The show Cameron wanted me to see was the Jay DeFeo Retrospective: http://whitney.org/Exhibitions/JayDeFeo . I had heard of DeFeo before, in coordination with her piece "The Rose", which this show is built around. But other than seeing a small photo of her working on it, and reading the story of its removal from her studio in 1966, I didn't know anything about her.
I really love museums and looking at art will usually shake any doubts and feelings of frustration that I have had. This show did that and so much more. The exhibition allows the viewer to walk through DeFeo's life work in a chronological order, with The Rose placed in the geographic center of the space.
You can read more about DeFeo's life and work here: http://www.jaydefeo.org
DeFeo painted The Rose in the first half of her career, and her struggle with making work is apparent in her use of materials. Feeling frustrated with my own work I was able to really appreciate how much time she spent working on the surface of each of her large paintings. I also really enjoyed seeing the trajectory of her work, through different materials and subject matters. I have always been inspired by work that is different from what I create, and the artists I was looking at felt very disparate (Robert Rauschenberg, Alberto Giacometti, Robert Frank), and I saw all of those inspirations come together in DeFeo's work.
It was incredibly inspiring and refreshing to see this work.
I also managed to stop by the Met to catch three photography exhibits:
The street exhibit combines work from the permanent collection that surround James Nares' video "Street". Included are images and works by some of my favorites: Robert Frank, Alberto Giacometti, André Kertesz, Berenice Abbott, Eugène Atget, Franz Kline, Henri Cartier-Bresson, etc.). Another show that reminded me why I am doing this.
It was definitely worth braving New York driving and parking troubles to see these shows.