This too shall pass…

Like many, many people living in the US right now, I am experiencing great anxiety about the state of this nation. It’s hard to believe that we will ever extricate ourselves from this free-for-all bog of lying, fear and hatred. A recent visit to the MOMA exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria comforted me by reminding me of my mother’s wise words: ‘This too shall pass‘ – words that got me through some tough times. Hundreds of iconic artworks created over the past 130 years were on display, portraying the challenges that each new decade brought with it.

Walking through the highlights of New York’s Museum of Modern Art collection was like a visual walking tour of history.  The impressionist, cubist, surreal, abstract expressionist, fauvist, modernist and contemporary works revealed the artists’ responses to wars, culture clashes, political upheavals and inner turmoil.

I won’t even begin to attempt to walk you through such a content-rich and complex exhibition – I’ll leave that to the NGV’s curated site. But I will share a few teasers.

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Guess who the Belgian artist is? He went by one name beginning with ‘M’
Prime example of the Dada art movement. Artist: M_ _ _ _ _D_ _ _ _ _ _
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When John Baldessari created this text painting everyone thought he was crazy. Now it hangs in the Museum of Modern Art in New York!

I also enjoyed the ephemeral contemporary installation by Roman Ondak, Measuring the universe. This dynamic installation was created by marking the height of individual museum visitors, creating a panorama of human height variables.

View of installation gallery for Measuring the Universe

On site volunteers stand you up against the wall (just like your mom or dad did then they marked the kitchen doorway to check your growth) and mark your height along with your name and date. The names scribbled by the volunteers one on top of another become a black mass of jumbled individual names ultimately unreadable but representing all of humanity.

Close up – can you make out where my name is?

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Ondak’s goal in this work is to unite people in a shared action. After all, we inhabit the same universe – that comes with privileges and obligations to treat one another as equals.

(Oh, by the way the Belgian artist’s name was Magritte and the famous Dada artist’s name was Marcel Duchamp).

NEWS UPDATE: I will be teaching a three-day collage workshop at the Western Wyoming Community College in Rock Springs to accompany my exhibition there in November. Stay tuned!

10 thoughts on “This too shall pass…

  1. Jessie Adey October 25, 2018 / 5:10 am

    I love your blog! Your mother was very wise and I used to enjoy her company in the back garden of Hennessy Ave when we were both pregnant.
    All the best
    Jess A ( friend of Jennie S)

    • liliannemilgrom October 25, 2018 / 5:24 am

      Thanks so much for your support and encouragement, Jessie. Yes, a wise woman indeed was my mother….

  2. Jennie October 25, 2018 / 5:31 am

    Thanks Lilianne, my 6 to 9 year old students enjoyed this exhibition here in Melbourne too. We were so lucky to have so many iconic items- both art, film, photography and industrial design items visit us from NYC. The children’s theme for the year has been, “What is Art?” And with a bit of thought, discussion and analysis they can accept it all with strong opinions and preferences that they can substantiate and articulate. I have decided that we need to educate them to think outside the square and critically as they are our only hope for a better future!

    • liliannemilgrom October 25, 2018 / 8:08 pm

      With your open, creative approach, your students will be leaders of the next generation.

  3. Sharon Victor October 25, 2018 / 7:03 am

    Interesting and relevant as usual!!


  4. Joni Rose October 25, 2018 / 11:28 am

    Thanks for the brief yet fascinating tour! I found your name BTW! Fun! Hope to see you soon!

    Joni 🌹

    • liliannemilgrom October 25, 2018 / 12:48 pm

      Glad you enjoyed 🙂

  5. Anonymous October 25, 2018 / 5:59 pm

    Words will not be enough to let you know how much I admire you Lilianne. You are great.


    • liliannemilgrom October 25, 2018 / 8:11 pm

      Wow! I wasn’t expecting that, Elvia. Thank you! We are HUGE fans of yours as you well know 🙂

  6. Anonymous October 25, 2018 / 11:47 pm

    Another winner. Beautifully and thoughtfully written as always. I’m blown away by the ‘Measuring the Universe’ installation. So powerful!

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