Almonds and Richard Long – Life Imitates Art
Once again, occurrences in my everyday world make me recall art I have witnessed. As many of you know by now, I am pleasantly haunted by images and emotions of the great works of art that I have seen in person over a 30 year span of aesthetic curiosity. This journal of synaptic leaps has become a sub-category of TruffleHunting called Life Imitates Art.
The kitchen seems to be an interesting place for these moments to happen. I was toasting almond slivers in a pan on the stove and a wave of aesthetic ennui crashed over me. I had been here before. Without the cheesy special effects of Quantum Leap, I was transported back to 1982 in a town in Germany called Möchengladbach. This is where I first saw the sculpture of Richard Long and my relationship to the land and art was never to be the same. The installation that I walked into there was truly a thing of lasting beauty: A Large square room with eight Gray Paintings by Gerhard Richter, two deep gray squares on each wall, and a round slate circle in the center of the room by Richard Long.
The exhibition was at the, then, newly opened Museum Abteiberg. The building sits on a hill in the city. The architect for the building was Hans Hollein who sadly passed away earlier this year. He created a remarkable labyrinth of spaces on different levels. Every time I’ve gone, and I’ve been over a dozen times almost like a pilgrimage, I’ve discovered new artists and new perspectives on artists I had already known. A tribute to the curatorial sophistication and the architectural bravado respectively.
To this day that room in Museum Abteiberg in Möchengladbach remains the most spiritual installation of art I have ever seen. I’ve been to the Rothko Chapel; I’ve seen the complete installation of Barnett Newman’s Stations of the Cross. Christian Boltanski and Antony Gormley may have come close on occasion, but the one two punch of Richter and Long sends me swooning every time. I must admit that I do not know if the room is permanent since the Museum did a major renovation in 2007.
So there I was, knocked back on my heels by toasting almonds. The Macro/Micro shift between the almonds and stones made me giggle. Once again Life Imitates Art.
–Mario M. Muller, Los Angeles, June 25th, 2014