13 May 2012

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The days after the concert in Wels with Christof Kurzmann and Martin Brandlymayr were dominated by museum time- Friday, Saturday, Sunday visits to exhibitions in Vienna with the goal of finding material to recast my thinking in music. Sometimes this works, sometimes not. On the 11th I went to the Kunst Historisches Museum. Embarrassed to say it’s the first time that I’ve been back since I saw the “Francis Bacon and the Tradition of Art” exhibition in 2003. To be honest, my motivation wasn’t my personal, it was motivated by Peter Brotzmann’s enthusiasm for their permanent collection. My eyes aren’t developed enough to decipher the art behind the recurrent subject matter throughout the centuries, but even ignorance can’t block the impact of Rembrandt, Breugel, Dürer, and Velázquez.

On Saturday I went back to the Kunstforum to review what I had looked at a week earlier; still knocked out, and hit with so many questions about what I like, not in the areas I am generally excited about (for example, de Kooning and Twombly), but in the ones that I “shouldn’t be:” Richard Serra is amazing to me, as is Donald Judd, though Minimalist art usually leaves me very cold. In the exhibit, near a large drawing by Serra was a work by Ellsworth Kelly. I kept looking back and forth between the two.

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