When Modern Was Contemporary Art Exhibit at the Albuquerque Museum

or, who knew I liked modern art?

I never thought of myself as a modern art lover. But I love the current exhibit at the Albuquerque Museum: “When Modern Was Contemporary: Selections from the Roy R. Neuberger Collection.”

“When Modern Was Contemporary – The Roy R. Neuberger Collection” Coffee Table Book. Signed by Tracy Fitzpatrick, the editor and Chief Curator of Neuberger Museum of Art.

Here’s how it started:

Remember how last year I was working on a scene in my WIP that was just not happening? And how I went to an art gallery and drank lots of wine and did some other things not necessarily in that order so that I could get the scene written?

Turns out that was so last year.

This year, upon manuscript revision #3, I found the scene sorely lacking. As a matter of fact, I wrote in my notebook,

“I thought I was done with this. I’m not done with it. It sucks.”

Or something to that effect.

Part of the problem is that I’ve gotten to know the love interest better. He’s changed. The way he and my heroine initially connect has changed. Their whole dynamic and reason for being together in the first place has changed. Everything changed. So the scene had to change.

After talking myself off the ledge, I thought, “I need a real classic art exhibit to go to for yet more inspiration.”

Classic art exhibit, you say? Here you go!

The very next day, I kid you not, I read an article in the Sunday paper about this “When Modern Was Contemporary” art exhibit at our very own Albuquerque Museum. So the following Saturday I attended the opening reception. I spent a couple hours there and didn’t want to leave.

Article and my notes about “When Modern Was Contemporary” exhibit at the Albuquerque Museum, 2017

The next day, I rewrote my scene. And it is so much better.

The fact this exhibit came along literally after I asked for it and gave me the creative spark I needed for my writing can’t be the only reason I love this collection. I had to check it out again just last week and plan to hit it up one last time before it leaves at the end of December.

I really can’t explain it. It must be part of the beautiful, unquantifiable mystery of art.

Check out some of my pics below.

This piece is one that my heroine would use to say to her guy “See, naked women everywhere. No naked men.” Her guy doesn’t see the problem.

“LA PARISIENNE” by Max Weber from “When Modern Was Contemporary” exhibit at the Albuquerque Museum, 2017.

Another case in point. I really like this one, though. Up close, it’s  mesmerizing.

“THE DREAM” by Louis Michel Eilshemius from “When Modern Was Contemporary” exhibit at the Albuquerque Museum, 2017

My heroine would take one look at this and gag. Her guy actually likes it. It grew on me.

“LYRIC” by Mark Tobey from “When Modern Was Contemporary” exhibit at the Albuquerque Museum, 2017

Couldn’t get far enough back to get all three pieces. It’s pretty spectacular up close. I remember going to the library last year, looking at art books, and one of the librarians said “I don’t get the Jackson Pollock thing.” I didn’t either at the time. After looking at the real thing, though, I kind of do.

“BURNING CANDLES” by Lee Krasner, “NUMBER 8” by Jackson Pollock, and “NIGHT CHILDREN” by Philip Guston from “When Modern Was Contemporary” exhibit at the Albuquerque Museum, 2017

Can’t you see this hanging on my living room wall? Yeah, I can, too.

“IN THE EVENING EVANGELISTS PREACH AND SING ON STREET CORNERS” by Jacob Lawrence from “When Modern Was Contemporary” exhibit at the Albuquerque Museum, 2017


Further reading: Roy R. Neuberger Dies at 107; Applied a Stock Trader’s Acumen to Art via New York Times.

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