At Cranbrook

As promised, I wanted to tell you about my experience at Cranbrook last Friday. It was a last-minute addition to my day after I picked up the brochure at the Detroit airport. I had completely spaced that Cranbrook was there!

Anyway, it was a nice drive through the city–especially since I had never been there. Cranbrook is located in Bloomfield Hills–north of Detroit proper. It is a sprawling, serene campus in the rolling hills and under old, towering trees, many of which were flowering.

I was slightly disappointed that I didn’t get to see the contemporary permanent collections. As a museum junkie, I always travel to see permanent collections rather than special exhibitions. I want to know what makes a place tick, and that tick is usually dictated by the collections. I did, however, make it in time to see the Cranbrook grad student exhibition.
Big ideas here. Anything small stood out like a sore thumb. Things moved, shined, spoke, jiggled, bled, and annoyed. So, I was very happy to come upon the “Kline meets Guston” (my phraseology) paintings of Jeff Kessel. I loved these and hope to see more. Ditto for those of Alison Wong and the “Rainscreen Wall” of Paul Puzzello. The latter is made of concrete parts that fill up a huge window, but they’re so organic they appear to be soft, stuffed vinyl. Really cool stuff. Check them out on the Puzzello’s blog.

I’m sorely disappointed that Saarinen House hadn’t yet opened to the public this year. I missed it by a week. Rats!

Am glad to be home and back at work. Stay tuned to hear about the workshop.

Image: Saarinen House, Cranbrook.

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