From left to right: “Atlantic Ocean, September 10th, 2016,” archival pigment print, ; “Panther Motel,” archival pigment print, Caroline Allison (2017)

In July, Whitespace hosted artists from Zeitgeist gallery in Nashville as part of an ongoing collaboration meant to stimulate conversation about the cultural and artistic trademarks unique to two of the South’s most vibrant and evolving cities. With the exhibition closing in early August, featured Zeitgeist artists were given the opportunity to reflect on their experiences of showing artwork in Atlanta.

“Well I suppose the obvious answer is that it’s always exciting to be sharing work with a wider audience,” wrote artist Caroline Allison about the benefits of showcasing outside of Nashville. “in our present life, we are constantly and instantly “half-communicating” with each other, so to send a “complete thought” (a finished work of art) . . . feels like sending a long letter to someone.

“As a child who saw firsthand the boom growth and changing Atlanta landscape of the 80’s and 90’s, I see the echo of that rapid growth period now in Nashville . . . Atlanta’s diverse and substantial contemporary art community is an inspiring path for Nashville to follow.”

Lars Strandh, an artist with roots in the Scandinavian art community, found that “all the interesting people I meet and the interesting conversations we have” remains a continual reward for showcasing his work around the world (Germany, Switzerland, France, Sweden, and other prominent cities in the U.S., to name a few). “So much knowledge being shared, so many interesting discussions and conversation, so many laughs. I believe that’s the important and benefiting side of being an artist.”

From left to right: “Untitled,” acrylic on canvas, 9 9/10″ x 9 9/10″; “Untitled,” acrylic on canvas, 26 3/4″ x 26 3/4″; “Untitled,” acrylic on canvas, 59 x 59″, Lars Strandh (2017)

Showcasing in the South, he wrote that “if someone can fire up a BBQ, I can get some beer and we can sit down to have a long, interesting discussion about art and life . . . is just a win-win situation. A lot of people in the art community have a lot of experiences to be shared. The exchange between Zeitgeist and Whitespace is a good example and a good start.”

Pictured from left to right: Caroline Driebe, Susan Bridges, Robert Reed Altman, and Cora Altman at the Whitespace screening of Nashville.

To pay homage to the dialogue between the two galleries, Whitespace showed the 1975 satirical movie “Nashville.” The director of the film’s son, Robert Reed Altman, himself a notable contributor to the modern film and television industry, and Altman’s daughter, Cora, attended the screening. Altman finished working on his most recent project, Father Figures, a movie filmed in Atlanta and set to hit theaters in December of this year. The heartfelt atmosphere of the gallery screening epitomized the connection between Nashville and Atlanta: their commonalities, the beauty of their differences, and the bond they share.

–– Jessika Bouvier, Whitespace Intern

“Paint and its Final Form”: An interview with Teresa Reeves

Teresa Reeves’ new summer show of painting and sculpture, Channeling Joan Fontaine, is at Whitespace from 19 May to 24 June. Months after seeing the paintings for the first time during a gallery visit, I was excited to see them finally framed, exhibited, and to be able to conduct an interview with Dr. Reeves, who also serves as a curator at the Zuckerman Museum of Art. 

Whitespace intern Nathan Blansett

Nathan Blansett: Your current show at Whitespace, Channeling Joan Fontaine, is a cerebral visualization of certain themes in Hitchcock’s film Rebecca, about a second wife, played by Joan Fontaine, subjected to her household’s lingering obsessiveness with the dead first wife. Your artist statement notes the film had — and has — a personal connection to you and your mother. What are some of the themes the film evokes for you, and what does it mean to translate them into visual art?

Teresa Reeves: When I was young, my mother introduced me to Rebecca, a movie made in 1940 when she was a little girl. I was mesmerized by the beauty of the black-and-white film, which is rich and moody. I was equally drawn to the romance of the grand old British estate on Cornwall’s rocky coast. But mostly, I identified with Joan Fontaine’s role in the story. I recognized her. The idea of comparing oneself to an idealized other is directly expressed through Fontaine’s character. This tendency is what I’ve tried to visualize through the paired forms in the show, while the habitual nature of this practice is suggested in the line of small sculptures that circle the gallery.

The forms themselves are abstracted from molded jello desserts, some of which are represented in the video [installation], Hers or Mine. The choice of jello as a jumping off point is a reference to my mother’s era of decorative aspics and congealed salads, but also the idea of molding or shaping a thing with a life of its own.

I realize that the film reference I’m making here is very outdated, but Rebecca’s early and very specific message, coupled with how inextricably it is linked in my mind to my mother, made me throw caution to the wind.  

NB: The dominant shape of the paintings are these ovoid or hexagonal figurations but with very different textures. In many ways, they remind me of paintings from the Bloomsbury Group or evoke Clive Bell’s idea of Significant Form. Is Channeling Joan Fontaine different from your past work? Do you see this new work — or the entirety of your artistic project — operating in a specific aesthetic or tradition? Where else do you draw your influence?

