Sunday, January 13, 2013

In the Library: Announcements from the Vertical Files

Where: National Gallery of Art, East Building

When: through April 26, 2013

Yet another exhibit from the staff of the Library at the National Gallery of Art.  I do love seeing their displays, situated as they are in the Gallery's library.  No matter how crowded the rest of the Gallery may be, it's always nice and quiet in the library.  Since I went on the day it opened, it's possible I was the first person to see this exhibit.  I certainly had the place to myself while I looked at the pieces.

This is a display of announcements of show openings, not simply flyers, but flyers that were constructed to represent the artist whose show was being announced.  If you have a look at the Calder announcement pictured here, you'll see it is reminiscent of his work, even if it's not a specific representation of any particular piece.  Another announcement, for an Yves Klein exhibition, was entirely in Yves Klein Blue - his own color.  (For my views on the ability of someone to "create" a color, see my review of the Yves Klein exhibit at the Hirshhorn.)

There was an announcement in gold, for a show by Chris Burden, who intended to construct a pyramid of gold bars at the Gagosian Gallery.  Sadly for him, the bars were purchased from a company that was investigated by the SEC and the bullion was placed in receivership.  The show has been postponed indefinitely, so the only thing left is the announcement.  Thus are the effects of the Lesser Depression on art felt.  I also saw an announcement for a Nam June Paik show, and I was reminded both that I had seen some of his work in the Tower a while ago and would see another show of his later this year.

Verdict: When have I ever not recommended a show at the Library?  Go for the serenity, if not for the display.  Although, the display is quite interesting, even for those who are put to sleep by the phrase "vertical file."

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