At 9:30 a.m. a luxury bus picked up the Friends of the Escalette Collection and headed south to San Diego County for a day full of art and good company. After a few hours of lively conversation we arrived in La Jolla.
The first stop on the tour was Quint Gallery. This notable gallery in La Jolla, California is currently displaying works by installation artist Robert Irwin. Using theater gel and fluorescent tube lighting, Irwin creates his installations in different color “states” in which to view his work, playing with both light and space. After seeing several of the artist’s installations in their various “states” of light, the contrast with the color was astounding; my personal favorite state of Irwin’s work is when the light is turned off and the top gel color can be seen. Irwin’s work can be found in notable collections throughout the world, such as the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
After a delicious lunch at the museum cafe, we began our tour at the MCSD La Jolla (Museum of Contemporary Art of San Diego in La Jolla). Featuring a show titled XTO +J-C: Christo and Jeanne-Claude, an exhibit celebrating the four decade career of monumental installations fabricated by the two artists. Starting with wrapping and mounting objects onto canvases, the duo moved to larger projects such as wrapping islands off of the coast of Florida, engulfing the Reichstag Building in Berlin and erecting 1,000 yellow gates in New York’s Central Park. The fame of this artistic couple sits in the sheer size of their work, installations that do not go unnoticed by the general public. While Christo and Jeanne Claude’s projects are ephemeral, lasting from one to two weeks, their works endure through images and memories forever. While exploring the rest of the museum it was exciting to find a Jonathan Borofsky Hammering Man sculpture, an artist who is also represented in the Escalette Collection.
The last stop on the tour was a visit to the Browar Collection, a privately owned contemporary art collection containing over 100 works of art. The collection, which is closed to the public, contains monumental works by popular American artists such as Ryan McGinness and Manny Farber, and installations of Robert Irwin and Tara Donovan. The welcoming collectors gave the Friends of the Escalette Collection a tour of their beautiful home and art collection, telling stories and giving information on each painting on display. My personal favorite installation in the Browar Collection was an installation by Tara Donovan: employing household objects, this piece was a square of compacted pins that was sitting in the corner of the collector’s living room.
Tara Donovan, Untitled (pins), 2004. Straight pins size #17.
After a long day filled with fine art and good food, we headed back to Orange County on the bus. The trip, enjoyed by all, was a complete success following the planned schedule and introducing different types of contemporary art to the Friends of the Escalette Collection. As the only student on the trip, I enjoyed getting to know members of the Escalette Board and seeing artwork that is outside of my area of expertise.
Art History, 2014