Recently, I entered the Judson Memorial Church Meeting Room. I hadn’t been in it virtually since last March. The Judson music director, Henco Espag and AndI Lee Carper presented OPPY, directed by Mika Kauffman. The one person show featured DeShawn Aaron Jenkins. It’s the sort of off-beat, almost incomprehensible, gay theater that’s become a Judson fixture. I loved being there, very isolated on my single, alone chair, masked up. I waved to a few of the others scattered around the Meeting Room. It was moving being in the space where I’d witnessed so many marriages, funerals, Al Carmine productions, church sermons, and one nude Easter.
I shot the scene before we were told not to. Honest!
On March 17, 2020 I was giving my last party for a long time. It was for St. Patrick’s. There were only four of us. Were we wearing masks? I don’t remember. I do remember that I felt slightly guilty about entertaining even a small group.
Were you buying your first mask? Going to your last conference? Looking into the joys of homeschooling? Concerned about your job? Going into the hospital? Coming out of the hospital? Seeing your last movie in a movie house? Returning home from abroad? Stocking up on toilet paper? No more museums, restaurants, churches, YMCAs but the liquor stores were kept open. Were you adding words to your vocabulary: Zoom, Peloton, pandemic?
Last March, while shooting in Washington Square Park, Sharon Woolums took a wonderful photo of this hawk, a red tailed corona.
Frick Madison is the cool name of the Frick’s temporary home (nine months? ten months?) in Marcel Breuer’s 75th Street and Madison building. The Frick mansion on 70th Street and Fifth Avenue is being renovated. I have been to Frick Madison twice. I attended EXCLUSIVE MEMBER REVIEW DAYS, written in red and caps on the Frick invitation to members. The Frick plays the snob card well, but who expected Covid to complicate the move? We are being courted with extended membership and with a card that’s reproduced a Joseph Mallord William Turner oil with FRICK MADISON in caps in the lower left corner. I’m designated a Frick Future member. In other words, renew your membership.
I never liked the old Whitney. It had mediocre exhibits and bad lighting. The building resembled a bunker. The best spaces were the enormous elevators and the stone paved stairwells. When the Whitney moved downtown, the Met Breuer moved in. The exhibits improved but the patrons, customers, art lovers didn’t show up. Exit the Met. There was talk of the Frick renting Guggenheim space but that didn’t work out.
Frick Madison is brilliant. The pictures, sculpture, porcelain are beautifully mounted. The lighting is perfect.The walls are a blue with a hint of gray. It’s a treat to see art that I’ve known in one space for years, moved around. It brightens it. This is especially true of the porcelain which I never looked at in the Mansion. Frick art gives the Breuer dignity. Shooting with your cell is firmly forbidden. That’s my excuse for no photos.
HHH is the Judson Happy Hour. It was invented by LinDa, a very imaginative techie. She fills our Zoom half hour with fun. The last two sessions have been about What’s on Your Wall. Think of all the rooms you’ve spied upon thanks to Zoom and Covid. She asked us to send her pictures of what we had on our walls. I submitted the Frank Galuszka nude that Frank painted in Romania over fifty years ago and the Tony Furato whale sculpture that I had sent from Portland, Or. a year ago.
Pope Francis is in Iraq. He will visit the archeological site of ancient Ur, traditionally believed to be Abraham’s birthplace.