Self portrait inside Guggenheim designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
Do spirals have a focal point?
A blasting cold wind sent us inside that autumn. Entering the Guggenheim Museum in New York, we became disoriented to the point that we began to whisper.
The power of visual art to hush the human mind, is that what changed everything that day? The sheer power of an utterly unique building silenced inner chatter. Other people whispered, too.
Clusters of people meditated on form and color, magnifying a zen like experience. Considering the history of human art, that humans began drawing figures in soft earth, then painted magical or sacred figures in red ochre on cave walls, may have been a factor in our experience. Our human drive to commune with and express visually has not slowed. Looking upward at the circling ovoid dome, I felt grateful for the chance to visit the Guggenheim.
When it comes to paintings we happen to share preferences for cultural forms, historical periods and specific artists. Art history had sparked a lifelong love of painting and history. Not being a stranger to museums, I was alarmed that standing on the ground floor of the Guggenheim I felt disoriented. I tried to reclaim my balance in this off balance building by holding still and listening to the hushed voice echoes. Where there any echoes?
Do spirals have a focal point? As we walked up the ramp, a sense of vacuum lead our curiosity. Spans of titled walkway seemed to vary into an ever expanding open space. The contemporary art installations drew clusters of viewers. We joined a group of a dozen, puzzling over meaning and intent. What does this artist do? Using negative space, words on a wall drew a crowd. A clever installation artist literally nailed the wall with a cry for help.
Awe felt in the presence of greatness? Beyond the sweeping structure, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, New York, holds a treasury of Kadinsky’s paintings. Each painting compresses what appears to be a complete and alternate visual world. Each of these worlds pump, fall and rise with action. Each painting tumbled in a play of color. The Kandinsky Gallery burned memories intensely alive. The brilliant colors of each painting enthralled. The passion of the painter Kadinsky opened eyes and revived sensations of childhood running and leaping. Such active swaths of black, blue, yellow and red.
It was then I saw the man guiding a blind woman by the arm. A lightning second of recognition hit my eyes, then he guided me to the next painting, whispering descriptions so shameless that I followed him for the rest of my life.
A few glimpses at what we saw at the Guggenheim.
Once in a lifetime visit the Guggenheim
I love comments and questions. “Write Monday” posts center on storytelling. Instead of writing about storytelling, I’ve written you a story. I want to know if this flash fiction entertained or made you curious.
Thanks for reading Dog Leader Mysteries,