Atlanta, Part 3: Out and About


One of the things I like about Atlanta is that a stone’s throw from just about anywhere downtown—CNN, for instance—you can be on the outskirts in just a few minutes. Indeed, in Castleberry Hill, a slowly gentrifying neighborhood where the Marcia Wood Gallery is located, there’s a horse and buggy stable cheek by jowl with the gallery and a number of upscale lofts.

Marcia Wood and Thom Shepard walking into the building where Thom's studio is.

The Goat Farm
So on the Saturday morning of the opening, Marcia Wood, Thom Shepard and I drove out to The Goat Farm, a few miles from the gallery, where Thom just got a studio. A complex of corrugated-covered buildings, it houses artists’ studios, living lofts and some big empty structures, one of which is a theater company’s rehearsal space. I'm not sure why it's named as it is, since it was built to be a cotton mill. There's even a hexagonal cotton silo on the property, along with artifacts from its textile past, like the giant bale weigher (want to feel skinny? the scale starts at 250 lbs). It’s ramshackle and bucolic now—there’s even a big old pig on the property—but in a few years, I’ll bet the design and architecture firms will be moved in, with upscale restaurants and a whole lot of condos.  Here's some of what I photographed as we walked around:

The Goat Farm grounds from where we parked, near the road

Below: the diamond door that's barely visible in the distance above 

The hexagonal cotton silo

Mill buildings

Below: a curious door that beckoned and repelled

Marcia Wood outside one of the buildings that's not in use. There are loading docks here, and railroad tracks

Thom Shepard as The Thinker with Naugahyde Chair and Stovepipe

Irwin Street Market
From the Goat Farm we went to Irwin Street Market for lunch, where we met up with Nancy Baker and Mark Bercier, the two artists whose work you saw in the previous post, Nancy's husband John, and Katherine Taylor, a gallery artist and terrific painter who does a mean headstand. At the restaurtant everyone ordered buttermilk biscuits and down-home comfort food. My vegetarian mantra: It's not made with lard, is it?

The market

Below: the Five Marketeers: Thom Shepard, Marcia Wood, Mark Bercier, John Baker, Nancy Baker

I joined the group for this pic, as did Katherine Taylor

Below: Thom and Katherine showing off
Love the wall behind them

The High Museum
On Sunday while Marcia drove Mark to the airport, Thom and I went to the High Museum. With it’s white cladding and glass façade, the Richard Meier-designed museum looks more like a hospital than a museum. But, hey, there’s no co-pay; I got in as a blogger and Tom as a member. We had about 90 minutes to closing, so we opted for the contemporary collection on the fourth floor. The galleries are large and nicely proportioned, and the natural light allows you to be inside while feeling like you’re outside. The collection seems to have something by most of the well-known male artists. It was left to Agnes Martin and a handful of Gee’s Bend quilters to represent the other 50% of the artmaking world. What are they called? Oh, right: women.

The Richard Meier-designed High Museum (image from the Internet)

Ellsworth Kelly in the lobby

Alfred Jensen multi-canvas painting; is that a Martin Puryear in the distance?

Below a surprisingly inelegant Morris Louis

Tony Smith

Below: Ellsworth Kelly again; he gets a whole room to himself

I didn't take pics of the Gee's Bend quilts, placed in the Folk Art section (my bad), but I did shoot two textile related works: Robert Morris, above . . .

. . . and El Anatsui

Gerhard Richter is another artist who got a room to himself, with a selection of photographs, sculptures and paintings. I like the paintings best, like the one here
Below: A general view, with Matthew Day Jackson assemblage at left based on a Life magazine cover commemorating the first moon landing. June 6, 1969,  2010; gypsum board, found wood, lead

With the Robert Morris sculpture at my left shoulder, we see paintings by Martin Kline and Agnes Martin, and in the middle distance, prints by Terry Winters

The temporary Cartier Bresson exhibition was fabulous, a reminder of the power of a good eye, a black and white palette, and ancient technology. I have no pictures because no photography was allowed, but I did pull the one below, of Mlle. Chanel in her iconic drag queen years, from the museum website. She did cut a chic suit, didn't she?

From the Cartier Bresson show: Coco Chanel, Paris, 1964. © 2011 Henri Cartier-Bresson/Magnum Photos, courtesy Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris

Back at the Gallery
Back at the Gallery we hung out on the terrace, using it as an alfresco living room. A big yellow tarp functioned like a tent, because even on a chilly weekend, which it was, that sun can get hot. The smell of baking bread often wafts over from the commercial bakery nearby and trains pass regularly in the not-too-far-off distance--a mix of soothing and annoying. On Sunday you can hear a preacher’s voice rise and fall, praise Jesus, through the yeasty air. I don’t care much for organized religion, but I developed a hankering for a sandwich. Praise the yeast. 

On the terrace, with a Mary Engel sculpture in the foreground

Below: Mark Bercier

In the office, a Duncan Johnson construction and two Mary Engel sculptures.

Below, Engel's turquoise dog, which I'm told is titled Marcia

Sculptor and lamp maker Rob Kennedy, who also keeps the Marcia Wood Gallery website up and running

There was more, but I don't have pictures. Sometimes I just want to view reality through my own eyes instead of the camera lens. So I can't show you the pre-opening dinner for collectors and friends set up in the Gallery Annex; the opening (thanks for coming, Cheryl Goldsleger, John Tallman, Helen Ferguson Crawford, Mary Ohoro, Allison Miller, Christopher May and others); a visit to an artisanal chocolate shop, Cacao, located at the intersection of Food and Sex (thanks for treating, Thom); my day as a visiting artist at Georgia State University (thanks for the invitation, Cheryl Goldsleger; you've got a great group of grad students); and a few dinners where art makers, sellers, collectors and others ate well and talked shop (including Sally Wood, the world's best framer). Honestly, it was hard to leave.
Some recent previous posts about the gallery:  A Little PeekMore on PullArtist as Curator: Luxe, Calme et Volupte


hamlett said...

Funny that you mentioned the High looking like a hospital, the exterior of the was used as Hannibal Lecktor's asylum for Michael Mann's movie "Red Dragon" in the 80s. (I like your blog, you should come to Memphis and visit.)

Tamar said...

Looks like it was a great visit to Atlanta, anchored by your show. I can understand why you didn't want to leave. And yes, you deserve a rap on the knuckles for not taking photos of the Gee's Bend quilts--I am always hungry to see more.

annell said...

Thank you so much for the post! It all looks so wonderful! The sun shinning, I could just smell everything fresh, and old buildings, still standing. What a wonderful experience!

helen said...

thanks for coming to Atlanta, and exploring the special treats here. oh, there are so many. but we can save those for when you come back! xo hfc

Hanover Park HS 1961 50th Reunion said...

Ahhh... I love the smell of goats and pigs when looking at good art. :)

Kate P. Miller said...

Great post, love the "wall" in the headstand picture. This blog really seemed to capture a feel for your trip, felt like a great time. Very enjoyable. Thanks for letting your readers join the sojourn.

Nancy Natale said...

Looks like a fun time with friends and a nice dose of art and local cultcha. Thanks for your post and tips on some of the Atl highlights.

Oriane Stender said...

Nice! Lovely pix and commentary.

fanne said...

I lived in Atlanta in the 70s. i worked for the Atlanta Journal, not Constitution. It was a different place then. Behore the new High was the old High, which was a horrid place where I saw a Calder show in an area with 12-foot ceilings. Not a good place for mobiles.

Rob said...

That spider web door is fantastic!