Concettina Died and Other Stories of the East Side

Silence is Golden / MoMA, posted June 6, 2007 at 12:55 AM

Please forgive the deafening silence emanating from this web site lately. I've spent the last three weeks having three root canals and extensive other forms of dental work, all for just thousands of dollars, so I'll be forgiven for keeping my mouth shut for a little while.

My birthday has come and gone, and it was a very low-key birthday, which is exactly what I wanted. I slept in, then went to this book convention. It was at the Javits Center, which is not far from Cupcake Cafe so I stopped there for a little birthday treat. Of course, that large chocolate cupcake with thick chocolate buttercream frosting really opened my appetite, so I headed into Times Square and parked my ass at the bar at Blue Fin and consumed a dozen oysters and a Hendricks martini. Happy Birthday indeed.

My birth was further celebrated at Florent, courtesy of Paula, Laura, and Carter. As usual, Florent was perfect. Perfect. Also tonight Adrienne celebrated my birth by bestowing on me the gift of six lovely cordial glasses over a lovely dinner at Landmarc. I promised to invent a new cordial drink, slyly named after her: My Age.

Speaking of June 3, that's the day the Richard Serra show at MoMA finally opened to the public. Feather in my cap: my company did the book. The experience of this project, while stressful, was one of the most rewarding of my career. We worked very closely with Serra, and by the end (fingers crossed) I believe we won over the museum. I certainly hope they'll invite us back for more catalogs.

Last Tuesday night the museum held a small dinner for 600 or so of Richard's best friends. It was the art event of the season. One highlight: arriving at the Modern garden and being handed a glass of champagne then standing in one spot while ten different people you know come up and say hello. Holding court, while not my place on this occasion, was never so much fun. Many of the folks I caught up with were the wonderful people I met two years ago in Bilbao for another Richard Serra museum event.

The show itself is wonderful. I have never seen more than one of the prop pieces at a single time, so to see a big room of them all balancing rather threateningly there on the sixth floor was quite something. The new work too was astounding. There are three new pieces: Sequence is the most extreme example yet of Serra's mind-bending, vertigo-inducing steel curves--a double S-shape that behaves like a figure eight. Walking through it is disorienting and thrilling, offering a left-brain geometry lesson followed by a right-brain release into large open curved spaces of torqued ellipses. The second work, Torqued Torus Inversion, presents two identical structures sitting side by side--one inverted from the other, and each with its own reshaping of space being subtly different from the other. But Band is my favorite of the new pieces--and to me it seems totally different from every other work Serra has produced before. Using the same vocabulary of bent steel, shaped spaces, and blind spots, instead of giving me thoughts of mathematics or buildings or ships or bold blunt manly force this piece is feminine--all undulating flesh, tight openings, womb-like spaces, organic rhythms, ocean waves, and curls. It's surprising even as it's familiar. It's wonderful. (Definitely check out the online exhibition and you can see large photos and hear audio commentary by Serra himself).

I have lots more to report on. But I can't. I have to go to bed early for once. But speaking of silence emanating from this website: rumor has it Marco has a new story for us (also, as it happens, birthday related). Check back soon. I'll link to it once he posts it....

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