MASS Moca is an art gem in the Berkshires. We go a few times a year and were drawn in by the Nick Cave exhibit first and foremost, though there was the surprise of my 2nd Robert Rauschenberg exhibit in two months and other exhibits of light and wonder.
Nick Cave at MASS MoCA
But first, Nick Cave. His newest is called “Until,” and it is beautiful visually, but meaningful too. The volume of the objects that Cave uses is impressive. According to the MASS MoCA website, there are ” 16,000 wind spinners; millions of plastic pony beads; thousands of ceramic birds, fruits, and animals; 13 gilded pigs; more than 10 miles of crystals; 24 chandeliers; 1 crocodile; and 17 cast-iron lawn jockeys.” The compelling elements draw you in and make you feel immersed in something that is is beautiful on first viewing but represents American racial cruelty and brutality. This exhibit is a response to the multiple incidents of police brutality in the past few years. It made me think and want to act more.
We meet again Robert Rauschenberg
After seeing Rauschenberg’s work at MoMA in NYC, I was pleasantly surprised to meet up with him again. This time, I encountered his Combines, which are part painting/part sculpture. Objects from daily life are combined in fun, colorful but unexpected ways. The Combines are displayed so that I felt like I was walking in a colorful maze. I continue enjoying the unexpectedness in the familiar that Rauschenberg was so good at merging.
New Orleans in the House
Thumbs Up for the Mothership is the exhibit that seemed most like modern art to me. Seemingly disconnected objects tell the story of brokenness and global catastrophe.
Dawn DeDeaux and Lonnie Holley are artists who met through the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. There combined efforts here tell many stories about Hurricane Katrina, voter suppression, and climate fallout. By using and constructing debris and historical remnants, the two artists are showing us how to build hope from the worst situations.
It figures that my favorite exhibition is meant primarily for children in Kidspace. But yes, Cavernous: The Inner Life of Courage is amazing! Wes Sam-Bruce captures fun and mystery in a space for children to meander in. There’s poetry, painting, sculpture in a space that children can sit and play in or just be quiet in.
I think children and adults will appreciate the whimsy and feeling lost but entertaining questions about courage. Sam-Bruce uses the Hoosac Tunnel to ask questions about what you, the visitor, will uncover about yourself. He reminds us that courage is heart-centered and grows from within. I felt childlike and deeply happy after visiting this exhibit.
And More at MASS MoCA
Besides all of the above, there is sculpture by Louise Bourgeois and an interesting exhibit on light and color by James Turrell (my husband’s favorite). We also always visit the Sol LeWitt section of the museum. His work is just massive and interesting, not to mention colorful and playful!
MASS MoCA is always changing and worth many visits throughout the year. I love the wide open spaces and how you can drift from building to building.
Finally, the Gramercy Bistro on the property serves a great brunch. Art and good food make for a pretty perfect day in my book.