Sunday, October 2, 2011

Modern Lab: The Found Alphabet

Where: National Gallery of Art, East Building

When: through November 13, 2011

The Modern Lab is a small room within the Modern Art Collection on the Upper Level of the East Building.  It's not quite the slog that the Tower is, but it's close.  Again, I find myself rolling my eyes at the things they exhibit here, and I think the effort I've made to get here plays a role.

This exhibit focuses on pieces that incorporate the alphabet.  Letters are "found objects" in that the artist does not create them, but uses them as part of the artistic work.  There are paintings here, as well as a piece of string on a block of wood and various scribbles - when I think of the number of notebooks I doodled in during dull classes and the art contained therein, I wish I had them back to sell!

A piece by Kim Rugg, entitled "No More Dry Runs" is a page from the Financial Times, with all the letters rearranged alphabetically; Robert Cumming's offering is "Shaving Cream Alphabet," which is exactly what you think it is - an alphabet written with shaving cream and then photographed.

Verdict: I'd give this a miss - there's not much to see and it takes quite a bit of wandering through the Modern Art collection to find it.

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