Looking Outside the Frame

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The colors of Nicolas de Staël’s Le Parc de Sceaux are echoed in a neighboring bench. Photo: Elaine Budzinski

Some of my favorite works to view at the Phillips are those that are strongly influenced by the spaces they occupy. A small, inconspicuous alcove next to an elevator displays works by Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, and Kenneth Noland, while El Greco’s The Repentant St. Peter is framed by wood paneling in a dim corner of the Music Room. The heavy perfume of the Laib Wax Room wafts beyond its small chamber into the bright gallery that houses Pierre Bonnard‘s The Open Window; and the upholstered seats that frame a particular window in another gallery echo the blue gray palette of Nicolas de Staël’s Le Parc de Sceaux. These relationships remind me that although sometimes we see paintings and sculptures as aesthetic objects in the context of a white-walled gallery space, they are also artifacts of individual thought processes and ideas.

Elaine Budzinski, Marketing and Communications Intern

Director’s Desk: Pérez Art Museum Miami

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(Left) Exterior of the Pérez Art Museum Miami (Right) Bicycle installation by artist Ai Wei Wei. Photos: Dorothy Kosinski

Earlier this month we were in Miami for the Art Basel Miami Beach fair and enjoyed our visit to the new  Pérez Art Museum Miami. These photos reveal how the  Herzog & de Meuron building addresses the waterfront and how it incorporates native plantings and gracious outdoor spaces so appropriate for the Miami climate. The bicycle installation (pictured at right above) is, of course, by Ai Wei Wei, in the same exhibition we enjoyed at the Hirshhorn earlier this  year. My Pérez museum colleagues were brave, indeed, to open even with lots of building details still being completed and with the ongoing construction of the nearby science center causing major inconveniences. I look forward to visiting again when the museum and adjacent buildings are complete. It is a huge addition to the city’s  cultural landscape.

Director’s Desk: Dispatch from Berlin

While in Berlin to meet with an important collector, I had some time to explore in the city. Klein aber fein is how the Germans might describe this wonderful one-room exhibition (pictured below) of five massive lithographs shown at Buchmann Galerie, all by Richard Serra and done in Paris around 1990. The prints have such incredibly rich texture. It is hard to imagine the enormous litho stones he must have used to make these prints. This exquisite one-room show makes me reflect on the power of our intimate projects at the Phillips, of course.

Photos: Dorothy Kosinksi

Photos: Dorothy Kosinski

I visited galleries on Auguststrasse and discovered this elegant, sober, brick building from ca. 1930, designed by the Jewish architect Alexander Beer, an example of Neue Sachlichkeit architecture. It was built as a Jewish girls’ school. Beer died in 1944 at the Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1944. During the last several years the building was restituted to the Jewish community and is filled with art spaces and a lively cafe…like the neighboring structures in this former East Berlin area that is being totally revitalized.