Sunday, December 16, 2012

Modern Lab: The Box as Form, Structure, and Container

Where: National Gallery of Art, East Building

When: through February 18, 2013

Yet another trip to the Modern Lab, yet another show that leaves me scratching my head.  This one focuses on the idea of the box; as the information at the entrance says, "Art objects do not exist alone; they are subject to accumulation, display and rearrangement."  Indeed, what's more fun than buying things, displaying them and then tweaking the display?  Some of the items in the show were in boxes, some of the items were boxes themselves, but thematically, it seemed a bit weak.  To me, it didn't live up to the promise of the introduction.

I've decided that the Modern Lab is a bit beyond my ken.  I try to go with an open mind, but I find myself thinking, "I don't get it."  The one piece I did examine for several minutes was "Cardboard VII" by Robert Rauschenberg, which is a lithograph on cardboard.  I couldn't quite figure out what it was: was it on cardboard or was it merely a picture of the cardboard?  In parts, it seemed to be one thing and in other parts, it seemed to be the other.

Perhaps the most memorable piece, sadly, not in a good way, was Anthony Caro's "Study for National Gallery Ledge Piece."  People, listen to me, please, this is random doodling.  That's all it is.  It's not a study for anything.  I don't care how famous the artist is, scribbles are not art.

Verdict: Give it a miss - it's a small room of odd items.  The fact that they're all in boxes doesn't really change that.

No comments:

Post a Comment