Thursday, October 4, 2007

Mueck at The Modern

Amy and I spent the morning at The Modern in Forth Worth. We went to see the Ron Mueck exhibit, which is amazing. These sculptures are so lifelike, and so powerful in their varying sizes.

I had two favorites:

I liked the "Spooning Couple" because the sculpures were so lifelike, and yet, so small. They looked like little imps, but appeared as human as you or I. Their size made me think of the miniature people in Gulliver's Travels. They were positioned in a post-coital way, which added a peculiar sensuality to the work. Though the man was bottomless, the woman wore panties, and that addition added a sense of irony to the work. Because they in every other way appeared to have just been intimate, I wonder if she was intended to be totally nude (she had no other clothes besides the panties on), but if Mueck just could not leave her exposed.

(The female sculpure in the "Spooning Couple" resembled the huge reclining woman, so we wondered if she was a familiar subject. If she was a wife, mother, sister, or friend of Mueck's, could he just not leave her out there for all the world to see?)

One interesting thing to note is that in looking online at other female sculpures Mueck has done, the only time the female genitals are exposed is when it relates to childbirth: while pregnant, having just given birth, or as a baby. I cannot find any other fully nude female form at all. Perhaps to Mueck, the female genitals are unrevealable unless it related to procreation and the continuation of life.

Here is a picture of the Artist, Ron Mueck, with the "Spooning Couple."

My other favorite was a sculpture of an enormous baby entitled "A Girl." This baby was enormous, but the detail on it was so unreal. Mueck didn't miss a detail, and this sculpture made us really wonder how he gathers subjects for his work. Newborn babies have that newly born look for a mere moment in time. Once they get that first bath and diapering, that bloody new look, along with that first peek at the Earth, can never be seen again. And yet, Mueck captured it fully in his work. His work was so detailed that on the back of the baby, where doctor's thumbs would have landed, there are two "bloody" fingerprints. No detail was left unnoticed. Here are several shots of "The Girl," including one that shows part of those thumbprints.

Ron Mueck, the artist, is in the right front.
He looks so young, especially to be so brilliant and so talented.

This is "A Girl" during the installation at The Modern.
We weren't allowed to take our own photos today, so I swiped these from Flickr.
This gives you an idea of how big and spectacular this baby is.

This is "A Girl" from the back.
Notice the bloody thumbprints around the lower shoulder blades (particularly at the bottom).

If you haven't gotten enough of Mueck, here is a link to a photo slideshow of the installation of his work at The Modern. <> and a video of his work:

Admission is free at The Modern on Wednesdays, and the Mueck exhibit is on display for a couple more weeks, I think. NOTE: there is a lot of nudity in this exhibit -- it is not for the faint of heart or for question-asking children.


  • Amy

    That is so funny that you have already blogged this and added pictures. I just got home and sat down to do the same thing!

    It really was such a neat exhibit and great fun hanging out with you. Thanks for exposing me to some culture. :)

  • Amanda

    I knew it would be a race! Thanks for coming with me today. You company made a lovely day even lovelier!

  • Elizabeth

    Amanda, I just discovered your blog today. I knew you had one b/c of comments on others, but never found it till now. I love your heart, your thoughts and feelings. You express yourself beautifully. I especially appreciate your transparency and vulnerability. You are loved, and treasured.

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