The Metropolitan Museum- Khubilai Khan and El Anatsui

I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City where I saw an exhibit on  Khubilai Khan.  One piece that really inspired me was a porcelain piece called pillow in the form of a theatre .

Khubilai Khan - pillow in the form of a theatre

Khubilai Khan - Pillow in the Form of a Theatre

Looking at this intricate piece made me think of the pleasure I got as a child (and still do) in having an out of self experience.   It’s not just escape that makes good art good – it’s a pleasurable feeling of otherness that can come by looking at something beautiful.

The second piece of art I saw that was inspiring was a piece by Ghanaian born artist El Anatsui of a very large wall hanging intricately made by different forms of bottle caps. 

Dusasa II by El Anatsui

Dusasa II by El Anatsui

Initially when you walk into the room it looks like shells… which certainly puts the beach idea in your mind, but when you get up close you see that it’s made of cut, punched and layered bottle caps. The colors and shape of this piece are beautiful.    It inspired me because it made me feel like I was seeing an alternate world where the beach and waves were vertical and textured.  I wanted to touch it, walk behind it, and smell it.  That desire to interact is also what makes good art good.


About Margaret Withers

Margaret Withers’ has shown her artwork in group and solo shows in New York City and nationwide, and internationally in Brussels, Australia, Berlin, China, Vienna and Russia. She has also exhibited at The Drawing Center in New York City, Monmouth Museum in New Jersey, MarinMOCA in California and Attleboro Museum in Massachusetts. Her art and art mashups have been featured in multiple journals including the New England Review, Alexandria Quarterly and the Library as Incubator Project. Her paintings range from the abstract to surreal, to expressionism and landscapes, to investigations of the culture and ideas surrounding ‘home’, communication, machinery, monsters and translation. Her work is included in numerous private and corporate collections, including Truninger AG in Zurich, Switzerland. She is represented by Arcilesi | Homberg Gallery in New York City, William Baczek Fine Art in Northampton, MA and C Emerson Fine Art in Tampa Florida. She lives and paints in Manhattan, New York.
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