One the things that I profoundly adored in this new museum was the underlying idea which sustains it. It aims to be an analysis of human universality, showcasing in each room, specific stages of human development in history. What is beautiful about it is that it doesn’t segregate by cultures or traditions, but instead has joined together the whole world in one single room: combining for example the portrayal of motherhood, side by side, in China, Egypt and Europe.
I will be posting specific analysis of each area and some of its main masterpieces, but for the meantime, here are some pictures of the overall exhibition spaces.
Last weekend, I attended the opening of this fantastic new museum in Abu Dhabi, and there is so much to say about its stunning collection which I will be posting individually, but for now, let’s talk about this piece of architecture, by Jean Nouvel.
– the dome is made out of overlapping geometric lattices weighting over 7,500 tons – almost the same as the Eiffel Tower. It is supposed to appear light and almost floating, allowing for light to poor into the space – I must say, in my experience, the opposite occurs. It appears to be heavy, and almost no light at all manages to come into the open space.
– it is supposed to be an ode to nature, but these allusions are not felt at all. It rather feels like an alien ship has poised over the space.
– this does not mean that the space does not work, because it does. It is a gorgeous airy space, that allows for nice open air wandering. More than that is a little bit of a stretch.
– it is supposed to be made of 55 detached buildings, however, as one wanders in its interiors, it feels like just one large fragmented labyrinth.
– the permanent connections to the water is lovely, and allows for a soothing environment.
– apart from this, the building does not impress. It does not use the wonderful traditions of Arabic Architecture such as the love for geometry, mathematics, patterns and color, which in my opinion, is a profound shame. Arabian and Islamic tradition in architecture is breathtakingly beautiful, and this Building simply ignores and disregards all these connections and meanings, by creating yet another ode to post-modernist architecture. Come on Jean Nouvel……. you could have done better than this!
Yesterday I was at the Guggenheim Bilbao experiencing Richard Serra’s Exhibition The matter of Time. The forms are strong and imposing, allowing us to feel and experience space in a new way. What was unexpected, to me, is the way the forms are delicate and subtil, despite their rough appearance.
Serra discovered what is now known as his sculptural language, when, one day, he got annoyed with his own creations ( which at the time consisted mainly of abstract paintings) and threw them all away, burning them to ashes by a river. It was his way of setting himself free (free from pre-conceptions, judgments, expectations and many other conditions). From then on he began to ‘play’ with forms in space.
” I think if you want to make art, at some point you have to suspend judgment, and you have to involve yourself with play and not worry about the outcome.” Richard Serra
Yesterday I went to see a couple of exhibitions at the new Museum in Lisbon entitle Museum of art, architecture and technology. I was particularly interested in one of the exhibitions, which was a crossing between the fields of art and architecture. However apart from two lovely pieces, the rest really didn’t do it for me. It was, for lack of a better expression, devoid of significance. There was no connection to the heart or to the soul at all. However, there was one photography exhibition that I loved, with some beautiful pictures of Japan. The exhibtion was entitled Archive and Democracy by José Maçãs de Carvalho. Bellow are some pictures of both.
This picture at the exhibition today reminded me of a beautiful book I read a couple of years ago… ‘ In praise of shadows’ by Tanizaki, all about the delicacy of shadows, and the mysterious qualities of shadows and light through traditional japanese architecture.
” We find beauty not in the thing itself but in the patterns of shadows, the light and the darkness, that one thing against another creates.” Jun’ichirō Tanizaki
Just came back from the opening of the Almada Negreiros exhibition at Gulbenkian. An amazing Portuguese artist, whose artworks are deeply influenced by the soul and by the beauty and simplicity of drawing. Will write more about him tomorrow. But for now, some pictures of the exhibition.