Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day Tripping to the AAA Show in Philly

I took a day trip to Philadelphia to see the American Abstract Artists' Exhibition
at Crane Arts, which is featuring one of my animations.
A rocking band called the Ebony Hillbillies were playing at 34th Street - I could have listened all day,
but had to catch the Bolt Bus.

The pictures are always better on the other side of the bus.

The usual suspects recede into the distance.

New Jersey is perfectly bleak.

Phildelphia looms in the rain.

I easily get a cab in spite of the rain - the Herman Cain express.  
(Ever notice that 999 is 666 upside down?)

I'm happy to safely arrive at the Crane Arts which contains the Icebox and the Grey Area where 
"Abstraction to the Power of Infinity," beautifully curated by Janet Kurnatowski, is being held.  
I look forward to seeing the show, 
and my piece that is being shown on a large screen.

Uh-Oh!  A large blank screen, but no animation!
Help!  I wander around and finally find the IceBox office where a young woman cites 
issues with the projection system.  My worst nightmare!  Or one of them.
  I tell her I've come all the way from NYC to get installation shots!  On the bus!  In the rain!
She says she will contact her tech people, pronto.

In the meantime, I check out the rest of the show, which is an elegant overview of abstract styles 
and techniques, still amazing after all these years.

The work is beautifully hung.  Even the non-artwork fits in.

(not art)

Yet the screen is still blank, and I'm running out of time.  Tick tick.
It's 1:15 and I've arranged for my cab to be back at two, 
as I've been warned that flagging a cab may be problematical.

I spend some time photographing other work, including David Row's luminous new work.

Dan Hill (artwork above) is in charge of a current AAA project 
involving a print collection of member's images.

Katinka Mann's elegant wall sculpture.

Don Voisine (work above) is the AAA president who has set up numerous shows for the organization
all over the world.  Our last one was at OK Harris in SoHo, NYC.

Will Barnet

"As one of the few artists’ organizations born of the Great Depression, the AAA was a pivotal force in the development and acceptance of abstract art in the US. The group’s continued vitality after 75 years is a testament to the power and reach of these non-objective art forms and points to an infinite future for abstraction…This exhibition is also a tribute to Will Barnet, an esteemed member of the AAA since 1954 and also the AAA’s first centenarian."
(From the press release)

 But finally a ladder appears, and some cables, and voila!



Seeing my "Animated Abstraction 1" come alive makes every painful moment worthwhile.
What a thrill!
The imagery is accompanied by music by myself and my son Andrew Keeley Yonda.

I also visit the Fabric Workshop and Museum where we are taken on a tour as no 
one is allowed to wander around alone.  I am accompanied by a very pleasant 
and knowledgable couple from NYC.  We see some huge Laurie Anderson drawings,

 and on another floor tiny projected images on sculpted surfaces, many dealing with her dog.  
The latter were especially engaging.  
Sadly, no photos allowed (the above from the internet).

I leave Philadelphia on a Greyhound.  (Long tedious story here about why I didn't take a Bolt Bus back because I got the date wrong on the Bolt reservation page and moved it forward to the Wed. before Thanksgiving so it appeared that the buses were all filled.  Also I had to pay a brand new fare of $15 for the morning bus to Philly because my reservation was wrong.  
Fortunately, the bus was half empty, not full at all.  Duh.)  

Once again, the good pics are on the other side of the bus.

The rain on the windows creates wonderful effects.

Truck in the morning...
Truck at night...

I am inspired to do a series of abstractions on the ride home.

       This hill reminds me of a painting by Goya that we saw last spring in Madrid 
that supposedly depicts a drowning dog, unlike Laurie Anderson's canny canines.

(Goya's painting)

More abstractions.  I can't stop...

...especially because the bus ride home takes forever.  We watch as the Bolt bus zooms past.

The nearer we get to the Holland Tunnel, the slower we move.

Nearly two hours late, I'm finally back in the embrace of the usual suspects.
It's been a long day's night.

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