I just returned from a quick whirlwind art trip to London with 6 artists, exhausted and completely inspired. Traveling to a new place (albeit one I lived in in my "youth") and seeing art is such an enlightening experience. London is a lot like NYC, an international art city, filled with world class museums and galleries. (and not insignificantly, amazing food everywhere, from the lowest to highest end!). I found that I was "looking" in a different way, perusing more openly, discovering objects and works that at home I might not otherwise spend time on. When home I tend to see new exhibitions in arenas I am interested in, look at gallery shows of new works, follow the latest discussions. At home I rarely revisit permanent collections, time periods or cultural movements outside my main interests. This is primarily a time issue, at home there is much to do- so museum and gallery visits on my rare days free are reserved for the "latest" scholarship.
Being in a new place meant my mind was free to roam, to look at objects without my usual agendas, outside my usual interests. This was liberating, enthralling, and left me all the more convinced of my love of art, and museums and galleries as institutions, even with all their (many) problematics. I felt full of the same joy as always, to see objects crafted by humans over vast time and place, and the life force, the sheer human presence all these objects represent, combined by the openness of being in a place far from home.....