TR: Good questions. Since the 16th century, many artists and architects have believed that shapes like the golden rectangle are aesthetically pleasing. And Fibonacci sequences appear unexpectedly often in nature—the arrangement of leaves on a stem, branch growth on trees, etc. These intertwined mathematical formulas argue for a universal aesthetic, as does Clive Bell. And I get it, but I remain a bit of a skeptic on the universality aspect. In my mind, there are just too many variables, too many eyes and brains and points of view to privilege a singular human ideal.  

I can make beautiful objects, but that isn’t my overriding concern. Beauty is a tool. It can be useful, but it can also get in the way. Sometimes though, it just happens and I let it be.

I’ve been making things since I was a child.  Both of my parents were artists; my father was educated as a sculptor and later in life made furniture and paintings.  My mother was trained as a painter but gravitated to weaving and then back to painting before she died last summer. I grew up in their art world, which found resonance in my father through Henry Moore’s biomorphic sculpture and David Smith’s abstractions.  My mother was influenced by the abstract expressionists, and regional painters like Howard Thomas and Lamar Dodd.  They met at the High Museum School of Art in Atlanta in the early 1950s, and that institution was a familiar to me as a teenager as Lenox Square and the Tara Cinema.  Art was just a normal part of life. I mention this to try and explain how art (as a subject) came to be so much a part of my art.

Is this work different from my past work? Many would say yes, but I see the connections. Sometimes it is the idea that is stable and the visualization of the idea that changes. I once complained to a teacher in grad school that his emphasis on consistency was problematic for me. In answer, he pulled out a piece of paper and drew a small circular form at the center. He labeled it CORE IDEA/QUESTION/PURSUIT. He then proceeded to draw a line that started at this nucleus and circumnavigated around it, sometimes zooming way out to the edges of the paper and sometimes tightly circling in on the center. He said that most people are lucky to have one solid idea/question, and that they spend their entire career working it out—directly or indirectly. I admit to favoring this analogy for a lifetime practice.

What is my core idea/question? I’ve always been interested in looking at collective memory and how popular culture (movies, tv, etc) can shape our understanding of history. In this body of work, I’m pulling from a more personal memory of a particular film, but because the experience of Rebecca is not mine alone, it does open the door to a larger understanding (or at least I hope so).

NB: The paint seems very fluid and yet many of the paintings also evoke something corporeal, fleshy. Is that a tension you see in the work? What are some of the other tensions that draw the work into focus for you?

TR: The tension I’m looking for is between control and the phenomenology of a water-based medium on a slippery, nonabsorbent white surface (aka: an intentional lack of control). At this base level, the battle is about paint and its final form. On a conceptual level the painting itself (not just the imagery) is an object that serves to further the narrative.

NB: You made many of these paintings in Dublin, Ireland on a Fulbright grant. What was your experience in Ireland like? How did it affect the work?

TR: In Dublin I had the opportunity to focus. I had both time and space—the magic duo.  As a result, I was able to distill the past 3 or 4 years of work into something much simpler and cleaner.  I was in my studio often enough that I could stop overthinking everything and just work. I was able to achieve and maintain the painter’s version of a runner’s high—a state that allows you to work intuitively, and in retrospect, learn.

Being in a different and new environment also awakens your senses.  You are in “absorb mode.” I had time for reflection, time for reading, time for walking, alone time, shared time—all in a beautiful and stimulating place that is rich with history.

NB: In addition to your work as an artist, you hold a doctorate in art history and work as a curator. Are the questions you pose in your creative work estranged from the questions you pose in your critical or curatorial work, or do they come from the same place or urge?

TR: My first impulse was to say that my work as a curator and an artist stems from the same place, and that it is only the labor that is different. But the more I think about your question, the more I realize that the fact that my curatorial work is very public and my studio practice is very private necessarily impacts how I approach each activity. Curators are educators—and to varying extents, proselytizers. I’m committed to widening the audience for contemporary art and ideas and with that in mind, I work to be clear and to engage as diverse an audience as possible.

As an artist, I can step back into the poetry of an idea.  The emphasis doesn’t have to be on words and pictures, it can be just about pictures—you can let them carry the message.  It is a different vocabulary.

Teresa Reeves’ Channeling Joan Fontaine is at Whitespace through 24 June. 

Whitespace Top 10: Edition 3 | May 10th, 2017

Whitespace Top 10

Museum, gallery or building dedicated to one artist

Dear Friends,

This month’s Top 10 is focused on museums, galleries and buildings dedicated to a single artist. I love dedicated spaces. Seeing a collection of work, sometimes a collection of madness, allows me to know an artist’s influences, inspirations, spaces and places and connect to their work at a deeper level.

