Isn’t visiting a museum you’ve been in many times like visiting old friends? Each work of art pin points a moment in your own life, That’s how I feel when entering the permanent collection at the New Whitney Museum to be greeted by Calder’s Circus. The circus mobiles date from 1926-1931 and show their venerable age. Joseph Albers’s Homage to the Square series recalls the mid-twentieth century. There’s Joseph Stella’s moody Brooklyn Bridge, Richard Avedon’s classy photography and George Bellows’s fight scenes.
I returned to the fifth floor to see the other Stella again. Frank Stella rules. It’s a big, brash exhibit, the kind of fireworks NYC museums do well.
The New Whitney has views of the former meatpacking district, the High Line and the Hudson River. There’s infinitely more natural light than in the old bunker building. Well done, old friends. The move suits you.
My New Year’s Gift to You: Stream Black Books on Netflix. It’s screamingly funny. I never appreciated the so called humor of the Hollywood screwball comedies, but the Brits have created a goofy, very politically incorrect sitcom. It reminds me of Faulty Towers and I hope you enjoy it.
The Film Forum on Houston brings back memories of my Uncle Bill’s Indiana movie house, the Ritz. Like the Film Forum it seated about 500 people and had wooden seats. Unlike the Film Forum, on Tuesdays the Indiana Bachelors sang harmony before the Ritz’s main feature. Did you see The Last Picture Show? The Ritz could have been in that Italian movie, but so could the Film Forum. Recently, I saw Ball of Fire at the Film Forum. Barbara Stanwyck, Gary Cooper and Dana Andrews star. It’s not The Lady Eve, unfortunately. She’s great of course. Cooper is game about playing a virginal scientist and Dana Andrews tries to shed his middle class aura and talk tough guy. It’s amazing what contract players were forced to do.
Frank Stella: A Retrospective is on the Whitney’s fifth floor. It’s a big, bright powerhouse of an exhibit, the kind of show NYC museums do well. Steve Kulchek’s current girlfriend had to drag him out of the exhibit, he was enjoying it so much and threatening to make a sculpture out of one of his old cars. Afterwards, they got into the enormous and beautiful elevator, shades of the old Whitney, and glided to the Whitney Collection on 6.