It’s quite a long way to Queens. Got my first visit to the newly refurbished Queens Museum this weekend. What a find. Set over two levels and a massive 105,000 feet space. The building has had a varied past including being originally built for the 1939/40 New York World’s Fair but since then been the home of the United Nations General Assembly and an ice and roller rink. It’s a lovely airy space and if you walk in this month, you’ll be greeted by this enormous artwork by German born artist, Peter Schumann who now lives in Vermont.
Schumann has an exhibition on at the moment called The Shatterer and it’s pretty gruesome stuff. Carrying on with my general theme for seeing bonkers art, this one certainly leads the way. As you walk in you are confronted by vast black and white sculptures hanging from the ceiling, all over the walls and jutting out in to the floor space. There’s something distinctly unsettling about his work. The blurb says his work ‘often depicts past and present battles between good and evil’.
I don’t know about you, but it just makes me shudder. When I was there a steel band was playing Caribbean music in the atrium, which lent a peculiar soundtrack to all this horror. As you wander through the room into the ante room you come across a large number of puppets, so far from Sesame Street and the Muppets, that Jim Henson clearly wasn’t an influence here.
Quite what these fellas are trying to tell me, I’m not sure, but spending ten minutes in their presence was enough to send me back to the atrium and the comfort of the Caribbean. I asked a member of staff what would happen to the large painting in the atrium and he said it would be painted over. Good job, he said, it had been scaring the kids. I am not surprised.