Published  05/11/2001

New York, 25 October 2001

New York, 25 October 2001

There is still a queue on Saturdays outside the Museum of Modern Art, where Giacometti is showing superbly. But things are different from before in Chelsea. It’s all in the mind's eye. Gagosian Gallery is showing ‘Torqued Spirals, Toruses and Spheres’ in a sublime recourse. Also, in Soho, 116 Prince Street, there is the much-talked about exhibition entitled ‘Here is New York’. This massing of deeply personal imagery fills two shops especially available for the exhibition. Inhabitants of the city were requested to offer for exhibition their own video clips, stills, and photographs of September 11 and the aftermath. (The images can also be visited on the exhibition's special site, at Tel: +1 212 334 6684.) The present showing ends on 4 November, unless, as hoped for, it can be extended or transferred. All photographs are to be sold in aid of those children hit by the tragic events of September 11. The images comprise numerous poignant items revealing a scenography more powerful than any press material published. The pictures reveal the fallout of ashen dust, black smoke palls, running or sobbing figures of all ages, stoical helpers and plaintiff written notices. They also demonstrate the presence of place: when without human figures — alive or dead — things abandoned, displaced pieces of now meaningless or trivial public art and shop contents lie around, silent and inanimate. Such reality now affects intimately the manner in which one can look back uptown at Giacometti, or move through Serra, or walk these sidewalks, or crave those innocent sprees pre-September 11.
The particular Giacometti works from the l930s on show at MOMA, such as ‘No More Play’, seem trenchant too: light falls across diminutive, rounded concave depressions — primitive graves even — in miniature. Differently, ‘City Square’, from the l940s, has loping figures, transitional past each other, and one frozen, paralysed individual, arrested by time, space, and maybe the memory of violence. Same day too, viewing Richard Serra’s gigantic spirals, one cannot erase the image of ashen, dust-covered public art, and the remnant wall structure of part of one tower. Returning to the airport, other considerations predominate for the average traveller. There is no shortage of images from Manhattan, moving or static, human or satanic.
Giacometti will be reviewed during November.
Alberto Giacometti, Museum of Modern Art, 11 October 2001 through 8 January 2002. Tel: +1 212 708 9480.
Richard Serra, Gagosian Gallery, Chelsea, 11 October 2001 through 10 November 2001. Tel: +1 212 741 1111.

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