Off the Wall with Color

Julie and I postponed our trip to Storm King because of the rainy weather, so we stayed in Connecticut to visit The Bruce and Aldridge museums.

Hans Hoffman, Mosaic Mural, 1956

Hans Hoffman, Awakening, 1947










The Bruce features a voluptuous exhibit on Hans Hoffman right now, where you can scoop the paint and eat it right off the canvas.

Gabriel Schachinger, Sweet Reflections, 1886

Oh, that might be Gluttony, one of the seven deadly sins not being shown at the Bruce (seven regional museums are tackling the sins).

There, it’s Pride.  In a tightly curated show of prints and paintings from the last 500 years, Pride is dissected in ways you may not have thought about before–not just pride in the body, but pride in landscape, drawing in the hubris of ‘man over nature’.  And the vanitas of pride about possessions–you can’t take it with you.

How is the story of Adam and Eve about pride?  The Bruce attempts to make sense of that.


The Aldridge features several contemporary artists making site-specific installations, including the works that inspired their own creations.

My favorite came from B. Wurtz.

The quotidian.  Three walls of aluminum cooking pans that he has painted.  Turn a pan over, and you may notice the stamped-in pattern on the bottom.  B. Wurtz has painted the pattern in acrylic, then arranged the pans on the wall.  You can get a sense from the above.  I was mesmerized.

Like Hoffman, we have color leaping off the wall…with very pleasing patterns, replicated without repeating, along the huge open space of the gallery.  Love it!

Turkish artist Elif Uras now lives and works in New York.  She brings traditional Turkish pottery-making methods to contemporary subjects in funny ways.  We have the reference to ancient Greek red-and-black pottery with the style and its figures.  But instead of fighting the Trojan war, they are vacuuming or talking on the phone.

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Gorgeous technique, with in-this-moment social commentary.  Just like those Greeks, the ancient enemy of the Turks.  And she celebrates women–women’s labor, women’s form, and women’s artistry.  A must see.

In the salute to Off the Wall is Virginia Poundstone.  Flowers are clearly one of the most popular art subjects ever.  But you’re not likely to see a mammoth flower coming off the way quite so literally as it does in its two-story incarnation at the Aldridge right now.

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Color coming off the wall?  Not bad for a drab day!




2 thoughts on “Off the Wall with Color

  1. Love that Turkish potters work. Would enjoy having some.
    AND Hans Hoffman is one of my all time favorites. I studied with him one time by copying a painting which I have hanging in my studio. Don’t I wish I had a chance to study with him i person? I like your life.

  2. Pingback: Sloth | Rena Tobey

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