Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Research Institute

Yvonne Rainer in Her Own Words

An exhibition at the Getty Research Institute features the dances, films, and words of Yvonne Rainer, including fascinating (and funny) excerpts from her diaries. Listen to them here

Most exhibitions feature labels and gallery panels with just enough information to give visitors the basics. For curators, writing these concise gems is no easy feat! Deciding what goes in them can be an art form. In fact, some labels are themselves art.

Yvonne Rainer: Dances and Films at Getty Research Institute gives this approach a twist. While labels written by curator Glenn Phillips guide you through the exhibition, Yvonne Rainer’s writings—quoted extensively throughout both galleries—provide personal context. “She’s always put her life in her work,” says Glenn, who emphasizes that Rainer’s art, while abstract and conceptual, is far from dry or impersonal. “Her words give visitors something that is beautiful, funny, provocative.”

For the exhibition, Glenn also asked Rainer to record selected passages from her diaries, which begin in her teenage years and run well into adulthood. These reveal a different side of the artist, with topics varying from dreams, to arguments with schoolteachers, to thoughts about consumerism while shoe shopping. Nothing is off limits. One diary entry from the 80s, a list of shameful conditions and operations, seems positively Whitmanesque. Whether hilarious, violent, or despairing, there’s always clarity in Rainer’s voice.

Tagged , , , , , , Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

  • Facebook

  • Twitter

  • Tumblr

    • photo from Tumblr

      #ProvenancePeek: July 31

      Every art object has a story—not only of how it was made, but of how it changed hands over time until it found its current home. That story is provenance.

      This small panel by Dutch master Gerrit Dou (photographed only in black and white) is now in the collection of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. It was sold to American collector Robert Sterling Clark, an heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune, in the summer of 1922.

      How do we know this? Archival sleuthing! A peek into the handwritten stock books of M. Knoedler & Co. (book 7, page 10, row 40, to be exact) records the Dou in “July 1922” (right page, margin). Turning to the sales books, which lists dates and prices, we again find the painting under the heading “New York July 1922,” with its inventory number 14892. A tiny “31” in superscript above Clark’s name indicates the date the sale was recorded.

      M. Knoedler was one of the most influential dealers in the history of art, selling European paintings to collectors whose collections formed the genesis of great U.S. museums. The Knoedler stock books have recently been digitized and transformed into a searchable database, which anyone can query for free.

      Girl at a Window, 1623–75, Gerrit Dou. Oil on panel, 10 9/16 x 7 ½ in. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts


      #ProvenancePeek is a monthly series by research assistant Kelly Davis peeking into #onthisday provenance finds from the M. Knoedler & Co. archives at the Getty Research Institute.

      07/31/15

  • Flickr