Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Scandinavia House: Park Ave and 38th Street

I took a quick visit to the Scandinavia House to take a look at what they had to offer in this, the 100th anniversary of its incorporation.  I had lived just a block south of this place for several months when I first moved to NYC but had never gone in before.  On their main floor there is a good gift shop and a restaurant with a fantastically large "tree" in the middle of the dining area (see below).

On their third floor (the elevators are in the back just across from the main gift shop), there is a free exhibit, open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 6 (see Scandinavia House for more info).  The current exhibit, called North by New York: New Nordic Art is a small overview of recent art from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. Curated by Robert Storr and Francesca Pietropaolo, the works - including painting, sculpture, photography, and video installations - draw attention to the diversity of contemporary Nordic artists.

Some of the art looks like it could have come from China and others are very political.  I particularly was transfixed by a video tracking the 99 year life of a woman.  I'm not sure why, but I was glued to the headset that told the summary life of a simple woman, just living (having children, getting ill, being there when her husband passes away, and then finally expiring herself).  I took a snap of the video (see right).

It is a small gallery space so really you can just stop by for about 15 minutes.  What a nice way to take a little respite from the hullabaloo of Park Avenue, Grand Central (just a few blocks north) and NYC in general.  Light and easy doses of modern art!

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