“Hercules” circa AD 68-98
I returned, and spent several hours at the Met the other day. I went because I was commissioned by someone who saw me sketching there about a week and a half ago. My mission, a sculpture of Hercules in the center of the beautiful new sculpture garden. I bobbed and weaved inbetween the throngs of tourists and scored a spot on a bench directly across from the sculpted hero. I sat for about an hour and half, in focused sketching mode. Fruitfully ignoring the fotos that I inevitably ended up in, and the few people who sat next to me commenting on the sketch, while in progress. I took some fotos. The new wing is really beautiful, especially in bright afternoon sunshine, and it is a pleasant surprise and renovation to the previous section for Greco/Roman sculpture.

Next, I went to see the new selection of 10 or so new (all 2007) paintings by German artist Neo Rauch. After a quick detour scooting underneath a beautiful sculptural installation by Frank Stella, also in the modern art section, I found the paitnings of Rauch. The paintings do not disappoint. Designed with this particular space in mind, the paintings encompass, a Leipzig mentality, to which Rauch is known for, and in my opinion are an improvement to the last selection of his work that I saw at the David Zwirner gallery last year. Rauch has a way with color, light, environment, and composition. He creates these immaginative narratives and evokes a sense of home and displacement at the same time. I was particularly drawn in, by his use of the prefix “para” which is evident in several of the images. It was also nice to eavesdrop on a young tattooed hipster couple. Each with their skinny jeans, and baseball hats, commented on the figures, and strange arrangements of elements that Rauch has become known for. I love the commissioned series of contemporary art that has been on view temporarily at the MET for the past few years. First, Kara Walker, then Tony Oursler, and now Neo Rauch.

“I have no use for the cultishness of classic surrealism or for its tight repertoire of methods. In fact just the opposite is true: on my canvas, as in my mind, anything is possible”, N.R. 2007

Paranormal, parallel, paradox.

Frank Stella on the roof of the Met.