Monday, November 26, 2007

Luminecence: My recent visit to the KC Sculpture Park and Bloch Building

As much as I wanted to make it to the Plaza Lighting Ceremony this Thanksgiving, I managed to miss it anyway. To make up for it, I went to the Nelson-Atkins' Kansas City Sculpture Park Luminary Walk on Saturday.

It was an incredible experience as the Sculpture Park path winds all around the new Bloch building. The Bloch glowing all over the grass was actually more interesting than the luminaries, but the little path-lights led me to places in the Sculpture Park I'd never experienced before. I recommend just walking around the Bloch sometime in the evening... although maybe after it warms up again.

So, the Bloch building, I said a while ago that I would talk about it when I went to see it for the first time, but I was so disappointed after my initial visit that I didn't even feel like talking about it. I was horrified to find inside such shiny architecture ass-loads of wasted space. Instead of being full of beauty and mystery and COLOR! like the main building of the Nelson-Atkins, the Bloch presents a faceless, soulless contemporary gallery-type feel that I do not like.

However, since visiting again, my initially harsh impression has been somewhat softened by the incredible art they keep moving through the Bloch. On my first visit, Kiki Smith's Constellation was set up in one of the galleries and it was easily my favorite piece in the building. An entire room of blue paper grounding glass and metal representations of the constellations is a surprisingly involving experience.

This time, there were two new temporary exhibits up: Time in the West and Tapping Currents. Both feature beautiful and unique pieces that I was happy to encounter. Time in the West had some amazing layers of photographs on top of one another, showing changes in landscape (pictured below). And Tapping Currents, a contemporary African Art exhibit, featured large, bold works that made all the white walls fade into the background. My favorite was Julie Mehretu's Dispersion.

I'm still not 100% sold on Bloch, but I like it a lot better than I did before. And if the Nelson continues to fill it up with such good pieces, I'll no doubt stop complaining all together.

No comments: