Monday night, I attended class #2 of curating with Jack Rasmussen. I have to admit, I was not as enthusiastic about going to class as last week. I left my office at 5:20pm and rushed over to the museum with slight bags under my eyes. Monday in the office wasn’t extremely busy but I felt like I had somehow blinked on Friday and missed the entire weekend. My stomach was full of an interesting tuna pasta concoction. (I scraped some tuna from a sandwich leftover from one of our office events and mixed it with the pasta that I didn’t finish for lunch. I know…I know…it is pretty gross. But surprisingly, it was not half bad. There must have been some magical mayo in that tuna sandwich. ) Anyway, I arrived to class in one piece but I could have used a mini-nap (or a normal dinner).
I perked up right away when I saw that Jack had relocated the tables for class. We would now be sitting within the confines of a new exhibit by Cristobal Gabarron. How could you not enjoy class when you are surrounded by beautiful art?
We discussed numerous artists and a variety of topics this week, but my favorite part of the class was when we got to roam the museum. (Did I say that last week too? Most likely) Jack placed some quotes by Raoul Middleman above his paintings on the third floor and he wanted us to view the quotes and examine their impact on the exhibition.
I really appreciate the quotes because they helped me to view Raoul’s work in a new light by allowing me to better understand aspects of his thought process. For example, Raoul’s work was influenced by the comic books he read as a child.
“Comic books were like an extension of Renaissance and Greek art, in a way. You have the heroes, you have the Tintoretto space….all of these gods and goddesses that circulate among the clouds that occasionally come down to earth to cause all kinds of panic among us mortals.”
Can you see how this quote translates into his work?
There are some exhibits where quotes would not work–viewers would be bombarded by too much information. I asked Jack how he knows what an exhibit needs? (When is lighting important? When will the viewer appreciate more information? How do you choose the frames?……the list goes on.) Jack says that the real question is —how do you get the viewer to stop and look? How do you arrest them so that they do not simply pass by? Jack wrestles with that question each time he puts together an exhibit.
I like that. Figure out how to arrest the viewer and you have done your job as a curator. I will let that be my takeaway from week 2.
Interesting Fact: Raoul is in every one of his paintings.
Quote of the week (I could not choose, so this week I have 2 quotes from Jack)
“A lot of artists that I show, I show because I don’t understand them. Curating the show is an effort to understand”
“Art by its very nature is something that you haven’t seen before.”