Saturday night in the big apple

5 04 2009

A quick cup of tea after the Parade and then we were off again.  This time to the Museum of Modern Art (the first museum devoted to the modern era), an impressive building which uses space and dimension to showcase some 150,000 works.  We were in after hours (it felt as though secretly) and were taken on a tour of the painting and sculpture floors which hold some of the most iconic pieces from the late nineteenth century to present day.  One: Number 31, 1950One of the pieces I was struck by was Jackson Pollock’s intense One: Number 31, 1950. The democracy of art, the idea that it can be and must be open to all for appreciation and critique is one that is celebrated here.   It’s that very ethos that links to our own Artist Rooms which will take contemporary art across Scotland with Ron Mueck in Aberdeen and Bruce Nauman in Glasgow.  How Scotland performs on the international stage is so intertwined with our culture and all that it represents.  This has been clear to me this trip and tonight I gathered a group of New York-based actors, writers, theatre producers – people with a track record in flying the flag for Scottish culture – together at the MoMA.  We explored the international context in which our artists operate and what we can all do together to enliven and enrich our contribution.  The ideas were exciting and I was impressed with the work already going on such as the RSAMD’s recent launch of its American Foundation to keep alumni links strong.  The overwhelming feeling tonight was one of remaining potential and that’s a feeling we must turn into realisation.

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