TRaC learns about the history of the Bronx Museum building.
The Bronx Museum, intriguingly designed from the outside as well as in, is located near Yankee Stadium, in an area of the Bronx that experiences abundant tourism, much to the despair of many of the locals. The museum is yet another example of the growing effort to bring more art into the Bronx for the people of the Bronx. Their new exhibit, State of Mind: New California Art circa 1970, shows much of the pioneering artistic techniques used in the eponymous decade—sculpture, installation, and many interactive works.
The late 1960’s and early 1970’s were a period of attempted radical change, with growing resistance to the Vietnam War and the unrest of a large portion of the youth. And what better way to express your contempt for the conventional than through modern art?
The highlights of this exhibit were the interactive pieces. Bruce Nauman’s Yellow Room was exactly what it sounds like: a triangular room with harsh yellow light shining down into it. The lights turned everything in the room (with a closing door and everything) yellow, including the people inside it. Black pants turned a warped purple, and pearly white teeth suddenly seemed to need a good brushing. In the same vein, Barbara T Smith’s Field Piece looked like a giant toothbrush with bristles that lit up when someone walked past them. It seemed to only be a portion of what was a gigantic and multi-person display back in 1968, but it was cool nonetheless. Both were definitely cool things to check out and weren’t just look-and-go art pieces. You won’t tire of them after a few-second glance.
The Bronx Museum, which has free admission for all of this year as part of its anniversary celebration, has lovely, innovative exhibits you’re not going to find on the Museum Mile. I highly recommend trekking into the northern borough before September 8 for this intriguing exhibit and key into both art and this country’s intricate history.