For Robert Wilson, the World’s a Stage – for Art

THE DAILY PIC: At the National Arts Club, he crosses art, design and stage work.


THE DAILY PIC (#1416): The thing I like best about the work of Robert Wilson is how it teeters precariously between fine art, design and stage decor. You get a sense of that in today’s Daily Pic, which is taken from a show of his work at the National Arts Club in New York. Wilson’s Bessie Smith Breakfast Chair could be used as pure sculpture or for sitting, and it’s that tension that would also make it work as a theatrical property.

The Arts Club show has another piece, which unfortunately was not photographed, that displays Wilson’s magic even better: It’s just an old plastic tub, like the kind that paint or drywall mud comes in, displayed upside down with a big chunk missing from its side. You wouldn’t give it a second look at the dump and it would take some guts for a sculptor to show it in a museum: Even by the standards of the objet trouvé, it’s not obviously worth the finding. But as soon as you know it’s by Wilson, you can imagine tiny figures singing their souls out under it; the missing part of its side instantly becomes a yawning proscenium arch.

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