Friday, February 9, 2018
Richard Mayhew at the de Young
I've written before about how I became obsessed with the paintings of Richard Mayhew in a single instant late last summer at SFMOMA. That in turn sent me on a quest to find the Mayhew canvas I'd heard tell hangs somewhere in the de Young Museum. And let me tell you, it took some tracking down. You wander all through the permanent collection painting galleries on the second floor, which are filled with things about 99% of which were created prior to the Twentieth Century. You wander and wander thinking there's no way a Modern painting is going to be lurking up here somewhere. Until suddenly you come down a long hallway of traditional landscape paintings and - boom! - right at the end, there it is (above). A revelation in purple, peach, and olive green. It's called "Rhapsody," was painted in 2002, and acquired by the museum in 2010. It is perhaps one of the oddest hangings of a picture in a museum that I have ever seen, and in many ways one of the most effective. It's fun to compare it with how Mayhew's work is presented at SFMOMA (see photo just below this paragraph). Both amazing. But could hardly be more different. For your viewing pleasure I enclose below large images of the four Mayhew pictures I've now seen in the flesh. My semi-crummy phone photos don't begin to do them justice, but they do jog my memory to their wonders. Now I'm on a quest to find out where I can see more of these in person. It's relatively easy to find out what museums have pictures from a particular artist in their permanent collection, but can be a bit trickier to know where actually has what hanging on an actual wall on view to the public when. But I'm keeping my ear to the ground for leads. Because my eyeballs and my brain and my heart need more of this drug.