This blog is a dedication to the artists, architects, thinkers and humans who inspire me and the galleries and museums that passionately dedicate space to these revolutionaries.

Love,

Susan

 

1. Cy Twombly Gallery     Houston, Texas

Twombly Gallery, exterior | Courtesy of Culture Map

Here and Elsewhere by Cy Twombly, interior | Courtesy of schedios.tumblr.com

The Cy Twombly Gallery in Houston, TX is my a favorite gallery in the world; therefore, it is absolutely my favorite gallery dedicated to a single artist.

Cy Twombly sketched the initial design of the gallery, and Renzo Piano interpreted that sketch into a fully realized design to complement Twombly’s work. Twombly and Piano were a perfect team, and the gallery design reflects that perfect collaboration.

In the “everything’s bigger in Texas” city of Houston, the Cy Twombly gallery is unexpectedly quiet and understated. It is a perfect minimalist square set amongst large oak trees in a greenspace. The entrance to the museum does not even face the street but is placed directly in front of a particularly commanding oak tree. It’s as if the gallery is paying respect to the natural landscape and beauty that first claimed the space.

Inside, the gallery is approachable, natural and scaled to a level that allows me to experience and absorb the art without being overwhelmed by too much stuff. To me, the gallery is quiet and reverential.

And, then there’s the work. I love Twombly’s light and ethereal paintings. His drawings appear simplistic, but there is intentionality in every mark. Dare I say, the agency is undeniable? His layering of painting and drawing resonates with me on a purely emotional level. To me, the scribbles and scratches are a visual poem. This is my chapel.

2. The Rothko Chapel     Houston, Texas

Rothko Chapel, exterior | Courtesy of Houston Museum District Association

Rothko Chapel, interior | Courtesy of Houston Museum District Association

Speaking of chapels, the Rothko Chapel is a quiet, meditative space dedicated to people of all religions and faiths. Like Twombly, Rothko had a hand in the design of the windowless brick building and worked with several architects, including Phillip Johnson, to complete the space. Let’s just say, the collaboration between Rothko and Johnson was a little less than perfect, but that’s a different blog for a different day.

The chapel’s interior displays Rothko’s massive black paintings that, according to Rothko, “…provide a physical depth that take the viewer into a glimpse of the infinite.” I like the space because it’s experiential. When I am in the Rothko, I am in the zone.

3. The Warhol     Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Andy Warhol Museum, exterior | Courtesy of Expedia

The Andy Warhol Museum, interior | Courtesy of Flickr

The Warhol museum is the largest museum in North America dedicated to a single artist. Richard Gluckman designed the conversion of the building, which was originally a seven-story warehouse. The museum opened in 1994 approximately seven years after Warhol’s death.

When I think of Andy Warhol, I imagine him partying it up in Studio 54 in New York or hanging with all of his glamorous friends at The Factory. However, it’s important that his museum is located in the working-class town of Pittsburgh rather than New York. The location ties Warhol back to his humble beginnings as an immigrant coal miner’s son.

The museum reminds me that Warhol started out like the rest of us and that it’s up to us to seize our very own 15 minutes of fame.

4. Georgia O’Keeffe     Santa Fe, New Mexico

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, exterior | Courtesy of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, interior | Courtesy of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

The Georgia O’Keeffe museum, located in Santa Fe, is in a renovated adobe-style home that was redesigned to house 3,000 pieces by O’Keeffe and her modern contemporaries. I love that the museum originated in a home…I wonder why? The setting allows me to imagine O’Keeffe painting in her own rooms at Ghost Ranch as she channeled the western light and dry calmness into her quiet, provocative work.

5. Frida Kahlo Museum     Mexico City, Mexico

Frida Kahlo house, Casa Azul, exterior | Courtesy of So Sasha

Frida Kahlo house, Casa Azul, interior | Courtesy of All and Sundry Blog

Frida Kahlo, Casa Azul, is really a house museum and is as much a work of art as Kahlo’s paintings. Kahlo was born in the house in 1907 and lived there, off and on, her entire life. The walls are covered in her self-portraits as well as collections of memorabilia that contain documentation of a culture, time and place that spawned this amazing intellectual and bohemian artist. It’s mind-blowing to see the tiny bed where she lay her head and painted after her accident.

I have a deep fascination and connection to Kahlo. I don’t know if it is her love of home, her willingness to invite people into her home or her ability to keep working and fighting despite her disabilities. Maybe it was her ability to rock those eyebrows?

6. The Picasso Museum     Barcelona, Spain

Picasso Museum, Barcelona, exterior and interior | Courtesy of Eric Vokel

Picasso Museum, Barcelona, interior | Courtesy of barcelona.cat

The Picasso is a museum set in a medieval mansion. This was the first museum dedicated to Picasso’s work and the only one created during the artist’s life. It’s amazing to see the comprehensive representation of Picasso’s early work, which is rooted in classicism. It’s here that I saw Picasso’s very first explorations into modernism and cubism.

