NYC Trip, Art and Comics

The fiancée and I took a daytrip up to New York City yesterday. Other train riding and walking, we had three objectives: visit the MoMA, eat dinner, and head over to Brooklyn to visit Rocketship Comics.

I haven’t been to the MoMA for more years than I can remember (I think a trip with my high school art class (I somehow avoided it all through art school)). I am pretty picture about museums and looking at art, but I was pleasantly surprised by a number of the pieces on display. There were three Yves Klein works, one of his monochromes, an anthopometry blue, and one of the pieces that he burned with a flamethrower like device. I love Klein and there is a certain power to that blue (International Klein Blue) when seen in a large painting. I was also very excited to see one of Robert Motherwell’s large “Elegy for the Spanish Republic” paintings. The large black ovals and lines in those appeal to my aesthetic (this Google Image search will show you a bunch from the series). Four beautiful Picasso echings showed off the way he could make extraordinary work with no line variation, no shading, and no color, just unvariegated linework (none are up at the MoMa site, but here’s a similar one, or here, . Two of Max Ernst’s collage novel pages were on display, a small compensation for missing the big show of us up earlier this year. Cy Twombly’s huge “Four Seasons” paintings (sadly none of the 6 or so works I saw up are to be found on the website, though here’s one of them elseweb, and there appears to be a second series of them owned by the Tate which are viewable here). Other highlights: lesser works by De Chirico and Duchamp, Meret Oppenheim’s fur covered cup and saucer, a wonderful Klimt landscape, a dreamlike Rousseau (le Douanier), Matisse’s The Red Studio (which very much looks like a comic panel with its stripped down background elements)

For dinner we ate at the Candle Cafe, an all vegetarian restaurant (I’m a strict vegetarian), that had some of the best food I’ve had, certainly the best tabouli and babaganoush. I had a delicious basil-pine nut encrusted tempeh with broccoli rabe, summer squash, portobello mushroom, and hearts of palm, in a white wine tomato sauce. Lianne had a red pepper ravioli stuffed with black beans with spinach in a tomato sauce.

We hopped the subway down to Brooklyn to visit the recently opened Rocketship comics. It is the finest comic store I’ve been to. It’s a nice open space, room to move and browse. The books are organized by author and genre on “normal” bookshelves with the pamphlets lying flat on lower shelves (so you look down and see the covers without having to bend down). Superheroes is one of the smallest sections as is the manga (though they were pushing Buddha). A whole section for anthologies is a nice touch as well as sections for comic strips and all ages. Lianne, who doesn’t usually take an interest in looking around other comic stores, browsed the shelves and even found something for herself (Sara Varon’s Sweaterweather). The store also had some pages up by local comic artists including Matt Madden, Jessica Abel, Josh Neufeld, and Dean Haspiel.

I tried not to go overboard with purchases, but picked up:

Black Candy, Matt Madden (from the now defunct Black Eye)

Why Are You Doing This?, Jason (new from Fantagraphics)

King Cat Comics 64, John Porcellino

The Adventures of Tintin Vol 6, Herge (3 translated albums in one hardcover book)

Anywhere But Here, Toro Miki (Fantagraphics, an odd manga that I somehow missed in the solicitations)

Drawn and Quarterly 3 and 4 (these are the newer large volumes with a lot of great domestic and foreign comics in them)