Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Lynn Davis at the Rubin Museum of Art

I'll admit it: before last night I knew little about either Lynn Davis the photographer or the Rubin Museum of Art. In fact, the only thing I really knew about the museum is that its at the original Barneys location. And those of you who've seen me dress know that the closing of Barneys downtown was not a watershed moment in my life! So when the lovely wife told me that a friend had invited us to a party celebrating the exhibition, I said yes, but I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into. I shouldn't have worried: the Rubin is a great space and Lynn Davis is an awesome photographer. Mia Fineman of the New York Times writes an excellent review which includes a slide show of the photographs and some Himalayan art that Ms. Davis chose to be included in the collection.

The Rubin Museum is dedicated to Himalayan art. The space at the Rubin itself is totally redone from its Barneys days. Having said that, the circular stairway leading upstairs remains, although it is completely renovated. There is a classroom, a cafe, and of course a gift shop. For those of us who know nothing about Himalayan art, several floors are dedicated to teaching the basics. For a quick trip on the 1 train, it was a pleasure to go to and be at.

Lynn Davis has been photographing landscapes for many years. Her show at the Rubin is a are display of large gelatin prints that she has taken throughout the world. The prints are austere and quite beautiful. To be honest, I appreciated them most in the two photographs where I had actually seen the original landscapes: Arches National Park and Yellowstone. Knowing what the originals looked like made her prints even more vibrant, and made me like them even more.

So go to the Rubin. Its worth the quick trip downtown, and you'll enjoy both the Davis show as well as the museum itself. Maybe I'll try the cafe one day!

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