What? I couldn't help it.
This magnetpost is my own little reminder that I need to hit the Uniqlo roller rink over on the West Side soon, and most definitely hit up the @CoolhausNY ice cream food truck. Seriously. Between the fresh ice cream flavors and awesome cookies, that truck is amazing. And they crack me up, having somehow connected ice cream to the Bauhaus movement, my second reason for this magnet.
The Bauhaus movement, in a nutshell, was this utopian-esque enclave of designers, architects, artists, and other notable folks in Europe, banding together to create an art school in Germany, sandwiched in between the two World Wars. And when I say notables, Albert Einstein was involved at some point, as well as Vassily Kandinsky and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. What came out of this movement, was some very interesting art and design in several different fields, including the little known (to me) artist on exhibition at the Whitney, Lyonel Feininger.
Yes. The Whitney Museum of American Art. Folks. I've now been to the Whitney on the Upper East Side multiple times. I don't always agree with their collection or their art, but each time the museum both over- and underwhelms me.
How can the museum own 2,500 Edward Hopper pieces...and then only have one on display. How does that work? The one they have is part of their Breaking Ground: The Whitney's Founding Collection is amazing - both the art and the images and the exhibit. But really? One Hopper up on the wall?
On top of that, I can't show you what that Hopper is on a magnet...because the museum does not sell magnets. You know that's why their "shop" underwhelms me to no end - every time. Never changes.
They don't have magnets. At all. One could argue that their artists are often alive and or so recent that maybe they have to pay licensing rights to estates to develop any swag to sell in the museums. If that's the case, I get it. But man. Not even any museum merchandise - even with their strong Whitney brand? Get on that, marketing folks!
The latest latest exhibition, however, you must make time for: Lyonel Feininger: At the End of the World, and take the docent-led tour. It's amazing. An American who moved to Germany for most of his life before coming home to Manhattan in his later years, he started out doing cartoons and ended up one of the leaders of the modernist movement.
It took five years to pull together, which is amazing, because seriously, in a time where most museums are just re-staging pieces from their own collection and calling it an exhibition, the scale of this one is amazing - pulling pieces from major museum collections everywhere. Indeed, they only own one piece in this collection! That's almost unheard of in these last few years!
But, through the genius way they've set up the exhibition, you can truly see the evolution of his work from the cartoons, through his time at the Bauhaus, and beyond.
Not that I can show you on a magnet.
Because outside of a few books about the exhibition? No merchandise. Seriously. Grandest exhibition in years, five years in the making, the first time in decades Feininger's work's been shown in America...and no merchandise?