treatise on the veil

I caught this Cy Twombly exhibition in New York just at the end of its run. The museum happened to be open on Monday due to the Martin Luther King holiday.

I’ve been getting interested in Cy Twombly on Pinterest because of his sketchiness and inclusion of handwriting in his work.

This monumental Treatise on the Veil (Second Version) is rarely exhibited because of its size.

Cy Twombly: Treatise on the Veil

I couldn’t take pictures in the gallery but I grabbed this one from the website.

Cy Twombly: Treatise on the Veil

Cy Twombly: Treatise on the Veil

I sketched out some couplets to capture my first reactions to the Treatise.

An imperfectly cleaned chalkboard
that opens to soft drips and imperfect coatings

At “eye-level” imperfectly applied lines of chalk
two evanescent traces of blue and blue

Scribbling – why? why is the artist’s
handwriting so atrocious?

Conscious enough to notice a mistake
in the interpretive panels –

I think they wrote 4
whereas he was writing 8

why one person’s traces preserved
the others a vast garbage heap?

I liked the patched together nature of the studies, loaded down with tape and scribbling, as well as stamped with dates and numerals. Trying to organize the nature of art.

solstice concert



I finally made it to the Paul Winter Solstice Concert at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. The show was a bit upstaged by the installation of the giant Phoenix by Xu Bing.

“If they faced toward the church,” referring to the altar, Mr. Xu explained, “it would have seemed too religious.”



lit up by the light of dawn

Huang lit up by the light of dawn

Other photos from the concert:

sunrise ceremony with gong

sunrise ceremony with gong

spiral tree of sound

spiral tree of sound

The dance number “Amazing” was amazing and energetic. My heart was pounding. The cello performance of “Song of the Birds” was also incredible. There were brief moments of extreme beauty – solo soprano saxophone, the enactment of a thunderstorm, and the rising of the sun gong. Other than that the concert affected me as being overly spectacular. I found myself wishing for a more intimate, indigenously crafted solstice ceremony. And the giant presence of the Phoenix definitely diverted me from the performance.

animals in brooklyn



My mind said “Nativity scene” and struggled to register that it was a bird between the two figures.


Brooklyn holiday shopping itinerary:

We did not make it to F and G, but we were exhausted and overstimulated by then anyway.



I went into New York, Battery Park City, to a Poet’s House event. Matthea Harvey and Marilyn Nelson. Cozy and enjoyable.

The city stressed me out though. Cold, windy, difficult, ominous. I took photos. I couldn’t acclimate, although I saw lots of interesting things. These are a collection pipes. I felt like a criminal taking pictures of pipes.




a disarray of monastics

I went to hear the Dalai Lama’s teachings at the Beacon Theater.

It was mostly a visual experience, and also one of noting human nature.

The monks’ robes were quite interesting, all that fabric, color, and draping that they had well in hand.

I have more to say about this, don’t know if I will post it here.