I first visited this museum when I visited my daughter, Caroline, who was studying in Barcelona. Together, we wandered the twisting medieval streets and explored the Gaudi sites in the very ordered Eixample. The push and pull of the old and new and the rebellion against the strict grid crystalized the impact that place had on Picasso’s work.

7. James Turrell Museum     Colome, Argentina

James Turrell Museum, Argentina, exterior | Courtesy of Vaya Adventures

James Turrell Museum, Argentina, interior | Courtesy of NY Times

James Turrell Museum, Argentina, interior | Courtesy of Hiram Butler Gallery

This museum lives in a vineyard in a remote area of Argentina. It is not a trek for the faint of heart. After two plane rides and a three-day drive through the Andes Mountains, I found the museum located in the Hess family’s vineyard.

Like the Cy Twombly Gallery, the museum is based on a plan created by the artist and showcases nine light installations and five decades of works on paper. This is the only museum in the world dedicated solely to the work of James Turrell. To me, Turrell’s work is quiet and transformative and connects me with the heavens…the vineyard’s wine also helps with that connection.

8. Tamayo     Mexico City, Mexico

Tamayo Museum, Mexico City, exterior | Courtesy of Arch Daily

Tamayo Museum, Mexico City, interior | Courtesy of Arch Daily

Rufino Tamayo was born in Oaxaca, Mexico but lived in Paris and New York where he worked with graphite, paint, and ink. He was instrumental in building this museum, which is beautifully situated in a central park in the middle of Mexico City.

Tamayo’s paintings combine Mexican styles with Cubism and Surrealism. Tamayo was influenced by his Zapotec heritage, and the structure itself reflects the colors of the Mexican landscape much like the ruins near Oaxaca.

Mexico is a place I return to time and time again. I love Mexico City for the museums, high energy population, vibrant colors, architecture, murals, public art, amazing food, and the many varieties of mezcal to be enjoyed. What else could you possibly want in a travel destination?

9. Sir John Soane’s Museum     London, England

Sir John Soane, London, exterior | Courtesy of KudaGo

Sir John Soane, London, interior | Courtesy of KudaGo

This is my list, so I get to pick the artists, and I consider Sir John Soane one of them. Soane made his name in England as a neoclassical architect and designed many buildings in the city, including the Bank of England. His house museum was largely untouched when it opened to the public in 1837.

For me, the most interesting aspect of the house is the filtered light that moves from floor to floor flowing down from the clerestories high above. This place is a brilliant combination of light and space.

Sir John was a collector of collections and, for those of you who have ever been in my cellar, you can probably see the resemblance between his home and mine; although, his collection contains Greek and Roman antiquities and mine is a curated selection of ball jars and tote bags. After visiting his museum, I was inspired to paint my living room, floor to ceiling, blood red.

10. Van Gough Museum     Amsterdam, Netherlands

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, exterior | Courtesy of Arch Daily

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, interior | Courtesy of Babylon City Tours

The Van Gough Museum is located in a building designed by Gerrit Rietveld and Kisho Kurokawa. The museum hosts the largest collection of Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings and drawings in the world.

Moving through the museum, the floors get narrower and narrower as one ascends. There is an urge to panic, but the beautiful natural light from the glass ceiling and the clean lines of the structure provide an atmosphere of quiet consideration, something necessary when viewing a collection of this intensity and magnitude.

Because Rietveld didn’t ascribe to the architectural and intellectual snobbery of the day, fellow architects looked down on him. However, I’m certain he knew what he was doing. It inspires me to see creators who keep creating even when they are disparaged and criticized by others. He focused on the art and design and let the criticism fall away.

11. Dali Museum     Girona, Spain

Dali Museum, Barcelona, exterior | Courtesy of Into the Blue blog

Dali Museum, interior | Courtesy of wanderful-world.com

I have not yet visited this museum, but it’s on the list. The exterior roof is lined with statues of Napoleons wearing French bread bicorn hats. Need I say more?

 

Although we don’t have a museum in Atlanta dedicated to a single artist, Michael Rooks at the High has done a magnificent job of creating a powerful collection of contemporary art, and we are very fortunate to have him.

In addition, we have some great house museums like the Wren’s Nest and the Swan House that let us peek into a specific era. And, you are always welcome to enjoy whitespace and the wonderful artists who make the gallery their artistic, and sometimes temporary, homes.

Get out there and explore what Atlanta has to offer! Start by visiting the High Museum, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Spelman College Museum, MOCA GA, The Carlos, and The Zuckerman. And remember one of the best things about living in Atlanta is that we have a great airport, adventure is only a plane ride away.