Chelsea Art MuseumPosted: March 12, 2011
On the advice of a couple friends, I visited the Chelsea Art Museum museum this afternoon. After a lovely brunch at the Rocking Horse Cafe we moseyed up to 22nd Street, paid admission, and climbed the central glass-and-steel stair to the 3rd floor gallery. Standing before a monumental canvas of black brushstrokes, just as my eye began to search for a label, we were approached by a well-spoken docent who offered to inform us about the artist, Jean Miotte, and the works on display in the gallery.
Miotte is a French painter born in the 1920s who works in the style known as L’Art Informal, the European counterpart of the American Abstract Expressionist movement. His work was inspired by the movement of dancers in the Russian Ballet as well as the political and cultural strife experienced in Europe following World War II. The docent also told us that Miotte’s Foundation is located in the Chelsea Art Museum and they have constant rotating exhibitions of his work.
The paintings themselves are gestural and vibrant. The proportions of light and dark and certain movements really do evoke an abstracted stage picture– the forms dance.
After the revelatory, almost mystic experience of the Miotte paintings, the museum’s other exhibitions seemed a little dull. The 3rd floor was shared by the work of an asian printmaker. The work of a German painter interested in knots and surreal compositions of objects was on the 2nd floor and an oddly-exhibited collection of 5×8 photographs ringed the perimeter of the large 1st floor gallery.
In addition to the Miotte works, I also admired the museum’s consistent use of large labels at the beginning of each exhibit with little to no text near the works themselves. This allows one to learn about the context and intent of the exhibit without the constant distraction of wordy labels throughout.
All in all, a satisfying visit. I look forward visiting the CAM in future.
556 West 22nd Street
Open Tues – Sat 11am to 6 pm
Thursday 11am to 8 pm
Closed Sunday and Monday
$8 adults, $4 students and seniors
Great for a quick cultural dip. Bring a friend and spend the day in Chelsea visiting other galleries and promenading down the High Line.