This summer in the US was spectacular, from time spent with family to Burning Man. This year, though, we had the opportunity to really explore Atlanta. It's music, art and culture. And now, for the first time in a very long time, a guest post from Noah.
Over the last decade, I've seen Atlanta rapidly transform from a small culturally hollow town -- nicknamed by some “The City That Never Wakes -- to a vibrant and aware metropolis.
Back in the day, high quality gallery or museum shows were few and far between. The only somewhat edgy places in town were the 2 blocks of Little 5 Points and the all night eclectic health food diner, R Thomas of Buckhead. Which, quite frankly, were only edgy by comparison to the rest of town.
Today it is another story entirely. Diverse communities of young artists have made their mark on previous cast off areas like East Atlanta. Little 5 has grown 10 times over and there is a thriving music scene with excellent venues like the Flaming Lips show we caught at Chastain Park.
The most prominent and well respected museum in Atlanta is The High. It has been growing rapidly and curating some substantial shows. Highlights include travelling exhibits of works by Monet, Piccaso, Degas and in recent years art lent by the Louvre and Metropolitan. Lowlights include the exhibit known to me as "what ridiculous shit does Elton John house in his Atlanta condo?" but I digress.
After all this I was still a little taken aback when I passed by Piedmont Park to see the "Moore in America" exhibit advertised on a giant placard outside of the Atlanta Botanical Garden. I decided to explore further.
Henry Moore has been an incredible influence on modern sculpture and in my mind is up there with such luminaries as Alberto Giacometti and Jean Arp. His representational figures and more abstract works maintain a style that is unique and inspirational. Expert at portraying the tension that exists in all of us, he seamlessly portrays Internal and external forces working in harmony. This is accomplished using convulsing organic forms, textures, varying surface effects and the interplay of light on his sculptures.
Moore once said, "I would rather have a piece of my sculpture put in a landscape, almost any landscape , than in, or on, the most beautiful building I know.". This exhibit (showing through December 31) focuses on the large-scale monumental works that Moore produced later in his career. The sculptures are meticulously placed over water (see Goslar Warrior, 1973-4), flower beds (see Hill Arches,1973) or overlooking the multitude of traditional fixtures in this garden (see Reclining Figure: Angle, 1979). Most of the work I had seen in other venues have been done in bronze. It was refreshing to see some of his later work, like Large Reclining Figure (1984), rising out of a lush flower bed done using white luminous fiberglass.
Atlanta has come a long way in a short amount of time. I look forward to my next visit in December to see what else is cooking in this Southern capital.