Don’t you love a great surprise? I do, and that is exactly what I got from seeing Kitchen V: Carrying the Milk, by Marina Abramovic.
When I first entered the gallery at Detroit’s Institute of the Arts, I saw the art from across the room and immediately crossed the room to look at it closer. I thought it was a backlit photo and wanted to read about it. As I neared, the work, I noticed that the woman’s hands were trembling and milk was spilling out of the bowl and and onto her dress and the floor. I was shocked. The piece was a video playing on a loupe. I had caught it towards the end and sat to watch it through from beginning to end. Abramovic’s work was wonderful and fantastic. Representing the female characteristics of endurance and nourishment. The stillness of the woman (Abramovic) added power to the performance. Simple, powerful, surprising, and innovative. I watched it three times before I was sated and ready to move on.
I only know by name three Mexican painters. Frida Kahlo, her husband Diego Rivera, and José Clemente Orozco. I can pic their faces out in a crowd of photographers. I know of the tumultuous multiple marriages between Kahlo and Rivera. That’s all I know. I’ve never even seen any of their paintings in any museum that I’ve visited. Until two weeks ago when I visited the Detroit Institute of Arts with some friends.
There I saw a massive fresco painted by Rivera at the invitation of Henry Ford. Known as Rivera Court, the fresco covers four walls and took the painter 11 months to complete. It took me an hour of staring to take it in…all 27 panels. A professed Marxist, Rivera’s mural focuses on the industry and the workers of Detroit. It’s impressive.
Now to find some work by Kahlo and Orozco. A trip to Chicago will be in the works (fingers crossed) this fall, so I’ll make a point to see if they have some examples of their work at the Art Institute.
That is your culture for the week, folks. Have a great Sunday.