Wednesday, November 2, 2016
A Trigger Warning, and More, at MOCA
MOCA believes Chromatic Fire merits a trigger warning. The guard warns every visitor of its graphic content. My guess is the average, 15-second-per-work museum visitor won't even notice. Consider that a tragedy of art and life.
In 1992 Max Ernst's family gave MOCA a plaster version of Capricorn, a famous concrete sculpture created for the Sedona, Arizona, compound Ernst shared with wife Dorothea Tanning. Capricorn has not, to my knowledge, ever been shown at MOCA. Here it holds its own next to paintings by Miró and Gorky.
Dated 1948-1963, Capricorn must have been created from molds of the concrete. The head of the scepter was cast from an egg carton. The best-known Capricorns are bronzes, cast in 1964 and 1975. But the plaster seems less precious, more surrealist, than the bronzes. The MOCA sculpture has numbers on the segments, like an archeological find that had to be reconstructed.
Surrealism is of course way before MOCA's time. Yet the found-object crudity of Capricorn invites comparison with much contemporary sculpture.