Wednesday, July 25, 2012

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York.

Our respite from the challenges of urban summer heat and humidity is about to end.  The past few days have been glorious.

Here is a view from my front window.  Aren't those little clouds lovely, perhaps like little fluffy sheep and lambs gently drifting across the sky.

Today I got up early to take care of laundry and some other errands and then went downtown to the Museum of Modern Art to meet a friend who'd recently returned from France.  I wanted to hear more about the trip that she and her husband had, to see some photos, have a delicious lunch at the MoMA cafe, and to see an exhibit of the works of Alighiero Boetti.  He was a conceptual artist who made thoughtful art, often using very humble materials.  He loved hardware stores, traveling the world, recycling, being thoughtful and playful.  He embraced time and valued inefficiency.  As I make my own transition from a very active sense of responsibility towards a more relaxed state, I found Boetti quite interesting.

You could find out more about this man at the MoMA site.  Meanwhile I will show you a few photos I took, in the exhibition's room that allowed photography.

The map below was woven by Afghanistani women.  They used pink thread for the world's oceans because they had more yarn that was pink than any other color.  Perhaps you can see  how flags are part of the globe.

The next two photographs are also of textile works.  Boetti made use of the grid for many of his works.  You can see that several alphabets are employed, along with a very beautiful colorway.

This is a close up of another textile in the same series.

I intend to return to this exhibit and may even make use of the available audio guide.  I cannot remember when I last thought of using an audio guide.  Usually, I just want to make my own way through exhibits.  This time I am very curious to learn more.

After seeing a few other MoMA exhibits and enjoying lunch, my friend and I walked back uptown, through Central Park.  It is so maturely green now, at its fullest summer growth.  We have had sufficient rainfall to retard the notion of leaves or grasses turning brown just yet.

I thought you might enjoy seeing these elms.

Tomorrow will be another day off.  No museum on the agenda, no required errands.  I do look forward to getting together with another friend, and also finding time for some of my own creative projects.

It is difficult to comprehend that August is just about to knock on our door.


  1. Another coincidence. The artist you mention (Boetti) was an answer in a question last night on a popular quiz show to which I am addicted - Eggheads - I doubt you get it in New York? The question was asking about his nationality.

  2. Hello Frances:
    Days spent, in the way in which you describe, are, we feel, absolutely heavenly. A lovely summer's day, less humid clearly, the meeting up with friends, a delicious lunch, a walk in the park, the whole crowned with a visit to what sounds to have been the most marvellous exhibition by an artist, Boetti, with whom we are completely unfamiliar and about whom we should be most interested to learn more.

  3. It sounds like you had a wonderful day! It was lovely to see all those elms. Elms formed a great deal of the British countryside but practically all of them have been cut down as they were killed by Dutch Elm Disease. It was heartbreaking seeing all those enormous gaps particularly in the Midlands near Stratford on Avon where I used to live.....I cried! Nature takes over and the mind airbrushes some things but just seeing those elms was so wonderful!! Thanks. Joan

  4. What a perfect day, Frances! And so good to hear you have more time to follow these interesting pursuits too. I adore your little tea cup painting on your previous post :)
    Wishing you a happy time enjoying your New York summer days, friends and creativity.
    Helen x

  5. Glad, you had a good day. Lovely picture of elms. Not European elms I think (or at least not the sort I grew up with) which were cylindrical and untidy trees, but magnificent in the size, girth and robustness. Sadly all are gone now - killed by dutch elm disease. We have got your New York heat at the moment. The sun is fine but the heat and humidity is not.

  6. It's good to hear you now have time to enjoy some lovely summer days. We have another glorious day here in Suffolk... still and balmy. The harvest has begun – a race before the next rain arrives!
    Like Pembrokeshire Lass and Fennie, I just remember the days before Dutch Elm disease killed the iconic English Elms. I have a distant memory of my parents pointing out the vast piles of tree trunks that had been the magnificent Elm avenue at Wimpole Hall near Cambridge.


  7. A wonderful post as always, Frances.

    The Elm trees, and the problem of Dutch Elm Disease. Sigh! We are working hard in western Canada to control the disease and save our Elms, and seem to be having some success.

    And I love the clouds. I've just posted a piece on clouds in my Chrome blog.

  8. I shall look out for Boetti's work - I'm not familiar with him at all - and take a look on the MOMA website.

    More memories of elms from me too - and that wonderful south Warwickshire landscape I grew up in which changed so rapidly with Dutch Elm disease.

    Enjoy your days off!

  9. That is what my mother called a mackerel sky, signifying rain - and another free day - I rejoice for you! X

  10. I wonder if your little clouds have made their way over to Glasgow Frances. We have experiencing an unusually beautiful evening of blue skies and sunshine.

    I decided to make my way home from work in leisurely fashion and as I looked skyward at the almost azure blue sky - I saw clouds similar to yours. I took some photographs but like most of the pics I take they will probably forever languish inside my camera...

    The elms are lush - and the colour of green that is everywhere in Scotland given the copious amounts of rain we have had this "summer".

    What a lovely way to spend your day.

  11. This is where I envy you city folk. the exhibitions!!! And you get to enjoy it again when you go back :D

    Missed your last post, so much creative goodness there.

  12. Especially loved the Afghani world map!
    Super seeing you yesterday.

  13. Your new work situation has had an effect on your posts, Frances - so leisurely and relaxed. Your days sounds like a perfect one - friends, art, conversation, good food. It just doesn't get any better than that - although another day off afterwards is a very good start!

  14. Thanks for the introduction to Boetti, whose interesting work I've now been browsing thanks to you. Love your photos of NY in summer!

  15. yes those clouds are lovely, they evoke a mood of tranquility, unless a storm follows, but then that could be tranquil too, if your inside and cosy!
    LOVE boetti, the maps and order and disorder are fasinating, detail is what interests me most. i wish i could remember the name of the artist i liked best last time i was at the moma. his paintings were small in size, there were over 50 hung in one line around the room, but the detail in each one pulled you in, incredible.
    i am missing the city this summer, i miss my girl (shes a bartender at union square) but other travels have prevented coming. my work has slowed now too frances, and i love having the time to explore, create and just dream! enjoy!

  16. The park looks so green – it must be such a pleasure to walk in it. I saw that you are making a change for the better at work and am pleased you will have more time for your friends and art. I love the colors of the textile art you showed on your post. It is still very hot here in Georgia – another month and it should get better – now is the time to stay home and read.

  17. Wonderful textiles and what glorious elms! Summer in the city doesn't sound so bad.

  18. Love the view from your window. You have reminded me to take the time to gaze up. Thanks for the beautiful pictures.

  19. Frances, I've had a happy time catching up with these two posts and enjoying all the colour. I'm so glad that work is going to take up less of your time, but rather selfishly because I know there'll be treats in store for us readers! Cx

  20. I am just finding time to catch up on your blog and see that you enjoyed a "mackerel sky", the loveliest of all skies.

    I enjoyed looking at the work of Boetti, I shall look out for some more.

  21. How late I am again. My blogging has been most erratic recently.

    This is the Frances I admire and envy, the lady whose interest in art finds such wonderful outlet. I don't know the artist you mention but the examples from the exhibit you provide are greatly interesting and unusual.

    Friends, a luncheon, walking in the park, doing errands in your rooms, are you sure you haven't sprung from the pages of an English novelist?