Monday, October 29, 2007

Klimt exhibition at the Neue Galerie -NY

My "Informal Guide"
Finally visited the exhibition, these are the main Klimt works that can be seen there, in the central room of the exhibition (second floor, second room) along with some of my notes:
*The park of Schloss Kammer
*Forester house in Weissenbach on the Attersee (1914)- Klimt at his most Van Gogh-ish moment. Beautiful
*The tall poplar tree (1900) - (look at this one for a while: the strange composition, the depth he achieves, the light in the painting so determined by a tiny piece of sky, the color of the grass, beautiful)
*Pale face (1903)
*The dancer (1916-18) -personally I have never liked this one at all
*Adele Bloch- Bauer (1907) (it's funny to see how "sloppy" Klimt was at times, some of the eyes in the dress are almost smudged and unfinished, but he gets away with it; hands in such an awkward position as in so many others of his paintings (a few theories about it), and it's interesting to see how the armchair she sits in is suggested, few or none could do that).
*The black feather hat (1910)
*Hope II (1907-08) (I don't remember if this last one was in the same room)
All these works were exhibited in frames with glass.
Again, none of them were in my Klimt all time favourites list (and the number of major works is scarce) but the first three alone were worth the trip to New York. (Those to me were the best in this exhibition, together with some charcoals).
First room of the exhibition displays a number of photographs (some of them really beautiful), some jewelry and documents that are curious to see.
Then the third room shows many charcoals, black chalk, and pencil studies for different works. It's clear that before starting to paint in a more personal way he achieved almost perfection at academic painting. Note in this room: lighting was very poor (I don't know if it was intentional to preserve the works).
Then up the stairs we go and there there can be seen more charcoals (again, poor lighting) (a big percentage of these charcoals have a very "sexually explicit" content), photographs, a huge painting smock of the type he liked to wear whenever he was able to (curious to see it), and the re-created interior of the receiving room from one of Klimt’s studios. That was curious but nothing more, it's unpretentious and functional, could have been his or somebody else's. There is also a recreation of the "Beethoven Frieze" in another room, not very moving.
The museum is beautiful, the wood floors and paneling giving it a very warm beginning of XX century look, but it is small so avoid crowds. There's nowhere to seat (except in one room in the third floor) and some rooms are cold and others are hot. Drink are not allowed inside so if you are carrying a water bottle you'll have to leave it outside. A considerable portion of visitors were pretty "stiff" (the exhibition seems to appeal to them because of some of its characteristics), the type that thinks that the world revolves around them and manners are relative, so don't expect them to cooperate much during the visit (they'll stay in the middle,...), avoid them!!.
I visited it last Thursday at about 2 PM and it was pretty crowded so it might be better to wait some time to visit (it opened very recently).
PS I felt too "overconfident" or something calling Klimt sloppy at times, I feel better after finding this article on the New York sun , using the exact same word. Nice article (cough cough).

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