Thursday, May 7, 2009


The Buterfly Stool by Sori Yanagi. The Balloon Stool by Natalie Kruch. They make an oddly compatible pair displayed for sale in the SFMOMA Store, where I wandered this evening, waiting for a friend to arrive from work and meet me there. A William Kentridge DVD was screening on one wall. His retrospective at the Museum runs until the end of this month, and I plan to see it again before it closes. Not for years have I enjoyed a museum show so much. And I almost bought the DVD, except that it cost $58 and came with a warning that it would not play on U.S. DVD players, but would play on "most" U.S. computers. Then my friend arrived and told me there is lots of William Kentridge film on YouTube, high quality and for free, so we bought nothing at the store, but went into the museum cafe and had dinner. Later went upstairs to stroll through parts of the permanent collection. The galleries were not crowded but there were quite a few art students taking notes and sketching. These late Thursday night hours are half price admission and that helps the students a little bit, though in my heart I think students should automatically be admitted to all museums for free. My friend was looking for American minimalism, which has taken hold of his attention lately, but the Ad Reinhardt painting was no longer on display, and we had to make do with examining the welds on the Donald Judd sculpture.

The sculptural installation below is precisely the sort of thing my austere friend loathes. That is fine, but personally I have loved this piece ever since it debuted in the museum more than a decade ago. My daughter and I share a mission to defend the worth of this art work from its surprisingly numerous and vociferous detractors.

Katharina Fritsch created this unforgettable phenomenon in 1995/96 and called it Kind mit Pudeln. Four concentric circles created by 224 poodles.