Posts Tagged ‘Claes Oldenburg’

Shuttlecocks, 1994 - 34/365

Shuttlecocks, 1994 – 34/365, Archive 365, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri, April 2009, photo © 2009-2013 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

At a writing retreat in 2009, our host took us to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri. Like we had done at museums in New Mexico with Natalie Goldberg (see Diebenkorn Leaves Taos – Museum Walking Lives On), we walked around in silence, then gathered in front of the museum to do Writing Practice. I like the practice of taking photographs in the silence; this photo of the sculpture Shuttlecocks was snapped on a slow walk around the museum grounds. Museums are energizing places to find inspiration for writing and art.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is a neoclassic structure designed by Kansas City architects Wight and Wight. Groundbreaking took place on July 16, 1930. The sculpture Shuttlecocks was created by husband and wife team Claes Oldenburg (American, born Sweden 1929) and Coosje van Bruggen (American, born The Netherlands, 1942), the same pair that created the Minneapolis sculpture, Spoonbridge & Cherry at the Walker (see my foggy winter photograph of Spoonbridge & Cherry in the piece White Elephants On Art). It is the scale of these sculptures that draws me in.

According to Nelson-Atkins, when Oldenburg and van Bruggen were commissioned in 1994 to design a sculpture for the space, they responded to the formality of the original neoclassical building and the green expanse of its lawn by imagining the museum as a badminton net and the lawn as a playing field. The pair designed four birdies or shuttlecocks (made out of aluminum, paint, and fiberglass-reinforced plastic) that were placed as though they had just landed on opposite sides of the net. Each shuttlecock weighs 5,500 pounds, stands nearly 18 feet tall, and has a diameter of 16 feet.


ARCHIVE 365: Archive 365 is a photo collaboration between skywire7 and QuoinMonkey featuring images from our archives. We will alternate posting once a day in our Flickr sets from July 1st 2012 through June 30th 2013. You can view our photographs at skywire7 Archive 365 set on Flickr and QuoinMonkey Archive 365 set on Flickr.

-posted on red Ravine, Sunday, January 13th, 2013

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White Elephant Cafe, Augusta, Georgia, June 2007, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

White Elephant Cafe, Augusta, Georgia, June 2007, photo © 2007-2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved. 

I don’t have much energy for writing. Liz and I spent the day at the Frida Kahlo Exhibit at the Walker Art Center. Then romped around the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and Conservatory, snapping photographs of: 

Playing The Spoon, Minneapolis, Minnesota, January 2008,photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

That’s our idea of a FUN day. This is a sculpture by Claes Oldenburg that’s pretty famous around these parts. Oldenburg’s wife and collaborator, Coosje Van Bruggen, contributed the cherry as a playful reference to the Garden’s formal geometry. It reminded her of Versailles and the larger-than-life dining etiquette of Louis XIV. She also conceived the pond’s shape in the form of linden seed.

The sculpture was a gift from Frederick R. Weisman in honor of his parents, William and Mary Weisman in 1988.  The Basilica of St. Mary is in the background (left). 

Spoonbridge and Cherry, 1985-1988
aluminum, stainless steel, paint
354 x 618 x 162 in.

The Frida Kahlo Exhibit – all I can say is WOW. I’m still reeling from standing a nose width from her paintings. And viewing the 80 or 90 vintage family photographs of Frida and Diego Rivera. More to come on Frida. We’re thinking of going back Monday night during Members Appreciation.

When we arrived at the Walker, the wait to get into the exhibit was a minimum of 1 hour. But there was a Members Express line that would roll us right into the exhibit in 5 minutes – we’re now members of the Walker. If you live in the Twin Cities, or even within 100 miles, I recommend you see it before it leaves on January 20th. Chances are it will be a long time until you have the opportunity to view a collection like this again.

We’re on the downside of New Year’s week. I’m wondering what other gifts in the form of:

The White Elephant, Augusta, Georgia, June 2008,photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.  

people received for Christmas. For details of the White Elephant ritual, I refer you to the comments in the pig post, On Collecting Pigs Against Your Will (Comment 42 and on). Do you have any Christmas presents you’re going to return? Ties, wallets, shirts, an hourglass, or maybe some time in a bottle?

The White Elephant Cafe was a bar in the 1950’s. Last June my mother, step-dad, and I took a drive down Broad Street in downtown Augusta, Georgia. I took photographs. They talked about their memories of Augusta. The White Elephant was a place my grandfather used to frequent. The stories were rich.

Southern Sidewalk Cafe, Augusta, Georgia, June 2008,photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Now they serve Southern lunches with: White Elephant Peanut Butter Pie and Moroccan Chutney Meatballs on Couscous. The most expensive thing on the menu is the: Rib-eye Grilled in a Peach Balsamic Sauce Topped w/ Peaches & Bacon served w/Smashed Red Potatoes for $18.95. I’m drawn to the: Smoked Salmon Hash for $8.95. Anything hash and I’m there.

New Year’s luck, did I mention I’ve had my fill of black-eyed peas. Remember all those extra:

Two Bowls Of Good Luck, Minneapolis, Minnesota, January 2008,photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

I cooked up in bulk? No way I could eat them all. Ugh, tummy rumble.

Well, that’s it for Saturday. I’m heading off to watch a movie on the couch. Over and out with a portrait I took of Liz in the Conservatory at the Sculpture Garden after frolicking in the snow.

She Loves The Camera, Minneapolis, Minnesota, January 2008,photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved

Any other White Elephants? So far I’ve heard about a Starter Pig and a bottle of Stay Young pills (2 a day for the next 40 years). Next year maybe Love Potion #9. (I remember the 60’s song by the Searchers? But something tells me they weren’t the first to record it.) Too tired for more research tonight. Off to see the Wizard.

-related to post, Dreaming Of Frida Kahlo

-posted on red Ravine, Saturday, January 5th, 2008

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