Tagged: brooklyn museum

The Digest. 05.26.10.

Andy Warhol’s self-portrait silkscreen on wallpaper. Part of an installation for the upcoming exhibit, Andy Warhol: The Last Decade, at the Brooklyn Museum, opening in three weeks. (Image courtesy of Marcus Romero and the Brooklyn Museum.)

In Fashion: American High Style at the Brooklyn Museum.

Oh Those Sleeves! A 1969 evening dress by Madame Alix Grès, made from taupe silk paper taffeta. (Photos by C-M.)

I’m not someone who is known for her fashion sense (my entire closet is one long, jazz-like riff on jeans and sneakers). But that doesn’t mean I can’t drool over a beautifully-constructed frock when I see one. And the American High Style exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum, dedicated to chronicling the museum’s costume holdings, offered plenty to salivate over: Christian Dior, Elsa Schiaparelli, Cristobal Balenciaga, to name but a few. Of particular interest is the extensive collection of pieces by master cutter Charles James (1906-1978), whose Diamond Evening Dress (shown after the jump), made for heiress/philanthropist Dominique De Menil, is truly a wonder to behold.

Overall, this show is a winner — beautifully and cleanly presented (unlike its sister show at the Met, which is supposed to be a hot mess). The only bummer is that the curators decided to pipe in a lite music soundtrack of operatic ahhhhhs that seem to have been taken from a Disney musical (from the part of the film where the princess wakes up). It not only made me grit my teeth, it made me want to commit random acts of violence on small animals. My advice: if you truly want to enjoy this exhibit: pack an iPod.

The show is up at the Brooklyn Museum through Aug. 1.

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Calendar. 05.06.10.

Butterfly Dress, 1955, by Charles James. Part of the exhibit American High Style: Fashioning a National Collection at the Brooklyn Museum, opens tomorrow. (Image courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum.)

Dedicated Follower of Fashion: Yinka Shonibare MBE at the Brooklyn Museum.

The Swing (After Fragonard), 2001. (Photos by C-M.)

There is such a thing as too much of a good thing and Yinka Shonibare’s solo show at the Brooklyn Museum is it. Don’t get me wrong. His sculptures are a wonder to look at, skillfully-crafted ensembles that meld African-style Dutch wax fabrics with 18th century and Victorian fashion — all arranged in dramatic dioramas. This is paired with an all-important subtext: the pieces insert representations of African-ness into traditional European art, reminding us that the African experience has long been a part of Western culture, even if it has been barely depicted on canvas. The effect is lush and beautiful and tragic. But, as enjoyable as it the show is to look at (boy, would I looove to rock one of them dresses), after a while, the repetitive imagery, relentlessly bright colors and hyper-hedonistic settings started  to make me feel as if I’d eaten too much candy. Dizzy, disoriented, a little sick to my stomach. But, perhaps, that was the point.

On a side note: The Met’s Costume Institute might do well to study this show. It was wonderfully and elegantly installed — with some pieces incorporated into the museum’s period rooms. Who ever curated the Met’s sloppy cheese-fest otherwise known as Model as Muse (that ’60s fashion room with the lava lamp effects looked as if it was channeling the Woodstock museum) should get over to Brooklyn, stat! And start taking notes…

Yinka Shonibare MBE is at the Brooklyn Museum through Sept. 20.

Looking Around has a very interesting interview with the artist in one and two parts.

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Egyptian mummy at the Brooklyn Museum: Dude looks like a lady.

Mummy scan. (Photo by Adam Husted. Image courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum.)

Because I’m a serious geek, I spent much of yesterday morning riveted by the Brooklyn Museum’s Twitter feed. Various members of the museum’s staff had taken a batch of mummies to North Shore University Hospital on Long Island for CT scans to check out their innards. Turns out the 2,000-year-old “Lady Hor,” above, was no lady. She was a dude. And from the looks of the scan above, she was swinging some serious pipe.

Read the full story here.

The Digest. 04.06.09.

Enfolding 280 Hours by Sun K. Kwak, made with three miles of black masking tape. The installation is up at the Brooklyn Museum through July 5. (Image courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum.)

Hey Folks: I have the perfect tsunami of deadlines this week, which means the blog will be receiving short shrift. In the meantime, here are a few scattered links I managed to round up before reality caught up with me. xox, C.

Getting Lushy: Hernan Bas at the Brooklyn Museum.

Can you hear me now? Detail of The Loveliest Song, 2003. (Photos by C-M.)

For a coupla years now, I’ve been seeing Hernan Bas’s work on my regular sojourns to Miami — principally at the frigid concrete warehouses that are home to the Snitzer Gallery and the Rubell Collection, where the artist had a massive solo exhibit in time for Art Basel in late 2007. But last night, I saw the paintings — which marry pop sensibilities with florid 19th century romance — completely anew in the Brooklyn Museum, where the wood floors and deft lighting gave the work an added weight and drama. In addition, someone was bright enough to put a bench in Bas’s room-sized video installation Ocean’s Symphony, which, with its floating mermaids and gently bubbling water, is one exemplary piece of stonerrific distraction.

Hernan Bas: Works from the Rubell Family Collection is up through May 24.

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