When: closing dates throughout September 2017
There are times throughout the year when there seem to be so many exhibits closing so soon that I can hardly make time to see them all. Right now is one of those times. I usually set aside two days per week to visit museums, but lately, I've had to increase my attendance at the Smithsonian and National Gallery. My yoga practice has suffered, I'm sorry to say, and I'll be glad when things settle down a bit. Of course, this is a great (First World) problem to have.
One of the museums that's got lots of shows closing in September is the concrete donut. In addition to the Yoko One pieces, there's also a "Masterworks" show and an exhibit of Markus Lupertz works.
I went over to the museum I love to hate on Tuesday and saw a Yoko One item I hadn't seen with my niece when we visited last week. It was called Sky TV, and that's exactly what this is. It's a TV set showing the sky. The wall notes tell me Ono got the idea for this when she lived in a windowless apartment in New York City and longed to see the sky. It occurs to me that, if you're seeing this in a museum, you've been outside and been able to see the sky "live," so perhaps this isn't the best way to show it. Maybe it should be something you could see on your own TV, like the fireplace log burning that they show on TV on Christmas Day? Or something you could stream on your computer?
I also saw the "Masterworks" show, which I think I've seen before. "Big Man" was out front, with his baleful stare. Hard to say he's welcoming you, but when you see him, you know you're at the entrance. "The Weight of History" is also here, where the artist depicts the writings of history's monsters as blocks of toner - the longer the tracts, the bigger the block. Hitler is the biggest, for what it's worth. "Venus of the Rags" is here too, which makes me smile. I thought their Yinka Shonibare piece was included (as it should be), but I didn't see it. Perhaps it's on loan?
Finally, I went to the Lower Level and saw the Markus Lupertz exhibit. This is a survey of his works from the 1960s and 1970s. They weren't really to my taste, to be blunt. He's a Neo-Expressionist, which seems to be similar to being an Abstract Expressionist, as nothing's terribly attractive. I do appreciate his works condemning war and militarism, particularly German militarism, responsible for so much of the 20th century's loss of life. Still, a little of this goes a long way.
Verdict: It's the Hirshhorn; expect little, and the few things worth seeing will be that much more worthwhile.