Up on the roof–photo op 1

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For the perfect view of Manhattan on a perfect summer day, Murray and I looked at the Sol Lewitt “Splotches” up on the roof garden at the Metropolitan Museum of Art until Oct. 30– and got a good laugh (right, “Splotch #15,” acrylic on fiberglass).
Lewitt’s pieces have a cinematic quality, sort of Tim Burton’s Gotham gets a coat of paint. The black version puts the goth back in Gotham and brings up memories of Bald Mountain in “Fantasia” while overwhelming Banks Violette’s little black mountains. And the white one is Cleopatra’s Needle, not to mention a good prop for King Kong. All of them served as swell photo opportunities. People were snapping each other like mad, as if they were taking pictures of Baby Patsy with Big Bird at Sesame Place (left, “Splotch #7”).


But it’s the colored ones, reds, oranges, yellows, blues and greens from the toy factory, that look smashing, their horizontal rhythms challenging their vertical ones for an architectural anti-grid (right, “Splotch #3).

The roof is just the place for them, an imagined, melted skyline in front of the real thing. They are strong enough to assert their own presence without killing the backdrop of the thousands of buildings and tree tops (here’s Roberta’s post on another Splotch, also perfectly sited, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art).


The Splotches put to shame the nearby “Whirls and Twirls,” which blocks any views and seems disspirited and formulaic by contrast (left, “Whirls and Twirls” detail).

If you want to know a little about the process for “Splotches,” here’s the info at the Met.

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features & interviews, reviews, Up on the roof–photo op 1

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